Upbeat: Heading out on tour

Sizzlin’ hot blues on the grill

Temperatures may be on the high side, but the music is hotter.

Temperatures may be on the high side, but the music is hotter.

Victoria blues legend’s Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band is still burnin’ it up.

They will be performing their sizzling brand of music Thursday, July 23 at the Wicked Spoon Tap and Grill.

Formed in 1978 in Victoria, Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band started out playing various local pubs and dance halls and on the Gulf Islands.

In 1980 the band released their debut album of mostly original tunes.

The album was produced by Powder Blues’ Tom Lavin in his Blue Wave studios in Vancouver.

After some very strong sales, the band was signed to RCA Records and in 1982 released their second CD Here Comes Another.

The band toured across the country and opened shows for the likes of Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield and Koko Taylor, among others.

Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band dissolved in 1983 and everyone went their separate ways.

But, about 15 years ago, Hank Lionhart aka Uncle Wiggly, called up the other members of the band with the idea of doing an annual reunion tour.

Last year, the now- retired musicians in their 60s all agreed to play full-time and are beginning a tour.

The tour features all the original members – Hank Lionhart performing lead vocals, Norm “the Doctor” Piercy on bass, Mark “Westcoast” Comerford on guitar, Dave “the Duck” Rowse on sax, Brent “Watermelon” Hutchinson on sax.

On drums replacing the original drummer Mark Johnson is Tyler “Kid Cadillac” Piercy.

Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band was inducted into the Victoria Music Hall of Fame in 2011 as the Most Influential Blues Group from 1950 to 1979.

In August 2013 they released a brand new CD Still Burnnin It Up.

This is the band’s first new CD In more than 30 years.

It is the culmination of a few treasured covers by the likes of Howlin Wolf, a major influence when the band was first formed, as well as the Bo Diddley classic Diddley Daddy and some new and previously unrecorded originals.

The band won the Memphis Blues Challenge in White Rock in July 2014, earning the right to represent B.C. at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in January 2015.

Out of 280 bands from around the world, the band made it to the quarterfinals.

“It was a wonderful experience and we would love to go again,” says Lionhart.

“We came back from it inspired. We’re all in our 60s and we’re having a heap of fun.”



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