After a long, five-year absence, Five Alarm Funk will be heating up the stage at this year’s Roots and Blues Festival, Salmon Arm’s premiere summer festival, which runs from Aug. 18 to 20. Member-only early bird tickets are on sale until March 31. Image credit: Observer file photo

Five more added to Roots and Blues slate

Artistic director builds diverse festival with wide appeal

Get your red-hot Roots and Blues tickets before members’ earlybird ticket sales end on March 31.

Six more acts will be making their way to Roots and Blues this summer, adding to the already announced 18 on a slate that promises excellence and diversity.

Anyone who has heard them before will feel the energy rising at the news that longtime Roots and Blues favourite Five Alarm Funk will be back after five long years.

“The infectious, ferociously upbeat sounds and intense performances of FAF continue to draw praise from crowds around the globe and with a new album, appropriately titled Sweat, the Vancouver band continues to be one of our finest musical ambassadors,” says Roots and Blues artistic director Peter North.

Fans of the hypnotic sounds of West African music and the kora will be enthralled with the playing of Zal Sissoko. An amazing improviser, Sissoko moved to Montreal from Africa in 1999 and before long his talents were being championed by Canadian cultural bodies and adoring audiences. He sings in the Malinke and Wolof languages.

For blues fans, the region’s favourite roots festival has added another veteran of the Chicago blues scene with guitar playing and singing Keith Scott.

Scott received his musical education more than 30 years ago, jamming with greats like Buddy Guy, Junior Wells and James Cotton, and then became a member of the legendary Chicago-based Jimmy Dawkins Band.

Scott will be a welcome addition to the festival in both the acoustic and electric blues workshops.

Winner of the East Coast Music Association’s 2015 Roots Album of the Year, Irish Mythen is a globetrotting troubadour – an Irish-born, contemporary Canadian folk artist who’s been amassing accolades and achievements across several continents over the years.

In the last 12 months, Mythen has closed out the Philadelphia Folk Festival, performing after the iconic Lyle Lovett, and had tens of thousands in her hands at Australia’s Woodford Folk Festival.

On the back of the latter performance, she was handpicked to open for Melissa Etheridge’s 2016 Australian run.

“Mythen will be a perfect Roots and Blues fit, playing not only her concert, but on workshops with the festival’s strong Celtic lineup,” says North.

A member of the Turtle Clan and a Mohawk from Six Nations, DJ Shub last played Roots and Blues as a member of the A Tribe Called Red with whom he won a Juno Award for Nation II Nation. He was also on board for their most popular single, Electric Pow Wow Drum.

Shub’s solo debut ep includes six tracks of “old-ways-style” powwow step music featuring the vocals of Northern Cree Singers, Black Lodge Singers, and Frazer Sundown.

Look for a spectacular Barn Stage performance from DJ Shub on the final night of the festival.

For fans of acoustic music with an old time sensibility, the sounds of husband and wife duo of Jeremy Eisenhauer and Sheree Plett Eisenhauer, aka The Eisenhauers, should resonate strongly at Roots and Blues.

Based in Kaslo, the couple’s latest release, The Road We Once Knew, is, at heart, a meditation on change that explores the dynamics of escaping from the city and moving to the country.

These artists will join other exciting performers, including the legendary Booker T Jones of Booker T and the MG’s fame, who will close the Saturday night main stage, Frazey Ford and her band, Stephen Fearing, Chicago blues veteran John Primer, North Carolina’s Toubab Krewe, brilliant young bluegrassers The Lil’ Smokies, and the all-star Celtic trio of McGoldrich, McCusker and Doyle, all of whom have been driving strong ticket sales this year.

“We fully expect the 2017 festival to meet the expectations of the 2016 Roots and Blues Festival, that was the fourth most successful Roots and Blues Festival to date,” says North promising there will be more artist announcements coming in the months leading up to the festival that runs from Aug. 18 to 20.

“The lineup will create the same kind of combination of energy and emotional response as our very successful 2016 festival.”

There are only a couple of weeks left to purchase earlybird passes at the low price of $119 for members of the Salmon Arm Folk Music Society.

For more information or tickets, call 250-833-4096 or go to www.rootsandblues.ca.

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