Duo brings complementary blues to Oak Bay lounge

‘World-class harmonica’ on tap with Rick Fines and Roly Platt Friday

Rick Fines and Roly Platt perform Friday

Rick Fines and Roly Platt perform Friday

Rick Fines promises harmonica “like you’ve never heard before” when he and Roly Platt perform in the Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

“We’re coming as a duo and we’re bringing you a heap of blues but also a bunch of original material as well. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last many years,” Fines said.

Fines comes with 11 albums under his belt, including the most recent Driving Home, while Platt boasts his first, despite decades of musical success.

“As he says, ‘I like to put out an album every 56 years,’ and he says, ‘Buy this one don’t wait for the next,’” Fines said. “We’ll be doing some songs from Roly’s new album and my new album. We’ll be doing bits and pieces of all the stuff.”

Platt has recorded more than 1,800 individual album cuts, movie scores and national jingles and now works for clients from around the globe via his home studio. His first album is Tangled Roots.

A veteran of the North American blues and folk circuits, Fines is known to engage audiences with captivating songs and diverse guitar style.

“I can’t call myself a bluesman,” he said. “My music borrows a lot from blues and I play blues but the people who created it went through a lot. It seems disingenuous.”

The pair have performed together on and off for 25 years, and it’s been at least a decade since Fines performed in Greater Victoria. They make Oak Bay part of their Island tour with a show in the Upstairs Lounge on Feb. 17.

“We’ll get people up and toss ’em down and pick ’em up again. We’re going to make a little journey of it,” Fines said. “I think it’s because Roly’s just got such great ears and he works so hard to complement my music, from my perspective that’s it. I do my best to back him up for his stuff and apparently I do all right. He’s such a stellar musician that just to perform with him is a treat. As two players you play off each other’s energy. That’s why it works and that’s why we’re taking it out west.”

Fines has performed everywhere from the National Gallery and Governor General’s Garden Party to Montreal Jazz, Ottawa BluesFest, the Edmonton Folk Festival, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. International tour highlights include visits to France, Italy, Scotland, Newfoundland, B.C.’s Gulf Islands, and the northern Arctic.

Platt has enjoyed a long and musically rewarding career as both a live and studio harmonica player for over 38 years. He has toured and recorded with many greats in the business, including Matt Minglewood, Dutch Mason, David Clayton-Thomas, Rita Chiarelli, Suzie Vinnick and Ronnie Hawkins.

“The audience, if they’re ready for some stories and some songs, they’re in for a great time, because we’ve got good songs and good stories. They’re going to hear harmonica like they’ve never heard it played before,” Fines said. “People should really get out and hear Roly … this will be the first chance for people to hear this harmonica and it’s truly world-class harmonica.”

Rick Fines and Roly Platt perform Friday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. in the Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee St. Tickets are $20 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop, Oak Bay Recreation Centre and online at beaconridgeproductions.com. Doors open 6 p.m.