Two old friends return to Oak Bay Friday with a new album and a decade of experience to share in the Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.
Doug Cox and Sam Hurrie release their first recording together in a decade, and the album Old Friends is so fresh, it’ll be shipped straight here as they travel from their up-Island homes for the Dec. 9 show.
“We won’t even see it until we get there for the gig that day. It will be the first fresh new box of CDs,” Cox said.
The two musicians first met at a gig in the West Coast’s Powell River in the 1990s and felt an instant connection. For years they toured Canada and hopped the pond to Europe. They also had a weekly gig in Comox for seven years, and recorded a few CDs. When Hurrie returned to the coast a few years ago, they started playing again and things have come full circle with the new CD.
“We started playing together 20 years ago now. It really feels good to be aware of how far we’ve both come as musicians in that time period. This CD is … world-class stuff now. We’re both old enough to be playing the blues now I guess,” Cox said with a laugh. “You really change as a player over a period of 20 years. We’ve really matured as players and as singers. We’ve come a long way.”
For example, they kept this album simple. If the song was right, it stayed. If not, it didn’t.
“We recorded this one straight off the floor. We agreed we would only play a song three times and if we didn’t do a good job in three times it wasn’t ready to be recorded,” Cox said. “We sort of tried to take the old school approach of just playing and it turned out really well.”
Cox and Hurrie perform at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9 in the Upstairs Lounge at Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee St.
“It’s a real stringy show with a lot of variety and it’s not all blues … but everything we do ends up sort of having that sound to it,” Cox said.
The two are known for their chemistry, a flowing spirit of collaboration as they perform a mix of originals, some favourite cover tributes penned by departed friends like Guy Clark and Willie P. Bennett, and classic blues invigorated with fresh ideas and superlative technique.
“We’ve developed a thing where the sum is stranger than the parts. We have a unique sound when we play together that neither of us has on our own or playing with other people,” Cox said. “Because we’ve played together so much we can take our mistakes and make them into a beautiful thing.”
Tickets are $20 and are available at Ivy’s Bookshop, Oak Bay Recreation Centre and online at beaconridgeproductions.com. Doors open 6 p.m.
The new album will be available for $20.