Uncle Wiggly’s brings the Christmas blues

Christmas blues come to the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre Dec. 18

Uncle Wiggly's Hot Shoes Blues Band celebrates the Music of Christmas

Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band brings its unique brand of Christmas blues to Oak Bay’s Dave Dunnet Community Theatre Sunday, Dec. 18.

Playing to sold-out houses in Alberta and B.C., this marks their first time at the Dave Dunnet theatre. Featuring a collection of traditional blues Christmas tunes from the 1920s through ‘60s, the line-up includes tunes from the likes of Louis Jordan, Big Joe Turner, BB King, Eric Clapton, Charles Brown, Etta James and many more.

“I wanted to put together a tribute to the blues songs of Christmas,” says Hank “Uncle Wiggly” Lionhart. “Everybody who comes to see it, they all say, ‘What a refreshing take on a Christmas show.”

“Blues” seems misnomer in some ways, as the band’s enthusiasm for the music is infectious.

“We love doing the show. Last year out of eight shows, we got standing ovations at every show,” he says.

Uncle Wiggly’s has been a familiar name on local stages since 1978. Members of the Victoria Music Hall of Fame, the band toured extensively in the 1980s, opening for such legends as Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, James Cotton, Koko Taylor and Paul Butterfield, before representing B.C. last year in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge.

Joining Lionhart on stage are Mark “Westcoast” Comerford on guitar, Andy Graffiti on drums, “Lightnin” Lonnie Glass on bass, Wynn Gogol on keyboards, Deb Rhymer on vocals and Dave “The Duck” Rowse and Wayne Kozak on saxophone, with Bryn Badel on trumpet.

“We have a real killer horn section,” Lionhart says.

The show provides listeners a deeper look into the blues legends, alongside a few of Uncle Wiggly’s original Christmas tunes.

“A lot of it is the stories,” Lionhart says of his love of the blues.

He points to performers like Blind Blake Turner, an artist originally from the South who moved to Chicago in 1926. “You start talking about all these artists and the stories and it all gives you a different perspective on Christmas,” he says.

“I’d been to see different Christmas shows and it’s basically different people doing the same songs over and over.”

With Uncle Wiggly’s show, other than Mel Torme’s classic Christmas Song and Booker T’s version of Silver Bells, “the rest are all new discoveries for everybody,” Lionhart says. “There’s a really great variety of blues.”

The band hits the stage at the Oak Bay High theatre at 7 p.m. Dec. 18. In the spirit of the season, look for CFAX Santas Anonymous donation boxes at the show to help local families in need.

Joining Uncle Wiggly’s is special guest David Vest.

Tickets are $25 for the general public, and $20 for Victoria Jazz Society members, seniors and students, and are available from the McPherson ticket office at www.rmts.bc.ca.

Did you know?

Uncle Wiggly’s new Christmas CD, Christmas in Jail, recorded during last season’s visit to Blue Frog Studios, will be for sale at the show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in Victoria

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

Public packs Victoria mosque during B.C.’s Open Mosque Day

‘The best way to deal with fear is to educate. That’s what we are trying to do here’

A breakdown of Oak Bay candidates’ campaign spending

A look at expenses, contributions during the 2018 municipal election

Turning pro on the Island

Pacific FC’s Brad Norris-Jones talks about his journey to pro sports in Victoria

Vancouver Island First Nations Youth Ambassadors deliver message to the United Nations

The delegation appeared at an event celebrating ‘the rich tapestry of global cultural diversity’

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. VIEWS: Power politics wins over rational energy policy

B.C Hydro continues to face interference on rates

PR firm suspends contract with former B.C. premier amid groping accusation

Edelman says in a statement that Campbell has served as a special adviser to the firm since last July

James says B.C. budget puts priorities on NDP’s poverty, environment plans

She said she expected the government’s poverty reduction and climate change strategies to be priorities in the budget

PHOTOS: Day 1 of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Games kicked off in Red Deer this week

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Most Read