It’s the year of the Dawg

Bluesman Rick “Poppa Dawg” Halisheff leads his band into the Vernon Jazz Club for the first concert of 2014, Saturday, Jan. 11. - Richard Vignola
Bluesman Rick “Poppa Dawg” Halisheff leads his band into the Vernon Jazz Club for the first concert of 2014, Saturday, Jan. 11.
— image credit: Richard Vignola

The Vernon Jazz Club will be releasing the hounds as Poppa Dawg takes over the stage this Saturday.

Rick “Poppa Dawg’” Halisheff will be joined by Steve Soucy on keys and Brian “Skip” Maguire on drums and vocal.

This soulful band will be playing a mixture of blues, R&B, and Motown, and will have the audience grooving to songs by BB King, Little Milton, Freddie King, and Howlin’ Wolf.

“The band’s sound moves from the slinky grooves of New Orleans to the down and dirty rawness of Chicago and all points in between,”  said Halisheff when asked to describe his music.

Halisheff has toured extensively throughout Western and Northern Canada. He has performed for blues cats at the City of Peace Blues Festival in La Paz, Mexico, and recently was a semi-finalist at the 29th International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

He has shared the stage with blues greats such as Sonny Rhodes, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, and Harpdog Brown and has also had the pleasure of opening for John Mayall, Colin James, Jeff Healey, and Powder Blues.

Halisheff has gained attention from other great players across the country.

“Power, style, tone, feel, and energy are the ingredients that make Poppa Dawg a force to be reckoned with,” said JW Jones, a Canadian award-winning blues guitarist.

2014 promises to be an exciting year for Poppa Dawg. Along with getting crowds moving to his music, he will be recording a new live album and possibly an acoustic one. These will be added to his collection of four CDs which are already under his belt.

His latest album, What You Got, has been catching airwaves across the world and was featured in a short film loosely based on, and named after his song Deepest Shade of Blue.

Soucy is a five-time consecutive winner of the B.C. Country Music Keyboardist of the Year award. He has performed with countless bands from blues, country and pop to rock and roll.

Vernon Jazz Club audience members may recognize him from when he played with Julie Masi last month.

Maguire has been playing with Poppa Dawg and his band Dogskin Suit for almost 16 years. He has performed with James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, and Junior Wells to name just a few.

Poppa Dawg takes the stage at the Vernon Jazz Club (3000-31st St.) Saturday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7:15. Tickets are $20 at the Bean Scene, Bean to Cup and at www.vernonjazz.ca.



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