Bringing blues music back in Nelson

The Kelly Fawcett Band is among those performing at the Blues, Brews and BBQ fundraiser for Jump Wild on March 1. - publicity photo
The Kelly Fawcett Band is among those performing at the Blues, Brews and BBQ fundraiser for Jump Wild on March 1.
— image credit: publicity photo

Nelson's blues music community will be celebrating the genre with a new event called "Blues, Brews & BBQ" this Saturday at the Eagle's Hall.

Saxist Clinton Swanson and blues DJ/promoter Richard Metzner teamed up to organize the event, which they hope will become and annual tradition.

"It's going to be a great night of live music," said Swanson whose band Clinton Swanson and Friends will start off the evening, followed by the Lazy Poker Blues Band and The Kelly Fawcett Band.

Nelson Brewing Company will be serving cask conditioned HopGood and Smokewood BBQ will be there with authentic Southern-style cuisine. Proceeds from the event will go to the Jumbo Wild campaign.

"Each year we'd like to choose a different charity to team up with. This time it's Jumbo Wild because of the pressing issues up there," Swanson said, referring to the fact that Jumbo Glacier Resort developers have been issued a zoning permit to build a ski lift and 150-room lodge on Farnham Glacier.

Opponents of the project, including the West Kootenay EcoSociety, hope to have the permit overturned on the basis that it was issued by the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality, which is made up of a mayor and councillor that were appointed by the province without any electors.

Metzner, in addition be being a huge blues fan, is a longtime member of the West Kootenay Coalition for Jumbo Wild.

"This night will be a coming together of my two passions," he said.

For more than a decade, Metzner has been host of the Kootenay Co-op Radio program Make Room for the Blues, which airs Fridays at 7 p.m. and Saturdays at noon. His company Legendary Blues Promotions used to book international blues acts at The Royal before changes in ownership brought an end to that.

"There are a lot of blues musicians in town with nowhere to play," Metzner said.

The headliner for the event is Kelly Fawcett, who used to run the blues jam at the Royal and played in Mystery Train. He's since left town and is living in Victoria.

"It's going to be like a blues reunion for the musicians and the fans," Swanson said. "We haven't had a full night of live blues happen in quite some time."

Blues, Brews & BBQ goes Saturday, March 1 at the Eagle's Hall (641 Baker Street, upstairs). Doors open at 6:45 p.m. Tickets are $18, available in advance at Otter Books.

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