Blush bringing musical punch to the stage

Jazz and blues-infused trio Heather Blush (middle) and the Uppercuts, bass player Dale Ulan, left, and drummer Steve Hazlett.  - Submitted Photo
Jazz and blues-infused trio Heather Blush (middle) and the Uppercuts, bass player Dale Ulan, left, and drummer Steve Hazlett.
— image credit: Submitted Photo

The folk-inspired combination of Heather Blush and the Uppercuts will be sparring with audience members when they perform at The Dream Cafe on Wednesday, Aug. 20 and 22.

"We have a lot of fun onstage," said Blush. "We really like to get the audience involved in our show."

She's been writing and performing shows for the past 15 years, dating back to when she was working on getting her graduate degree in music therapy. She began studying classical music at Brandon University in Manitoba.

She continued with her studies at Florida State University where she learned to play multiple instruments and began expanding her skills as an artist and songwriter.

"I just kind of fell in love with that part of it and started writing songs and getting out to open mikes and that kind of thing," said Blush. "I was a little intimidated at first, I think. I grew up as a naturally shy sort of person so it was kind of a strange place to be on a stage."

In 2005 when she was living in her current home city of Calgary, she'd made a CD and was looking to put a band together to coincide with its release. Blush hooked up with bass player Shane Sutherland (who remained a member until 2009) at a songwriting contest. Sutherland expressed an interest in forming a band and brought along drummer, Steve Hazlett.

Although Sutherland was replaced by another bassist, he'll be returning for the upcoming tour and Penticton show.

"Our current bass player has just had back surgery and he's kind of out of commission and we ended up flying in Shane," she said, adding that not only will it be their first show as a trio in about five years, but it will also mark Blush's first show in Penticton and at The Dream Cafe.

"We're really excited about playing there," she said. "I've always heard wonderful things about it."

Blush said rather than trying to define their music in a single word, she prefers the phrase, "jazzy, bluesy, roots" which developed from her listening to older-style jazz and blues vocalists and incorporating that into her music.

Her song ideas come from a combination of a turn of phrase that pops into her mind or at other times, she'll start with a guitar riff and expand on it from that point.

"I look at it different ways all the time and that helps me to keep it interesting and not keeping my songs all sounding the same," said Blush.

Tickets for both shows are $20. For reservations and purchases, call 250-490-9012 or e-mail: admin@thedreamcafe.ca.

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