The Upstairs Cabaret, 15 Bastion Square, Victoria, BC, nicknamed Harpo’s for Victoria Blues Society events only, is one of Victoria’s favourite venues for live music. On Sunday, January 16, 2011, the Bill Johnson Blues Band will play at an International Blues Challenge send-off and CD release party. Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show runs from 7 to 11 pm. Tickets are $10 (Victoria Blues Society memberships will be available at $20 for one year).
The Bill Johnson Band is made up of Maple Blues Award nominee Bill Johnson (vocals and acoustic/electric/slide guitar), Ric Erickson (vocals and bass), John Hunter (vocals and drums), and Darcy Philips (vocals and keyboards). The Victoria Blues Society is sending the band to Memphis to compete in the 2011 International Blues Challenge and the Harpo’s event will be a good luck send-off as well as a CD release party for the band’s recent release Still Blue. CDs will be available at the show. The last Bill Johnson event was the sold-out Return to Harpo’s held in early 2010.
The International Blues Challenge has evolved into North America’s biggest and most respected showcase for Blues musicians ready to take their act to the national stage. The IBC will be presented by The Blues Foundation from February 2 to 5, 2011. It will be the 27th year of blues musicians from around the world competing for cash, prizes, and industry recognition.