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Blues band will hold release party in Nanaimo for debut EP

James Vickers Band will play the Queen's on June 21
Rick Becker, left, Sarah Varro, James Vickers and Carson Maertz of the James Vickers Band will release their first EP at the Queen’s on Friday, June 21.

A youth musician who plucked strings in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge earlier this year is ready to release his own music.

For the past year and a half, 14-year-old Indigenous blues guitarist and vocalist James Vickers worked collaboratively with bandmates Sarah Varro, Carson Maertz and Rick Becker to put out his first self-titled EP.

Of the five tracks, the crown jewel, and possibly his favourite for its musicality, Vickers said, is the fourth song titled Into the Night – written for a friend when he was still in eighth grade.

Part of his process, he said, is to write from and explore a perspective other than his own.

“I can only write from my own experiences for so long,” Vickers said. “In reality, I don’t think I’ve really experienced too much of what life has to offer.” 

The only song older than Into the Night on the EP is the second track called Grace.

“It’s one of the first songs that I ever wrote that I will actually play for people ... I wrote a few before that will never see the light of day,” Vickers said with a laugh.

The young blues musician’s father, Noel Vickers, added that Grace was written about his mother.

“He never got to meet her. She passed on her 77th birthday in 1995 ... All these years, he’s listened to me talk about my mom,” he said.

Noel continued to say the first time Vickers played Grace for a crowd was at a Royal Canadian Legion in Nanaimo.

“Once he started singing it, I started bawling like a baby in public, once again,” he said.

The James Vickers Band will hold its release party at the Queen’s on Victoria Crescent, on Friday, June 21, starting at approximately 6 p.m. Patrons will have the chance to get CDs and merch signed before the show starts. If still available, tickets can be purchased for $10 at the door.

Mandy Moraes

About the Author: Mandy Moraes

I joined Black Press Media in 2020 as a multimedia reporter for the Parksville Qualicum Beach News, and transferred to the News Bulletin in 2022
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