Canadian rock and blues musician will play four Vancouver Island shows in March during his Western Canadian tour. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Canadian rock and blues musician will play four Vancouver Island shows in March during his Western Canadian tour. SUBMITTED PHOTO

Colin James brings intimate set to the Island as part of Western Canadian tour

The Juno Award wining blues and rock musician will play Duncan, Alberni, Campbell River and Qualicum

Juno award winning rock and blues singer Colin James will serenade Vancouver Island audiences this month during his Western Canadian tour.

The Saskatchewan-born musician will be stopping at Campbell River’s Tidemark theatre on March 16, Port Alberni’s ADSS Theatre on March 18, Qualicum Beach’s Civic Centre on March 19 and Duncan’s Cowichan Theatre on March 20. All shows start at 7:30 p.m.

James will be doing things a little different during the tour; travelling as a trio instead of with his full band. He will be joined on stage by Toronto-based guitar player Chris Caddell, who has been playing with James for about eight years, and Steve Marriner on harmonica and bass.

“[Steve] has got to be one of the top harmonica players in the country right now. It’s going to be a pleasure he’s not usually with me,” James said.

James said the trio shows allow for a more intimate experience.

“Usually we play as a band, usually it’s a full band but a few years ago we kind of started putting together these duo shows, in this case it’s a trio, and they’re a bit more of a sit down show, they’re a bit more of a listening show and I end up really enjoying them,” James said. “It allows you to kind of have these beautiful moments where it’s just pretty honest there’s nothing to hide behind.”

Shows will consist of two sets of about 45 minutes each that James said will include a mixed repertoire.

“We do some of the hits that people would expect over the years but this format allows you to do your favourite John Hiatt songs or do one of the songs you wrote that you wouldn’t normally do on a big stage because it’s too quite,” James said. “I find it a more musical show than the band show.”

James said he’s looking forward to playing shows on the Island and that he has many ties to the area.

“I love everything about [Vancouver Island],” he said. “Not only have I been going there since I was pretty young, especially Victoria, my mother lives in Duncan and my brother lives in Nanaimo. I have a fair amount of family over there and my wife came from Victoria. We always enjoy shows on the Island.”

Being seasoned at life on the road, James said he still enjoys touring.

“It’s what you do for a living so if you don’t tour you start loosing your fingers, so that I hate,” James said. “There’s something beautiful that happens when you’ve been on the road for a while, you’re fingers just start working the way they’re supposed to.”

Post tour, James and his band will head to several music festivals during the summer, including Ottawa Bluesfest in July.

Aside from playing live shows, James has been working on putting finishing touches on his latest album that he plans to release in the fall.

“Then who knows what comes after that,” James said.

James has been nominated for 15 Juno Awards and has won six of them and has been nominated and won 17 Maple Blues Awards between 1997 and 2011.

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