Colin James to play Vancouver Island MusicFest

Star Canadian bluesman headlines Friday night, will do additional daytime shows Saturday and Sunday

Great Canadian bluesman Colin James performs Friday, July 12th at Vancouver Island MusicFest.

With eight Juno awards and 20 Maple Blues Awards James is in a league of his own. At 18 years old he opened for guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and has as performed alongside such famous names including Carlos Santana, Albert King, Bonnie Raitt, Lenny Kravitz, Buddy Guy and The Chieftains.

ALSO: Tom Cochrane and Red Rider coming to MusicFest

His list of hits includes Five Long Years, Voodoo Thing, Just Came Back, Chicks and Cars and the Third World War, to name just a few.

To be a blues musician is to always have a dialogue with the past. As with much blues music, it’s the performances on the original versions rather than the actual song that drew James to them. That said, what more could he possibly bring to them?

“You bring what you can,” says James. “If I feel like I’ve brought enough, then I put it out. All my life I’ve tried to bring vitality to older songs. Hopefully my dedication to it is what floats it over the mark.”

So much of Colin James’s career has pointed him to this moment: joyfully tangled up in the blues, which, as he notes, “is the only genre where you can maintain a young profile at the age of 54.”

His surprise appearance at MusicFest 2014 with Bonnie Raitt brought the ‘house’ down. When Colin James returns to VI MusicFest this summer it is sure to become one of the Festival’s most memorable shows.

Vancouver Island MusicFest is famous for its daytime programming where as many as 18 musicians at a time will get together for some epic jam sessions. In addition to his Friday night performance Colin will be doing some daytime sessions at MusicFest on Saturday and Sunday and plans to take in the full Festival experience.

For tickets, artist announcements and festival information, go to

Vancouver Island MusicFest 2019 takes place July 12, 13 & 14 at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds.

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