Summertime Blues August 26-27-28, 2016

Summertime Blues 2016 : Friday August 26

Tonight’s Headliner:
Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Tommy Castro was born in the Bay Area and started playing guitar at the age of 10. He joined the Dynatones in the late ‘80’s. If you’ve never heard of the Dynatones they were a great Blues band out of the Bay Area that at one time featured Charlie Musselwhite. Tommy formed his own band in 1991.

Since then he’s honed his live show to a razor’s edge. These guys are road dogs and their shows reflect all that hard work. In 2012 Tommy decided to strip down the sound and get back to basics. He dropped the horns and formed a 4-piece combo featuring bass, drums, keys and guitar. He called the other three players the Painkillers. Since then this ultra-tight line up has been thrilling audiences all over the world. For me, they are the perfect blend of Blues and Rock ‘n Roll. Besides Tommy’s playing (which is stellar) he has a wonderful, soulful voice that blends perfectly with the style of music.

On Friday at the 2016 Summertime Blues Tommy Castro and the Painkillers will rock your socks off with an injection of Blues that will go right to your soul.

On the web: TommyCastro.com

Friday 3pm – 10pm | Gates open at 2:00pm

3:00 pm

Summer & The Sinners

From Texas to New Orleans, to Chicago, with a stop in Memphis, Summer and the Sinners take you on a musical tour of Blues, R&B, and Funk, that slides easily between“Stax” and “Straight Texas Boogie!”
“Summer sings like she means it and will make these tunes as important to you as they are to her.
– Donnie (Mr. Downchild) Walsh

Artist website

4:00 pm

Lazy Mike & the Rockin’ Recliners

Lazy Mike and the Rockin’ Recliners have been delivering their harp rockin blues on Vancouver Island since 2007 with appearances at many Blues Festivals such as the “Summertime Blues”, “Vancouver Island Blues Bash”, in Victoria, “SkyHigh Blues” in Rock Creek BC, the “Powell River Blues Festival”, “Haines Junction JAM”, Haines Junction YT, plus many other festivals, fairs, pubs, and clubs all over BC.

Their music is non-stop excitement from start to finish and you just can’t help dancing to their addicting brand of high energy blues. The band is now back in the studio to record their fourth CD which will be ready for release this summer … just in time for Summertime Blues 2015! Band members are “Lazy” Mike Mallon – Vocals/Harp, Carson “Blind Boy” Mallon – Lead guitar/vocals, Brian Whitty – Bass/vocals, and Evan Matthiesen – Drums/vocals. Check out more on their website and then come see them live Saturday at SBF15!

Artist website

5:00 pm

The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer

The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer are a unique blend of old and new. They play raw and primal Blues with a raucous, raw sound and unbounded energy. Not sure exactly how old they are but I’m guessing if you combined their ages I would still be older. They are both funny and genuinely entertaining and you can’t help but smile while you’re digging the show.

Shawn Hall (The Harpoonist) and Matthew Rogers (The Axe Murderer) combine all their energy, along with various foot percussion, to create a sound you can’t believe is coming from only two people.

Their sound is distinctly their own. It’s a hard-edged blend of Country Blues smothered in greasy, gritty Soul and Funk. Shawn does the singing while Matthew provides the percussion with his feet.

The duo have been nominated and won numerous awards recently. With their growing popularity and talent, they will definitely stay on that path.

Artist website

6:15 pm

Sue Foley

Sue Foley is originally from Ottawa and started her professional career at 16. By 21 she was leaving for Austin, Texas and recorded Young Girl Blues on Clifford Antone’s label. Ever since then, Sue and her pink paisley Fender Telecaster have toured the world.

Sue has won numerous awards and holds the record for most Maple Blues Awards at an astonishing 17! She also won the Trophée de blues de France award for best female guitarist three times, along with numerous other awards.

She was also the first Canadian artist to be nominated for a W.C. Handy award as Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year.

Some of her influences are Billie Holiday, Memphis Minnie (possibly the first female guitar killer) and T-Bone Walker.

Sue will be performing on Friday night at the 2016 Summertime Blues. Judging from numerous comments on our social media accounts, the audience is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the pink guitar and the little lady that shreds it.

Artist website

7:30 pm

Shakura S’Aida

Shakura S’Aida started performing when she was a young girl. Usually performing with older more experienced singers and musicians. She learned her lessons well. She has also performed in live theater and TV. Somewhere in all that work she learned how to own the stage. Lots of people try to do that but you either have it or you don’t.

Her career took off in 2008 when she was the runner up at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

She has a fantastic voice and uses it to sing various styles. Anything from Jazz to Blues to Show Tunes. All of it has either Blues overtones or is just drenched in the Blues. She has a very accomplished group of players backing her up and the combination is going to fill Maffeo Sutton Park with a message of love and respect.

When she gets on the stage she’s the boss and she isn’t going to let you forget it. She can go from vulnerable to hard as diamonds in the same song. I just love this style.

Shakura will be the penultimate act on Friday at the 2016 Summertime Blues. I can’t wait to see her strut around the stage singing her heart out!

Artist website

8:45 pm


Tommy Castro & The Painkillers

Summertime Blues 2016 : Saturday August 27

Tonight’s Headliner:
Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown

Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown were one of the leaders of the British Blues Invasion back in the ‘60’s. They started recording in ’66. After a super successful run the band broke up in ’71. Vocalist extraordinaire Chris Youlden left for a solo career and the other three guys left to form Foghat.

Since then Kim has been carrying the torch to keep the Blues alive. He quickly formed another version of the band featuring the players from the British Blues-Rock band Chicken Shack. Over the years the players have changed but not his love of the Blues.

Kim’s playing is top notch and there’s just something about a guitarist that’s up there without a lot of pedals and effects that just screams the Blues. What you see is what you get from Kim. No tricks or gimmicks, just that Blues magic that speaks directly to your soul. The show will move you emotionally and physically. Once he breaks out the boogie there definitely will be some butt-rockin’ going on!

Kim has never stopped touring over the years and has been spreading his Blues/Rock/Boogie message all over the world.Their performance as the headliners Saturday night at 2016 Summertime Blues has been 50 years in the making. We are so lucky to see the fruits of their labor!


Saturday Noon – 10pm | Gates open at 11am


Preston McCool

Preston McCool is a five-piece band with musical roots firmly planted in the Blues, R&B and classic Rock. Their rule is “if you’re not sweating bullets after each set, you haven’t done your job”. Energy, intensity, chemistry, tasty licks and the ability to ramp it up a notch is what their performances are all about. These cats are really tight and have excellent taste in their choice of songs. Any band that does a couple of Freddie King instrumentals is aces in my book.

Preston McCool played at The Queens Sunday Jam and was immediately signed to play on Saturday at the 2016 Summertime Blues.

1:00 pm

Renovation Blues Band

Renovation Blues Band is a four-piece group playing upbeat and cutting edge Blues to appreciative audiences.  Swinging grooves, shuffling beats and funky rhythms are their calling card.

Renovation Blues Band is a fun and engaging band that has been featured previously at Summertime Blues as well as many performances all over Vancouver Island.  They play a variety Blues-influenced music, rooted in Chicago, Texas and West Coast traditions.  The heart-felt vocals, deep rhythms and hot solos never stop!  Whenever they play at The Queens the crowd never stops dancing.

Renovation Blues Band will be performing on Saturday at the 2016 Summertime Blues. They are lot of fun and not to be missed.

2:00 pm

Gerry Barnam & Bill Johnson

Gerry Barnum is a seasoned performer and respected artist.  His performing experiences is diverse; festivals, coffee houses, house concerts, theaters and studios. Gerry describes his sound as “soulful, Roots originals” and he is often referred to as “a musician’s musician”.  He is an excellent harp player and slide guitarist and has been featured on numerous recordings.

Bill Johnson has been playing Blues for over forty years.  A master guitarist, musician and vocalist, Bill had developed his own brand of laid back, soul-thumping Blues.  His unique style and beautiful tone reveal a rare passion for the Blues.

Gerry and Bill will be performing together on Saturday at the 2016 Summertime Blues.  Combining Gerry’s slide guitar and harp with Bill’s soulful singing and Blues-swinging guitar, makes for a one of a kind performance that you won’t want to miss.

On the web: Gerry Barnum   Bill Johnson

3:15 pm

The Crissinger Band

The Crissinger Band is a contemporary blues band featuring an all-star cast of musicians from the Nanaimo area. Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Mark Crissinger leads the band and is joined by Bill Hicks on drums, Marty Howe on harmonica, Dan Dube on keyboards and Brian Whitty on bass. Together they perform original music from Crissinger’s fifth solo album “Blues Expression”. The CD is currently getting airplay across Canada and the United States. The first single “Shake A Leg” can be heard on Stingray Music’s “The Blues”. The cd is available online and at all of Mark’s shows. “Great singing and playing. Fab tone, nice tunes. A terrific blues album” -Jack De Keyzer

Crissinger himself is not new to the Canadian music scene. Between 1987-2007 he played an estimated 1500 shows in Ontario and Quebec including eighteen tours of the Maritime provinces. He has opened for great artists like James Cotton, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Richie Havens, Jeff Healey, Blue Rodeo, Tragically Hip, 54-40, The Ramones and many more. Together with his bands he has appeared in two dozen Canadian festivals and even performed at the legendary SXSW festival in Austin, Texas.  Since moving to British Columbia in 2007 Mark has released five solo albums and played over 600 shows including eleven eastern Canadian tours, two appearances at the Pender Harbour Blues Festival and at last year’s NBS festival.

The CRISSINGER-BAND are regular hosts of the NBS Sunday jam at the Queens and are very grateful to be part of the Vancouver Island blues scene. Their performance at last year’s festival was considered to be one of the highlights of Summertime Blues and they promise not to disappoint in 2015. Please check out Mark’s website to learn more then come see what all the fuss is about on August 29th.

Artist website

4:30 pm

David Vest

Born and raised in Alabama, David Vest is an authentic, Southern-bred, boogie-woogie piano player, Blues shouter and world-class entertainer.

David went on tour at the age of seventeen.  By twenty-one he was on stage with Big Joe Turner who told him his playing made him feel like he was back in Kansas City.

Among many interesting tidbits about David’s career; he wrote the first songs Tammy Wynette recorded, toured with Faron Young (who threatened to kill him), and backed Red Foley in a show where all the stars got robbed.  I think there might be a secret message about playing Country music somewhere in there!

David and his band will be performing on Saturday at the 2016 Summertime Blues.  He’s the real deal folks.  Good singer, great stories and can he ever radiate the eighty-eight!

Artist website

5:45 pm

Rick Vito & The Lucky Devils

Rick Vito was born and raised in a suburb of Philadelphia.  American Bandstand was broadcast from Philadelphia and was a huge musical influence when he was a kid.  He also loved Ozzie and Harriet because Ricky Nelson would play at the end of the show and the guitarist in the band was James Burton.  James has played with everyone and was a huge influence.

Rick moved to L.A. in ’71 and toured with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett.  In ’74 he joined John Mayall and became a Blues Breaker.  From there he started touring with Bonnie Raitt.  He recorded the slide solo on Bob Seger’s huge hit Like a Rock and has appeared on every Bob Seger record since 1986.  In 1987 he joined Fleetwood Mac.

To say the least, Rick has performed with as many big name bands as anyone around.  The reason is obvious, a supremely talented player well versed in many styles.

Rick Vito and the Lucky Devils will be performing Saturday at the 2016 Summertime Blues and he will have all that talent and versatility on display for our lucky audience.

Artist website

7:15 pm

Jack Semple

Jack Semple grew up on a farm North of Regina.  He re-located to Toronto in the late ‘80’s to play in a popular band at the time.  After two years he returned home to concentrate on a solo career and spend more time with his family.

Jack has worked in the TV and movie industry as a player, songwriter and actor.  In ’92 he came to national prominence by winning Much Music’s Guitar Wars competition.  If you have ever heard him play you are not surprised by that last sentence.

He has an amazing soulful voice to go along with his otherworldly guitar playing.  His styles include Blues, Jazz and Soul and his voice is facile enough to handle all three genres.

He has won a ton of awards since that Much Music competition and it seems his talents have penetrated border.  He’s finally getting some well-deserved recognition from the Blues fans in the States.

Jack is the penultimate act on Saturday night at the 2016 Summertime Blues.  If you have never seen him you are in for a special treat (prepare to be blown away).  If you have seen him before, you’re smiling and nodding while you read this!

Artist website



Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown

Summertime Blues 2016 : Sunday August 28

Tonight’s Headliner:
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats

Rick Estrin started playing harmonica as a teenager. At some point he left the Bay Area and moved to Chicago to be closer to the beating heart of the Blues. He jammed with numerous bands and if not for a missed phone call, would have joined Muddy Waters band. That right there is the Blues!

Rick teamed up with Little Charlie Baty and they played together for 34 years as Little Charlie and the Nightcats. Charlie’s playing is so diverse and adventurous you never know what he will play next. Anything from Jazz, Rockabilly and Blues was liable to come out of Charlie’s amp and at any time. Somehow he always made it work.

Charlie retired from touring in 2008 and Rick knew just the guy to replace him, Chris “Kid” Anderson. Kid’s style can only be described as eclectic. He covers a lot of the same ground as Charlie but with his own unique twist. When Rick needs a break from singing, Kid is just as likely to play a killer Surf tune as anything. Trust me, if he plays a Surf tune in Nanaimo the crowd will go nuts. J. Hansen is on drums and he joined the band in 2002. Lorenzo Farrell plays upright bass and keys. He joined the band in 2003.

Rick is one of the most entertaining front men in the business and his songs tell some unusual stories! This is one show you do not want to miss.

Sunday 11am – 8pm | Gates open 10am


Big Pacific

Big Pacific is a four-piece band from the Nanaimo area.  Their music is a mix of originals and classic Blues/Rock.  The line up is Gavin Dixon on bass, Brendan Hedley on piano, Nick Dokter on drums and Roly Sandoval on guitar.  They share vocal duties.  These guys have been around in one band or another forever but this will be their first appearance at The Summertime Blues as this line up.  These guys really bring it with a high-energy assault and will kick off Sunday with a bang.  The energy they bring to the stage will be like knocking back a couple of Red Bull’s first thing in the morning to get heart pumping.  Except without the crappy taste and the shakes!  These guys are going to be a lot of fun.

Artist website


Blue Moon Marquee

Blue Moon Marquee is a Gypsy Blues duo from the foothills of Alberta. They write and perform anything that swings, jumps or grooves.  Their influences run from Louis Armstrong to Memphis Minnie to Django Reinhardt.

Blue Moon Marquee has the sound of a full band.  Jasmine Colette does triple duty playing stand-up bass and drums with her feet while singing harmonies.  A.W. Cardinal, a Metis of Cree heritage, howls with a distinctive thick and smoky vocal that barrels out like a raging bull, while playing Jazz-tinged Blues guitar.  They have that infectious, old-timey sound that takes you back but is relevant in current times.  They are a completely different act from all the others at the Fest.  Miss them at your own peril.

Artist website

1:15 pm

Steve Kozak

Steve Kozak has been a mainstay of the Western Canada Blues scene since the mid-eighties.  Back by some of Vancouver’s top musicians, Steve has built a reputation as one of Canada’s premier Blues acts.  Steve’s styles include West Coast Blues (naturally), Swing Blues and Jump Blues.  With all that upbeat, jumping music you can’t help smiling when you are at one of his performances.

Steve has been a tireless promoter of Blues music and has played with or backed up an encyclopaedia of Blues stars over the years.  Among a million other gigs Steve has previously performed numerous times at the Summertime Blues Festival.

Steve and his top-shelf West Coast Blues All-Stars will be performing on Sunday at the 2016 Summertime Blues.

Artist website

2:30 pm

The Kirby Sewell Band

Kirby Sewell was born to sing.  The Big Blues singer, who stands 6’6”, belts out his tunes like a great Gospel/Soul singer of the past.

Being that size, Kirby commands the stage just by his presence.  Once he starts singing with that voice that matches his size, he takes over the venue.  The band plays a blend of Blues/Rock with serious Soul over tones.  If you don’t have a great voice Soul music can be a poor choice.  Fortunately for us, Kirby has a great range and knows how to use it.

The Kirby Sewell band will be performing on Sunday at the 2016 Summertime Blues.  Kirby has a crack 4-piece band that really brings the heat and in combination with Kirby’s vocals, the energy is off the charts. Be prepared to be blown away!

Artist website

3:45 pm

David Gogo

Local guitar legend David Gogo has been thrilling audiences for thirty years.  His groove-filled blend of Blues and Rock gets under your skin and doesn’t let go.

He’s been nominated and won numerous Canadian music awards including five Juno nominations and multiple Maple Blues Awards. David is a great singer/songwriter and also an uncanny interpreter of other people’s songs.  His latest release Vicksburg Call is David’s fourteenth release and is receiving rave reviews.

He has toured and shared the stage with the giants of the Blues including Johnny Winter, B.B. King, Otis Rush and Albert Collins.  Along with opening for Z.Z. Top, The Tragically Hip, Buddy Guy, Charles Bradley, Robert Cray and Jimmie Vaughan!

David will be performing on Sunday at the 2016 Summertime Blues.  David has disproven the old adage, “It’s hard to be a hero in your own hometown”.

Artist website

5:00 pm

Brandon Isaak

Brandon Isaak is originally from the Yukon and went by the moniker of Yukon Slim for years.  He performs solo as a one-man band and also in a band format with the Saints of Swing.

Brandon has been nominated and won numerous Canadian music awards.  Last year he was nominated for numerous Maple Blues Awards including Acoustic Act of the Year (won), Song Writer of the Year and Album of the Year.  This year he has been nominated for Guitarist of the Year.  He was also one of 13 Canadian artists selected to write a road song about their province/territory for CBC’s Great Canadian Song Quest.

His styles range from Ragtime, Delta Blues, Piedmont Blues, Gospel and Swing.  He’s fluent in all those styles and is likely to break one out at any time.  He also an accomplished vocalist.

Brandon Isaak and the Saints of Swing will be the penultimate act on Sunday night at the 2016 Summertime Blues.  He really connects with an audience so be prepared for some great singing, great musicianship and good vibes filling Maffeo Sutton Park during his set.

Artist website

6:15 pm


Rick Estrin & The Nightcats