Tuesday January 29th
at First Church of Christ Scientist (map)

You hear it in his voice immediately - the original strain of Appalachian mountain music that lies at the heart of all great modern bluegrass and country. Greg Blake grew up in the mountains of southern West Virginia, and when he sings, you can hear a voice that connects to the great old generations of mountain singers, invested with a rich twang and rumbling drawl, and the kind of eerily powerful high tenor cry that first inspired the 'high, lonesome sound.'

These days he's moved his lifelong calling as a minister to the full-time bluegrass music scene, but he still keeps his faith close and his family closer. On songs like Dreaming of a Little Cabin or Turn Your Heart Toward Home, you can hear the gentle guidance of a pastor and a devout family man reflecting on the good path.

While bluegrass gospel may be one of Greg Blake's signature talents, he's certainly not averse to a little rough-and-tumble country singing, and his solo album features a blazing bluegrass version of Johnny Cash's Hey Porter that shows off Blake's razor-sharp and lightning-fast guitar picking abilities.

Drawing from a wide variety of song sources, from Cash to 80s country (Joe Diffie), to Canadian folk (Ian Tyson), to the original source himself (Bill Monroe), Greg Blake has a far ranging set of influences but a powerful Appalachian base to his music that resets these vocal gems in new ways.

Growing up in West Virginia, Greg Blake was immersed in the sounds of old country, mountain bluegrass, and gospel harmonies from a young age. Moving to Kansas City, he started playing in more and more bands, eventually recording on 12 albums for bands like the Bluegrass Missourians, Mountain Holler, The Harvest Quartet and more.

He's twice been nominated for the SPBGMA's Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year and five times won the SPBGMA's Guitarist of the Year, not to mention the Kansas State Flatpicking championship. Victoria fans will recognize him as the guitarist and lead singer in Jeff Scroggins and Colorado.

His debut solo album, Songs of Heart and Home, measures Greg Blake spreading his wings as a vocalist and bandleader, crafting genre crossing music and following in the footsteps of his idol, Mac Wiseman, to make music that appeals to Bluegrass, Folk, Country, and Gospel fans alike.

The band features Ellie Hakanson on fiddle, Nico Humby on bass, Miles Zurawell on banjo and dobro.

Doors open: 7:30pm

Show Time: 8:00pm

Advance Tickets: $20 general; VBA Members should enter the Discount Code that was emailed to them. Tickets are also sold at any VBA event.

Price at the door: $20 for all.

For more information, email tickets@victoriabluegrass.ca

For this Special Concert, our regular Tuesday jam is pre-empted.

Tuesday February 26th
at First Church of Christ Scientist (map)

Nomad Jones is a hot and happening band, equally comfortable ripping on rollicking classics or serenading on sultry ballads. Drawing on an extensive repertoire from traditional bluegrass right through the acoustic music spectrum, Nomad Jones will entertain you with their blood harmonies and intriguing instrumentals.

Over the past two years, Nomad Jones has become a fan-favourite at festivals throughout Western Canada.

They recently recorded their first album, Pickin' Up & Puttin' Down.

Band members for this show are: Nico Humby (bass), Miles Zurawell (resonator guitar), Craig Korth (banjo), Bill Humby (guitar), Katrina Nicolayeff (fiddle).

Doors open: 7:30pm

Open Stage: 7:45pm. To reserve a slot, call Jeb Gordon 778.678.4570 or openstage@victoriabluegrass.ca

Feature Act: 9:00pm

Admission: suggested donation $7 general, $5 for VBA members and open stage performers.