Tue, Aug 27, 2013.
The music festival spotlight turns to the greater Saint John area this week, as the suburbs celebrate with the KV Jazz Fest. There are several shows, starting Wednesday Aug. 28 and running through until Saturday, but you'd better keep a close eye on the website (www.kvjazzfest.com) because the shows are all over the valley. Wednesday kicks off at noon with an outreach show at the Saint John Regional Hospital by Jazztet, the first of several free events. Wednesday night there's another freebie, this time at the Quispamsis Arts & Culture Park, with blues faves Theresa Malenfant and Katey Day.
Thursday the scene shifts again, this time a noon gig for Tomato/Tomato, at the Kennebecasis Public Library. The evening event (we're still talking free shows) is at 6:45 at the Rothesay Common, by Bill Wood and the Woodies (more on them below). Friday there's a daytime show at the Shannex in Quispamsis featuring Jennifer Power and Theresa Patterson, and in the evening at Vito's KV, Jazztet is back with a 8 PM set, with no cover. Saturday night is the Blues Blast 2013, again at Vito's, this time with The Instigators, Matchstick Mike, The Honeyboys, What The Funk, and The Hill Bros.
Bill Wood is no stranger to the province, having toured here last year solo, but before that, he spent five years growing up in the province before heading to Ontario. The Burlington resident was leader of the 80's band Eye Eye (Out On A Limb, X-Ray Eyes), and has recently revived his music career. There's an EP of songs on-line, and a full album due shortly. The pop-rocker now leads the Woodies, who will be joining Wood for shows in the Saint John area, including the KV Jazz gig Thursday night. His new material includes the guitar-heavy Frankie, a tribute to his pal, the late lead singer of Teenage Head, Frankie Venom. A new single called November, has a roots-storyteller feel, and on other Woodies tracks, the group grooves along with everything from a Tex-Mex beat to Celtic touches. Full of new songs, Wood won't be resting on his 80's laurels.
In addition to the Jazz Fest shows, catch Bill Wood and the Woodies at the Barrel's Head Gastro Pub in Rothesay, Friday and Saturday nights.
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Bob Mersereau has been covering music, and the East Coast Music Scene since 1985 for CBC. He's a veteran scene-maker at the ECMA's, knows where the best shows and right parties are happening, and more importantly, has survived to tell the tales. His weekly East Coast music column is heard on Shift on Radio 1 in New Brunswick each Wednesday at 4'45. He's also the author of two national best-selling books, The Top 100 Canadian Albums (2007) and The Top 100 Canadian Singles (2010).