Colin James

March 25, 2019 at Kelowna Community Theatre

Colin James Scorches the KCT Stage & ignites his fans with another high energy blues riff-fest

by Miles Overn

People had been eagerly anticipating this concert for weeks. New music and another Kelowna visit from one of Canada's favorite blues musicians.

Hot on the heals of picking up 5 Maple Blues Awards as well as the release of his latest album, entitled Miles To Go, James rolled into Kelowna ready to deliver!

His band took the stage and started laying down a funky rhythmic blues groove that got people moving in their seats. His 6 piece band was split across a riser for the drummer and 2 keyboardists and a wall of amplifiers for his rhyth guitarist, harmonic player and bassist. All of that was in front of a backdrop of antique styled floodlights that pulsed to the music throughout the night.

The energy took a giant leap forward when James came out of the wings with his gold Gibson Les Paul strapped around his neck and a smile on his face that said he was happy to be here.

James played tunes from across the span of his career and included several from his aforementioned Miles To Go release. It has to be said; "40 Light Years" grooves so hard live. It was a highlite of the night for this reviewer.

Harmonica player Steve Marriner, who is a serious artist in his own right, went toe-to-toe with James at different times and these two guys clearly love squaring off against each other and pushing each other to the limits. No shortage of excitement when they were going at it.

It was a well paced show, supported by great sound and artistic lighting. This was no programmed and automated auto-pilot lighting deal, instead this was the work of a man feeling, helping create and responding to the pulse of the music.

Marty O'Reilly opened with a set of what I want to describe as post-industrial, acoustic funky as hell, psychedelic blues music. This was O'Reilly on vocals and guitar, accompanied by a violinist and an upright bass player. It was dope.

Colin James has a habit of putting on really good perofrmancess. Aside from some struggles early in the set with his in-ear-monitors this show was everything you could possibly want in a blues rock conert and more.

They still have miles to go on this tour so if they're coming to your town..... Go.

All images copyright (c) 2019 Miles Overn

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