Audio Slides: Jim Byrnes performing I'm Movin' On
Metaphorically, James Rogers has little reason to sing the blues these days.
But the Maple Ridge guitarist and vocalist does anyway, to the delight of his fans and, for one night only on Friday, Feb. 8 at Kingfishers Waterfront Bar & Grill, as a benefit for the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation.
The frontman of the James Buddy Rogers band, Rogers' latest musical offering has taken flight.
My Guitar's My Only Friend, produced and co-written by Tom Lavin from the Power Blues Band, has been syndicated on more than 500 radio stations worldwide.
My Guitar was recently voted as the No. 2 blues album in Canada for 2012 through Blind Lemon Radio, and is getting high rotation radio play while hitting all the blues charts on a weekly basis.
Rogers is playing in his hometown tomorrow night to benefit the hospital of which he has a special connection.
Raised in Maple Ridge, Rogers has spent his fair share of time at Ridge Meadows Hospital (RMH), both as a somewhat accident-prone young lad and later as an expectant father.
Two of his three daughters were born at the hospital and he has had many broken bones treated there.
"I spent a lot of time at that hospital!" Rogers said.
"I broke my shoulder on a bike, I fell off a swing set as a kid, broke my arm, broke my leg a couple times. so I'm very familiar with it [the hospital]."
Rogers has a great deal of respect for hospital staff.
"My dad passed away a couple years ago from a heart attack, and my wife's father is a paramedic," Rogers said. "Going through that, I saw what hospitals were."
This respect, along with his connection to RMH, motivated Rogers to do a charity show benefiting the foundation.
The sold-out show is at the Kingfishers Friday, the only venue where Rogers plays music in the Maple Ridge area.
It didn't take long for all of the tickets to get snapped up.
"Ted [Hume, who co-owns the Kingfishers along with his wife Lori] printed up the tickets and all I did was post a poster on Facebook, and a few people shared it," Rogers said. "Literally within 24 hours, Ted called me and said, 'We're sold out.'"
The brisk ticket sales may have had something to do with the all-star lineup Rogers has assembled for the charity gig.
His band includes Lavin, Jim Byrnes, and the Twisters' Dave Hoerl.
Lavin, who Rogers describes as "my best of best friends" is a Juno winner and is a member of one of three Canadian blues bands to sell more than a million records.
Byrnes is an award-winning musician and actor, and both he and Lavin have headlined the Maple Ridge Blues Festival in the past.
Hoerl is founder and front man for Juno and Maple Blues award winning band the Twisters, which also played the Maple Ridge Blues Festival in past years.
"It doesn't get any better for blues in Canada than this show," Rogers said.
"Those lucky enough to have tickets for the show can expect to get their fill of blues music, mostly originals, with the possibility of some dance music and rock added to the mix."
"I always say, 'Blues is the roots and the rest is the fruits,'" he added. "No matter what we listen to, to me, it's the blues, and I know there's a million categories of music."
Rogers said the concert-goers will hear a wide variety of tunes.
"Depending on the night, we might move towards the funkier blues stuff because that's what people want to dance," Rogers said.
A Saturday, Feb. 9 show has been added to benefit the foundation, however, it won't involve Rogers. The band will have a different lineup.
Tickets for the Saturday concert are $20 each. The show starts at 6 p.m. Call 604463-0094 for tickets and reservations.
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