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Award-winning Harpdog Brown returns to red deer

One of Canada’s pre-eminent blues artists, Harpdog Brown, will bring his “21st-century traditional blues” to Red Deer.

The Edmonton-born singer and harmonica player, with seven CDs under his belt, performs on Wednesday at Fratters Speakeasy.

Brown started out playing the role of Elwood Blues in a Blues Brothers tribute band in Vancouver in the 1980s. He went on to tour most of Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest as an original blues performer before landing a record deal with Candlelight Records in Portland, Ore., in 1994.

Also that year, his album Home is Where The Harp Is won the coveted Muddy Award from the Cascade Blues Association in Portland for the best Northwest Blues Release of the Year. Brown was the only Canadian to win this honour.

And in 1995, he was nominated for a Juno Award for the Best Blues Release of the Year for the same album.

With his band The Bloodhounds, “the Dog” puts an individual stamp on what he does and has become known for playing pure blues.

More recently, Brown’s recording Naturally was voted No. 1 Canadian Blues Album by the Blind Lemon Blues Top 20 of 2011.

His latest recording, Live at the Vat, was cut on Oct. 13 at The Vat in Red Deer. “The club was a cool place to record and the CD is excellent. (It) was produced by yours truly this time around and I’m very proud of it,” stated Brown on his website.

“We had the good fortune of having Will MacCalder on stage with us that night, and what a treat that was!

“I look forward to every time Willie and I get together. ... There are certain songs I choose only to do if Willie is on stage with me, and there are two of them on this disc.”

In his 30-plus years in the business, Brown has shared stages with such greats as Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Pinetop Perkins, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, the Powder Blues Band, as well as Jack de Keyzer, Fathead, Donald Ray Johnson and the late Dutch Mason, to name a few.

Brown performs at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at 5114-48th St. There’s a $10 cover.

He will also guest host at Fratters Variety Night on Thursday. There’s no cover for the 6:30 p.m. talent show.

For more information, please call Fratters at 403-356-0033.

 
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