It will be a “blues Christmas” this month at Red Deer’s Elks Lodge.
Big Hank Lionhart and The Kingpins are featured at the Big Hank’s Tribute to the Blues Songs of Christmas show on Friday, Nov. 18.
Big Hank, originally from Stettler, will have his “Ho, Ho” on for this Central Music Festival presentation. He’s had plenty of practise, having toured these blues-basted Yuletide tunes around Western Canada for several years now.
This unique, variety-filled program has left audiences “drenched in Christmas spirit” from Vancouver Island to the snow-bound Prairies, tying together blues, R&B and soul.
The show will include holiday tunes from a variety of blues artists through the years. The set list includes: Cryin’ Christmas Tears (Eric Clapton), Blue Decorations (BB King), I Told Santa (Fats Domino), Christmas Date Boogie (Big Joe Turner), Santa Claus, Santa Claus (Louis Jordan), Merry Christmas Baby (Etta James) and many others — plus some originals.
Big Hank will be returning to his childhood stomping grounds with a muscular voice, and a talented, veteran band. The central Alberta native who now lives in Victoria, cut his teeth on the Edmonton bar and cabaret circuit early on in his career.
He was in two of the best-known blues bands in Western Canada in the 1970s and ’80s — Edmonton-based Hot Cottage and Victoria’s Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band. The latter signed with RCA and opened for Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, James Cotton, Paul Butterfield and Koko Taylor.
Hank’s love of blues has since been the foundation of acts like The Toasters, A Fistful of Blues and, of course, The Kingpins. The band is made up of Big Hank Lionhart on vocals, Steve Cross on guitar, Mick Woodhouse on bass, Andy Graffiti on drums, Steve Ranta on keyboard, and Paul Wainwright on sax.
For more information about the 8 p.m. show, or tickets, please visit www.centralmusicfest.com.