Rod Wilson for the Kimberly Arts Council
We are over 18 months into the Covid Pandemic and across the nation and the world, it has taken a devastating toll on the hospitality and entertainment industries. Live music performances have virtually disappeared. Recently the Fisher Peak Performing Arts Society managed to sponsor some performances in Cranbrook Rotary Park but a projected music festival had to be cancelled because uncertainties surrounding the pandemic. Apart from that, there has been no significant musical events for around eighteen months. However, there was a glimmer of light when the Kimberley Arts Council decided, in a limited fashion, to go ahead with their late summer schedule of musical events. The first event in the schedule is an outdoor performance by the Calgary rock/blues band A Little Voodoo. In keeping with Covid Public Health Protocols attendance is restricted to only 50 patrons. The tickets sold out in half a day.
This Calgary band has been around for many years. The two principal protagonists, Ron Burke on vocals and lead guitar, Tommy Knowles on bass guitar have been performing together for nigh on thirty years. As a band A Little Voodoo is a staple on Calgary blues scene. They have won many awards and opened for the likes of Colin James, the late Jeff Healey, The Headstones, Paul Rodgers, Long John Baldry, David Gogo, Omar and the Howler, Bo Diddley and a host of others. In 2010 the Calgary Blues Music Hall of Fame named Ron Burke as the Guitar Player of the Year and bassist Tommy Knowles repeated his 2009 win as the Bass Player of the Year.
A Little Voodoo is not new to this area. They last performed here in Studio 64 at Centre 64 in October 2015. Rob Vulic was the drummer for that gig. For this beautiful late summer evening concert they were joined by Geoff Brock on second guitar. They kicked off this evening of loud rocking music with Tired of Living Hand to Mouth and followed that up with two hours of an exciting mixture of original tunes and standards from the blue/ rock repertoire. Included were B.B. King’s Rock Me Baby, and from way back in the 1960s folk era, a stellar rocked up version of Donovan’s Sunshine Superman; some Jimmy Reed Memphis sounds and a wonderful faux peddle steel solo by Geoff Brock on Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain; some Chuck Berry vibes; slide guitar riffs and lots of sterling solos from both guitarists.
And, as they say in the movies, “as the sun slowly sunk in the west” or in our instance, over the North Star Ski Hill, “we bid farewell” to A Little Voodo and the light they shone into our dark pandemic tunnel.