Adam Bay loves the West Coast and the music it inspires in him is being enjoyed by audiences all over the Island and Gulf Islands.
Bay, 25, was raised in the Cowichan Valley and is now based in Victoria, where he crafts music with the Weissenborn slide guitar, didgeridoo, harmonica and other instruments, a sound he plans to bring to the Duncan Showroom on April 2 ahead of the summer release of his debut album Pacific Blood.
“I spent all last year recording the album in Duncan at the Woodshop Studio and this is going to be my one and only show before the album release, which is due out most likely in July,” Bay said. “It’s going to be a kind of sneak peek into what I’ve been working on.”
In terms of his music, Bay describes it best.
“It’s kind of a variety of mellow to upbeat semi-psychedelic, wordless tales of Vancouver Island,” he said, adding “I do kind of a one-man band kind of style.”
Local roots run deep for Bay.
“I was lucky enough to grow up mostly in Shawnigan Lake and a little bit of Duncan at both my parents’ houses. I lived in the Cowichan Valley pretty much my entire life, until when I turned 19 I moved down to Victoria,” Bay explained.
Bay will be joined onstage by Victoria singer and songwriter Shawna Janz, who also performs on his upcoming album.
In terms of inspiration the Island holds a prominent place for Bay, who said Tofino is his number one destination to gather thoughts and inspiration for music.
“I think I probably went up there 30 times last year,” he said. “I’ll go out in nature but I won’t really do my writing there. I’ll bring an instrument and do some playing, but typically the song will start to come together when I get back home and reflect on the experience.”
Bay first got into music seriously around age 13 when his dad gave him his first guitar.
“Pretty quick I wanted to start to learn lap slide on guitar so that brought me to when I was 16 I bought my first lap slide,” Bay said.
Seeing Xavier Rudd in 2003 at the original Duncan Garage Showroom really ignited Bay’s love of the didgeridoo and since then his passion for Rudd’s work has continued. “He’s been massive for me. I just saw him last year in Duncan for my 20th show,” Bay said.
Bay’s main go-to is the weissenborn guitar, an instrument designed by Hermann Weissenborn, a German immigrant to the Western United States early last century.
“The weissenborn that I play is a lap guitar with a hollow neck as opposed to a solid, square neck that you’d find on like a dobro. It completely defines the instrument because it gives it a lot more room to breathe and for the sound to travel all the way up.”
Bay has his instruments built by Neil Russell of Celtic Cross Instruments in Victoria and Michael Rusen of Rusen Hollownecks in Victoria.
“He loaned me some of his private collection for this album so on the 12-song album I ended up playing 10 different guitars,” Bay said. “The title track was done on an original weissenborn by Hermann Weissenborn built in 1917.” In the future Bay hopes to tour the B.C. interior as well as the Pacific Northwest United States.
Bay’s show is 8:30 p.m. at the Duncan Showroom at 131 Station St. Tickets are $15 at the door or $12 in advance. For tickets call 250-748-7246 or visit www.duncanshowroom.com. To hear Bay’s music and find out more visit his website at www.adambaymusic.com.