E. J. Hughes working in his studio in his home on Heather Street near the Cowichan Sportsplex. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

LEXI BAINAS COLUMN: VIDEO: David Vest for now, E.J. Hughes for later, and a riotous month of fun to boot

You can go to the Vest fest, have a great time at Riot, and then pick up the news on Hughes

A four-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year, David Vest celebrates the release of his 2018 CD at Pat’s House of Jazz at Crofton’s Osborne Bay Pub on Sunday, May 13 at 2 p.m.

The authentic, Southern-bred boogie-woogie piano player, blues shouter and world-class entertainer is the real deal, says our jazz pal, Ron Joiner, who adds, “His bio reads like the history of rock ’n’ roll and blues. He’s among a select group that includes Ronnie Hawkins and Jerry Lee Lewis.”

He’s included in his note the following info: “The Cascade Blues Association says Vest ‘rolls out the boogie like the players of old who’d tear up juke joints and turpentine camps.’”

Whew! Clear the tracks!

Vest, who grew up near the famously named Tuxedo Junction in Birmingham, Alabama, had his first paying gig in 1957. At age 17, he toured with Jerry Woodard and the Esquires and jammed with Ace Cannon, Bill Black’s Combo and the Jimmy Dorsey Band.

By 1962, he had opened for the great Roy Orbison on New Year’s Day. By then he was a seasoned veteran of Gulf Coast roadhouse and honky-tonks, and that was just at the start of his career.

Vest will be joined on the Pat’s House of Jazz stage by drummer Damian Graham, bassist Ryan Tandy and guitarist Tom Bowler.

Admission is $15. Reservations are recommended. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m. Phone 250-324-2245 or visit http://osbornebaypub.com.

•••

Megan Calwell of Riot Brewing has lots to share still for the month of May.

Today (Friday May 11), starting at 8 p.m. is the Tower of Dudes, a high energy, gypsy, folk punk band. Then, on Monday May 14, and Monday May 28, the pub welcomes all you shower singers from 9 p.m. to midnight for a night of karaoke with Karaoke Rob. Thursday May 17, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Beer and Cut with Victory Barber, which means $25 for a haircut and a beer with all proceeds going to Cowichan Women Against Violence.

By Saturday, May 19 it’s time for Fanfare: a solo instrumentalist who uses beat boxing, a violin and a looping machine to create music.

The last week of the month is busy and starts Friday May 25, it’s comedy night featuring James Ball, Shawn O’Hara, Matt Baskey, Mark Robertson, Drew Farrance and Erin Wood. Tickets are $10 and available at the brewery.

On Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m., the Wharf Rats, a guitar-driven duo featuring Jeff Bruce and Levi Lawson, will entertain.

On Wednesday, May 30, 6:30 p.m. is DIY Sign Night with Signs from the Heart and Soul. Cost is $50 which includes all supplies. 20 spots are available, register and pre pay at the Brewery by May 24. Arriving early to pick out your sign design is strongly recommended, says Megan.

•••

A special weekend of celebration is being held at the Arthur and Jessica Vickers Gallery, at 1719 Cowichan Bay Rd. showcasing the book, E. J. Hughes Paints Vancouver Island by Robert Amos.

We mentioned that this publication was coming out a few weeks back, and now it’s here.

Amos will be at the gallery to sign books and will also be presenting an illustrated lecture at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and June 10.

Everyone loves the work of E. J. Hughes and this is wonderful chance to learn more about it.

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