Although Doug Cox is probably best known as the producer of the Vancouver Island Music Festival he’s also a brilliant roots/acoustic musician specializing in Dobro and guitar. Cox works in a lot of different bands and one he put together a few years ago gets together intermittently to explore the music of seminal artists such as the Beatles and James Taylor.
In no way a cover band that tries to sound like the original, these are some of Canada’s finest giving an “in the round” performance dedicated to exploring a musical legacy. Their latest subject was David Bowie, and they had already given a couple of shows when news of Bowie’s unexpected death shocked the world. So what started out as a tribute has become an even more meaningful celebration of a brilliantly creative musical life cut tragically short.
Billed as “the songs you’ll want to hear . . . plus a few surprises,” Starman has an acoustic feel to it even though there is some electric instrumentation – not least of which is the screaming lead guitar of Shaun Verreault (of Wide Mouth Mason).
Add in the considerable talents of award-winning singer-songwriter Helen Austin, multi-instrumentalist Linda McRae (most famous for an eight-year stint with Spirit of the West), über-bassist Rick May, bluesman Sam Hurry, and versatile percussionist Robin Layne and you’ve got a Canadian supergroup with an inspiring and unique take on the musical legacy of a star-spangled genius.
“He had a profound influence on anyone my age,” says the 53-year-old Cox. “Bowie is one of the few people who could cross over from absolute art, to pop star. There’s not many folks like that in the history of pop music, whose art can go so deep and yet somehow he remained a very successful rock star. People who know him only from his Ziggy Stardust stuff don’t know him at all. His experimentation in music and art and stage presentation and stuff, it’s like he wrote the book, in so many ways.
Reflecting on Bowie’s life, Cox said he was a superstar who gave hope to any kid who didn’t quite fit in with the crowd. “I remember in high school, the girls and guys that weren’t the cheerleader and football types, but more of the introverts, they were the ones that were really listening to him and aware of him. He was the first androgynous performer for a lot of us, and he made so many things OK. It was OK to be feminine but still be an incredibly sexy man, to both men and women. One day he would be working with the most decadent of rock stars and the next day he would be working with Brian Eno and Lou Reed.”
THE FRENCH CONNECTION
INNOVATION BUILDING GROUP
KICKING HORSE RIVER HOUSE TAVERN
Courtesy of a grant awarded to KHC by the BC Arts Council’s Community Presenters Youth Engagement program will perform a special concert in the Civic Centre for 300 school students the next day.
Box Office at Art Gallery of Golden or purchase by phone by calling 250 344-6186. The first 75 tickets for Members are $15! After that, Member’s Regular Advance tickets are $20. Members and Non-Members at the door $25. Students always $5. Tax additional.