“We welcome tourists from Central and Southern Ontario, and invite them to enjoy many of our great local acts in addition to award-winning recording artists from all over Ontario.”
Barrie has a touch of the winter blues, but it’s the toe-tapping, hand-slapping, hip-swivelling, knee-shaking, earth-moving, myth-creating, and crowd-pleasing type of blues that will warm the soul and sooth the mind.
February Blues Festival is in town, and over the weekend artists will give local audiences a musical experience that will turn the meaning of winter blues on its head.
The festival, the 14th annual and cousin to the larger summer event, the Barrie Jazz and Blues Festival, will play out at venues in Barrie and Innisfil, and organizer Robin Munro expects a good time to be had by all.
“Music lovers in our city and region always look forward to The February Blues festival in Barrie and, as we kick off the 14th edition, there is a lot of anticipation building for the exciting line-up of great Canadian artists performing this year,” he told City Scene Barrie.
“Top restaurants with fabulous cuisine, inviting nightclubs, busy bars and cozy bistros will be hosting the shows throughout our city, and the libraries in Barrie and Innisfil will be joining in the exhibition again this year, too.
“We welcome tourists from Central and Southern Ontario, and invite them to enjoy many of our great local acts in addition to award-winning recording artists from all over Ontario. I look forward to seeing everyone enjoying this year’s musical magic and festival fun.”
Performing artists include the always-popular Jack De Keyzer, Paul James, Michael Pickett, and Munro’s own Jazz-Mandhu. Venues are in every part of town, and in Innisfil. The festival will play at:
The four corners of the blues
• Tiff’s Restaurant Bar: The Jonathan Russell Band, Feb. 4, 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m.; The Rhythm Express, Feb. 5, 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Feb. 6, Super Bowl party, 4 p.m. till closing.
• Fitzy’s Crab Shack: Feb. 4, Beet Roots, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Beet Roots, Feb. 5, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Feb. 6, Ryan Oliver and the Joe Huron Trio, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
• Manhattan’s: Feb. 4, John Gillman, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., Billy Garland, 10 p.m. till closing; Feb. 5, Shawn Steinhart, 6 p.m. till 10, Phat Dezzy, 10 p.m. till closing; Feb. 6, Domenic Filipelli, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.
• Tara Authentic Indian Cuisine: Feb. 4, Michael Pickett, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Feb. 5, Jake Thomas and Jerome Godboo, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
• Royal Victoria Hospital cafeteria: Feb. 4, Jazz-Mandhu, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
• Sticky Fingers’ Bar and Grill: Feb. 4, The Jack De Keyzer Band, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Feb. 5, The Paul James Band, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.; Feb. 6, Super Bowl party, 4 p.m. till closing.
• Big Chris BBQ Smokehouse: Feb. 4, The Ground Floor, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Feb. 5, The Shawn Mei Trio, 7 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.; Feb. 6, Super Bowl party, 4 p.m. until closing.
• Barrie Public Library: Feb. 5, Zim Zum, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
• Oriental Express: Feb. 4, Crossroads, 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Feb. 5, Wayne Buttery, Roly Platt and Tangled Roots.
• The North Restaurant: Feb. 5, Jo Gravelle, 8 p.m. to 11 p.m..
• Barrie Imperial Theatre: Feb. 5, Reel Stories 2011 presents Music from the Big House, 7 p.m.
• The British Arms: Feb. 4, Phat Dezzy, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.; Feb. 5, UFC 126, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Feb. 6, Super Bowl party, 4 p.m. till closing.
• Kenzington: Feb. 4, Dave Thomson, 10 pm. To 2 a.m., Feb. 5, 48 Calibre, 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., Feb. 6, Super Bowl party, 4 p.m. till closing; Feb. 6, Jonni X, 10 p.m. till 2 a.m.
• Second Cup: Feb. 3, The Blues Bird Jam Session, 7:30 p.m. till 10:30 p.m.
Innisfil Public Library: (Cookstown branch), The Peter Smith Trio, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; (Lakeshore branch), Jazz-Mandhu, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.