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Roots and Blues hosts concert

SALMON ARM — Got the blues? Check out this simple yet effective cure, guaranteed to kick winter’s mind-numbing melancholy to the curb.

Beginning Friday, the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues presents a series of concerts and special music packages to get you back into the groove.

Appearing Friday at the Salmar Classic Theatre is legendary slide guitarist Ellen McIlwaine, whose past credits include performances with Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Winter and Taj Mahal.

Joining her is frequent collaborative partner, Cassius Khan, Canada’s foremost tabla player and ghazal singer, reported to be the only person known to play tabla and sing ghazal simultaneously.

Together, the pair produce a world/blues fusion that made them favourites at last year’s Roots and Blues Festival, where they exhibited their unique, cross-cultural blend of blues and Eastern traditional music.

This talented twosome will perform songs from McIlwaine’s new CD with Khan, Mystic Bridge, as well as many of their other works.

The concert is featured in two combination packages. A Night On The Town ($119 plus tax) includes accommodations in a lakefront room at the Prestige Inn in Salmon Arm, two concert tickets, and a breakfast certificate for two at Forster’s Restaurant.

The Blues Pack combines a ticket to see McIlwaine and Khan, and a ticket for the Real Folk Blues Sessions, featuring Paul Oscher, Lurrie Bell and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, who appear March 4 at the Salmar Classic Theatre at 8 p.m.

Other Roots and Blues events include six of Canada’s finest guitarists of African origin, all members of the African Guitar Summit, who perform Feb. 18 at the Classic Salmar.

A dance also takes place at the Salmon Arm Rec Centre, March 30 at 8:30 p.m., featuring the rhythmic energy, inventiveness, and hypo-folkedelic grooves of Shooglenifty, Scotland’s frontrunners in Celtic/clubland dance music.

Also coming is the smooth, and soulful, Eric Bibb, scheduled for the Salmar Classic April 18.

With his traditional take on the blues, oozing a style that is laid-back and supremely cool, Bibb’s acoustic style is surpassed only by what is described as “a voice to die for.”

“Eric is one of the new, young singers that has appeared on the scene that, much to my delight, has a great voice, is an excellent performer, and has a great knowledge about the roots of the music,” Taj Mahal is quoted as saying.

Tickets to all shows can be purchased online at www.rootsandblues.ca, at Acorn Music in Salmon Arm, or by calling the Roots and Blues office at 833-4096.

Call 833-5800 to reserve a Night On The Town package at the Prestige, or for more details, log onto www.prestigeinn.com/salmonarm-packages-special.php.

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