Calgary Midwinter Bluesfest (2016)
High School never sounded so good! Four seventeen year olds bring their budding talents together to form The Deluxe, a blues band that recently participated in Alberta Theatre Project's Youth Blues Challenge as part of their presentation Life, Death & the Blues during One Yellow Rabbit's High Performance Rodeo.
Caity, who has been singing for 8 years, drummer Graeme, who's been playing for 8 years, and guitarist Johnny, who's been playing for 6 years, are in Grade Twelve. Bassist Keone is in grade 11. All study with teachers Anne and Michael Gardner and Gerry Hemsley at Central Memorial High School's Performing and Visual Arts Program for Music (band and choir).
Upon hearing of the Youth Blues Challenge, the group formed and began putting repertoire together. Their efforts paid off, for the group came out on top of the challenge. Calgary Blues Music Association then asked them to debut their festival performance as openers for Savoy Brown during the Calgary Midwinter Bluesfest.
Life, Death and the Blues, written by Toronto's Raoul Baneja, features a cast of Canadian blues music luminaries and for each performance, a local legend. Iconic bluesman Amos Garrett was the featured legend for the evening of The Deluxe's performance.
Of the experience Caity says, "Amos Garrett was our blues legend and we saw him perform in the show. We really loved how connected he was to the music and how talented he is with his playing and singing. His low notes were stellar!"
"During our time performing at the intermission for the show people were dancing and filming us and they were really into our music. It was awesome to get that kind of a reaction from the audience, it really gave us so much energy and such a great feeling to see our music being enjoyed so much. People came up to us after the show asking if we had CD's and were so shocked when they found out that we're all in high school. It was just such an awesome feeling!", says Caity.
Yes, all is right with the world and the future of the Blues looks very bright indeed!