Arts & Entertainment

Kamloops favourite Blackdog Blue releases a modern blues album

 | December 26, 2011

With the mercury dropping outside, there’s no better time to snuggle up in front of the fire and spend more time listening to new music!

Kamloops quintet Blackdog Blue has been pleasing Kamloops crowds for six years now, and with the release of a new album, titled 3, they’re set to keep on going.

The band, comprising Dennis Hayes, Renea Denis, Corey Yamaoka, Darrell Hanna, and Uli Scheck, celebrated the album’s release this fall at The Blue Grotto. While 3 has stuck close to Blackdog Blue’s roots, it features a more contemporary sound, and production polish.

“When we first started out we had a blues, classic rock format,” says Hayes, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter for Blackdog Blue. “As a songwriter I wanted to become more contemporary—you’ll see more of an evolution in songwriting.”

3 touches on sounds reminiscent of The Allman Brothers, and even Elton John. It’s a versatile album with a number of excellent songs, especially appealing to a classic rock or blues-rock audience.

Recorded for the most part at Perry’s Recording Studio in Kamloops, Blackdog Blue went to Small World Studios to finish production, and gain insight from leading Kamloops musicians/producers Henry Small and Kris Ruston.

A lot of work went into the building of 3, with Hayes spending a couple hundred hours writing, arranging, and developing the songs before heading to the studio. While he can’t pick a particular favourite on the album, Hayes explains there are a few that have special meaning for him.

“I think my songs are like my kids, I like them all for different reasons,” he says. “I have my political rants in songs like, “‘Burn it Down,’ ‘Talk About Love,’ lyrically, has a strong message for empowerment of women, and ‘Give Me Strength’ was written for my wife’s birthday.”

Blackdog Blue has been a Kamloops favourite for many years. They bring a lot of talent and energy to their performances and their fan base in Kamloops is growing steadily. Their Music in the Park closing performance drew approximately 1,500 people, and Hayes says the band can barely keep up with show requests.

“We’re almost at the point where we’re turning down as many gigs as we’re getting,” he says.

The album does an excellent job of combining contemporary sound, and excellent lyrics with lead vocalist Denis’s bluesy singing. It’s a great listen!