Montana’s Lil’ Smokies return to Roots & Blues for the 2018 festival. (File photo)

Lil Smokies back for 2018 Roots & Blues Festival

It’s a rare turn of events when any act is invited back in consecutive years, but the response to the Montana-based The Lil Smokies in 2017 was so deafening Roots & Blues had to extend a return invitation to this outstanding quintet.

This group of instrumental wizards had the main-stage audience transfixed. By the time they brought their brilliantly executed and improvised interpretation of Elton John’s Rocket Man in for a landing, the crowd was in a state of ecstasy and the group was on the receiving end of a spontaneous, mid-set, standing ovation.

In the ensuing 10 months, The Lil Smokies continued a relentless touring schedule behind the release of their second album, Changing Shades. In addition to selling out prestigious venues like the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, the quintet was booked for renowned festivals like Telluride and Dark Star Jubilee, plus dates with Leftover Salmon and Trampled By Turtles. The Lil Smokies will be on the Roots & Blues site from Friday evening right through Sunday August 19.

Vancouver’s groove-fuelled band The Boom Booms will make their Roots & Blues debut at the kick-off party on Thursday August 16. Fresh off a headline performance at the Vancouver World Music Festival at the Imperial Room, The Boom Booms mix island grooves with the sensuality of retro and neo-soul. Plus, readers of Vancouver’s Georgia Straight have named The Boom Booms their favourite local unsigned band an impressive four times in the past five years. High praise indeed.

Also on board for the 2018 Roots & Blues Festival is Major Love. Major Love is the moniker of Canadian singer-songwriter Colleen Brown, who has a new album featuring members of Scenic Route To Alaska, Jesse and the Dandelions, Elijah Abrams and Aaron Goldstein.

With a voice akin to that of Joni Mitchell, Brown is relentlessly unafraid. In 2015, she released her fourth solo album, Direction, co-produced by Joel Plaskett, topping college radio charts and touring Canada, Germany and the UK.

The Dimpker Brothers will be bringing a folk-rock, blues-basted sound from Sweden to Roots and Blues. Brothers Adam and Martin’s debut single, Days Of Wonder, is as much a force of nature as the brothers themselves. Recorded with their musical hero, Joshua James, in American Fork, Utah, the song blends bittersweet Scandinavian harmonies with the soul of Americana.

As a reminder, May 31 is the last day of Early Bird ticket sales for the 26th Annual Roots & Blues Festival in Salmon Arm. Organizers will be releasing the names of four more acts that will definitely bring a power surge of energy to the festival site from August 16 to 19.

For complete information on the line-up and tickets for the 2018 festival, call 250-833-4096 or head to www.rootsandblues.ca.

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