Singing the blues this Valentine’s Day
The SaySo Expression Society is getting into the swing of Valentine’s Day by playing host to Kamloops blues band Sabrina Weeks and Swing Cat Bounce.
Powerhouse singer and frontwoman Weeks said the band had the date available and was eager to play at the Culture Club on Granite Avenue after receiving a warm reception there in July.
“Last time we played there, there was such a good energy and the audience was really engaged, so we knew we really wanted to play there again,” Weeks said over the phone from Toronto, where she is performing in an Etta James tribute concert. “Everyone was really good to us, and we felt so valued.”
The band will play some tunes from its new album Got my Eye on You, which will be released on March 2. Weeks said she will bring tickets to sell for anybody who wants to go to the album release party at Kamloops’ Plaza Hotel.
She added the latest album was a long labour of love for the band, which started working on the record in August. The title track is already on her website, sabrinaweeks.com, which is also offering pre-orders on the record.
Tickets to the show cost $20 and include a glass of champagne — or a choice of a host of non-alcoholic options — and dessert. All the proceeds from the show will support the SaySo Expression Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing the various talents of people in Merritt through open mic nights and special performances. Directors Mil Juricic and Ewa Derek-Skotnicki said the society is trying to recoup from debt accumulated after a rocky start that included a nine-month hiatus from holding events because of issues with the venue, but they wanted to offer Merrittonians an exciting event to raise the money.
“This will hopefully help us, and it’s a chance for Merritt to have another look at these guys,” Juricic said. “But we’re not in it to make money. We’re just happy if we break even.”
Derek-Skotnicki said supporting the local music and arts scene with monthly open mic nights fosters a community feeling among attendees.
“When people come to the Culture Club, they know each other,” she said. “It’s comfortable and it’s safe. It’s more like a family.”
Juricic said that community feeling is captured by the Culture Club’s intimate and welcoming setting.
“Where can you go, even in a big city, to try your stuff out on an audience? You can do that here, and I think that’s the charm of it,” Juricic said. “You can practice and do just one song, or read poetry, or do anything to get a kind of bounce back from the people about your ideas.”
Juricic added that a lively local scene is attractive to outside acts as well — which is what happened with Sabrina Weeks and Swing Cat Bounce.
“We’re trying to bring some of this stuff to Merritt because one of the things we promised for SaySo is, if we can get enough of a following, then we could attract to Merritt what people would normally go out of town to see,” Juricic said.
The show starts at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Tickets are available in advance from Country Bug Books and Gifts.