Powder Blues will headline the North Island Concert Society program.

NICS sets concert schedule

Powder Blues headline the Concert Society 2012-13 season lineup.

Gazette staff

PORT HARDY—The legendary Powder Blues band will headline what shapes up to be a swinging 2012-13 North Island Concert Society season.

The five-concert lineup includes a pair of Juno Award-winning acts, an old-timey country crooner, an up-and-coming “rock-and-roll string band” and a comedian known as a one-man variety show.

NICS announced the lineup last week, in advance of this weekend’s Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair. Historically, the concert society has waited until the fair to roll out the new season, but is hoping to drum up interest in season tickets that will be on sale at the society’s fall fair booth.

“We’re really excited about this season,” said Brian Hickes, NICS president. “We’ve got a real headliner in the Powder Blues, and think a lot of people are going to want tickets.”

The society is holding the line on season-ticket prices at $120, or $100 for seniors and students. The season ticket includes the meal in the annual dinner show.

Powder Blues vaulted to critical and commercial success beginning in 1980 and has remained among the nation’s preeminent blues, swing and R&B bands behind frontman Jack Lavin, a prolific singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer. Featuring rhythm and horn sections, the Juno Award-winning Powder Blues will appear Nov. 17 in the second show of the season.

The season kicks off Oct. 27 with another Juno winner, veteran singer-songwriter James Keelaghan and his trio. Keelaghan is a storyteller who works in the folk/roots genre.

The season resumes Jan. 19 with Vancouver-based Headwater, a self-described “rock-and-roll string band” that parlays mandolin, banjo, steel guitar, bass and other guitars into a wide-ranging exploration of acoustic music.

NICS kicks it old-school with its fourth show March 9, Winnipeg country crooner Woody Holler. An opera-trained singer, Holler has turned instead to the cowboy songs of his youth. Influenced by the singing styles of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, the country swing of Bob Wills and the yodelling of Jimmy Rodgers, he and his orchestra deliver a sound he describes as “jazz from the saddle.”

The season wraps up with the one-man variety show of comedian Robert Post, who combines acting, mime, puppetry, juggling, ventriloquism, stand-up comedy and improvisation in a show that is hilarious and unpredictable. He has performed internationally and has been featured in an award-winning PBS Television special.

To learn more, visit the North Island Concert Society booth at this weekend’s Fall Fair, or visit www.niconcert.ca.