Theo Massop and friends visit Port Hardy's Civic Centre this Saturday evening.

Theo Massop and friends visit Port Hardy's Civic Centre this Saturday evening.

Theo Massop Trio bring ‘Thinking Man’s Rock’ to Port Hardy

North Island music fans have a chance to see Theo Massop, a Nanaimo-based singer-songwriter who lists Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Cockburn among his influences, will be joined by bassist/singer and longtime musical partner Blaise Zhiam and drummer Pat Hetu for an evening of what one critic has called "thinking man's rock," at the Civic Centre in Port Hardy this Sauturday.

PORT HARDY — For its previous show, the North Island Concert Society brought in perhaps the largest band it has put on the Civic Centre stage.

This weekend, they’ll scale things back down with the thoughtful roots rock of the Theo Massop Trio.

Massop, a Nanaimo-based singer-songwriter who lists Gordon Lightfoot, Leonard Cohen and Bruce Cockburn among his influences, will be joined by bassist/singer and longtime musical partner Blaise Zhiam and drummer Pat Hetu for an evening of what one critic has called “thinking man’s rock.”

Massop’s 2006 CD Choices showcased a range of homespun songs from straight-ahead rock to blues-tinged folk to acoustic ballads. Through all of them come Massop’s socially conscious and thought-provoking lyrics, harkening to the songwriting of Cohen, Steve Earle, John Hiatt or Tom Waits.

His first album Voyager, released on vinyl, included three charting singles and he has received national and international airplay.

The concert is the fourth of five in the NICS season, and continues a trend of acts both new to North Island fans and, as with the Courtenay-based Georgia Strait Big Band, based on the Island.

Massop, who plays electric/acoustic guitar and harmonica, has appeared solo or in groups up to five players in venues ranging from pubs to dance halls to theatres to festivals. He most commonly performs in the trio format, and between his own material and potential cover songs has a vast catalogue from which to draw.

Massop served as a judge for the Junos in 2002 and 2003. He and Zhiam have been in pre-production in his home studio for what he hopes will be a new CD release later this year.

Tickets for Saturday’s show are $20 and are available in Port Hardy at The Hobby Nook, Port Hardy Museum and Cafe Guido; in Port McNeill at The Flower Shoppe; and in Port Alice by calling Gail Neely at 250-284-3927. Tickets are also expected to be available at the door.