Blues and critters–the two come together for one night only at 7 p.m. Saturday at Summerland’s IOOF Hall when singer/songwriter Steve Rodgers takes the stage.
Rodgers, 47, son of legendary musician Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, Queen) who lives in Summerland with his wife Cynthia Kereluk Rodgers, will be singing out in support of those who can’t speak for themselves.
Partial proceeds from the acoustic, lively evening of song, chat and a silent auction of some downright trippy rock memorabilia, will go to Critteraid, AlleyCATS Alliance and the SORCO Raptor Rehab Centre.
All three non-profit organizations are dear to the hearts of the Rodgers, causes they have been supporting since moving to the Okanagan over a decade ago.
Steve’s “bluesy, melodic” voice and story-telling ability has earned him high praise from other icons in the music business including Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Roger Taylor of Queen.
His long-awaited debut album, Head Up High which includes the singles I Will Grow and the title track, Head Up High, has been described as a “truly personal” experience.
“Now I’m ready for the second album, and that’s going to be great, so I’m going to try out a lot of new material this weekend,” said Rodgers. “It’s going to be a fun night. Usually what I do is a lot of banter with the audience, I like to connect with them and bring them into it. I have a question and answer section just for a laugh and the weirder they’re feeling, the better it is for me and it’s for a really great cause.”
The depth of his music and heart-on-the-sleeve approach makes each show special.
“It just comes natural for me, it’s just kind of who I am,” said Rodgers, who stops for a moment to listen to his dad singing in the background. “The emotional side, that’s who I am.
“My songs come from a real place. They come from a place of pain or they come from a place of joy or enlightenment, so they’re all real things.”
Thinking about that he starts to laugh: “It’s actually quite funny, being a songwriter, even in your darkest moment you go ‘Oh, I wonder if this is a good hook for a song.’ You can’t help it, your brain is hardwired I guess.”
He recalled as a teenager growing up in England “immersing” himself is his dad’s extensive collection of blues vinyl records.
“After six months I just started to get depressed because I was listening to 40-year-old and 60-year-old men talking about really, really hard times that they had gone through but it all stuck with me, that way of telling a story, that feeling of honesty, the realness of it really came across,” said Rodgers, who also lists the Beatles as past and current influences in his musical journey.
Admittedly getting bored easily, he always looks to find new challenges on stage, which resulted in an incident at the famed Wembley Stadium.
“I think I was supporting my dad acoustically that time and Jimmy Page was on the sidelines and it was just me,” recalled Rodgers, explaining he launched into an a capella song, which he will also be performing at the Saturday concert. “I’d only written (the song) like two weeks before and played in a small pub in London to test it out and did it for the first time at Wembley. That was great.
“It’s all about testing yourself, really seeing what you can do and Saturday I’m going to be trying out some new tracks. It’s going to be fun, I can’t wait.”
Tickets are limited and are available at The Beanery Cafe in Summerland, 250-494-4072.
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