It’s been 35 years since Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band introduced Victoria to their infectious brand of party blues during their first gig at the University of Victoria’s SUB Pub.
Today, after more than three decades, they’re still opening new doors.
After winning the regional Memphis Blues Challenge in White Rock this summer, the band is preparing to represent B.C. at the 2015 International Blues Challenge, Jan. 20 to 24 in Memphis, Tenn, competing against bands from around the world.
To help send them on their way, the Victoria Blues Society is hosting a Memphis-Bound Fundraiser and Silent Auction Oct. 24 at the Tallyho Sports Bar.
The fun begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $20, available at the Tallyho Bar, Lyle’s Place and at the door on show night.
Through the years, Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band has played across much of Canada, released two albums, signed to RCA records and shared the stage with legends like Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, James Cotton and Koko Taylor.
The band’s initial album earned sales of well over 25,000 copies nationally, supporting their 2010 induction into the Victoria Music Hall of Fame as most influential blues group from 1950 to 1980.
After an extended hiatus, Uncle Wiggly’s regrouped in 2001 and today is still going strong with all but one of the original band members: Hank Lionhart (Uncle Wiggly), lead vocals; Norm (the Doctor) Piercy on bass; Mark (Westcoast) Comerford on guitar; Dave (the Duck) Rowse on sax; Brent (Watermelon) Hutchinson on sax;
and Piercy’s son Tyler (Kid Cadillac) Piercy on drums.
Led by Comerford, the band continues to write most of their own songs, last year releasing the CD Still Burnin’ It Up.