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Scene and Heard: 54-40 returns with La Difference

The remarkable 30-year career of 54-40 has taken another turn. La Difference: A History Unplugged rewrites the Vancouver rockers’ illustrious career with 10 acoustic versions of Ocean Pearl, She La, I Go Blind and One Gun, among others.
Vancouver rockers 54-40, who recently released La Difference: A History Unplugged, are set to make a festival-closing appearance on July 10 at Courtenay's Vancouver Island Music Festival.

The remarkable 30-year career of 54-40 has taken another turn. La Difference: A History Unplugged rewrites the Vancouver rockers’ illustrious career with 10 acoustic versions of Ocean Pearl, She La, I Go Blind and One Gun, among others. To celebrate the release, which arrived in January, the group is stringing together tour dates that will take it through the summer, including a festival-closing appearance on July 10 at Courtenay’s Vancouver Island Music Festival that was announced this week.

54-40’s finale adds to an already impressive roster at the mid-Island festival. John Prine, Serena Ryder, the Trews, Matt Andersen and Michael Jerome Browne, among others, have signed on to appear, with another slate of acts expected to be announced in coming weeks.

MusicFest, as it is known, is set for July 8-10 at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds. Tickets are on sale now at


Vancouver rock group Pigeon Park has been confirmed as the opening act for Collective Soul’s April 16 date at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre. Tickets are on sale now for $49.50, $124 and $192.50 at They can also be purchased at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre box office (1925 Blanshard St.) or by phone at 250-220-7777.


Victoria electro duo LIINKS has released This Feeling, another new song from their California songwriting sessions.

The pop-soul group, which features couple Georgia Murray and Tony Day, is expected to release a series of singles and videos in coming months, the product of an extended stay in Huntington Beach, California. Their previous single The Break has been streamed more than 75,000 times on Soundcloud since its release last year.


Richard Moody of The Bills follows a busy few days with his Juno-nominated group with a show of his own at Hermann’s Jazz Club on Wednesday.

Moody will explore the realm of jazz violin with a sterling group of bandmates, including Brent Jarvis (piano), Sean Drabbit (bass) and Kelby MacNayr (drums). Moody, an acclaimed violinist, performed twice in Victoria this week with The Bills, who are touring to support their first album in more than three years, Trail of Tales.

Hermann’s Jazz Club is located at 753 View St. Tickets are $15 at Showtime is 7:30 p.m.


Organizers have announced April 23 as the date for an acoustic evening boasting some of the most highly regarded roots performers in Canada.

Kevin Breit, Doug Cox, Sam Hurrie, Cecile Doo-Kingue, Bill Kirchen and Mark Stuart will mine the folk-festival-workshop philosophy for the concert, which brings together players of varied backgrounds.

The concert — dubbed A Mighty String Thing — is scheduled for the Dave Dunnet Community Theatre in Oak Bay High School (2121 Cadboro Bay Rd.). Tickets are $30 in advance at Lyle’s Place, Ivy’s Bookshop, Long & McQuade, the Royal McPherson box office, and, or $35 at the door.


CBC Radio’s The Debaters will tape its Tuesday debate at the McPherson Playhouse for the national broadcaster.

A night of political-laced tirades is on the menu at The Debaters, which puts comics in situations both scripted and not. According to organizers, the program’s host, Steve Patterson, will give a short stand-up performance prior to two 75-minute debate sessions.

The live audience will pick winners of the six debates, which runs for a total of three hours. That’s good value for your dollar these days. Tickets are $40.50 at, the Royal McPherson box office or 250-386-6121.


The final headliners for this year’s TD Victoria International Jazz Festival have been announced.

The Oliver Jones Trio and Halie Loren (June 24) and the Joe Lovano Quartet (June 27) are both set to perform at the McPherson Playhouse.

They join previously announced headliners Joe Jackson (June 25), Neko Case/k.d. lang/Laura Veirs (June 28), Tedeschi Trucks Band (June 29) and Gregory Porter (July 3) atop the Marquee Series set for the McPherson Playhouse and Royal Theatre this summer.

Tickets for Jones/Loren and Lovano are available now for $41.50 and $49.50 in person at the Royal McPherson box office, by phone at 250-386-6121 or online at

Look for the full JazzFest lineup to be announced in April.


A massive 39-date tour that will keep Winnipeg’s Sweet Alibi on the road until May 22 is headed for Vancouver Island next month.

Remarkably, large-scale tours are nothing new for the celebrated roots trio, which has been on the road consistently since 2009 for upwards of 70 dates annually. Regional dates include stops at Providence Farm in Duncan (April 1) and a concert at the Sooke Valley Folk Music Club (April 2). Sweet Alibi, whose third album, Walking In The Dark, arrived in November, will also play a house concert in North Saanich (April 3) and the MacMillan Arts Centre in Parksville (April 4).

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