Modern blues musicians turn East Coast music on its ear

Charlie A’Court is not your typical blues man. Nevertheless the 28-year-old Maritimer from Truro, Nova Scotia, has been dubbed a rising star…

Charlie A’Court is not your typical blues man.

Nevertheless the 28-year-old Maritimer from Truro, Nova Scotia, has been dubbed a rising star on Canada’s blues scene.

“How old do you have to be before you feel? If blues is only meant for wrinkly old dudes then I’m probably in the wrong line of work,” said A’Court from Calgary.

A’Court and fellow blues artist Matt Andersen were in Alberta on a month-long western tour that will land them in Whitehorse on Tuesday.

The pair will hit the Yukon Arts Centre stage for a night of soulful riffs and roots rock on Tuesday.

Blues have always had a big influence on A’Court, but his lyrics are a little more involved than what they would be in a traditional blues song.

So he calls himself a “modern roots/blues singer-songwriter.”

While blues music isn’t typical East Coast musical fare, both A’Court and Andersen enjoy a huge following back home.

“There’s so much more to the Maritimes than fiddles and bagpipes,” said A’Court. “And the cool thing is that I’m not the only one who feels that way.”

A’Court began in music with failed attempts at playing instruments like the fiddle and piano.

“I thought that since my mom was from Cape Breton, I should try and play the fiddle,” he said with a laugh.

But he soon abandoned both in favour of what has turned out to be his greatest love — the guitar.

“I was about 12 years old when the light bulb went on in my head, and I gave my father’s guitar a try.

“It was a natural fit,” said A’Court.

He started strumming the 12-string every chance he could.

“I like the way you can use a guitar to spell out different emotions,” said A’Court. “Using a guitar is a therapeutic way of dealing with emotions, good, bad or otherwise.”

By age 17, A’Court was performing on stages at Maritime bars and clubs.

“There are forms you have to fill out but you can get in to bars and clubs at 17,” he said with a laugh.

Three years later he moved to Nova Scotia’s capital and planted his feet in the rich Halifax music scene.

And his career took off from there with three CDs to date, featuring mostly original material.

Meanwhile, Andersen has three CDs to his credit with another expected in 2007.

He has also shared the stage and toured with super groups such as America, Randy Bachman, Bo Diddley and others.

A’Court and Andersen met a few years ago while playing the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

They got on well and saw a lot of similarities in each other’s music, so they began playing together and soon they started touring together.

“It’s been a great opportunity to bounce music off of each other,” said A’Court.

The pair will play the arts centre on Tuesday at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for youth. They’re available at the Arts Underground on Main Street and at the arts centre box office.