Year in Review
Another year has come and gone, and already one year of “The Word” is in the books. Blue Frog Studios has had another successful year with some terrific acts, and the two top Frogs, Kelly, and Juanita, would like to thank all the patrons who attended the many shows this year. Live music is truly alive and well and living at Blue Frog Studios thanks to your support.
After such a busy Christmas season, it’s time to reflect back on the past year at Blue Frog. It started off with a bang as Michael Sicoly and Mick Dalla-Vee showcased the music of Lennon and McCartney. (And they will again in early 2024!) It was a marvelous evening of music until a tragedy struck! The boys asked the MC, me, to join them in singing the la la la’s of Hey Jude! I’m positive it set the music industry back 50 years, and almost had the people in attendance heading for the exit! But thanks guys, it was fun!
That wasn’t the only tribute act last year, perhaps you were in the audience for American Woman, the music of the Guess Who with Colin Wiebe, or maybe the Joni Mitchell tribute. Led Zepagain packed them in again as did Steelin’ in the Years, the Joe Cocker tribute, and Dreams, a salute to Fleetwood Mac. West Coast Chicago paid us a visit, as well as the Hip Show, a big fan favourite was Syl Thompson’s “A Night of Bowie”, and the group Arrival saluted ABBA.
Eagle Eyes played to sold-out shows twice this past year, in September and then again in November. It seems that Eagle Eyes has won the hearts of the Blue Frog patrons, as they played to 10 sold-out shows this past year alone. The boys have been coming to play Blue Frog since 2017 and fill the house with every performance. They now hold the record for most sold-out shows by a group, taking over from the Jersey Boys. I often tell the story of one night during an Eagle Eyes performance one of the patrons got up and headed for the door. I stopped him just before he left and asked if everything was alright. He said, “you people should be ashamed of yourselves!” I asked him why that was, and he said, “You should be ashamed, charging for tickets to sit and watch a band lip-syncing to Eagle’s records!” I couldn’t convince him otherwise! I suppose that’s the highest compliment a tribute band could ever receive. You can be sure Eagle Eyes will be back to play again, and no, they’re not lip-syncing!
There’s not enough room to list all of the performers who graced the Blue Frog stage this year, but we did have our annual visit from the Pat Chessell Band to help us celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, the amazing Duke Robillard returned for a performance, and there was Paul Pigat as both Paul Pigat, and his alter ego “Cousin Harley.” Jack de Keyzer tore it up as did Jack Temple and Steve Kozak. Brandon Isaak came back to play this year and so did JW Jones.
We often livestream shows around the world and often record the shows for our Blue Frog TV library. The May recording of the Blood Brothers show turned out so well, that their record company decided to release it, and it became one of the top US Billboard Blues Albums of 2023.
We did have some laughs last year, as the White Rock BIA sponsored an evening of comedy with a number of stand-up comedians taking over the stage. We went from live music to live laughs.
For the first time at Blue Frog, we were fortunate to book the very busy Randy Bachman. Randy has been travelling the country with his show featuring his son Tal Bachman who is a singer/songwriter in his own right. It was a great evening, 2 shows complete with some stories from the road with the Guess Who and BTO. Randy was really taking care of business at Blue Frog, and the audience loved it.
Jim Byrnes made his annual trip to our stage, he’s always a crowd favourite and I do believe Jim holds the record for most sold-out shows at Blue Frog by a single performer. Jim always comes complete with some wonderful stories and of course great music.
Rocket Norton, the former drummer with Prism, brought his group the Authentics, Alfie Zapacosta made his annual journey to White Rock, as did Tom Lavin and the Legendary Powder Blues Band. Tom’s son sat in with the band for some of the show, and Tom surprised me when he sat down at the keyboard and played! I had no idea the Blues guitarist played another instrument.
American female saxophone phenomenon Mindi Abair “blew” the audience away with her uptempo smooth jazz stylings. And on paper, it seemed like it was an unlikely combo, Gabriel Hasselbach a jazz woodwind artist, and R&B performer Billy Dixon but it worked! Gabriel took the first half of the show with Billy sitting in on his last song, and then Billy took over the second half of the show. Mixing the two genres of music made it a great night of music.
In the summer, a night was set aside to pay tribute to the late Kal David, an international blues recording artist who performed all over the U.S. and Europe during his 50+ year career. Kal was a regular performer at Blue Frog over the years, he passed away at the age of 79 in the summer of 2022.
To round out our look back at the year, we have a new kid in town. Kelly Breaks leads a new band called “The CREW” taking on all the great hits known as Yacht Rock. Smooth sounds from the 70’s and 80’s thrilled the sold-out crowds this past year, with 2 more dates coming up in the new year.
It was a great year of live performances in what has been called Canada’s Hottest Live Recording Theatre.
On behalf of the entire Blue Crew, I wish you a Happy New Year! Have a safe and healthy 2024, and see you next time at Blue Frog Studios.
Welcome to The Word.
Join our VIP List
Be the first to be notified about upcoming shows, premieres, live streams, blog posts (like the ones on this page!) and exclusive offers from Blue Frog Studios.
Thank you to our sponsors!
1328 Johnston Road
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2
White Rock, BC • Canada V4B 3Z2