By Lindsay Mackenzie
Who: Sonny Rhodes
What: Canadian National BBQ Championships
When: Saturday, July 31
Tickets: $12 in advance, $15 at the door
Youd think after having his van full of instruments, clothing and personal possessions burnt to a crisp not once, but twice, blues legend Sonny Rhodes would be a little wary of smoke and fire.
Not so, apparently. The Texas-based slide-guitarist will not only be playing during this years Canadian National BBQ Championships, hell be competing in them.
Turns out 64-year old Rhodes hasnt let much daunt him in life. Born in Smithville, Texas, in 1940 to a family of sharecroppers, Rhodes got his first guitar for Christmas when he was eight years old. He started playing seriously when he was 12.
He soon realized that the cotton fields werent for him, so he used his guitar playing skills, along with a little inspiration from influences such as T-Bone Walker, Pee Wee Crayton and B.B. King to get ahead.
"I was working the cotton fields all week as a kid and I was only getting 50 cents a day. I realized that I could make way more money than that in about 15 minutes playing on the street corner," Rhodes says on his Web site.
The rest, as they say, is history.
One of only a few blues players playing the lap-steel guitar, Rhodes has over 200 recorded songs and nine albums under his belt. He tours the U.S., Canada and Europe frequently, often playing more than 250 dates per year.
Hell arrive in Whistler after a short tour in Italy, including a stop at the Bologna Blues Festival.
The scribes at the All Music Guide describe Rhodes as being "so full of musical ideas that he is destined to inherit the seats left open by the untimely passing of blues greats like Albert King and Albert Collins."
A self-proclaimed "disciple of the blues," Rhodes and his steel guitar will testify to the Whistler congregation at the Canadian National BBQ Championships Saturday Night Pig Jig. Hell be instantly recognizable should he choose to wear his trademark turban and bright red suit appropriate attire for a blues disciple on a mission from God.
Tickets to the event are $12 in advance, $15 at the door. For more information call Dustys at 604-905-2171.