Uncle Wiggly’s back in Sidney for a second seasonal session

Hot Shoes Blues Band will return to the Mary Winspear Centre for its second year with a tribute to the blues songs of Christmas.

Hank Leonhardt will perform as part of Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blue Band Dec. 12 at the Mary Winspear Centre. The band will play a tribute to the blues songs of Christmas from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band will return to the Mary Winspear Centre for its second year to pay a tribute to the blues songs of Christmas.

The group will perform blues, swing and R&B classics from the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.

Lead singer of the band Hank Leonhardt said it won’t be the same old Christmas carols that many other groups cover time and time again.

“That’s the one thing we hear the most of from people is how refreshing it is to go to a Christmas show and not hear Silent Night,” he said with a laugh.

Having started the band over 30 years ago, it was when Leonhardt moved back to the Island a few years ago that he got Uncle Wiggly’s back up and running. It’s now the group’s third year doing the show on the Island.

Leonhardt said they change up the band every year, and this year they have two new horn players and a new keyboard player who will be joining them.

Horn player Wayne Kozak will be joining them. He is a founding member of the Powder Blues Band.

Bryn Badel will also be joining them as one of Victoria’s top trumpet players. And Wynn Gogol is also new, and will be playing the keyboard.

Leonhardt said what he likes most about the Christmas show is that it’s unique music, with lots of swing music, classic blues tunes and nice horn arrangements.

“It’s just a whole heap of fun to play. There’s some nice ballads. It appeals to young and old, but a lot of the older people like it because parts of the show are mellow and not too loud. And then we pick it up and it rocks pretty good on certain points …”

Uncle Wiggly’s will perform on Dec. 12 at the Mary Winspear Centre. For tickets call 250-656-0275.

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