Slow Hand: The Music of Eric Clapton will take centre stage Friday, Feb. 16, at St. F.X.’s Bauer Theatre in Antigonish.
The one-night only concert, featuring the multi-talented Whiskysmoke Blues Band, will serve as a fundraiser for Festival Antigonish Summer Theatre (FAST).
“We are always looking for fundraising ideas,” Reema Fuller, FAST managing director, said.
Although the professional repertory theatre receives tremendous support from community, including funders, sponsors and ticket buyers, she noted, the organization focuses constantly on not having to raise prices.
“That is something that we do not want to do and fundraisers, such as these, help us in that area,” Fuller said.
As for the upcoming Clapton tribute, she explained, the seeds were planted during a conversation between FAST artistic director Andrea Boyd and musician Jake Hanlon, a familiar face at the Bauer. He served as music director for the 2017 Theatre Antigonish (TA) production Cerulean Blue.
“It was a really interesting idea to all of us,” Fuller said of Hanlon’s suggestion of a Clapton tribute performance.
Joining Hanlon as members of the Whiskysmoke Blues Band are Mike Melchin, Ryan Billington, Allan Fraser and Carl Laudadio. Along with other guests, they will perform the tunes.
“Eric Clapton is considered by many to be the most important living guitarist and one of the most iconic figures in rock and roll and blues music,” Hanlon said of the 18-time Grammy award winner and three-time member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“Slowhand’s music can be heard in recordings ranging from the ground-breaking Cream, to Derek and the Dominos, The Yardbirds, his solo career and, yes, even with The Beatles.
“Clapton’s Music has always been knee-deep in the blues and his contributions to popular music have helped shaped rock and roll as we know it,” he added in an email.
Fuller said the fundraiser would not be possible without the support and commitment of the performers.
“We have a lot of talented musicians who are going to make this a wonderful event,” she added.
Considering its timing, Fuller agreed tickets for the show provide a great option for people who celebrate Valentine’s Day.
“It is going to be a night, as well, that friends and the whole family can enjoy,” she noted.
Tickets, which are $20, can be purchased at tickets.festivalantigonish.com, by calling 902-867-3333 or at the door on show night.
To pair tickets with a FAST gift certificate, contact Heather Myers at [email protected] or 902-867-3954.