The Doctor Bones Blues Project is on a mission to make sure no one feels blue after listening to the blues.
The Victoria-based gospel-inspired blues band will bring its message of encouragement to Ladysmith this weekend to perform the final Concerts in the Park Sunday at Transfer Beach.
The Doctor Bones Blues Project formed in 2007 and has evolved over the years.
“It’s something that keeps building and goes in different directions,” said John Bones, who founded the band with his wife, Gail.
John says that when he and Gail started the band, she was playing some music at home, and he had a lifelong dream to play blues harmonica. The couple went to a gospel blues festival in Chilliwack, and they had “this crazy idea that maybe we could be here next year as a band,” recalled John.
It wasn’t such a crazy idea after all, and a year after visiting the festival as spectators, John and Gail Bones had formed a band, and they were performing on that very stage. They played that festival every year for five years until the festival ended.
Doctor Bones, as the band is also known, soon found its niche playing encouraging, blues-based music to Victoria’s homeless and marginalized.
“We just feel like we sort of started out playing the blues not just for people who like blues music, but for people who live the blues,” said John. “The challenge with the blues is a lot of the messages are downers. In our repertoire of songs, we always try to shift that so it is positive and uplifting.”
The band features musicians who have played with jazz, blues, funk and rock bands, and Doctor Bones fuses all those genres together.
“The project is more a fusion, but our message is still the same — music should be uplifting and positive and make us feel good,” said John. “Not that we don’t talk about the crummy things in life, but we try to spin it so it’s encouraging. We do a really cool mix [of songs], so from that perspective, we think we’re pretty unique.”
John says the band is excited to play at Transfer Beach.
“Wherever we play, whether it’s fairs or festivals or markets, we just kind of do it because we like to inspire people with our music, and we just love playing,” said John.
Doctor Bones is John and Gail Bones, Anthony Reynolds, Jack Funk, Dale Manason and Tony Rodrigues. They play Sunday, Aug. 31 from 6-8 p.m. at the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre, weather permitting. Admission is by donation, and all money raised helps the Ladysmith Resources Centre Association provide programs in the community.