The Harrison Festival Society will be presenting well known BC singer, songwriter, and guitarist Roy Forbes on Sept. 24, in the Harrison Memorial Hall.
Hailing originally from the Northern BC town of Dawson Creek, Roy Forbes – the self-named “kid full of dreams” then known as Bim – started his musical career in the early 1970s, touring coffee houses and opening spots for established artists, from John Lee Hooker to Santana. Then in his late teens, he was heralded as a prodigious young songwriting and guitar-playing talent.
“Bim” quickly established himself across Canada as a premier folk performer. He has since enjoyed a series of collaborations with a number of Canadian folk stars of the 1980s and 90s, including Connie Kaldor, Ferron, Shari Ulrich, and Bill Henderson. Artists of the likes of Sylvia Tyson, Shawn Colvin, and Valdy have recorded his songs, and of course, he has several of his own albums to his credit.
“I grew up with Roy’s albums, when he was known as BIM,” says Artistic Director Andy Hillhouse. “In the 1980s and 90s he was at the Vancouver Folk Festival pretty much every year, and I always felt he was one of our own to be proud of out here in BC. Along with his unique, soulful, high voice, his hot acoustic guitar playing was always a pleasure to hear, and he is just a natural musician.”
Roy’s deep songwriting roots, with inspirations ranging from Hank Williams to early rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and acoustic blues, come from years of exposure to a vast range of styles, mostly through recordings. A serious audiophile, Roy’s immense collection of records is famous. He has hosted two longstanding radio programs on which he spun records from his collection, CBC’s Snap, Crackle, Pop and CKUA’s Roy’s Record Room.
Roy’s upcoming performance at Harrison follows on an unexpected cancellation earlier this year. Hillhouse recalls “in December 2015 I got a call from Roy’s agent that he had had an accident- he was in a storage container and a box fell on his one good eye. We had to cancel the show as he was going in for eye surgery.”
Unfortunately, after several efforts, Roy’s surgery proved unsuccessful, and he has lost most of his sight. However, aided by his partner Lydia and a white cane, Roy has surged back into performing, and has performed several times since recovering from his surgery, to great acclaim. He has even penned a few songs since the accident.
The show will begin at 8PM, September 24th in the Harrison Memorial Hall. Tickets are $22 and can be purchased online at harrisonfestival.com, over the phone at 604.796.3664, Agassiz Shoppers Drugmart, or at the door.