Bocephus King will rock the Byng

"Beautiful voodoo from a great band. It's a marshmallow world in the winter … Slow and steady, with occasional bouts of absolute madness."

Bocephus King in full flight. The indy blues rocker will be performing at the Byng in Cranbrook

Bocephus King in full flight. The indy blues rocker will be performing at the Byng in Cranbrook

Ferdy Belland

James Perry is a bearded-out man on a weirded-out mission of musical mercy. Performing under his pseudonym Bocephus King since 1996, Perry has taken his country-blues take on modern folk-rock across North America and back countless times, and has captured his soulful and colourful songs for posterity on critically-acclaimed independent albums such as Joco Music, A Small Good Thing, the Blue Sickness, and All Children Believe in Heaven. And now, in support of his latest album (somewhat startlingly titled Willie Dixon God Damn!), Perry/King has shoved himself and his uber-talented bandmates once again into the universal Tour Van and is shaking rafters in roadhouses across the True North, Strong and Free.

“The tour has been incredible,” remarks Perry: “Beautiful voodoo from a great band. It’s a marshmallow world in the winter, as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin once sang. Slow and steady, with occasional bouts of absolute madness…that’s how you handle the oftentime toughness of touring Canada during the snowy season. Hot springs certainly help, too. Every night is like Christmas morning. Our show at Mikey’s Juke Joint in Calgary had some real Third-Eye-Holy-Ghost moments that left everybody vibrating… like chanting monks on magic mushrooms.”

Bocephus King has long been recognized as one of the leading lights in Vancouver’s considerably-talented folk-rock community, receiving favourable reviews in No Depression magazine and other high-profile international publications. As of late, the live-music world of the West Coast has seen a dramatic and unsettling shift for possibly the worse, what with venues such as East Vancouver’s fabled Waldorf Hotel currently threatened with gentrification extermination as culturally-ignorant property developers continue to raze former downtown landmarks like Richard’s on Richards in order to build yet another overpriced condominium tower.

When asked how he (and other Vancouver musicians) copes with anti-arts pressure, Perry merely says: “I remember that this whole life is an illusion, and try not to let it get me down. Sometimes I smoke a joint and stretch in the sauna.” And which Vancouver artists does he feel kinship with? “Too many to mention… but I’ll say I’m travelling with some of them,” he smiles.

Although Monday night’s upcoming performance at the Byng Roadhouse marks his first performance in Cranbrook, Bocephus King is no stranger to the Kootenays.

“We’ve been coming to the Koots for years,” Perry beams. “Many dear Vancouver friends moved here years ago, and they’ve helped the path stay beaten. The Koots are always some kind of grand adventure.”

Monday’s Grand Adventure for Bocephus King will also feature opening-support sets from the Bison Brothers (featuring renowned local roots-rock songwriter Tim Ross) and the Pine Slacks (vocalist-guitarist Connor Foote, bassist Stu Driedger, and guitarist Clayton Parsons).

Perry’s boozy poetics swerve all over the beatnik-rocker highway, and there’s got to be a reason for the unusual title of his latest album, right? Right: “Willie Dixon wrote and created some of the biggest bricks in the temple of modern music,” Perry boasts.

“Most people don’t understand how much he has to do with what we hear in these times. How it came to be. These single souls who brought together so much. Willie Dixon is one of these great sources, an Ocean, if you will, but he did all of that at a time when driving around with a bunch of black musicians and touring the Southern United States was seriously taking your life in your hands. A crazy, dangerous, wild, wonderful life that left a trail of Gospel human truths you could move your ass to. When I say ‘Willie Dixon, God Damn!’, I’m saying Hallelujah, Amen… but I’m saying it to the Holy Church Of The Road, and all the modern Saints. They did so much in such a dark time and place. It’s hopeful to me in these strange and somewhat savage times.”

Bocephus King hit the tenderly-broken-in stage at the legendary Byng Roadhouse (21 Cranbrook St. N.) on Monday, January 28, with guests The Bison Brothers and The Pine Slacks. Showtime 8 p.m.

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read