In the Music in the Park schedule, a band called BMW was listed for August 13, with the notation “Authentic blues guitar.” It probably wasn’t a “For Sale” listing, so I looked up the name on Google. After avoiding any vehicle references, I figured that it was probably a band that included Calgary’s Tim Williams and Winnipeg’s Big Dave McLean along with a guy named Kevin Belzner, whom I am not acquainted with.
Happily, this was correct and Kamloops got a real treat. BMW first found themselves together for a set at the Edmonton International Blues Festival. The crowd reaction was so positive, they have since been performing as a trio. Both McLean and Williams are walking blues encyclopedias and wonderful musicians.
The stage was littered with guitars, dobros, a mandolin and various harmonicas, along with Belzner’s drum kit and some percussion instruments that he used throughout the show.
The trio borrowed heavily from the Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson catalogs. Thet also played some of their own originals and tunes from Sleepy John Estes, Percy Sledge and many others. Some of my favourites were “Walking Blues,” “Dust My Broom,” “San Francisco Bay Blues,” “Delta Bound” and “Goin’ to Brownsville.” All three played with passion and soul. Between songs they talked about their travels and experiences.
Williams mentioned he had opened up for Muddy Waters on one of his Canadian tours. He occasionally told the story behind the of the type of instrument he was playing. McLean alternated between various harmonicas and guitars and played slide on a few tunes.
The audience seemed to enjoy both BMW’s performance and the amiable chatting. All three played with passion and soul. It was great to hear, as the Music in Park schedule proclaimed, “Authentic blues guitar” and a whole lot more!