Kent to rock Barlick

Kent Duchaine is playing at Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre on Wednesday. (s)
Kent Duchaine is playing at Barnoldswick Music and Arts Centre on Wednesday. (s)

You could say the blues are tattooed onto the very soul of Kent Duchaine.

Living on the road, there's no doubting the singer-songwriter's authenticity and passion for the genre.

"The blues is about real life experiences," he said. "I think you have to live them to be able to share with your audiences. My songs are about my blues experiences: troubles; women; family; death; weather; parties; just life's experiences.

"Running the roads and performing on your own has its own challenges but you have a lot of freedom of choice with your travel, schedule, song choices and tempo. No complaining allowed."

A highlight of his career, no doubt, was travelling and performing with American singer Johnny Shines.

"Running with Johnny was pure pleasure. He was a gentleman and a wise soul; his spirit was strong and he was kind. We had so many great experiences."

Kent's passion for the genre is the kind that lasts a lifetime. For him, it's a love affair that's endured four decades. And four ex-wives.

"The blues came to me through the rockers and folkies back in the '60s. My sound is based off of my old steel guitar, Leadbessie, a 1934 national guitar that has been with me for 40 years. Bukka White and Son House played these guitars and that is why I do. I play Delta blues, old Chicago blues, some R&B and many of my own compositions."

Kent is among the privileged few who can say they've fine-tuned their talents by jamming with their heroes.

"I was very fortunate to grow up with a lot of the greats of the blues and they showed me how to present their music to people. It's all about the feeling. They all had it. Like Bukka White, the great Delta bluesman. He drank hard. He loved the fact that we were interested in his music and would help keep it alive.

"Playing and hanging out with the greats was an honor and a privilege and performing their music is a big responsibility and challenging but very rewarding."

For Kent, part of the gift of music is its unifying force: a leveler, it transcends differences among listeners.

"Music in my opinion is the only thing that is permanent and is a way to communicate with everyone and anyone. I tell a lot of stories to connect folks with the music I love."

He will perform at the Barnoldswick Music & Arts Centre on Wednesday, from 7-30 - 10-30pm.

For tickets (£10) visit www.barnoldswickmusicandartscentre.com or call 01282 813374 or 07712 628 366.