Blue guitarist/vocalist Bill Johnson will play the Rhumba Room March 23.

Blue guitarist/vocalist Bill Johnson will play the Rhumba Room March 23.

Bringing the blues back

Bill Johnson returns with a concert/dance for the White Rock Blues Society

Next up in White Rock Blues Society’s continuing series of dances/concerts will be electric blues guitarist/vocalist Bill Johnson, Saturday, March 23 at the Rhumba Room of the Pacific Inn Hotel, 1160 King George Blvd.

Johnson, who sold out his last concert with the White Rock Blues Society in 2007, will feature songs from his recent breakout album, Still Blue.

His third CD, it clicked with critics and public alike, thanks to Johnson’s compelling guitar tone, his powerhouse vocals, and the quality of his original songwriting.

His music has been strongly influenced by the “jumped up” blues of the 1940s and 1950s, but with an individual style that has taken elements of the jazzy phrasing of T-Bone Walker and the gospel soul of B.B. King’s guitar lines.

Both Maple Blues and Juno nominated, Johnson won kudos over the last  several years as both a fresh voice and a force on the Canadian blues scene.

But like most artists, he’s laboured hard and long to become an “overnight success.”

Born in Halifax, NS, but raised in Ottawa and Victoria, B.C., he’s been a professional guitarist since he was 15.

Among dues-paying gigs have been recordings as a sideman with Herbert Sumlin, Cash McCall, and Son Seals.

Doors are at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets ($20) are available from Surfside Guitars, Tapestry Music and, online, at