White Rock guitarist Doug Towle is set to play Blue Frog Studio Dec. 4.

White Rock guitarist Doug Towle is set to play Blue Frog Studio Dec. 4.

Chilled-out approach to Christmas tunes

White Rock guitarist Doug Towle is tapping into his Latin style for an upcoming holiday concert.

If your taste is to ease into the Christmas season with an intimate evening of cool and smooth instrumental versions of classic Christmas songs, Doug Towle has the concert for you.

The White Rock-based virtuoso guitarist will present a Christmas soundtrack as chilled as a dry martini this Sunday (Dec. 4) at 7 p.m. at Blue Frog Studios, 1328 Johnston Rd.

Towle and his band members Pete Davyduck (bass) and Calum Rees (drums) will draw most of the material from his 2009 seasonal album, High Spirits – Classic Songs Of Christmas for Contemporary Guitar.

Also on the bill will be new age finger style guitarist Steve Laszcz (who shared a memorable concert with Towle years ago at the old White Rock Playhouse).

“Steve’s great  – we packed the place that time, but it’s been a long time since we’ve been able able to get back together,” Towle said.

The concert will also feature  a dash of dance, courtesy of flamenco dance artist Jill Tunbridge, who has also collaborated several times, memorably, with Towle.

“We did some festivals in the summer, and she asked me to do her Flamenco del Mar festival in September,” he said.

“It provides a whole different dimension to our work. I’ve got this plan to incorporate a live band witha big-time dance element, and this is a little bit of a preview of that.”

Towle said he’s looking forward to working in the Blue Frog concert ambience.

“It’s nice – it’ll be a great room for it,” he said.

His take on the Christmas repertoire is quite different from the norm, he added.

“It’s definitely not the traditional Christmas arrangements, but it’s still very cool,” he said.

“Stylistically there are definitely some latin elements to it, of course – that’s what I do. I wouldn’t really call it jazz, but it’s definitely smooth and cool.”

There’ll also be a some material from his upcoming album (due in the spring), the 12-song Guitar Stories.

Towle, who won international recognition as a finalist in Guitar Player magazine’s Superstar 2009 contest, said he’s getting a lot more gigs these days, even as a sideman for others’ projects.

“It’s definitely opened a few doors for me,” he said.

That included a recent gig at the Canadian Consul General’s residence in Beverly Hills, he added.

Towle noted that while he has established a strong latin musical persona from his days fronting nuevo-flamenco group De La Terra, people have tended to forget a versatility that comes from years cutting his teeth in rock and blues bands.

Even so, the latin feel – particularly applied to Christmas – is also proving a bonanza for him, including recent successful dates at Christmas trade fairs in Regina and Ottawa.

It helps that Towle, a past master in creating guitar loops on the fly and improvising melodies to them, works equally well as a solo act.

“There’s been a lot of travelling this year, a lot of time spent in airports. Just my guitar and my ‘loop’ studio – that’s how I travel.

“It’s awesome, that thing. No matter what happens, I can always do the gig. The rest of the band can get stuck in a snowstorm and I’ll still be there to do the gig.”

Tickets ($20) are available from Tapestry Music or at www.dougtowle.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Police Service’s crest was unveiled Tuesday. (SPS image)
Surrey Police Service hires new communications manager from Surrey RCMP

Lisa Eason was municipal manager of Surrey RCMP’s communications and media unit for almost eight years

Clover Lanes is seen on May 7, a few days after the building was sold and the 72-year-old business was closed for good. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
End of an era: Clover Lanes closes for good

Building had been up for sale for more than a year

Statue of Lady Justice at B.C. Supreme Court in New Westminster. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Delta Patriots Cricket Club takes Surrey, other clubs to court over Cricket BC voting

‘At issue is the propriety or legality of the voting procedures within Cricket BC,’ Justice John Harvey noted

Seaquam Secondary School (Grace Kennedy photo)
Pellet gun leads to ‘hold and secure’ at North Delta high school

Seaquam Secondary was under ‘hold and secure’ for about 25 minutes on Monday, May 10

Surrey Eagles forward Rocco La Cara battles with Coquitlam Express forward Dante Berrettoni during a game earlier this season. (Damon James photo)
Surrey Eagles wrap up BCHL ‘pod’ season with win over Coquitlam

South Surrey-based junior ‘A’ hockey team finishes with 17-2-1 record

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

The Canadian Forces Snowbirds are in the Comox Valley for their annual spring training. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Suspected bird strike on Snowbirds plane during training in B.C.

Pilot followed protocols and landed the aircraft on the ground without any problems

BCIT. (Wikimedia Commons)
BCIT apologizes after employee’s ‘offensive and hurtful’ email leaked to Métis Nation

BCIT says employee’s conduct has been investigated and addressed

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An adult male yellow-breasted chat is shown in this undatd photograph on lands protected in collaboration between the En’owkin Centre and Penticton Indian Band with support through ECCC. The rescue from near extinction for a little yellow bird hinges on the wild rose in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley, a researcher says. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, A. Michael Bezener/ En’owkin Centre 2020 *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Rare yellow birds need wild roses to survive in British Columbia: researcher

The importance of local wild roses emerged over a nearly 20-year experiment

RCMP officers search around rows of luggage carts as screens block off an area of the sidewalk after a shooting outside the international departures terminal at Vancouver International Airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Police say gang conflict in Metro Vancouver may be behind shooting death at airport

Police said this generation of gangsters is taking things to new level and have no regard for community safety

RCMP are looking for information on an alleged shooting attempt near an elementary school in Smithers March 10. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News/Stock)
UPDATE: Man killed in brazen daylight shooting at Vancouver airport

Details about the police incident are still unknown

Pieces of nephrite jade are shown at a mine site in northwestern B.C. in July 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Tahltan Central Government MANDATORY CREDIT
Indigenous nation opposes jade mining in northwestern B.C.

B.C.’s Mines Act requires operators to prepare a plan to protect cultural heritage resources

Most Read