‘We love to play and we're always looking for places to go'
TRURO - Jessica Purdy has always had a love for the blues.
© Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News
Truro native Jessica Purdy, who now lives outside Stewiacke, sits on the stage at the Nook and Cranny on Prince Street. Purdy Jess and the Kevin Fletcher Blues Band are performing on the stage this Saturday at 9 p.m.
"It's the universal feeling," said Purdy, a Truro native now living just outside Stewiacke. "I don't think there is anybody that hasn't felt the blues before. When most people think of the blues, most don't think they like it. Some people think it's sad and low down, but it's feel-good and makes you feel like you're not alone. It's raw."
Purdy grew up in the Truro area, but moved to Stewiacke in her teenaged years. From there she moved to Halifax for post-secondary education before settling near Wittenburg. She's performing at the Nook and Cranny tonight - one of her first show's in the Truro area since moving back and joining the Kevin Fletcher Blues Band.
"I would perform for anybody for as long as I can remember, and starting out, the biggest problem was finding guitar players," she said.
But that changed when Purdy was bartending at the Copper Barrel in Stewiacke where she would often perform on open mike nights. A patron told her she should meet Fletcher and when the two finally did, they formed a unique bond.
"He has taught me a ton. He really taught me how to be a part of a band. It's hard to know how to interact with band members where you're just a vocalist, but he taught me that interaction," she said.
Purdy said Fletcher is a great teacher who was also able to teach his best friend, Tyler (Freight Train) Turner to play the bass. The other two musicians rounding out the band include Gordon Roach on drums and Mike Poole on the saxophone and harmonica.
"We love to play and we're always looking for places to go," said Purdy, adding she would love to play the Dutch Mason Blues Festival in the future.
Always having the travel bug, Purdy hopes the band will hit the road in a year or two for a cross-Canada tour. They opened at the Music Mountain Blues Festival in Thorburn Friday.
The band also hosts a blues jam every three weeks at Big Leagues in Dartmouth.
"We're also recording two albums," said Purdy. "One is a blues standards cover and the other is an original album."
Growing up, Purdy's musical influences were "the roots of the blues," with musicians such as Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, Koko Taylor and Muddy Waters.
Tonight's performance at the Nook and Cranny, which begins at 9 p.m., came when Purdy began working on the band's bookings and she stumbled across an online call for local musicians.
"We thought, ‘we need to get into Truro.' There is such a huge support of the blues here and we're hoping this performance will help us spread out in Truro," she added.