Feeling the music down in your bones

Vancouver-based group gearing up for Burnaby Blues and Roots fest

She may be best known for her acting roles in film and television, but in the last year, Colleen Rennison has been making a name for herself in the music scene with her band, No Sinner.

The 24-year old Vancouverbased singer has been compared to Janis Joplin and Amy Winehouse, with a sultry voice that packs a punch.

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So far, the video for the band's first single, Boo Hoo Hoo - cowritten by Rennison - has been viewed on YouTube more than 36,000 times, and their EP has been selling internationally.

Along with her band mates, Eric Campbell (guitar), Matt Camirand (bass) and Ian Brown (drums), Rennison is in the middle of a festival tour this summer that includes the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival on Aug. 11.

"The Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival is notorious, and certainly I've had some friends who I have enviously watched take that stage, so I was really happy when we got added to that bill," Rennison said in an interview with the NOW.

No Sinner ('Rennison' spelled backwards) has played in Toronto, Calgary, Kamloops, and around the Lower Mainland at various festivals this year.

This month the band will also take the stage at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival and Live at Squamish.

Not a stereotypical rock band, No Sinner crosses several genres with its blues and country undertones. Rennison says she is not trying to fit a particular role in the local indie scene.

"We're just trying to make you feel good, that's all," she said. "Well, I don't know if we're trying to make you feel good all the time; we're just trying to make you feel. Feel it in your bones, kind of rock 'n' roll."

Most of the shows the band has played since they formed last year have been at downtown nightclubs, so the festival circuit is a bit of a change, she said.

Whatever the type of show, though, Rennison is a selfdescribed ham and says being on stage is what she lives for.

"I mean, that's where it's at," she said. "All the time in between rehearsals and writing and the stresses and the emails and deciding what to wear, getting ready, all that stuff doesn't matter when you hit the stage. Everything makes sense when you hit the stage, you know? And it's where I feel most like myself."

Headlining the Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival this year are the Indigo Girls, the American folk duo of Amy Ray and Emily Saliers.

The lineup also includes blues guitarist Jimmie

Vaughn, older brother of the late Stevie Ray Vaughn; Mamadu and Mariam, a duo from Mali; American blues/jazz artist Kelly Joe Phelps; singer/songwriter, rapper and bassist Meshell Ndegeocello; as well as Canadian bands The Deep Dark Woods and The Washboard Union.

Deer Lake Park has general admission lawn seating with no reserved seats.

Organizers say they expect about 5,000 people this year, depending on the weather.

Gates open at 12: 30 p.m. and the show starts at 2 p.m. The west gate closes at 6 p.m. and the main gate closes at 9 p.m.

Parking near Deer Lake Park is limited during the festival, therefore organizers encourage ticket holders to use alternative modes of transportation such as taxis, carpools, bicycles and public transit. There are bike racks on site, and there is a free shuttle bus service available from the BCIT campus (pay-parking is in effect).

Organizers also encourage anyone interested in purchasing tickets to review the guidelines on the festival website: www. burnabybluesfestival.com.

The Burnaby Blues and Roots Festival is produced by the City of Burnaby and the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.

Advance single tickets are $70, and a pack of four is $200. On the day of the festival, single tickets will be available for $75. Children aged 12-and-under get in free with an adult.

For more information and tickets, call the box office at 604205-3000, or visit www.burnaby bluesfestival.com.

mreid@burnabynow.com

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