The Big Blast Band, with special guest Del Kunitz, will ring in 2023 at the German Hall

This weekend, a Nanaimo drummer is looking to ring in the New Year and kick off 2023 on a positive note with a supportive message for local talent.

“Always support local musicians. I’m a very big believer of that,” said Kevin (Bud) Marcy, drummer for the Big Blast Band. “There’s not many places for us to play anymore … I think, as musicians, we have got to start putting on our own dances and develop our own following so that we can play … There’s hardly anywhere to play, because of the economy and circumstances. We have to work on our own to ‘drive people off the couch,’ as I call it … So we’re trying to get other bands to do like we do, and put on our own dances.”

The Big Blast Band will feature Melissa Bee on vocals, Warren Ford, who also goes by Freeman, on bass, Sean Grieve on keyboard, Brian Gauci on guitar and Marcy on drums, for their Rockin Blues Dance Party at the German Hall this Saturday, Dec. 31.

The group will have a special guest for the show, the lead singer and harmonicist for Edmonton’s blues band Hot Cottage, Del Kunitz.

“I think people will have a really good time on New Year’s,” said Marcy. “[Kunitz] has been playing blues for about 25-30 years … When I was a kid, Hot Cottage was a pretty big band in Edmonton and I used to go watch them play all the time.”

Marcy said it was the group’s bassist, Freeman, who knew Kunitz was in town visiting his family and suggested he guest with them for the upcoming show, since Freeman grew up as part of the Edmonton music scene as well.

This Saturday’s show isn’t the first dance the band has put together. In September, Marcy said they played a sold-out Happy Birthday dance for everybody born that month – which also happened to be his own birthday month. More than 20 other musicians shared the stage with them.

“I didn’t think that many people were going to show at our first dance … People were coming in and having to turn around,” Marcy said.

From that first success, they looked to see if they could duplicate it for New Year’s.

The Rockin Blues Dance Party will be held at the German Hall, 71 Caledonia Ave., where the group will provide “traditional blues” tunes starting at approximately 9 p.m. on Dec. 31, until “late.”

Tickets are priced at $45 each, and further information can be found online at

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