single show

Big Hank & The Smokin’ Hot Toasters

Saturday, May 11, 2024 / 7:30 pm

Door 6:00 pm for dinner service

Upstairs Lounge, Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee Street, Victoria, BC V8R 5E6

A revitalized edition of The Smokin’ Hot Toasters is set to hit the road and bring an evening of red-hot rhythm and blues to audiences in the Pacific North West, the interior of B.C. and the Alberta prairies, as 2024 unfolds.

Led by Big Hank Lionhart (of Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band fame), The Smokin’ Hot Toasters have a history that goes back to the halcyon days of the Western Canadian roots music scene of the eighties, The Smokin’ Hot Toasters were a force of a unit that could often be found working great venues like the fabled Commodore Ballroom and kicking off shows that found them on bills with legends like The Neville Brothers, Koko Taylor and John Mayall.

The Smokin’ Hot Toasters brought a package of impressive playing and singing to clubs, cabarets, theatres and festivals and after reforming in 2014, the band discovered they could easily access the energy and chemistry that originally fueled their material and performances in the eighties, and soon after realized audiences wanted hear that distinctive Smokin’ Hot Toasters sound again.

That groove saturated sound has once again been front and centre at wonderful venues like Festival Place and Horizon Stage and in Central Alberta, The Mary Winspear in Sidney BC, The Syd Williams Theatre in Courtney, Knox United in Parksville, the Alex Golden Performance Hall in Victoria, Oak Bay Rec Centre for Beacon Ridge Productions, Victoria and White Rock’s Blue Frog Studios. The group has also launched a spirited and well-received Christmas Blues Show that has played strings of shows across Alberta and B.C..

The summer festival circuit has also embraced The Smokin’ Hot Toasters and the band has made main stage appearances at The Edmonton International Blues Festival, The Nanaimo Blues Festival, Beaumont Roots n Blues Festival, Calgary International Blues Festival, the Victoria Inner Harbour Blues Festival, Island’s Folkfest in Duncan BC and Butchart Gardens concert series as fans love the sound of the band that is spearheaded by the band’s co-founders, vocalist Big Hank Lionhart and guitarist Steve Cross.

Always focused on keeping the shows fresh, 2024 will find The Smokin’ Hot Toasters stepping into the songbook of Los Lobos for part of their shows.

“We have always done a few Los Lobos Songs as far back as the 80’s. We always loved the band and their music, so we decided to expand our nod to them into a full feature set. That set includes Evangeline, I got Loaded, Don’t Worry Baby, Set Me Free Rosalee, Farmer John, That Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore, Will the Wolf Survive, La Bamba, One Time One Night and a few more,’ says Lionhart, whose powerhouse voice easily tackles these tunes.

We do Lobos songs that are true to the original arrangements you hear on those great recordings. We’re not emulating the band or pretending we are Los Lobos, we just drill into the spirit of the songs, and try to be true to the vibe of the material.”

Fans enjoy them as much as we do and I think it’s fair to say these Lobos tunes are now considered to be timeless,” adds Lionhart, before mentioning that the group’s other set features an abundance of original material and choice cool covers that have served the group well. That set includes material that is built around their trademark tight arrangements and muscular group vocals.

The Smokin’ Hot Toasters are Big Hank Lionhart – Lead Vocals, Steve Cross – Guitar, Mick Woodhouse – Bass, Steve Ranta – Keys, Matt Pease – Drums, and Paul Wainwright – Sax

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