Folk Fest highlights Okanagan singer

Jane Eamon will be performing at the first Lake Country Folk Fest.

Jane Eamon left music behind in 2015 when her husband had a stroke.

Now, after taking a few years away from the music scene, she’ll be performing at the first Lake Country Folk Fest.

The 64-year-old started songwriting after her now-husband Gord Brush, dared her to enter a contest.

Eamon was the second oldest person when she entered at 46.

Brush performed with her, but since his stroke, he’s been unable to play more than their 1938 parlor guitar, she said.

“We have spent the last two years getting him back on his feet… that put a bit of a damper in me doing music and I haven’t really wanted to do it without him,” she said.

She’s been playing gigs here and there, but nothing like when she was touring. The musician also works part-time as a financial controller at the Kelowna International Airport.

Traversing the country, as well as Europe and the U.S. caused Eamon to grow tired, saying sleeping in the back of a van should be saved for someone in their 20s.

The Kelowna resident doesn’t mind the down time now, casually performing at Benvoulin Heritage Church saying she could live in the moment with the music instead of worrying about the next song.

The musician gave advice for women entering the music field.

Don’t just play chords, learn the harder stuff and surround yourself with good musicians, she said.

Eamon doesn’t stick to a genre and will be playing some of her jazz music at the Lake Country Fold Festival, held March 18. She enjoys playing folk, rock, jazz, blues and more.

The artist has released six CDs and started writing music when she was 17, but gave it up when she was in her 20s when her friends told her she wasn’t good. She left music until that fateful contest.

She worked with cultural development coordinator for Lake Country Ryan Donn, another Kelowna musician on the Kelowna Centennial song, and said the festival should be “interesting.”

Eamon will be performing at Creekside Theatre for the festival and would like to write another album in the future.

She has no fear of festivals, as she previously performed at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival.

The Folk Fest was created at the same time as the Lake Country blues festival, held in January.

“Essentially the whole vibe is food, craft beer and an array of musicians that are broader than the definition of folk,” said Donn.

“People have this idea of what folk music is, folk has changed dramatically on what it can entail,” he said. “I encourage people to take a chance, it’s an event about discovery.”

To find out more about the festival find it on Facebook.

Tickets are $30 plus fees and can be purchased at www.creeksidetheatre.com or by calling 250-766-9309.