The eagles aren't the only denizens of West Coast style being drawn to Brackendale this winter.
Writer, singer, and artist John Bottomley is coming to the Brackendale Art Gallery next Sunday (Jan. 16) as part of the 19th annual Brackendale Winter Eagle Festival.
"I've played at the art gallery before," said Bottomley, whose career has spanned 25 years and seven solo CDs.
"I really like that room."
Bottomley began his musical training at an early age. When he was six, he began learning classical piano and at age 14 he started learning the guitar. By age 16 he was playing in bands called Albatross and Celsius.
By 1980, Bottomley returned to Toronto, his birthplace, and played with the band Tulpa, with whom he started his recording career in 1983 with the single Apologize to Your Mother. It was followed by his first LP, Mosaic Fish.
Bottomley has since shared the stage with Leonard Cohen, Living Colour, Tragically Hip, Bruce Cockburn and the Barenaked Ladies to name a few.
But Bottomley is far from just a musician, which is reflected in his most recent project, and CD and book combination called Star in the Singing Grove, which was released last fall.
"I've had it around in my head for a little while," he said.
The book is a fantasy story, written and illustrated by Bottomley. He said it's filled with different characters. The music CD goes along with the story, and it all ties in together.
"The songs drive it," Bottomley said.
The biggest challenge was trying to make all the elements fit together.
"I had not done anything like that before."
He has however, released a book of poems called Here's the Candy in the Past.
He said he draws a great deal of inspiration from experience and imagination.
His music has evolved over the years.
"It's folk music you know, but it's got elements from all sorts of different things in it. I call it folk now. That's what it is I suppose."
He's also improved his writing and singing over the years.
"I think I'm a better singer than I was before," he said, noting that he knows he's a better writer now.
He'll be performing with his band starting at 8 p.m. at the art gallery. Tickets are $15 and Bottomley's CD and book combination will be on sale. Moritz Behm will be on fiddle and Squamish's Dean Richards will be playing the drums. Bottomley may read some of his book as well.
"I hope it goes real good," Bottomley said.
Farm House, with locals Cam Salay on banjo and vocals, Colleen Salay on vocals, Sal Salay on guitar and Dean Richards on drums will also be performing that night. The evening performance is called West Coast Music Brackendale Style.
For more information, visit www.johnbottomley.info.