Curtis Salgado performs Nov. 23 at The Roxy in Kennewick

Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldNovember 14, 2013 

Curtis Salgado

ROSS WILLIAM HAMILTON

Curtis Salgado is back in town for a performance Nov. 23 at The Roxy in downtown Kennewick.

He recently returned from touring Europe, where he performed in Norway, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland and the Czech Republic.

Sitting in a French restaurant in Portland, Salgado didn't hesitate to chat with the Herald on his cellphone about the European trip.

"I love touring Europe," Salgado said. "What I love about performing there is that the people are more into the arts and don't feel the need to categorize music styles like Americans do."

Though Americans are comfortable describing Salgado's music as bluesy, he doesn't see it that way.

"Blues is more a feeling," he said. "You can find blues, soul, jazz, R&B in Beethoven's music. And that's what I like about European audiences. They don't categorize music. That's why what I do can't be categorized as strictly blues, because it isn't."

His fan base in Europe has followed him since he was a teenage musician playing in clubs in Eugene, Ore., which is where John Belushi first heard him play.

"I think Europeans know more about me than I do," he joked. "Some of them still have old 45 records I made when I was 19 years old. It's amazing."

At age 59, Salgado hasn't lost an ounce of his showmanship, despite the fact that he has battled cancer since 2006. First it was liver cancer, and he underwent a transplant. Five years later, the cancer spread to his lungs, and the bottom lobe of his left lung was removed in 2011.

"I am very blessed that I had a nonaggressive, slow growing cancer that was spotted early," he said.

Losing part of his lung hasn't affected his singing power, though.

"Sometimes at high altitudes, if I'm walking a lot, I feel it," he said. "But I haven't noticed anything in singing yet. Knock on wood."

Salgado's working on a new album of all new music that he hopes will be released in 2015.

"The guys and I have been working pretty hard on it," he said. "It'll be mostly original music. I'm just hoping I like it when it's done."

His band is made up of Tracy Airington on bass guitar and vocals, Brian Foxworth on drums and vocals, Brian Harris on keyboards and vocals, and Vyasa Dodson on guitar and vocals.

As for Salgado, he can still wail on his harmonica as easily as he sings.

He recently won three 2013 Blues Music Awards, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer of the Year award. He also won for Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year for the second consecutive year, and his CD Soul Blues won Album of the Year.

Showtime is 8:30 p.m. Admission is $22 in advance or $25 at the door. For tickets, call 438-3425.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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