If Sherman Doucette has his way, an Elks Hall audience will be mowed down by the music this evening.
The performer affectionately known as the Sherman Tank plays the Hall in the second last performance of the Osoyoos Elks Blues Series, bringing with him a soul and blues sound that knocks the socks off audiences.
Born and raised in North Battleford, Sask., Sherman grew up in a musical family — his father and brother playing guitar and banjo, his mother and sister singing along and his grandfather playing harmonica and fiddle.
“He played French jigs, where they dance with their feet, and even though they’re sitting down they’re jiggin’,” Sherman recalled in a recent interview. “He had such good rhythm; I’d sit on his lap and he’d keep time with his feet. And the rhythm went right through me.”
Sherman inherited his grandfather’s harmonica hand-me downs and in 1969 took those instruments and his love for music and hitchhiked to Vancouver.
Playing wherever he could — while holding down a job on the docks and later in a lumber mill — Sherman started to hone his craft. Attending a John Lee Hooker concert sealed the deal; he would forever be a musician.
“That’s when I realized how it can move an audience,” he said of live music. “When you see the performer or band, and they’ve got the audience ― that’s the moment we all live for.”
Sherman got the “Tank” nickname when he was in his 20s, a mill accident leaving him with burns over much of his body and setting him up for months of recovery — including several spent in a coma.
The nickname came from his beating the odds and returning to the stage, his musician friends determining he was built like a Sherman Tank.
The Tank played with the Water Hole All Stars and the Grand Slam Blues Band before forming his on band Incognito in the early 1980s — a band that would be known as one of Vancouver’s hottest blues bands until its demise in 1999.
Now living in Kelowna, Sherman continues to tour and also spends time in studio. When he’s not performing he turns to another passion, collecting harmonicas. He now has more than 700.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. show — at $25 each — are available at Mills Office Pro or at the door, which opens at 7 p.m.