Rita Coolidge will play the Vancouver Island MusicFest main stage Saturday evening.

Rita Coolidge will play the Vancouver Island MusicFest main stage Saturday evening.

Rita Coolidge added to MusicFest lineup

American songstress will play main stage Saturday evening

Terry Farrell

Record staff

Saturday evening is shaping up to be a great night at the 2017 Vancouver Island MusicFest.

As was announced a couple of weeks ago, Bruce Cockburn will close out the main stage performances on the second day of the July 14-16 festival.

Warming up the stage for him will be none other than legendary American songstress Rita Coolidge.

“It’s incredible all the stuff she has done, a lot of it I didn’t even know,” said MusicFest executive producer Dog Cox. “Of course, she has her own career as a pop star, but she did all these other incredible things before that as well. She was in Joe Cocker’s band for a long time, but things like she sang back-up vocals on Love the One You’re With. So her background is just astounding.

“She’s one of those overnight sensations that had a career long before her overnight stardom hit. And she has never played around here.”

Coolidge was a mainstay on the pop charts in the 1970s and ’80s, with 13 albums over a 14-year period, including the platinum-selling Anytime… Anywhere in 1977.

Anytime… Anywhere sold in excess of 1 million copies, thanks to such hits as (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher, The Way You Do The Things You Do and We’re All Alone.

Coolidge also made three albums with Kris Kristofferson, when the two were married, including the chart-topper Full Moon.

“In terms of music, with Rita Coolidge and Emmylou Harris, we kind of have that time period covered now in an amazing way, because they both kind of had parallel careers but in different circles,” said Cox.

Coolidge will take the main stage Saturday evening and will also perform at other times during the festival.

While it remains unconfirmed, Coolidge could return to the main stage Sunday morning.

She used to sing, from time to time, with the Soul Stirrers, who will lead Sunday morning’s gospel music set – a MusicFest tradition.

Camping sales March 1

The camping sites go on sale Wednesday, March 1 and Cox says campers should make sure to book their spots quickly.

“That always sells out really fast, so don’t wait or you’ll miss it,” he said.

To purchase tickets, go to islandmusicfest.com