Blues Source # 28
By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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“I remember listening to the radio as a kid and finding that the songs always made me feel more peaceful. Funny, but the more hurtin' the music was, the better it made me feel. I think of that now when I write my songs. I may not be feelin' the blues myself, but I'm writing them for other people who have a hard life.”
Let’s Ring in 2018 With The Blues!
2018 has arrived and there all kinds of great blues coming our way. Concerts, awards events, cd releases and so much more. It’s time to live up to our New Year resolution of attending live music events and supporting the music we all love so much. So let’s look through the crystal ball and take a peak at what the future holds for us.
The Maple Blues Awards
The Toronto Blues Society presents the crème de la crème of blues awards shows. It all takes place at Koerner Hall in Toronto on Monday January 15th. This will be the 21st Annual awards show honouring blues music and musicians from across Canada.
It's also a night of great music with performances by some of this year's nominees backed by the all-star Maple Blues Band. First Nations artist/activist ShoShona Kish will be hosting this star-studded event. As part of Digging Roots, with husband Raven Kanetakta, she has received numerous awards including a Jo Award in 2010 and the Cobalt Prize for Contemporary Blues Composition in 2015.
The evening will feature performances by such great blues stars as Colin James,
Matt Andersen, Cecile Doo Kingue, Donald Ray Johnson and there’s sure to be a few surprise guests.
The performances will be backed by the Maple Blues Band., which consists of Gary Kendall, bass, band leader & musical director, Michael Fonfara on organ & piano, Tom Bona on drums, Teddy Leonard playing electric & acoustic guitar. Pat Carey on tenor sax, Al Lerman on tenor sax, harmonica & acoustic guitar, Chris Murphy on baritone saxophone and Howard Moore on trumpet .
Tickets are available at https://www.rcmusic.com/performance/event/1718/maple-blues-awards. Don’t miss one of the best nights of the blues world!
There’s Plenty More to Come this Year.
On Wednesday January 10th, the award-winning band Monkey Junk with special guest Sean Pinchin will be at the Rivoli on Queen Street West in Toronto.
The Canal Bank Shuffle folks have put together an unbelievable Guitar Wars Show. This just could be the barn burner of them all. Featuring four guitar shredders that can knock it out of the park – Jack de Keyzer, Paul DesLauriers, Steve Strongman and Brant Parker. It’s a match for the ages and you know it’ll rock your socks off. It all happens at the Holy Rosary Hall in Thorold on January 12th.
If you’re in the Hamilton area, the Paul DesLauriers Band makes a rare appearance in the Steel City at the Corktown on January 13th. The Paul DesLauriers Band cleaned up last year at the Maple Blues awards, winning a grand total of 4 awards. Don’t be surprised if they snag a few more this year!
Also on the 13th Raoul and the Big Time have a send-off performance to highlight their appearance at the International Blues Challenge. It starts at 3:30 at the Rex Hotel in Toronto
Back to Hamilton, on January 14th at the Corktown, there’s a special cd release party with a brand new band, Cootes Paradise.
Cootes Paradise is a musical group from Dundas, Ontario, specializing in roots music that is bluesy, funky, and filled with soul.
The band is a collective of six musicians who chose to play together based not only on their talents, but who they are as people. Featuring lead vocals by the legendary Sue Leonard (k.d. lang, Bruce Willis, Bon Jovi), and Wayne Krawchuk (Sidestreet, Tight Little Island) supported by Mark Volkov (a triple threat, playing flute, sax, and violin), Lily Sazz (keyboards, vocals), Amy Di Nino (drums, vocals), and Ian Taylor (bass, vocals), the result is an infectious, groove-based sound with a mix of super cool covers and originals that easily stand up to the rest of the repertoire.
You can hear an exclusive interview with Lily Sazz on Blues Blast, Thursday January 11th at 8 pm on Blues and Roots Radio.
On January 20, the Old School Theatre in Trenton presents the Durham County Poets. If you’ve never seen them do so, as they play an eclectic blend of blues, folk and rock
And one other gig to mention, Tinsley Ellis is at the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto on January 29th with special guest, Al Lerman.
International Blues Challenge
Beale Street in Memphis throws open its doors to a ton of blues artists for the International Blues Challenge January 16th through the 20th.
Last year, Dawn Tyler Watson and her band paced first in this prestigious showcase. Canada has a ton of representatives going this year and there are just too many to mention, but we’d like to wish them all well as these talented musicians play their hearts out. And if you go, don’t forget to check out the Blues Hall of Fame.
There’s so much more to come and we’ll bring you more blues info next week.