By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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A really cool banner at the entrance to this year’s Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival.
Let’s start this week’s blog with a marvellous quote from the King of the Blues.
“I've said that playing the blues is like having to be black twice. Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed.” B. B. King
Canal Bank Shuffle
Let’s continue from last week and take another small sampler of who’s coming to the Canal Bank Shuffle.
Joe Louis Walker
He has an impressive list of accomplishments. He’s a Blues Hall of Fame inductee. He’s had a Grammy nomination. Plus he’s a four-time Blues Music Award winner. And to top it all off he’s a guitar master who can pump out the blues at lightning speed. He’s had quite a life. He actually roomed with Mike Bloomfield, who introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. He’s performed at some of the most prestigious festivals and for the Canal Bank Shuffle he’s bringing his entire band!
The Souliz Band
They were second place finishers at the International Blues Challenge 2017 in Memphis. They hail from the Tampa/St. Petersburg Bay area and play a distinctive style of music that crosses many genres.
This tightly-knit band of musicians feature two dynamo lead vocalists Myra Glover (Sugar) and Velma Glover (Spice). They’re two sisters who grew up loving music and harmonizing their voices.
His nickname is “Slick” and when you hear him play, you’ll know why he got that name. Nick is another former winner of the International Blues Challenge, both with his band and as Albert King award for best guitar player in a band.
Nick was the driving force behind the award-winning band, Trampled Under Foot, which garnered rave reviews wherever they played. You can count on a knock ‘em down performance when Slick Nick takes the stage.
Paul Nelson is a Grammy award-winning artist who is known as one music’s most accomplished guitarists and songwriters. Paul spend the last few years of Johnny Winter’s life playing with the legendary Texan. He’s also played with Eric Clapton, Robben Ford, Mark Knofler and Dr. John, plus a who’s who of the business.
Jonny started his music career while still in high school and hasn’t slowed down since.
He’s been band director for O.V. Wright as well as for Little Johnny Taylor’s band. In the mid 80s he began his solo touring and has amassed a wealth of experience as a singer, writer, guitarist and even started his own record company. He’s a multi-instrument musician who’s mastered rhythm, lead and bass guitars, as well as keyboards.
He’s been nominated four times for the W.C. Handy Award and won R&B Male Vocalist of the Year from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame. But that’s only scratching the surface. He’s also been nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist and Best Soul Blues Album by the Blues Foundation and won the Critic’s Award for Best Album of the Year by Living Blues Magazine.
New cd – Jack de Keyzer
Jack de Keyzer is a household name in Canada’s blues community. No-one works as hard or plays as well. And he’s been riding high with a lengthy recording career as Canada’s Ambassador of the Blues. And now along comes a new cd from Jack – the best of Jack de Keyzer – Volume 1.
Jack has re-mastered and re-mixed previously released tunes and also added three unreleased tunes.
Many of the songs are Jack classics such as Ride With Me, Engine Trouble, Soul Lover, Blues Thing and a host of others.
The best part of this cd? It’s Volume 1, which leads us to believe there’ll be a Volume Two. Stay tuned.
Keep an eye on Blues and Roots Radio’s web site for cd reviews and Jack’s cd just might get an in-depth review.
Of note – Jack de Keyzer returns to Hamilton to highlight his new cd at Stonewall’s on Saturday October 21. Advance tickets are $15 or $20 at the door.
As Monty Python asserted “AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.”
This is not a blues item, but it is a radio item that shows you the power of radio.
One of the joys of Facebook is seeing posts from folks who post nostalgia. One of those is Fraser Loveman, who you’d remember from the band The British Modbeats. Fraser Loveman frequently posts pictures and info of artists from the early days of rock and roll. A while back he posted some radio charts of top songs of the week and at the bottom it mentioned a radio DJ by the name of Dick Biondi.
Well I used to listen to Dick Biondi in the sixties on the Buffalo station WKBW and curiosity got the better of me. I googled his name and lo and behold he’s still working in radio. But what really intrigued me was why he ever left WKBW - here's his story from an interview in 2013 with Scott Simon.
BIONDI : Probably the most significant firing was in 1960 at WKBW in Buffalo. I was doing my show and the owner of the station, he came into the studio, and he walked in, and he said what are you doing? You're the worst disc jockey I've ever heard. You don't follow rules. You don't play this. And I didn't know what to say.
And he said now I'm going downtown to see a movie at the Buffalo Theater, and you better shape up. So he walked out, the record that was playing ended, and I got on, I said my boss just walked in and told me that I'm a terrible disc jockey, and he's driving down Main Street right now in a gray Chevrolet Impala convertible.
So if you see it, throw a stone at him. And wouldn't you know it, some kid put the size of an orange stone right through the windshield, and the next morning I was gone.