BLUES SOURCE #23
By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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Stevie Ray Vaughan:
“Between sets I'd sneak over to the black places to hear blues musicians. It got to the point where I was making my living at white clubs and having my fun at the other places.”
Good Blues Read
As they say, the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful.
So it’s time to curl up with a good book. Or for that matter, maybe it’s time to drop hints about a holiday gift you might enjoy.
Take a historical-filled tour on Highway 61, Crossroads on the Blues Highway, written by Derek Bright. If you always wanted to take a tour of the legendary Highway 61 without leaving your home, this book will make you feel like you’re on that historic road. The author takes you south into the Mississippi Delta. Come along for the ride as it all starts in the blues Capital of the World, Chicago. From there you head South to Joliet, to Rock Island, then on to St. Louis. Memphis, Clarksdale, Vicksburg and Memphis are among the many stops you’ll make.
And of course the journey ends in New Orleans where music is King. Along the way the history of the blues unfolds in prose and in pictures, and the reader becomes acutely aware of the struggle for freedom and artistic endeavours by African Americans.
As the calendar continues its march towards the festive time of year, Christmas concerts are popping up everywhere. And what a great way to celebrate by catching one of your favourite musicians.
Let’s highlight some of the already announced concerts.
Hamilton’s Bucket list kicks off the season with their A Bucket List Christmas on Saturday December 2nd at the VSL (Veteran’s Service League) 1473 Main Street East in Hamilton. It’s an evening of blues forged in the Hammer. This 8 piece band, complete with horns, has become a crowd favourite in the Hamilton area.
Tribute to Muddy and Wolf
Also happening the same night in Toronto is a stellar line up of musicians presenting the music of two of the greatest blues icons to ever take the stage - Muddy Waters and Howlin Wolf. It happens at Hugh’s Room Live and what a night it’lll be with the likes of Paul DesLauriers, Dylan Wickens, Julian Fauth, Jack de Keyzer and with Danny Marks hosting. Advance tickets are $35 and worth every penny.
Sonny Del-Rio Merry Christmas Bash
Sax great Sonny Del-Rio presents his 17th Annual Christmas show on Sunday December 3rd at Bay City Music Hall in Hamilton. When Sonny celebrates with his Five Star Revue he makes sure that there’s gonna be one heck of a party. Cause joining him is Trickbag, Brant Parker, Jude Johnson, Carl Horton, Corey Lueck, Christopher Clause and Beast of Burden with their Rolling Stones tribute.
Christmas Party with the Hogtown All-Stars
And let’s jump back to Hugh’s Room Live, Friday December 8th, it’s the Toronto Blues Society’s annual Christmas bash with reduced ticket prices for charter members in good standing. The Hogtown All-Stars is a super-group of musicians including Chuck Jackson on lead vocals and harmonica, Gary Kendall on bass, Pat Carey on tenor saxophone, Teddy Leonard on guitar Mike Fitzpatrick drums, Michael Fonfara on piano and organ.
And you just might have to stick around for one more day as Carlo Del Junco plays Hugh’s Room Live the next night.
There are so many more shows to come. Christmas shows with Steve Strongman, Raoual Bheneja and a a blues bucketful more. Plus, announcements are now being made for special New Year’s Eve Celebrations. But all that’s for another time.
A few Reminders:
Monty’s Gastropub in St. Catharines features Saturday afternoon blues with Chuck Jackson on December 2, Jenie Thai on December 9, Joel Johnson on December 16th and Spencer MacKenzie on December 23rd.
The Mighty Duck Blues Band has revised their schedule for December. Mike Branton appears on December 9th, Carlos Del Junco on December 16th and the band takes a well deserved holiday rest. But there are rumours that there might be more to come.
The Carrigan Arms in Burlington, December 2 features Peter Graham, December 9 Danny Fisher, December 16 Frank Cosentino and December 23 Eugene Smith
And don’t forget to catch James Anthony on Saturday afternoons at 5West Brew Pub/Kitchen on Dundas St in Burlington
For those of you who are in the Montreal area, December 3rd a star-studded list of performers helps in a Memphis Fund Raiser for Angel.
And Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar have their fund raiser in Toronto on December 9th
Keep listening to the blues and continue to support live music. It’s the bluesy thing to do.