Blues Source # 29
By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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“The Blues makes me feel so good”
Tired of Winter?
It’s not always easy to hop on a plane and head south for a sun-filled blues concert, but you can dream on. If you conjure up a good dream, why not hop on down for Blues on the Beach in the Oaxaca beach destination of Huatulco, Mexico. It’s sure to warm your blues soul.
Can’t think of a better way to chase the winter chills than catching a concert featuring Rita Chiarelli and her band Sweet Loretta, as well as special guests Cheryl Lescom and Sarah Smith.
It takes place February 8th and more info is available on the Facebook page, Blues on the Beach or contact Dawn Fairbanks at www.bluessouth.com
We can all dream on, can’t we?
2018 Blues Music Award
The Blues Music Award nominees have been announced. And it’s a prestigious list. The awards are brought to you by the Blues Foundation that also brings you the International Blues Challenge in Memphis
And what a wonderful honour as Hamilton’s own, Harrison Kennedy is nominated in two categories. Acoustic album of the year, for Who U Tellin’. He’s also nominated as the acoustic artist of the year. He’s the sole Canadian who made the list so here’s wishing him well. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for Harrison as he surely is deserving.
The winners will be announced May 10th in Memphis
Maple Blues Awards
Speaking of awards, the Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s salute to blues music and musicians were revealed last Monday. Here’s the complete list of winners.
Entertainer of the Year - Paul DesLauriers Band
Electric Act of the Year - Colin James
Acoustic Act of the Year - Big Dave McLean
Male Vocalist of the Year - Matt Andersen
Female Vocalist of the Year - Angel Forrest
New Artist of the Year - Jason Buie
Recording/Producer of the Year - Colin James – Blue Highways (True North); Producers: Colin James & Dave Meszaros
B.B. King International Artist of the Year - Joe Bonamassa
Songwriter of the Year - Harrison Kennedy
Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) - Diana Braithwaite
Guitarist of the Year - Colin James
Harmonica Player of the Year - Guy Bélanger
Piano/Keyboard of the Year - David Vest
Horn Player of the Year - Jon Wong
Drummer of the Year - Matt Sobb (MonkeyJunk)
Bassist of the Year - Laura Greenberg (JW-Jones)
Blues Booster of the Year - Rob Bowman
We’ll feature the winners on Blues Blast, Thursday January 25th at 8 on Blues and Roots Radio.
As the host of the radio show entitled Blues Blast, as well as a music promoter with BluesSource Entertainment, I get to listen to and meet blues artists from across Canada. I do my best to promote the multitude of talented musicians on my radio show, and now I’ve decided that I’ll feature a band or artist on each and every blog I write. I’m going to call it Artist Spotlight.
I’m going to kick this new feature off by spotlighting Murray Kinsley and Wicked Grin.
In my opinion, Wicked Grin is one of the best new bands to emerge in Canada in recent years.
And that’s not only my opinion, but the opinion of Canada’s blues fans as Wicked Grin won the Maple Blues Award for best new band in 2014. Bassist Leigh-Anne Stanton received the 2015 Maple Blues Award for Bassist of the Year.
With three cd releases, the band is quickly gathering a solid fan base. Their last two discs have both been named “Blues Rock Disc of the Year” by the Blues Underground Network in Western Canada and feature hard-driving original songs.
Hailing from Ottawa, the band plays roots blues/rock music that gets your toes a tappin’ with gritty vocals, soaring guitar, bluesy harmonica and a solid rhythm section. The talent of the band is remarkable.
Wicked Grin has been on the road steadily from 2014, touring throughout Canada, the U.S. and Europe. With their unique sound, Wicked Grin is at the forefront of Canadian music. They represented Ottawa at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, they were runner-up in the Toronto Blues Society's New Talent Search and were chosen to showcase at the 7th Annual Blues Summit in Toronto.
Wicked Grin is Murray Kinsley on vocals and guitar, Leigh-Anne Stanton on bass, Rod Williams on harmonica and on drums Liam Melville is on Shame On Me and Stormy Water; Richard Wielusiewicz is on Down to the Corner. If you’re curious where the name Wicked Grin came from, all you have to do is take a look at Leigh-Anne on bass
Their first cd, Down to the Corner was met with solid reviews. The music was tight but raw (is that possible?). It’s a high energy, guitar driven cd, but Down To the Corner was just the beginning.
Their second release, Shame on Me showed they were a band to be taken seriously. What a cd. It kicks off with the rockin’ Outta Time Train.
There are so many great songs on this cd, Looking Down, the signature tune, The Sister Who Will, and the title track, Shame on Me. It’s full-tilt blues with an attitude that tells you you’re gonna love this band.
Their third cd, Stormy Water cemented their name in blues fans’ minds.
They literally knocked it out of the ballpark with this one. I have to say this is one of my all-time favourite cds. From the first note of Dance Pretty Mama, you know you’re in for a rocking blues ride. The cd is jam-packed with great songs. The second song, By My Side seals the deal. You’re hooked.
And it just keeps coming at you with Shine, Everybody Oughta Make A Change, Evil Coming Round, I’m Mad and then Fast Fast Car. And that’s just a sample.
Give then a listen on cd baby. Better still buy their music. It’s well worth it.
And the real exciting news is the band is in the process of putting out a new cd. Bruce Saunders will join the band on drums. I just can’t wait to get my hands on it ‘cause I know it’s gonna be a winner!
Till next week, keep your ears glued to blues!