By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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And that’s what my radio show is all about. It’s what community radio is all about. And it’s definitely what Blues and Roots Radio is all about. If you love the blues, you gotta dig to find it. You can find it here on BRR. Canadian musicians are turning out some terrific blues music. Keep on listening.
The Proof is In the Pudding
Harrison Kennedy is nominated for 2 Blues Music Awards! "Acoustic Artist of the Year" and "Acoustic Album of the Year" for his Electro-Fi Records release 'Who You Tellin'? The nomination comes from the the Blues Foundation in Memphis that also runs the International Blues Challenge. If you're a member, you can cast your vote at www.blues.org until March 1st.
The nominations for the annual Juno Awards have now been announced. The Juno awards are Canada’s version of the Grammy awards and honour multiple categories, including Blues Album of the Year. The nominees for Blues Album of the Year are:
Big Dave McLean is nominated for his cd, The Devil You Know. Dave hails from out west and is no stranger to the Junos. He was a winner in 1992 for his album Saturday Night Blues and he was nominated in 2009 and 2016. He has 6 solo releases to date.
Downchild’s follow-up release to their Juno Winning cd, Can You Hear the Music, is Something I’ve Done
In an interview with Chuck Jackson he mused the title should’ve been Something We’ve Done as it was a totally a group effort. Downchild has to be the premiere blues band in Canada and this cd proves it.
MonkeyJunk’s cd, Time To Roll also received a nomination for the best blues album. The band originated from Ottawa and features Steve Marriner on vocals, guitar, harmonica, organ ; Tony D. on lead guitar; and Matt Sobb on drums. MonkeyJunk won a Juno in 2012 for their cd, To Behold, and in 2014 their cd All Frequencies got a Juno nomination. They have so far released 5 albums.
Steve Strongman’s cd, No Time Like Now, garners a nomination nod. It’s a cd that takes Steve’s music in a new, exciting direction. Steve, hailing from Hamilton, won the Juno award in 2012 for a Natural Fact and was also nominated in 2015 for Let Me Prove It To You.
Rounding out the list of 5 nominees the album Big City Back Country Blues. It’s by Williams, Wayne and Isaak. You’ll recognize that this trio, or should I say supergroup? consists of three seasoned artists Tim Williams, Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne and Brandon Isaak.
There you have the five nominees for Juno’s, Blues Album of the Year. The awards will be presented in Vancouver, British Columbia during the weekend of March 24–25 March.
A Sign of the Times?
Best Buy, formerly one of the biggest music merchandisers in the United States, has plans to pull CDs from all of its stores by July 1 and Target could soon follow suit.
It’s a sad statement but streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have taken over the music world. Many music lovers have turned to online sellers like Amazon and I Tunes to get their cds. And I guess the other trend is many folks are not buying full albums, they’re buying individual songs. Over 800 million CDs were sold in the United States in 2001, but that number has since dropped down to 89 million, according to Consequence of Sound.
A Few Things Coming Up
It’s a mid-winter event, featuring urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music with more than 150 artists performing and takes place February 16 -18 in Toronto. The list of blues artists is extensive and features Jack de Keyzer, Al Lerman, Danny Marks, Ken Whitely, Alfie Smith, Kim Doolittle, Julian Fauth, David Essig and a host of others. Tickets can be purchased through the Winterfolk website.
Firehall Reunion in London Ontario
And don’t forget the Firehall Reunion takes place Saturday February 17th with a terrific line up of artists
And on the same night in Hamilton, Andre Bisson presents his Blues Salute to the Beatles.
Until next week, keep on listening to the Blues.