By Ken Wallis, Blues & Roots Radio
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What’s Happening ?
Well its summer apparently, but you wouldn’t know it by the recent wet weather. But blues skies are on their way with festivals popping up across the country. Let’s take a peek at three of them.
Lighthouse Blues Festival
The Lighthouse Blues Festival takes place in Kincardine Ontario for 3 days, July 14th through the 16th. On Friday and Saturday, the Bruce Telecom Mainstage features a solid line up of artists including The Andre Bisson Band,
Blackburn, Cheryl Lescom and The Tucson Choir Boys,
the Paul Reddick Band (2017 Juno winner) ,The Hogtown Allstars, and Toronzo Cannon.
On Saturday Maple Blues Winner Spencer MacKenzie, Dylan Wickens and The Grand Naturals,
The Suzie Vinnick Band, the Scottish Pipe Band Parade Queen St. ( there you go Stevie Connor ! ), the Joel Johnson Band., The Ghost Town Blues Band, and Joe Louis Walker
Also on Saturday the blues keep a comin’ as 4 more stages open up as part of the 4 Performance Stages Streetfest , and I’d be totally torn as Alfie Smith and Matt Weidinger are performing at the same time on different stages. Time to swap my dancing shoes for my jogging shoes. There’s also an Antique Bike Exhibit, Vintage British Sports Car Display, TD Children's Zone, StreetMarket, Artist Row, and the Sunday Morning Gospel Revival
Online tickets are available at ticketscene.ca
Vancouver Island MusicFest
For those of you out in sunny British Columbia, the Vancouver Island MusicFest takes flight July 14th to the 16th in Courtenay, BC. With headliners Emmylou Harris and the Barenaked Ladies it also boasts a solid line up of blues artists including Colin Linden,
David Vest, Steve Dawson, Jimmy “duck” Holmes , Ilam, Rachelle Van Zanten, Ryder Bachman, and the Ralph Barrat Group pays tribute to one of the great piano blues singer/songwriters, Mose Allison.
Mont Tremblant Blues Festival July 7 to 16
If you’ve never been to the Mont Tremblant Blues Festival, SHAME ON YOU. AND ME. Cause I’ve never been either! But this year that’s going to change as the Blues Source van will be whisking it’s way into Quebec.
This will be the 24th edition of the festival and it’s the grand daddy of all Blues Festivals. The Ghost Town Blues Band from Tennessee opens it all up on the 7th and then the fun begins.
The list of musicians is longer than a football field and includes such favourites as Angel Forrest, Chuck Jackson and Tyler Yarema
Dawn Tyler Watson, Dwane Dixon, Guy Belanger, JW Jones, Jack de Keyzer, Johnny Max Band, Lucas Hanneman Express, Marc Crissinger, Matt Andersen and Steve Hill,
the Paul DesLauriers Band, Sean Pinchin, Spencer MacKenzie, Steve Strongman.
WOW ! And that’s just scratching the surface.
Check out all the info at https://blues.tremblant.ca/en/
What else is going on?
Steve Strongman was all set to play at Bayfront Park in Hamilton at the Canada Day 150 Celebration. So guess what happened ?
You guessed right. Not even a blues umbrella could protect us as the skies opened up with a torrential downpour. Shivering and soaked we beat a hasty retreat and drove home with hopes dashed of seeing another Steve performance where he always turns it up a crank or two and puts on a ‘knock em down’ show.
But alas all is not lost. Steve Strongman has some great shows coming up.
Peter’s Players is setting sail for a Blues Cruise with the Steve Strongman Band on Friday July 21 aboard the Wenonah II
This 2.5 hour cruise, which features hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar, will set sail from Gravenhurst Wharf with Steve and the band providing the music on the waves.
Other upcoming Steve Strongman appearances
Steve is famous for his dazzling performances and he usually ends up playing guitar while standing on a table, which at times does get somewhat precarious. Here he is a few years ago at the Canal Bank Shuffle
Steve’s new album, No time Like Now, takes Steve and his love of the blues in an evolving direction. Here’s the official video
Northern Ontario resident, Sunday Wilde is off on a Canadian Prairie Tour with Reno Jack. Following the release of her latest album Blueberries & Grits, Sunday will be stopping off at many of the great blues venues in Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The Paul DesLauriers Band
The Paul DesLauriers band will be performing at Wednesday’s Cool Blues in Hendrie Park at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington Ontario on Wednesday July 12th.[paul picture]
This a band that is headed for greatness. Actually I think they’ve already achieved that. Maybe I should say they’re headed for stardom. They’ve won numerous Lys awards in Quebec and this past January they cleaned up at the Toronto Blues Society’s Maple Blues Awards with a total of 4 awards. The rhythm section of Greg Morency and Sam Harrisson each won awards as Bassist and Drummer of the Year. It was Morency’s second win, while Harrisson got the nod for the first time. The band also took home trophies as the Electric Act of the Year and Entertainer of the Year.
Last year, the Paul DesLauriers Band competed at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and wowed everyone by finishing 2nd worldwide out of 119 competing bands.
And as far as stardom is concerned, the Paul DesLauriers Band will be performing at the Big Blues Bender in Las Vegas, Nevada which takes place September 7th to the 10th. That’s one big star blues venue in the desert.
Need I say more? Of course I do because if you haven’t already snagged their cd, jump into your blues jalopy and go get yourself a copy of their newest release Relentless. And see how many times in a row you’ll end up playing Still Under My Skin. So far, I think I hold the world record as I had it constant repeat for some time. An amazing tune.
Well that’s it for now. We’ll bring you more blues info next week.
Keep listening to the blues on Blues and Roots Radio !