One of the most rewarding things about what we do at Blues & Roots Radio is meeting amazing artists and listening to some outstanding music, I went from an ' in between week ' ( See last weeks blog for description of what that is ) to full on 0 to 60 in the blink of an eye .......
The Hillside Festival - Guelph Lake Island
Some outstanding performers at this amazing weekend and I hope to do a full on blog in the next week or two once I gather all my thoughts
on it, highlights for me were seeing
William Prince perform a full set live, I had only seen a showcase previously, The Jerry Cans on the main stage had the entire island dancing, clapping until their hands hurt and singing songs in Inuktitut .... it really is a crazy enjoyable ride with these guys, go and see them as they are playing a bunch of major festivals in Canada all summer.
I bumped into the amazing Kaia Kater and saw her perform brilliantly to a packed out tent, she introduced me backstage to Leonard Sumner from Winnipeg, please watch out for him, his music is best described as a fusion of hip hop, country and R&B, and he is a hell of a nice guy ....
Leonard is an award-winning Anishinaabe MC from the Little Saskatchewan First Nation located in Interlake Region of Manitoba.
His bio reads " Leonard provides perspective from a voice often unheard and over-looked in the traditional music communities: truthful, insightful, and providing a new sound straight from 'the Rezzy'. His music is best described as a fusion of hip hop, country and R&B. " ... a truly amazing artist.
We bumped into some old friends and met a lot of new ones, thank you Hillside !
Friday July 21st - Shakura S'Aida Performs at the Roy Thompson Hall Patio
This Friday we head to Toronto to see one of the most amazing live artists in Canada, in fact I'd go as far to say the world.
Multiple music award-winner, including the Maple Blues award for Best Female Vocalist of the Year, Shakura S’Aida was born in Brooklyn, raised in Switzerland, and calls Toronto home. Her deep and stirring soul music runs between power, sass, and fire-filled ballads. Shakura’s roots in jazz, blues and classic R&B give her music a borderless quality, brought together by an irresistible, body moving beat.
Shakura plays the Roy Thompson Hall patio ... I refer to it as ' The Sunken Garden ' , the reason being it is a spectacular open air venue in the middle of Toronto below street level, with water fountain, Island music stage and bar in a hugely impressive setting, it makes me so relaxed being there, I feel like I am in a huge garden surrounded by friends .... the free ... yes ... I said FREE performance starts at 6pm.
It's always exciting for me, even after eight years to head downtown Toronto, I lived in a pretty small village in Scotland before moving to Canada, I am always looking upwards at the skyscrapers as I head along the busy streets, my tolerant wife every now and then grabbing hold of my arm shouting in her best Canadian hockey voice ' CAR ' !
I've met Shakura a couple of times over the last few years and I am always in awe of her raw talent, she literally owns the stage and the audience for an entire performance. As well as being an amazing songwriter and performer on music stages she is an actress and radio host with the CBC ..... she is extremely gracious with her time and I love being around her because she just has that confident air, you know you are in the presence of someone truly gifted.
Shakura has a long awaited and anticipated album due for release soon.
Roy Thompson Hall
Doors open at 5pm, music starts at 6pm.
I wish my garden looked as spectacular as ' The Sunken Garden ' at Roy Thompson Hall, Toronto, if it did I'd sure be booking Shakura to play it .... hope to see you there !
Until next week, be safe and go see some independent artists perform, they need your support wherever you are in the world.