16 February 2009

Ottawa Blues This Week - 16 February 2009





International Blues Challenge 3rd place, Memphis TN

Tucson`s, 2440 Bank Street

Saturday, February 21 @ 9:15 pm

The IBC in Memphis was an incredible experience. `The buzz` everywhere was about the Canadian bands. The Blues City CafĂ©, where both our Ottawa Blues Society band, MonkeyJunk and Steve Strongman competed, was packed both semi-final nights. MonkeyJunk was chosen to advance to the finals … the only Canadian band to do so. However, twelve bands that did not make the finals were chosen from the 10 Beale Street venues and competed Saturday night. Toronto`s Johnny Max Band placed in the top four of this competition. Congratulations to all six Canadian bands, for representing us so well – MonkeyJunk, the Johnny Max Band, Steve Strongman, Keith Hallett, Racine, and the Bluesers.

Join us Saturday night and welcome the IBC 3rd place winner, MonkeyJunk – Steve, Tony & Matt – back home.





CBC Radio 3 has just announced the Top 50 clubs in its Searchlight competition, which is looking for The Best Live Music Club in Canada.

From Paul Symes, Black Sheep Inn:
I tried to get the amazing folks at CBC " All in a Day" to ask each of us ( Eugene and moi ) why the OTHER club deserved to win the contest...just for fun.

And this is what i would have said:
#1: Endurance/durability...17 years old? holey moley! ( 27 years old really, including locations on bank st/rideau st/eugene's house parties on perry street) How many clubs on the list have lasted for over 20
years?...a few, maybe, but almost none, really.

#2: The constant willingness to take chances on young and unproven talent...nuff said.

#3: great sound, over and over again: Tom Stewart? c'mon.... bands rave on and on about his positivity, and FurnaceFace too.

#4: gracious , polite and caring staff; ( they even put hockey games on the teevee!...we are Canada, after all)

#5: a house policy and mission statement and atmosphere of tolerance and respect....my daughters and their friends LOVE ZAPHOD'S!! Truly, the highest compliment that I can offer.

#6: A passionate owner-operator who actually takes a public stand when it matters....a famous activist ( MLK) said that our lives begin to end when we are silent about things that matter.

#7: The size: An intimate club should have an intimate atmosphere....100-250 people is the perfect size, in my opinion. Zaphod's is the opposite of Scotiabank Place...real performance, close up, youthful enthusiasm, and no lip-synching...ever.

#8: Never mind the rollin' bones....Hot Hot Heat, Matt Mays and El Torpedo, Daniel Johnston and The Bellrays were our favourite "shows of the year" in Ottawa in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 ( approximately).... true story, and many others would agree...

#9: The Dom is next door and the Laff is across the street and Jerry and the most delightful Chez Lucien is mere stumblin' distance.... and the adorable Manx is a $5 cab ride and on hot nights you can smell the spilled Guiness at the Heart and Crown around the corner.... Crazy kids Stacey and Jesse at the Rainbow are a block away, Trevor Walker, Lance Baptiste and the Mercury Lounge are less than 100 steps away, and....the most beautiful skating rink in the world is spitting distance away....not to mention the glorious Bytowne Cinema is an 8 minute walk away....all that is missing is DiRienzo's...right?? ( you KNOW what i am talkin' about)

#10: tada!! Steamwhistle Beer? why not.... refreshing and light on hot summer nights....and a nice bottle too.

paul and lucy, Nena and Kelly
753 Riverside Drive,
Wakefield, Quebec, J0X 3G0

From Eugene Haslam and Zaphod Beeblebrox

Hey thanks guys. I really do dislike 'competitions' of this nature, since its impossible to rate one against the other. We're DIFFERENT! But I understand the motivation of the poll and I am playing along.

Here is what I would have said:
1. The Blacksheep Inn is the ONLY club I ever took a train to!

2. I've been to Paul Symes' clubs (The Roxy) since I was little. OK not sooo little. I was of legal age. I like that Paul gets to run a business that HE likes and he shares that with us. Its interesting that the food columnists are all ga-ga over the proliferation of chef-run restaurants these days. Hell, Paul and Danny (Sivyer) and I have been operating owner-run places for decades.

3. Paul Symes is a great host/ bartender and I went to Club Zinc when he worked there. He's as comfortable with a twenty-something as he is with someone much older (me?).

4. I am always incredulous that Paul turned a little place in Wakefield, Quebec, into a destination venue for live music and good times.

5. Paul is STILL an avid music enthusiast. Working with him (and Mark Monahan and Shawn Scallen) on Bluesfest gave me insight into how he researches performers and finds some little-known talent that are gems and he goes to bat for them. He brings this same enthusiasm to booking The Blacksheep.

6. Paul should be the Mayor of Wakefield, or at least be lauded for being one of the most important reasons tourists visit Wakefield.

7. The Blacksheep Inn has that intimate and one-of-a-kind look and feel that immediately warms you. Somedays I'd like to move Zaphod's on a big tractor-trailer and plunk right down beside his club so we could share such a gorgeous view and environment. Then we'd be able to hop back and forth to
each other's clubs and have a pint or twelve without worrying how we'd get home.

8. The list of performers Paul has brought to The Blacksheep is stellar!

9. Paul and The Blacksheep have always played nice. This isn't an easy business. 'Nuff said!!!

10. In my history of Ottawa, Paul Symes stands alongside Harvey Glatt, Dennis Ruffo, Gord Rhodes and Danny Sivyer as being pioneers and the foundation for live music in this Capital.

11. Paul knows roast chicken. (Ask him to direct you to Charlotte Street!). What I mean is, Paul KNOWS this area. Like he REALLY KNOWS.

Eugene Haslam/ Owner

The Nightclub at the Edge of the Universe
27 York Street, Ottawa, Canada. K1N 5S7




Wild T & the Spirit

Tucson’, 244 Bank Street

Friday, February 20 @ 9:30 pm

Once again the band is hitting the road from Feb - May 09. They’ll be playing a few shows in Ontario in February, then a Canadian tour will take the band across the country, through Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, finishing up at the end of March in Saint John, NB. A few more shows in London & Windsor ON follow, then back over to Europe for a European tour, performing concerts in Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Austria and Holland.

John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network) has picked Wild T & the Spirit’s "Fender Bender" CD as his best blues/rock album of 2008.






Black Sheep Inn, Wakefield QC

Saturday, February 21 @ 8 pm; tickets – advance $15; $20 at the door


Almonte Town Hall, Almonte ON

Sunday, February 22 @ 7:300 pm; tickets $20

Doug Cox, Tony McManus, April Verch and Cody Walters are collectively known as Strung. Strung is back in Canada after performing at Scotland's Celtic Connections festival, and set to release their debut CD "Band of Gypsies" and bring their contemporary acoustic roots music live to the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday February 21 and the Almonte Town Hall on Sunday February 22.

Strung is a new project, but it's no "baby band". Doug Cox is described by the Boston Globe as "one of the worlds most expressive Dobro players" and the Globe and Mail wrote "Doug Cox is known as the Canadian ambassador of the Dobro resonator guitar." BBC Radio described Tony McManus as "The finest guitarist Scotland has ever produced." And Sing Out! Magazine said "April Verch...is a marvel to behold," and the Ottawa Citizen detailed, "Her voice...swings easily from contemporary country to traditional gospel...her fiddling at once articulate, crisp and spunky - is an endless delight."

The Almonte concert is in support of Almonte's Celtfest 2009, a celebration of the music, song and dance of the Ottawa Valley, scheduled for July 10-12.

Songs from the new CD, Band of Gypsies, can be heard online at


(Info courtesy of Heather Kelly, HKC Marketing: heather@hkcmarketing.com)




Irene’s Blues Jam

Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank Street

Thursdays, 9 pm – 1 am

The Stellar Cast Blues Jam is a bonafide grass roots event that has grown out of the very floorboards of Irene’s Pub and has become a real crowd pleaser for musicians and music lovers alike. The Stellar Cast features Mike Ktenas (bass) and Corky Kealey (drums) as the foundation, and is filled out by a host of great local players who rotate according to availability. Each week the cast is topped up with a guest host who steers the song selections in whatever way they're inspired and the jamming begins. It's a great concept and the proof is in the popularity the night has garnered over the years.

Guests this month:

February 19 – Dr. Dave

February 26 – Victor Nesrallah


Sunday Blues, 5-8 pm

Atomic Rooster, 303 Bank Street (at MacLaren)

November 9 & December 21, 2008; February 1, 2009

Zydeco Loco www.zydecoloco.ca

December 7, 2008; January 18th & March 1, 2009

Mumbo Jumbo Voodoo Combo www.mumbojumbo.ca

Other bands & dates to be confirmed; check out their new website





Honky Tonk Saturday Night

With Ball and Chain and the Wreckers

Elmdale House Tavern, 1084 Wellington Street

First Saturday each month @ 9 pm; $6 at the door

Honky Tonk Saturday Night is a monthly event happening the first Saturday of every month.

Saturday, March 7 will feature Al Bragg on Fender Lap Steel.





In 1995, the Government of Canada designated February as Black History Month (BHM), to celebrate the contribution of people of African descent to the Canadian mosaic. The theme for 2009 is “The Courage to Make a Difference,” to honour the role of Black community leaders and pioneers in the evolution of Canada as a nation. This theme will be highlighted in all BHM 2009 activities, which also serve to celebrate the pivotal role played by not-for-profit and volunteer-led community organizations, in promoting the integration of Black people into the larger society and improving the quality of their lives. All residents and visitors to our great city are welcome to join the celebrations.





Kingston Blues Society Monthly Jam

February’s Special Guest Performer Danielle Lennon

RCHA Club, 193 Ontario St. (big blue door), Kingston ON

Saturday, February 21, 9 pm – midnight; $3 at the door

Always one of the best nights of entertainment Kingston has to offer – come early as seating is limited.
Come out and see Mojo Shooter (one of Kingston's best bands) and Kingston Symphony violinist Danielle Lennon. Then watch and dance as Mojo Shooter, Danielle and some of Kingston's best musicians get together and jam the night away.


Weekly events

Georgette Fry

Brandees, 178 Ontario Street, Kingston

Every Thursday night at 8:30 pm (new start time)

The Ones

Monte’s in the Prince George Hotel, 200 Ontario Street, Kingston

Every Thursday night at 9 pm


For more, please contact Kingston Blues Society





Mardi Gras @ the Dale

Elmdale House Tavern

Saturday, February 28 @ 9 pm; $10 cover

Ball and Chain present the band Swamperella (Authentic Cajun music and Louisiana-style dance band).

Cover includes a scrumptious taste of Cajun food just for the occasion!

7:30 PM - Dance Lesson with Jody Benjamin and Michael Ball.




Lucie Idlout

+ Tara Holloway

Zaphod Beeblebrox, 27 York Street, Ottawa ON

Saturday, February 28; doors open @ 8 pm

With the recent resurrection of vintage rock, one of the most interesting arrivals on the scene is singer/ songwriter Lucie Idlout. Her music is hard hitting, raw and to the point. She has a voice that at times echoes the crooning of the likes of Etta James, and is as provocative and unique as Marianne Faithful. Though she comes from the newest territory, Nunavut, in Canada's Arctic, she is not the typical stereotype associated musically with Aboriginal people.

Lucie's commanding style takes you on an emotional journey drawing on themes that are common to us all; heartwreck, lust and rage. She has toured clubs and rock festivals extensively across Canada and Europe, garnering rave revues wherever she travels. She was host to the top rated Entertainment Magazine, Buffalo Tracks, on APTN, and has acted in a score of theatre pieces, but music has always proven to be home.

She was awarded Best Female Artist at the 2003 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and has been nominated for Best Rock Album at both the Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and the Indian Summer Music Awards in Milwaukee, WI. Her follow-up album, Swagger, is slated for release in February 2009.




Robert Farrell

Elmdale House Tavern, 1084 Wellington Street

Friday, March 6 @ 9 pm; $8

"The mood in his (Robert Farrell's) songs is vivid and the progression from album to album is clearly heard. When he plays, you kind of wonder: how did he do that?..." (The Ottawa Ciitizen, January 15, 2009)



Beau Kavanagh & the Broken Hearted

Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Saturday, March 21 @ 9:30 pm

These guys seemed to have dropped out of sight but it looks like they`re back. A recent MySpace post says: “The Band has taken on quite a few changes this past year, and are currently working on a new record. Not only a new record, but a new direction musically. We plan on having it completed by the end of spring.”



Mr. Something Something

Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Friday, March 27 @ 9:30 pm

A little something for the body, a little something for the mind: your soundtrack to a joyful revolution. Mr. Something Something represents four years of composing, performing, risk-taking, improving and ultimately mobilizing the original vision of founding members Larry Graves [drums/percussion] and John MacLean [saxophone/voice]. Twenty years of playing, studying and traveling passed before these two childhood friends settled on the unbeatable dance rhythms of Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ghana as the most natural gathering place for the elements that would ultimately make up the Mr. Something Something sound.

Western instruments and concepts of improvisation are explored and layered over what used to be called Afrobeat; but the term strains to contain the innovations happening in the rhythm section at every show. It also fails to express in fiery-enough terms the imaginative solo work of respected jazz guitarist Paul MacDougall. Liam Smith dependably delivers basslines designed to induce and sustain a state of ecstatic dancing. And there is always inspiration to be drawn from mesmerizing on-stage dancer/choreographer Jennifer Dallas. The horn section strikes with power and uplifts with melody. And above it all, acting as a lightning rod, is the lyric statement of the case for change and consciousness, passionately delivered by electrifying frontman Johan Hultqvist.

Aside from wildly energized and unpredictable live shows, the band is becoming increasingly well-known for its green politics and environmental activism. The group did a number of “eco-dates” in 2007, playing a wind-powered show and performing in such unconventional venues as organic farms and food co-ops to highlight communities that are trying to minimize their ecological footprints.

The fresh sound and powerful message of the band’s second album “The Edge” led to a nomination for a 2007 Juno Award for World Music Album of the Year. Over the last three years the band has toured relentlessly in Canada, playing more than 300 shows, including appearances at most major jazz festivals and many folk festivals from coast to coast.



The Perpetrators

Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Thursday, April 2

Following the recent departure of Ryan Menard, the Perpetrators are now a duo – J Nowicki and Chris Carmichael. One of Canada’s rockin-est blues bands. Check them out in their new conformation.





Demand for these great Dinner & Show fundraiser nights, featuring some of Canada's best blues artists in the intimate friendly setting of The Cove Inn in Westport, is growing and they are once again selling out well in advance. 2nd Shows on Saturday nights are being added. Watch for updates on www.bluesontherideau.ca

Remaining 2008/09 Season Schedule

February 20 – FATHEAD

Fathead Friday Feb 20 Show almost Sold Out and new Show Saturday Feb 21 just announced is already 60% Sold Out as of Jan 26!

2008 Juno Award Winners

Lead Singer John Mays winner of 2008 Maple Blues Award for Male Vocalist Of The Year

Proceeds to Friends of Foley Mountain & Rideau District Museum



Proceeds to Juvenile Diabetes Association of Ontario

March 21 * just announced - MONKEY JUNK www.myspace.com/monkeyjunkottawa

Exciting new blues/R&B/soul/funk trio from Ottawa - Tony D guitar, vocals, Steve Marriner (2008 Maple Blues Harmonica Player of the Year) harp, guitar & vocals, Matt Sobb drums.

Just came in 3rd out of 100 bands at recent International Blues Competition in Memphis!

Tickets will go fast for these guys - order now!

Proceeds to Gilda's Club for Cancer Families


Proceeds to Rideau Waterway Land Trust & Westport in Bloom

April 18 – JW-JONES BLUES BAND – just added


Proceeds to Compassion Canada Sponsor a Child & Habitat for Humanity


* 2nd night just added

Proceeds to Lucy Drysdale Memorial Scholarship & Westport Library

DINNER & SHOW $55 (includes taxes & donation to charity)

Buffet at 7 pm, Show at 8:30

Advance reservations required

CALL THE COVE (613) 273-3636 or 1-888-COVE-INN

Accommodation at The Cove and nearby B&Bs is available at very reasonable rates. If you live out of town this is a great way to enjoy BOTR – no driving home after a few drinks, you can relax and enjoy and as an added bonus – you get to meet and talk with the artists the next day at breakfast! It's a perfect mini-getaway. Book well in advance though – rooms fill up fast. Call The Cove and they will make the arrangements for you. Even if the nights are Sold Out, be sure to get on the Waiting List. There are frequently last minute cancellations.

Artists may change - check the web site or call The Cove for updates.

Visit www.bluesontherideau.ca for more information

See you at The Cove!




On CKCU-FM 93.1

The Mighty 93.1


Community Radio serving the Ottawa Carleton Region

Sundays: 9-11 pm

Black and Blues

with John Tackaberry

The show features a heavy dose of electric blues and rhythm and blues, with the occasional selection of sixties soul. The first hour is dedicated to artist profiles and reviews of recordings on particular labels. In the second hour there is a blues calendar, a rundown of events in Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa, and interviews with “new and reissued blues and rhythm and blues tracks on wax, alternating with “live blues and R&B for a Sunday night” in the last half hour of the show. On the last Sunday of every month, the show goes “down in the delta” for a selection of acoustic blues tracks in the final half hour of the program.


Wednesdays: 9-11 pm

In A Mellow Tone

with Ron Sweetman

Jazz from every era & every style – from 1917 to 2008. Each program features an artist, group, instrument, event, city or record label. Check out Ron’s website www.inamellowtone.com for info on upcoming shows and playlists (current show is posted several days in advance and past shows are archived). Ron is always happy to hear from listeners at ronsweetman@kalixo.com

This week, February 11 – The Blue Notes: The British Ogun label has put out an exciting five-CD box of Chris McGregor’s Blue Notes. These CDs start with a concert in Cape Town in 1964, followed by recordings in England from December 1975, April 1977 and August 1987.

Next week, February 18 – Guitar Special: The differing approaches of guitarists Ken Aldcroft, Chuck Bernstein, Antoine Berthiaume, Harley Card, Rodney Crowell, Marty Grosz, Ken Hatfield, Michael Higgins, Hot Club de Norvege, Steve Howell, Burr Johnson, Jon Larsen, Jim McAuley, Mike Peters, Elliott Sharp and Martin Taylor.


Last Saturday of the month, 9-9:30 am

Honky Tonk Saturday Morning

with Ball and Chain

This 12-part series features Michael Ball and Jody Benjamin performing live on radio. Each month will have a different theme like classic country, bluegrass, old time, drinking, cheating and yodelling.


On CBC Radio One 91.5 FM

Saturdays: 10 pm – midnight

Saturday Night Blues


Host Holger Petersen has been a broadcaster, record producer, album collector, and serious blues fan for over 30 years. His collection of blues records numbers in the thousands. On Saturday Night Blues each week you’ll hear a mix of classic blues from the ‘Petersen Vaults’, concerts, interviews, artist features, new releases, plus anything that boogies, jumps, or swings, plus your requests from the Bluesline.



Sundays: 6-7 pm

House of Blues Hour

The House of Blues Radio hour, hosted by Dan Aykroyd aka Elwood Blues features an hour of rockin’ blues from a wide variety of performers ranging from traditional to contemporary. The show is the most widely syndicated radio program dedicated to the blues in North America, and has been running on stations across the continent for over ten years.




Cadillac Records

Bytowne Cinema, 325 Rideau Street

Friday, March 6 – Tuesday, March 10 (times TBA)

Good news from Bruce @ the Bytowne ... Sony has imported a print of "Cadillac Records" (www.cadillacrecordsmovie.com) into Canada; the Bytowne has scheduled screenings for March 6-10. CKCU-FM will have ticket giveaways on blues-related programs.

The Sony Pictures film "Cadillac Records" follows the rise and fall of Chess Records, which launched the careers of such greats as Muddy Waters, Etta James and Chuck Berry. Leonard Chess, who co-founded the label with his brother Phil, was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, however Cadillac Records omits Phil from its story, so this movie may not be for you if historical inaccuracy bothers you (but when have movies ever been historically accurate!) Check out YOUTUBE for the trailer for "Cadillac Records".





ALWAYS check local listings to confirm.

On BRAVO – www.bravo.ca

Tuesday, February 17 @ 7:30 am – Rhythm, Roots and Soul

Diamond Days/Eric Bibb (2008): This series profiles R&B, soul, gospel and roots musicians through their words and music. Mako Funasaka documents a moment in time of these wonderful musicians from many different musical genres. This episode features musician Eric Bibb.

Tuesday, February 24 @ 7:30 am – Rhythm, Roots and Soul

The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster (2007): This series profiles R&B, soul, gospel and roots musicians through their words and music. Mako Funasaka documents a moment in time of these wonderful musicians from many different musical genres. This episode features performer Ruthie Foster.

Tuesday, March 3 @ 7:30 am – Rhythm, Roots and Soul

Salty Sessions/Hot Toddy (2008): This series profiles R&B, soul, gospel and roots musicians through their words and music. Mako Funasaka documents a moment in time of these wonderful musicians from many different musical genres. This episode features the band Hot Toddy.

Tuesday, March 10 @ 7:30 am –Rhythm, Roots and Soul

Nothing Halfway, Rick Fines & Susie Vinnick (2008): This series profiles R&B, soul, gospel and roots musicians through their words and music. Mako Funasaka documents a moment in time of these wonderful musicians from many different musical genres. This episode features Rick Fines and Suzie Vinnick.




Wednesdays: Dr Dave Revue @ the Rainbow, 5-8 pm

Wednesdays: Brian Downey @ The Avant-Garde Bar, 8:30 pm

Wednesdays: Acoustic music with Jeff Rogers @ Tucson’s, 7:30-11 pm

Wednesdays: Open Jam @ the New Bayou, 9 pm

Thursdays: Acoustic blues with Al Tambay & friends @ Tucson’s, 7:30-11 pm

Thursdays: Mike Ktenas hosts the Blues Jam @ Irene’s, 9 pm to closing

Saturday afternoons: Guy del Villano @ Royal Oak, 318 Bank Street, 2-6 pm

Sunday afternoons: Blues jam @ the Rainbow, 3-7 pm




Friday, February 27

JW-Jones @ Nepean Sailing Club

The Mighty Popo @ the Rainbow, 9:30 pm

Saturday, February 28

Quicksand @ Tucson’s, 9:15 pm

Friday, March 6

Robert Farrell @ the Elmdale House Tavern, 9 pm

Saturday, March 7

Barrelhouse @ the Rainbow, 9:30 pm

Friday, March 20

The Jivewires @ the Rainbow, 9:30 pm



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a Friday night dance as part of Blues Blast II dance workshops and event is featuring JW Jones! The dance is located at the Canterbury Community Centre - 185 Arch St. If you are a fan and want to see him at a smaller venue and want to be entertained by people dancing to him and/or want to move & groove yourself, be there.

This Saturday night at the same event different location (151 Chapel St.) The Douglas Watson Rhythm and Blues Revue is in town all the way from Waterloo!

For details on the dance event and to learn how to move to the music the way you've always wanted to and for more about the dances with both live bands see the website for more details: http://www.ottawabluesblast.com