28 November 2011

Ottawa Blues This Week - 28 November 2011





The Toronto Blues Society will be celebrating its 15th annual Maple Blues Awards by honouring nationally- and internationally-recognized Canadian Blues artists from across the country on January 16, 2012. The nominees are recognized both for their talent as well as their contribution to the growing Canadian blues music scene.

Leading the nominations is last year’s big winner, Ottawa's MonkeyJunk, with seven nominations, followed by Toronto’s Suzie Vinnick, who originally hails from Saskatoon, and Fathead each with four. Harry Manx & Kevin Breit also have four nominations. Hamilton’s Rita Chiarelli, who won the Blues With a Feeling Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, has three nominations, as does Harrison Kennedy, another Hamilton native. British Columbia blues artists are well represented with three nominations each for Jim Byrnes and Bill Johnson. New Brunswick’s Matt Andersen also has three nominations. Nominees for the Blues Booster of the Year Award will be announced at a later date.

Hosted by internationally recognized blues performers Treasa Levasseur and Shakura S’Aida, the 2012 Maple Blues Awards are taking place at Koerner Hall in Toronto on January 16th, 2012. Voting closes Saturday, December 10 at midnight PST. Blues fans can cast their votes online at www.mapleblues.ca

The Toronto Blues Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Blues. The Maple Blues Awards is Canada's national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.

For more information contact:

Sarah French
Sarah French Publicity
416-566-4188 | sarah@sarahfrenchpublicity.com

Jordan Safer
Toronto Blues Society
416-538-3885 | info@torontobluessociety.com





OBS Annual General Meeting & Christmas Social

Tucson's, 2440 Bank Street

Friday, December 2 @ 8:30 pm

7:00 pm – Dinner – upper level, back of room. Should you wish to join us for dinner, please telephone Tucson’s to reserve your seating: 613-738-596

8:30 pm - AGM – President, Treasurer & Director reports followed by election for one Director position.

9:15 pm - Music featuring our 2011 Road To Memphis Band winner, Terry Gillespie.

Road to Memphis Fundraising

All proceeds from cover charges and raffle will help raise funds to cover travel expenses to the 2012 International Blues Challenge for our Duo winners, Kelly Prescott & Anders Drerup and Band winner, the Terry Gillespie Trio. http://www.ottawabluessociety.com/road2memphis.php




Benefit for Children at Risk
The Cutmen

Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank Street

Saturday, December 3





Robert Farrell Band

Elmdale House Tavern,

Tuesday, November 29 @ 9 pm; $5

Take in this power rock blues trio as Robert performs some of his latest material as well as solid-gold covers of Hendrix, ZZ Top, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.



The Swing Sisters

Maxwell’s Bistro & Club, 340 Elgin Street (upstairs)

Thursday, December 1 – 9 pm ‘til midnight

An exciting night of LIVE Swing, R&B and Disco music!

With The Swing Sisters, featuring the vocal talents of Paula McGowan, Laura Hillary and Sherri Harding.

With the All-Star Band including Peter Beaudoin (bandleader/drums); Ed Bimm (keyboard); Gino Scaffidi (guitar); and, Martin Newman (bass).



24th Annual Ottawa R&B Festival

Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Thursday-Sunday, December 1-4; tickets at the door

Ohh Dawgie...we got some action here – Festival No. 24 once again brings Ottawa valley R&B-based acts together for a little r&r at the Rainbow.

New bands, old bands, rockin', funk, swing bands, resurrected bands, the rhythm and the blues bands, all kinds of of blues for us kiddies.

Come in, listen, dance and booogie - wooogie all night long.

Buy Local & Listen Local

Thursday, December 1 – $5

9:30 pm - Roots Movement

Friday, December 2 – $10

9:30 pm - The Remedy Power Trio

10:45 pm - Soul Obsession

12:15 pm - The Maria Hawkins Band

Saturday, December 3 – $10

9:30 pm - The BoogieMen

10:45 pm - Jed Rached & The Fat City 8

12:15 pm - Roller Coaster

Sunday, December 4 – $3

3-7 pm - Open Blues Jam With Terry Owen


2nd Annual Christmas Gospel Celebration

With Rev. Ernie Cox Band & Choir

National Arts Centre, Studio Hall, 53 Elgin Street

Friday & Saturday, December 2-3 @ 8 pm; Tickets from $37

Save to my calendarCome celebrate Christmas with two unforgettable evenings of joyous gospel and Christmas gospel music led by Ernie Cox. Sing the carols in black gospel style, led by the choir and soloists, along with Ernie and his band.

This year Ernie is back in Studio Hall, complete with a full band and horn section anchored by NYC sax player and arranger Mike Webster. The choir, along with the smooth and soulful sounds of The London Trio Plus (20 voices in total) will be back on stage for both nights’ performances. Last year’s shows were sold out, and this year’s are expected to do the same.

Cox, who has previously performed with the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir, and recently performed in the Ottawa Bluesfest, plans to make his Christmas Gospel Celebration an annual tradition.
More info at erniecox.com




Leon Redbone

Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Boulevard, Orleans ON

Thursday, December 1; tickets $41.25

Leon Redbone — a master guitarist, dry comedian, and a warm and witty singer who recreates the classic jazz, blues and pop music of the ’20s and ’30s — will make his first appearance in Ottawa since, as he put it “I can’t remember when.”

In fact, he probably does know when he was last in Ottawa, but he has always cultivated an aura of mystery about his background, in part because he wants the emphasis to be placed on the music, rather than the “personality” behind it.

He does, however, claim to have been born in 1929 (on the date of the stock market crash), but later told interviewers he was born in Bombay during a monsoon to violinist Niccolo Paganini and Swedish soprano Jenny Lind. (It should be noted that Paganini died in 1840, and Lind in 1887).

Mr. Redbone is a laid-back singer, a dry story-teller, and an archivist with wide musical tastes — as long as the music is more than 70 years old. His concerts will likely include forgotten old pop songs, classic ragtime, blues from the likes of Lonnie Johnson or Blind Blake, and jazz standards by Fats Waller or Dixieland jazz pioneer Nick La Rocca.

He began his career in Toronto in 1970 and in his early days, he could be found in the pool hall that used to exist in the entrance to a downtown subway station; if you asked for Mr. Grunt, he would, guardedly, answer the telephone. A fixture in local folk clubs, he also had an acoustic duo, called Little Sonny, with David Wilcox.

Since then he has gone on to make numerous television performances (he was a regular for many years on the Johnny Carson Show, as well as on Saturday Night Live), and he has recorded some 15 albums, the first in 1975. He has toured around the world, appeared in numerous television commercials, and was even featured in a Far Side cartoon. He recently recorded material for the television series Boardwalk Empire.

A superb acoustic guitarist, Mr. Redbone is also a skilled pool player and is dangerous with a deck of cards; people are advised not to engage him in either pursuit.

(Apologies to Richard Flohil whose lovely press release I’ve been quoting without attribution.)




Peter Karp & Sue Foley

He Said – She Said

Showplace Performance Centre, 290 George Street N, Peterborough ON

Friday, December 2 @ 8 pm; tickets $37; Box Office: 705-742-7469

Grand Theatre, 218 Princess Street, Kingston ON

Saturday, December 3 @ 8 pm; tickets $37; Box Office: 613- 530-2050

Capitol Theatre, 20 Queen Street, Port Hope ON

Sunday, December 4 @ 8 pm; tickets $37; Box Office: 905-885-1071 or 800-434-5092

Centrepointe Theatre, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa ON

Saturday, December 10 @ 8 pm; tickets $40; Box Office: 613-580-2700 or 866-752-5231

It started as a casual exchange of emails and letters between two performers on the road ... Peter Karp & Sue Foley ... it evolved into “He Said – She Said”, a powerful musical collaboration chronicling the hopes, dreams and fears inherent in a budding and developing relationship. What sets this project aside, however, is synergistic charisma ... not only the interweaving ideas and emotions, smiles and eye contact, but the extraordinary interplay between the instruments, the complimentary yet so different vocals. Folk, jazz, flamenco and blues, moving between nylon acoustic guitar, dobro, piano and electric guitars ... an event that is moving, literate, romantic, rocking and exciting!

Peter Karp, who critics liken favourably to John Hiatt and John Prine, is a master songsmith with an art for spinning true-to-life emotions, humour, and candour into tunes that hit their mark with an economy of words. Ottawa native Sue Foley, having shared the stage with blues legends such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and John Lee Hooker earlier in her 27-plus-year career, is now considered one of the finest blues/roots artists working today, an idea well-supported by her dozen and more Maple Blues Awards.

It's not a concept you see every day - two artists chronicling their growing relationship in song. Make those artists as gifted as Peter Karp and Sue Foley, and the results are as compelling as they are candid.






The 14th edition of Virée Blues Boréale presents

Kenny Dupree and the Sound Brigade

Bar Bistro Le Troquet, 41 Laval Street (in the Old Hull sector)

Wednesday, November 30 @ 8 pm

After letting his fans hanging around for over 10 years, our next guest finally succeeded in putting together the requirements to record his first opus which consists mostly of original compositions. Third guest to be invited to Virée Blues Boréale’s very first edition in 2005, this pioneer, dubbed Quebec’s James Brown, is coming back strong for a fourth visit. This does not take into account the many cameos that he generously graced the Outaouais fans with along the previous Virée Blues Boréale’s editions. This special relationship with Virée Blues Boréale’s audience and management determined the natural choice of Virée Blues Boréale’s stage as a launching pad for his first album, “Going with the flow”. And again, rumours have it that there could be some special guests to share the stage with Kenny Dupree and his famous band, The Sound Brigade, for this historic event!

This youngest veteran performer on the Blues scene, harmonicist and singer Kenny Dupree has been carving a place for himself for some years. The group Kenny Dupree & The Sound Brigade, as it is now, has been in existence since 1996. A five-time nominee at the Lys Blues, he was crowned twice, in 2009 and in 2010 in the ‘cabaret’ category. His warm and powerful voice together with his energetic presence allow him to deliver a memorable performance every time. In permanent evolution, he mixes original compositions and influential composers like Otis Redding, B.B. King, Paul Rodger or Buddy Guy. Highly charismatic and enthusiastic, he is at home on stage and knows how to get his audiences into his universe in a jiffy. Ably assisted by very experienced musicians, Rami Cassab on guitar, Alec McElcheran on bass and Mike Landry on drums, be it on CD or on stage, they display a fusion of creations and interpretations with renderings that lean from Blues to Soul Blues, to Blues Rock, to R’n’B, not forgetting Funk and Chicago Blues, moving through the whole variety and all the nuances of the Blues.




on facebook “vireeblues


Rick Fines

Wilno Tavern Restaurant, 17589 Highway #60, Wilno ON

Saturday, December 3; $15 advance, $20 at the door

Multiple Blues Award winner Rick Fines is a veteran of the Blues.

Always a great show. Solo performance.





50th Birthday Party Amnesty International

Canadian Museum of Nature, 4th Floor Gallery, 240 McLeod Street

Thursday, December 8; 5-8 pm; free admission

As part of its 50th anniversary celebration, Amnesty International will be shining a light on human rights abuses by hosting a “Write for Rights” night at the Museum of Nature in Ottawa on December 8. Members of the public are invited to attend and write a letter on behalf of the 15 individual human rights cases.

Guest Speaker: Alex Neve, Secretary General, Amnesty International

  • The lantern of the Museum of Nature will be lit-up to symbolize Amnesty International’s flame of hope.
  • Local musicians featured include Terry Gillespie, Jenny Woo, & others
  • Cash bar
  • Light dinner (as long as supplies last)
  • Kids table with lantern making




Southside Tuesdays
Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank Street

Tuesdays @ 9 pm; no cover

Southside Tuesdays with Doug Gouthro until Steve Marriner returns in December.


John Carroll

Chateau Lafayette (The Laff), 42 York Street

Wednesdays, 10 pm


Irene’s Blues AllStars

Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank Street

Thursdays, 9 pm – 1 am; no cover

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, this weekly Thursday night jam features Corky Kealey on drums with Vince Halfhide on bass and 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 its continuing popularity.

Special guests:

December 1 – Scott Amey

December 8 – John Steel

December 15 – Al Wood

December 22 – Chris Breitner

December 29 – Steve Marriner


Open Blues Jam

Rainbow Bistro, 76 Murray Street

Every Sunday, 4-7 pm; cover $3 (jammers free)

The jam is open to all ages. Jammers sign up on the jam sheet at the door & each jam session lasts for 3 songs. Drums & amps are provided, you only need to bring your instruments (but you can bring your amps if you want to).


Sunday Blues, 6-9 pm, no cover

Atomic Rooster, 303 Bank Street (at MacLaren)



Southwest Sundays

With The Dusty Drifters

Irene’s Pub, 885 Bank Street

Sundays, 9:30 pm – 1 am; no cover

You bet yer ass – it’s bluegrass!


The Jam @ Kaffé 1870, Wakefield QC

Every Wednesday @ 9 pm, no cover

6 rotating hosts, each specializing in a different genre



Acoustic Roots Series

Georgian House Restaurant, 146 Main St. S., Alexandria ON

First Wednesday of Every Month

The best Roots/Country/Americana artists will be joining Terry Gillespie for a new Acoustic Roots Series in Alexandria. Some of them will be up-coming artists and some will be household names … a different musical guest each month. All of the musician guests are very accomplished and have toured extensively. We are very privileged to be able to host them right here at home.
Terry will open each evening with a set of his music then the guest will follow with a set of their music. Each will accompany the other. Don’t miss a single one.

December 7 – Stephen Barry

If you desire to see a special guest, let us know. If they are on the road, we might be able to grab them.
The Georgian House special musical menu has something fresh and delicious for all budgets.





Blues Jam

Avant-Garde Bar & Restaurant, 135½ Besserer Street

First Wednesday of each month @ 8 pm

Hosted by River City Junction, this jam is open to guest performers, but is not an open jam’.

If you want to play, please contact River City Junction in advance to work out what instrument you play & what songs you would like to do.

Contact Jason jason@rivercityjunction.com




Blues On Tues

The Granary Beizli, 3270 County Rd 10, Vankleek Hill ON

Third Tuesday of every month@ 7 pm; $10


Mississippi Blues Society Jam

Thirsty Moose Pub & Eatery, Bridge Street, Carleton Place

First Tuesday of every month @ 8:30 pm

Hosted by The Thirsty Moose Pub & Eatery & The Mississippi Blues Society, and featuring Barry Buse & Peter Brown, the MBS Blues Jam is the longest-running blues jam in the Greater Ottawa area & one of the best, attracting both musicians & fans from in & out of town.

*8:30 PM is the Estimated Start Time *There's No Cover Charge *Free Parking *Good Food *Ends Early [approx. midnight]

And - just so you know...we pack 'em in for this event, so come in early if you want a good table.





Blues On The Rideau @ The Cove Inn, Westport Ontario
A Dinner & Show Fundraiser Series featuring some of North America's best Blues bands.
Proceeds to support local charities
Dinner & Show $60
Advance reservations required
Call 1-888-COVE-INN or (613) 273-3636
Blues On The Rideau Shows, and the rooms at the Inn for those nights, sell out early.


January 20 & 21
Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley Band, from Toronto
Old School Blues - smooth, beautiful and classic

Winners of 8 Maple Blues Awards & 6 Juno nominations
Proceeds To Rideau Vista & St. Edward's Elementary Schools

February 17
The Original Homewreckers with Miss Angel, from Kitchener

The late great Mel Brown's former band and singer/partner

Hip shakin', home-wreckin' Blues!
Proceeds To Rideau Waterway Land Trust

March 16 & 17
Blackburn, from Toronto
2010 Maple Blues Award Best New Artists. Blues, funk, soul & R&B

Canada's version of the Neville brothers!
Proceeds To Easter Seals Ontario & Habitat For Humanity

April 20/21
David Rotundo Band with Julian Fauth, from Toronto

A multiple Maple Blues Award winning harp player/singer matched with Juno Award winning keyboardist

Barrelhouse, rockin' Blues!
Proceeds To Westport In Bloom & Westport Library

May 18
Chris Antonik Band, from Toronto

2011 Maple Blues Award nominee for Best New Artist

Outstanding guitarist/songwriter and arranger. Smooth blues, soul, R&B
Proceeds To Rideau District Museum

More info:



See you there!
James Doran
Choose The Blues Productions





Eddie Shaw & the Wolf Gang

Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Friday, December 9 @ 10 pm

As his Mississippi Blues Trail marker reads:

Blues saxophonist extraordinaire Eddie Shaw was born on a Stringtown plantation on March 20, 1937. He learned music at school in Greenville and performed in various local bands before moving to Chicago to join the Muddy Waters band. Shaw served as bandleader for Howlin’ Wolf for several years and launched his own busy touring career after Wolf’s death in 1976. His hard-hitting horn work won him Instrumentalist of the Year honours in the 2006 and 2007 Blues Music Awards.



Ross Neilsen & the Suffrin’ Bastards

Irene’s, 885 Bank Street

Friday, December 9 @ 10 pm

To say that Ross Neilsen is a dedicated, chronic over achiever would be an understatement. He’s on the road constantly, criss-crossing the country. He’ll be taking his solo show south to the International Blues Challenge in 2012, representing the Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival.

Whether telling tall tales or capturing the spirit of the blues through his own originals and unique covers in his intimate solo shows or combining clever lyrics with old school, in-your-face guitar playing with his band, he will take you on an emotional journey through the joys and pains of life, death, triumph and defeat … he will touch your heart, soul, body and mind, sending you home to sing yourself to sleep. And in the morning? You will want more, much more.



Big Soul Project ***completely sold out***

Dominion Chalmers Church

Saturday, December 10

You can still hear Big Soul Project at their dress rehearsal, Monday, December 5 @ 7 pm at Fourth Avenue Baptist Church, Fourth & Bank in the Glebe.



Andrew Craig’s Gospel Christmas

With the NAC Orchestra

NAC Southam Hall,

Friday, December 16 @ 7 pm; tickets from $25

With vocalists Jackie Richardson, Kellylee Evans, Alana Bridgewater, Christopher Lowe, Sharon Riley & Faith Chorale.



Maria Hawkins pre-NYE bash

Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Friday, December 30

Maria hosts her annual pre-New Year’s Eve bash.






Rainbow, 76 Murray Street

Saturday, December 31

Formed in late March 2008 in Ottawa, they play an original style of swamp boogie R&B, bedroom funk and love songs that will break your heart. MonkeyJunk is Tony D on guitar, slide guitar and vocals; Steve Marriner on vocals, guitar, baritone guitar, B3 and harmonica and Matt Sobb on drums, cymbals, percussion and background vocals. These three musicians apply a combined 56 years of experience in the music business to entertain in a raw and captivating manner you will not soon forget . . . see for yourself!





Music By The Bay Live Small Club BIG SHOW Concert Series presents


The Waterfront, 590 Liverpool Road, Pickering ON

Friday, January 30 @ 9 pm

Paving their own way in blues, MonkeyJunk is a cross between Muddy Waters, Lightnin’ Hopkins, swamp R&B and soul boogie that will keep your foot tappin’ and your body movin’.

At the 2010 Maple Blues Awards MonkeyJunk were nominated for 6 awards and took 5 including entertainers of the year, vocalist and guitarist. They beat out the likes of Colin Linden and Colin James to win Blues Band of the year at the Canadian Independent Music Awards.

Guitars, keys, drums, harp and vocals are their sound, no bass- but they say Hound Dog Taylor didn’t have a bass player, and Little Walter often didn’t use one either.

Upon being asked about his passion for his music, delta blues legend Son House said “I’m talkin’ ‘bout the blues, I ain’t talkin’ ‘bout monkey junk”. And thus was born the quirky name of the equally quirky contemporary blues band MonkeyJunk. Blending delta blues, soul boogie, and country with modern presentation, MonkeyJunk boasts an innovative and creative approach to the blues. Steve Marriner, Tony D, and Matt Sobb, play well off of each other, seamlessly creating an upbeat, catchy sound that has really started to be noticed on the blues scene in Europe and the States.

Tickets and info www.musicbythebaylive.com or 905-831-8661




Dan Summerville

RCHA Club, 193 Ontario Street, Kingston ON

Saturday, December 10, 9 pm ‘til midnight





KBS Monthly Jam

The Standeasy

RCHA Club, 193 Ontario Street, Kingston ON

Third Saturday of the month @ 8:30 pm, $3 at the door

Come out and see Mojo Shooter with special guests.

Always one of the best nights of entertainment Kingston has to offer – come early as seating is limited.
Sponsored by the Kingston Arts Council and the City of Kingston


Georgette Fry

Brandee’s, 178 Ontario Street, Kingston ON

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

The Ones

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

Every Thursday night @ 9 pm

Sam Hopkins and Spencer Evans

Upstairs @ the Brew Pub

Every Second Sunday 2-4 PM


For more, please contact Kingston Blues Society





101.9 DAWG-FM, CIDG, is ON THE AIR! Blues 24/7

Live streaming on the website at http://www.dawgfm.com/

Sundays: 8 pm

Ottawa Blues Society DAWG’ON BLUES

Each week OBS hosts keep you up to date on what’s happening on the Ottawa area blues scene, play some great blues from local bands and showcase regional and Canadian talent.

This week, December 4 – MapleBlues nominees for Songwriter and Recording of the Year.

Next week, December 11 – MapleBlues nominees for Male & Female Vocalists of the Year


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 2010. 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, November 30: Listen Before You Buy: Ron Sweetman plays recent releases by jazz singers. Will include Brian Anthony, Irem Bekter, Ellen Kaye, Marc Pompe, Trelawny Rose, Demetria Taylor, Yvonne Washington, Mark Winkler and Susan Wylde.

Next week, December 7: Listen Before You Buy: Ron Sweetman plays recent instrumental jazz releases. Will be chosen from Ernesto Cervini, Claudia Quintet, Neil Cowley, Benoit Delbecq, Mike Essoudry, Robert Fontaine, Francois Houle, Ernie Krivda, Russ Little, Steven Lugener, Delfeayo Marsalis, Van Kemenade, Tommy Vig and Cuong Vu.


On CBC Radio Two 103.3 FM

Saturdays: 6-8 pm

On CBC Radio One 91.5 FM

Saturdays: 9-11 pm

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.

And check out SNB videos here http://www.cbc.ca/snb/video/


On CJHR 98.7 Valley Heritage Radio

Thursdays, 8-10 pm

Got The Blues

Pat Watters has been hosting this blues only radio show for the last 2+ years. It can be heard throughout the Ottawa Valley and now streaming on the internet at valleyheritageradio.ca so Ottawa folks can now listen!




The 25th Women’s Blues Revue, an annual event sponsored by the Toronto Blues Society, rocked Massey Hall in Toronto on Saturday, November 26.

From Richard Flohil: My pal David Farrell was my guest the WBR at Massey Hall on Saturday night... thought you might like to see his review on his influential music biz website, http://www.FYImusic.ca:


To paraphrase headliner Shakura S’Aida, the 25th annual Women’s Blues Revue, staged at Massey Hall on Saturday night (11/28) was a tear jerkin’, hip shakin’, slow shufflin’, dirty, down and nasty blues event. In her 15th year, the outgoing Master of Ceremonies, CBC Radio’s Shelagh Rogers tossed her usually demure radio persona and amused the full house with a steady patter of innuendo that clearly let the lads know who was running the hen house this night. The house band, led by guitarist Donna Grantis, with Lily Sazz on keys, Brandi Disterheft on bass, Lindsay Beaver on drums and a horn section comprising saxophonists Colleen Allen and Carrie Chesnutt and trumpeter Rebecca Hennessy, pulled off faultless performances throughout, despite only the briefest of rehearsals with the marquee soloists the day prior to.

Unmistakably, the most poignant part of the evening was S'Aida's introduction to, followed by performances from 85 year-old Ada Lee, an American jazz singer who has long made her home here in Canada. Originally discovered by Newport Festival impresario George Weins, he brought Lee to Atlantic Records in the early ‘60s where she recorded a series of sides with jazz giant Dick Hyman.

Treasa Levasseur energized the house with an opening set that included her disarmingly honest song Let Me Sleep On It (from her just released Broad album), and Emma-Lee followed with an off-the-top killer version of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ I Put a Spell on You. For this scribbler, the highlight of the night was the discovery of Edmonton’s self-styled Swamp Blues Queen Kat Danser, a barrel-sized woman with a commanding presence, powerful and expressive voice and a deft touch on guitar and other stringed instruments. In a word, her performance glistened.

As to be expected, Shakura S’Aida's show closer had the unmistakable impact of a bunker buster landing hard on a greenhouse. Animated, expressive, energetic and blessed with a voice that could silence a drill sergeant during a mortar attack, this 2011 Maple Blues Award winner is one act that few would be willing or able to follow on stage.

Congrats to Derek Andrews who founded the Toronto Blues Society and who has programmed the annual for a quarter-century, and thanks to fellow Society member Richard Flohil for the ticket and friendship.

(OBTW Editor’s Note: I was there and, yes, it was *that* good!)


Al Wood was featured in a recent article in the Sault Star





Roots Music’s Andy Frank did an in-depth interview with Holger Petersen to celebrate 35 years of Stony Plain.


If you love the blues, folk, the Canadian scene, or have enjoyed the incredible accomplishments of Mr. Petersen, this is not to be missed!


Marie-Lynn Hammond has written up her unique role as copyeditor on Giller-winner Half Blood Blues.



Roots Music Canada

290 Shuter Street, Toronto, ON M5A 1W7, 416-206-0007







CBC Radio 2

Thursday, December 1 -- WORLD AIDS DAY
concert 1: Hope Rising!
recorded on at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto
Hope Rising! was a benefit concert for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, to support grassroots organizations that are working to turn the tide of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. K'naan, Angelique Kidjo, Jully Black, Lorraine Segato and Holly Cole performed at this spectacular event at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto.

Lots of blues available in the concerts on demand section of the CBC Website …





Sunday, December 11

Maria Hawkins hosts the Sunday afternoon jam @ the Rainbow, 4-7:30 pm

Sunday, December 18

River City Junction hosts the Sunday afternoon jam @ the Rainbow, 4-7:30 pm

Friday, December 23

Brothers Chaffey @ Irene’s



No comments: