If you have fond memories of the Saturday afternoon jams at the Black Swan Tavern, you might well want to head over to St. Catharines and its current reincarnation, also under Gary Kendall, now at The Bar Upstairs. It’s in the BallHockey.com Athletic Centre, 16 Melbourne Ave., from 2:30 to 6:30 every Saturday starting September 23. The band name comes from its previous home, the Golden Pheasant, known affectionately as ‘The Duck’, which closed last year. The format is the same, with a guest star performing with the excellent house band. Duck Soup is a recording studio version that should serve as an invaluable document of the quality of the shows. The band is Dave Curry on guitars & vocals, “Canada” Dave Torosian on organ, Gary Kendall on bass & vocals and Jim Casson on drums & vocals. Instead of the more usual blues greatest hits in this type of collection, they also write most of the songs: Curry contributes five, Kendall two and Casson two. Casson’s “Hammered And Nailed” is as effective a description of feeling blue as you’ll want. John Dickie takes the superb vocal over Curry’s fluid guitar lines. Kendall’s “Don’t Send Me No Valentines”, written with Martin Aucoin, is a remarkably well-written tale of too many heartbreaks, convincingly sung by Cheryl Lescom, (“I ain’t running no bed ‘n breakfast, I’m happy by myself”). Gary may well have been responsible for bringing an unrecorded song by the late Cash Wall to the sessions, John Finley does a fine job on “Yes Indeed” a great slab of R&B. Casson’s other song is “3AM Blues”, sung by Chuck Jackson. Our narrator is overwhelmed by his girl’s late night outburst. Gary may also have brought a rocking love song, “Hurricane”, by Kenny Brown. Paul Reddick takes the vocal, with Jim Gay on the sax solo. Curry’s “Nobody Home” is one fine rocker with Curry’s vocal lamenting a lack of political leadership. Lescom wails away in the background. Gary’s other song is one he sings too, “You’re Drivin’ Me Crazy”, another rocking love song, with Lance Anderson on piano and a fine guitar solo from Curry. The title song is the closing instrumental, one of two by Curry. They call this one ‘a diverse and powerful blend of high energy blues’ and that it is. They’ll have this CD available at the club but if you can’t get there, go to www.mightyduckbluesband.com.

John's Blues Picks September 2017 - Best of Jack de Keyzer Volume One
John’s Blues Picks August 2017 – Cash Box Kings