Loose Blues News


October 2010 – Vol. 26. No 10 (download issue)


Mississippi River Salon: The Global Cabaret Festival is happening at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in the Distillery District from September 30th to October 3rd. It features dynamic Canadian talent with performances all weekend long, two of which are bursting with blues talent: Mississippi River Salon and Nursery Nightclub. Mississippi River Salon is a musical trip down the Mississippi from Memphis to New Orleans with Diana Braithwaite, Chris Whiteley, Laura Hubert, Miranda Mulholland, Peter Tiefenbach and John Millard. Songs by Memphis Minnie, Louis Armstrong, Lil Green, John Hartford, Jerome Kern, Nina Simone and many more. Nursery Nightclub is an exploration between Waleed Abdulhamid and John Millard of their personal childhood songs. Southern Ontario meets central Sudan in the Nursery Nightclub with special surprise guests and Andrew Downing on bass and Miranda Mulholland on violin. Shows are $20 at www.globalcabaret.ca or by calling 416-866-8666


Doc MacLean Tours Coast To Coast: For the 5th consecutive year, veteran blues songster Doc MacLean kicks off a massive coast to coast tour of nearly 100 shows in 9 provinces and territories. Hailed as “the Prince of Darkness” by Blues Revue magazine, his “Darker Ways” tour spans September to December 2010 and proves no venue too small, no place too forsaken. Says Doc, “I get to play all the little places— places that sometimes get lost in the folds of the map.”

Described as a blues hobo and captivating storyteller, Doc MacLean brings his gravelly wanderers tales and vintage National guitars to concert halls, bars, cafés, gas stations and kitchen parties in the extremities of the country. In his early teens, Doc started playing harmonica and washboard in coffeehouses and festivals, then in 1972 formed a duo with the young Colin Linden. The son of a civil rights lawyer, Doc was instilled with concern for social justice which has lead him to perform everywhere from prisons to picket lines. Today, Doc graciously plays wherever he’s invited. Want to bring the blues to Your Town? Visit www.docmaclean.com for all information, including a complete Canadian tour schedule.


Paul Sanderson, Photographer: Most readers will know Paul Sanderson as the driving force of the blues band Blue Room, or perhaps as board member at the Toronto Blues Society, not to mention the fact that he’s one of the country’s pre-eminent entertainment lawyers. Well he has shown another aspect of his creativity: He has just presented his first solo photographic exhibition featuring only medium format photography. Paul writes, “in many ways, this show is a completion of a cycle. I’ve been visiting Cannes, France for many years and France is one of my main photographic portfolios. For many years I’ve traveled to Cannes to attend Midem, an international music industry conference which is held in the third week of January of each year: the equivalent of the Cannes film festival, but for music. I’ve had the privilege at the end of each conference to do some photographing in France. The photos from this show were taken during my last visit in 2008, although I had been returning to France every year from 1988 to the year 2000 and I’ve gotten to know the area well. This show is a personal travelogue of some of my key visual reference points of Cannes.”  All prints are fibre-based, archival quality black and white photographs. It doesn’t get any more classic than this in photography. The show runs until October 21 at the Dylan Ellis Gallery.


Willie P. Bennett Honoured: Roly Thompson reports that the family of Willie P. Bennett attended the CCMA Awards ceremonies at the Winspear Centre in Edmonton.  Willie P. was inducted into the Canadian Country Music Association’s Hall of Honour for his lifetime contribution to the industry.  After a brief recorded pictoral biography, Russell deCarle sang a heart-rendered version of Willie’s “Diamond Joe” in his memory, and Wil’s mother Margaret read a tearful acceptance.  After missing his benefit, memorial service and memorial concert held over 2 years ago, Roly finally had the chance to say a proper goodbye to his old friend.  Other inductees of the 2010 awards include Donna and Leroy Anderson, Marie Bottrell, Eddie Eastman, Ray St.Germain, Don Harron, Fred McKenna, Wayne Rostad, Joyce Smith, and Hal and Ginger Willis.  The program was hosted by Jason McCoy and Michelle Wright, and other performers were Jaydee Bixby, Dean Brody, Tracey Brown and Randall Prescott, Hey Romeo, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, and Crystal Shawanda.  Following that, there was a meeting to review the progress made toward the launch of the CD that he had recorded before his passing.  The new website is scheduled to open in mid-October. It has been decided that the CD will be launched after Christmas, in late winter or early spring.


Whiteboy Slim wins honourable mention: “Hey Little Girl” the single from Whiteboy Slim’s new CD I’m Still Here has won an honourable mention in Billboard Magazine’s 17th annual Billboard Starmaker WorldWide Song Contest.  Maurice Richard Libby (aka Whiteboy Slim) was just notified of the decision. Judges are picked from a select group of music industry insiders knowledgeable about songwriting, current music trends and the music business in general, according to Billboard Magazine. Since its release, the album has received considerable radio air play across Canada, ranking in the top 10 of folk/roots/blues category of Canadian Campus/Community Radio Stations. Whiteboy Slim begins an extensive tour of Ontario in October.


Duck Season:The Mighty Duck Blues Band (Dave Curry, “Canada Dave” Torosian, Jim Casson and Gary Kendall) resume their Saturday afternoon perch at the Golden Pheasant in St. Catharines (aka The Duck) for another season of Saturday Matinees with special guests Jack de Keyzer (Oct 2), Harpdog Brown and Graham Guest (Oct 9), Paul James (Oct 16), Mike Branton (Oct 23) and Miss Robin Banks (Oct 30).


Congratulations to James Doran who just received The Ottawa Blues Society’s Blues Heart Award, presented at the Road To Memphis Blues Band Finals at Tuscon’s last week. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has made an outstanding contribution to fostering appreciation and awareness of blues music.

Jamie’s “Blues on The Rideau” series returns for its 6th season starting October 22nd. Each monthly show has proceeds supporting a different charity. Over the past 5 years, $27,000 has been raised with a goal of $5,000 more this season.

Line-up for 2010-2011 season kicks off with Shakura S’Aida (October 22), a vocal powerhouse performing jazz, blues and R&B, with proceeds to the Lucy Drysdale Memorial Scholarship Fund. Back by popular demand is David Rotundo (November 19) with down and dirty high energy blues harmonica, proceeds going to the Westport Library.  For 2 evenings Jack de Keyzer (January 21st and 22nd) returns, the 2 time Juno Award winner’s reputation speaking for itself, with proceeds to Rideau Vista & St. Edwards’ Elementary Schools. Rising star from Quebec, Clio & The Blues Highway (February 18), winner of 2 Lys Blues Awards for Clio’s sensual and soulful sound, performs with proceeds to the Rideau Waterway Land Trust.  For 2 nights Ottawa’s own MonkeyJunk (March 18th and 19th), American Blues Award winners, play swamp R&B, soul boogie & bedroom funk, with proceeds to the Friends of Foley Mountain. Canada’s poet of the blues Paul Reddick (April 15) returns with his rich harmonica and vocals, with proceeds going to Westport In Bloom.  The big voice of Treasa  Levasseur returns (May 20) delivering delicious blues, soul, funk & RnB, with proceeds to the Rideau District Museum. Finishing up the season is Toronto actor and blues man Raoul & The Big Time (June 10) offering up some swing blues with proceeds going to Habitat For Humanity.

The Cove Inn is located in the beautiful town of Westport, Ontario on Upper Rideau Lake (www.coveinn.com). Tickets are $55 (+HST) for buffet dinner, show & dancing, all shows are 7pm-11pm, with advanced tickets required. Call The Cove Inn at (613) 273-3636 or 1-888-COVE-INN. www.choosetheblues.ca


Hamilton Music Awards: Every year the Hamilton Music Awards honour all types of musical talents as well as those behind the scenes. Director of the Hamilton Music Awards, Jean-Paul Gauthier, stated “Hamilton is arriving on the international stage as a music mecca.”  Gauthier added, “The Hamilton Music Awards, Festival and Conference continue to play a major role in this process by bringing together artists and industry in a constant effort to expand and promote this area’s music scene to the world.” There are 39 categories being offered for this year’s Hamilton Music Awards. The Industry Awards, which recognize the achievements of those behind the scenes, offer 38 categories including Music Teacher of the Year, Producer of the Year, Engineer of the Year, Instrument Retailer of the Year and Poster Artist of the Year, to name a few. The 2010 Hamilton Music Awards, Festival and Conference take place November 18-21, at Mohawk College, Fennell Campus, in Hamilton, as well as venues in the downtown core. Information regarding volunteer opportunities can be found at www.hamiltonmusicawards.com.  Other important details regarding the Hamilton Music Awards, including ticket information, will be announced in the coming weeks.


– Brian Blain, Janet Alilovic