Loose Blues News

September 2011 – Vol. 27, No. 9

CKLN on the move: Although no longer on the fm dial, nor housed at Ryerson University, the blues lives on at CKLN.FM. “We’ve always been on the internet as well, so now we carry on that long history and following as an internet radio station” states Blues Doctor Julie Hill, producer & host of Blue Remedy on Wednesday nights, 8 to 10 pm. “CKLN is also available on all mobile devices via the Tune In Radio app, tunein.com, so you can listen on your smart phone, or tablet computer, as well. Additionally, all shows will soon be available as podcasts, so you can either listen live to the streaming, or download to listen to a show any time at your convenience. Later this year, CKLN will also be part of the Rogers station broadcasting to 10,000 homes in Regent Park in downtown Toronto. The station has just moved to the broadcast studios in the new Regent Park Youth Media Arts Centre, where youth learn radio, video, photography, writing, and other media – you’ll see more CKLN radio shows video’d & you-tubed, which I look forward to for special guest interviewees and live performers.” Internet and apps-based radio seem to be the wave of the future – automobiles with internet radio capability are rising by a factor of more than 30, with internet radio leading the revolution with in-vehicle apps that are integrated into car electronics systems. As always, CKLN can be found on-line at CKLN.FM. You can also follow on facebook at cklndotfm, and, on twitter, at ckln_fm, and at BluesDrJulie. CDs for airplay can still be sent to 2 Carlton Street, Suite 1803, Toronto M5B 1J3.

International Songwriting Competition: Another Canadian wins the blues category in the International Songwriting Competition! John McAneney (aka Johnny Max) and Jesse O’Brien for their song “Daddy’s Little Girl”. Runners up Nick Moss from the US, and Thorbjorn Risager from Denmark. Honorable Canadian mentions include Bob Tunnoch, Chris Antonik, Chris Whiteley, and Layla Zoe.

Musicians Take Note: In the spring long time TBS supporter Tony Burns helped organize a home recording workshop with Roots Music Canada. It was a great success and we got terrific feedback from the participants. The goal was to take someone with little or no experience and teach them enough about multi-track recording that they would be comfortable enough to go home and try it themselves.

For the course they use Audacity as the recording software. It is chosen because it is freeware and the interface is very similar to the most popular software packages. Thus if someone has Garage Band they can easily transfer what they learned to that platform.  The next workshop is on September 17th. You can find more information at  http://www.rootsmusic.ca/workshops/home-recording-101/ 

More Blues Radio News: James Doran’s show on DAWG-FM. Inside The Blues, has been gathering a new audience of blues lovers and he continues to present profiles and interviews with the movers and shakers on the Canadian (and international) blues scene. On Sept 4, he will interview Bruce Iglauer, founder of Alligator Records in Chicago – the largest independent Blues label in the world celebrating its 40th Anniversary this year. This is the first of two shows with Bruce – it covers the first 20 years of Alligator, the following week, September 11, will cover the last 20. Mixed in with all the great Alligator music are songs from some of the best Canadian Blues artists from those same eras. James calls it a “Best Of” Can-Am Blues extravaganza! More info and archived shows at www.choosetheblues.ca

SoundClash Music Award: Harbourfront Centre’s first SoundClash Music Award has been presented to Saidah Baba Talibah. Talibah is a founding member of the soul/rock group Blaxäm and was prominently featured on their 1998 EP, “Kiss My Afro.” She is the daughter of the internationally renowned jazz/blues singer and actress Salome Bey, whom she credits greatly for her talent and ambition. Her debut album (S)Cream came out earlier this month on Last Gang Labels/Universal and received venerable response from Giant Step, OkayPlayer, Exclaim!, AOL Spinner and NOW Magazine. NOW Magazine even featured her new album as a ‘Disc of the Week’ and gave it a prestigious 4-N rating.

Talibah’s SoundClash Music Award entry was filtered from over 250 entries submitted in April 2011. With only five shortlist spots available in the competition, a group of specially selected music industry experts (jurors) narrowed down the list to Saidah Baba Talibah, Miles Jones, Worst Pop Band Ever, Kids & Explosions, and Young Empires. Each band performed live on the WestJet Stage during the Hot Spot Summer at Harbourfront Centre this past July.

As the winner of the competition, Taibah will receive $5,000 plus additional prizes and is set to perform at the upcoming Hot & Spicy Food Festival on Sept. 2 at 8 p.m. on the WestJet Stage. In second place, Kids & Explosions take away $3,000 and the remaining cash prize of $2,000 goes to Young Empires. Honourable mentions to Miles Jones and the Worst Pop Band Ever for making the shortlist and for participating in Harbourfront Centre’s first major music award!

SoundClash is a new Harbourfront Centre initiative designed to showcase Toronto’s talented, creative and forward-thinking independent musicians. This past summer, five independent artists or bands had the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of some of Toronto’s top musicians, play on Harbourfront Centre’s WestJet Stage and compete for three cash prizes totaling $10,000!

While other music competitions focus on specific genres, SoundClash was open to musicians from a wide variety of genres. Artists from diverse, contemporary and cutting-edge music forms including (but not limited to) rock, pop, hip hop, country, reggae, Latin and other global music forms were encouraged to apply. www.harbourfrontcentre.com/soundclash

Honeyboy Passes: Blues legend, and a favourite of Toronto blues fans, David “Honeyboy” Edwards died of congestive heart failure on August 29 in his Chicago apartment. He was 96 years old. The “last of the Delta bluesmen” was in the house when the iconic Robert Johnson took his last drink of poisoned whiskey. He witnessed the Mississippi River flood of 1927. In 1953, he moved to Chicago after recording “Drop Down Mama” for Chess Records. He won Grammys and had a cameo in the 2007 spoof movie “Walk Hard.”

Mr. Edwards was born in Shaw, Miss. His father, a guitarist and violinist in country jukes throughout Mississippi, bought Mr. Edwards a Sears guitar for $4 from a plantation worker. At the age of 14 Mr. Edwards left home to hobo with bluesman Big Joe Williams. Mr. Edwards’ distinctive style of uneven phrasing and skewed timing was a response to woodshedding with Williams’ clanky nine-string guitar.

After roaming the mid-South with Williams, Mr. Edwards debuted in 1935 on the legendary Beale Street in Memphis. He became homesick and returned to Greenwood, Miss., where he began playing with harmonica player Big Walter Horton.

“When you played with Honeyboy you were in the millisecond of the moment,” said Rick Sherry reported to the Chicago Sun-Times, who plays harmonica, washboard, clarinets and sings in the Sanctified Grumblers, who were to play with Mr. Edwards at this year’s Chicago Blues Festival, but Mr. Edwards cancelled because of illness. “You never knew where he went. Every song was 12 bars. It was never 12 bars. He’d hold that note, look in the audience and kick his leg. Playing with him was this amazing Zen thing I’m going to miss.”

He loved to say, “The world don’t owe me nothing.” Just shy of his 96th birthday, Honeyboy played his last gigs at the Juke Joint Festival and Cathead Mini-Festival in Clarksdale, Mississippi April 16 and 17, 2011.