Loose Blues News
Aurora Winter Blues: The 2nd Annual Aurora Winter Blues Festival takes place on Saturday March 2, 2013 at the Aurora Theatre featuring Steve Strongman, The 24th Street Wailers and Little Bobby and the Jumpstarts. Tickets for the event, which benefits Blue Door Shelters of York Region, are $42 and can be purchased by visiting www. awbf.ca or by calling (905) 727-3669. A post festival Jam Session will be held at a local Bar & Grill to be named at the event for those who feel like dancing and mingling with the bands until the wee hours of the morning.
Bus Ride to the Blues: Sally Dollar and Brenda Zahorchak love blues music. Every Saturday the two women attend The Duck in St. Catharines for an afternoon of live blues with The Mighty Duck Blues Band and a featured guest. One Saturday … while listening to Carlos del Junco perform and talk about the upcoming Maple Blues Awards Show in Toronto Sally jokingly suggested a party bus to the show. Before the end of the day Brenda started polling people in crowd to see if there was a demand for such an excursion … by the next week, they were selling tickets. Every Saturday with the help of the band, Sally and Brenda sold tickets. On Wednesdays they worked the crowds at Donnelly’s Pub. To help word of mouth and drum up even more interest a Facebook event page was created. In time … tickets sold out for the trip to the Maple Blues Awards and once the final tally was totaled for tickets and bus rental Sally and Brenda realized they had an extra $500 in cash on their hands … so a donation was made to Autism Niagara. As an added bonus … musicians Dave Curry and Canada Dave Torosian (Mighty Duck Blues Band), Brant Parker, Jack Civiletto, April Mazzone and Sam DeRosa were enlisted to entertain party-goers for the bustrip.
Rockin Rich Retires: Rockin Rich (of Rich and the Poor Boys) is retiring from the CBC after 32 years a news cameraman and his CBC colleagues threw him a big bash featuring a performance by his band who came down from Niagara for the occasion. The whole evening was recorded on eight cameras and multitrack audio. Watch for a DVD coming out soon. You can see a preview at http://youtu.be/IHvAkdHaHdA
Blues Music Awards: The 34th Blues Music Awards will be presented May 9 in Memphis. There will be some Canadian content with Harrison Kennedy nominated as Acoustic Artist and Shakura S’Aida as Contemporary Blues Female Artist. See more info and a complete list of nominees at www.blues.org
Peter Guralnick: Author Peter Guralnick, who has been called a “national resource” by critic Nat Hentoff for books that have argued for the vitality of this country’s intertwined black and white traditions is now blogging on his new website PeterGuralnick.com .
Peter’s work has consistently been praised for its examination of broader social and cultural history, while bringing an elegant literary voice to its subjects – books like his two-volume biography of Elvis Presley, Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love, are classics of the genre. He’s currently at work on a new book about Sam Philips.
Bluesmen on the Mend: Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr. is being treated for the early stage of cancer on his left lung and vocal cord; doctors expect a full recovery. The Grammy Award winning singer and accordionist for Buckwheat Zydeco has toured as an opening act for Eric Clapton and was featured in the closing ceremonies of the Atlanta Olympics.
In 2009 Dural’s Alligator Records CD Lay Your Burden Down, received the Grammy Award for Best Zydeco or Cajun Music Album. Buckwheat played organ for Joe Tex, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown amongst others before forming his own band Buckwheat and the Hitchhikers. In time he would join the legendary Clifton Chenier’s Red Hot Louisiana Band as organist; it was while playing with Chenier that Stanley’s appreciation for Zydeco music blossomed. He would take up the accordion while part of Chenier’ band and after a year of playing felt comfortable enough to go out and form his own band under the name Buckwheat Zydeco.
Buckwheat Zydeco has toured the world playing with numerous music legends, including Keith Richards, Paul Simon, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson and Mavis Staples. Fans can leave messages and greetings for Dural on his Facebook page www.facebook.com/BuckwheatZydeco.
American musician and songwriter Kelly Joe Phelps has had to cancel his UK tour due to being diagnosed with ulnar neuropathy a condition that has rendered his right hand and arm ineffective. “It causes half of my hand to be completely numb and takes most of the strength out of it as well. And when my brain tries to get my fingers to do something I¹ve done a million times before, my fingers don¹t seem to understand the request.” Phelps is quoted as saying on his condition. Kelly Joe Phelps, who grew up in the farming community of Sumner, Washington is a multi-instrumentalist who learned drums and piano from his father playing country and folk music, learning to play guitar at age 12. Phelps concentrated on free jazz influenced by musicians like John Coltrane and Miles Davis mostly as a bass player. He eventually converted to blues when he started to listening to acoustic blues masters Fred McDowell and Robert Pete Williams.
Phelps has recorded 11 solo albums of his own music and accompanied countless other musicians on their recordings, including Rory Block, Jay Farrar, Greg Brown and Townes Van Zandt.
– Christopher Darton, Brian Blain