18th Annual Maple Blues Awards Performers

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This year’s gala will will feature live performances from the Downchild Blues Band, Angel Forrest, Brandon Isaak, Harpdog Brown, Steve Hill, Joel Johnson, and the Maple Blues Band with after party nominee jam hosted by Irene Torres and The Sugar Devils. 



Danny Marks | www.dannym.com

This iconic rocker’s roots go back to the sixties as a founding member of Capitol Records’ group, Edward Bear. After a span as a journey man session musician throughout the seventies, Danny settled in to the club scene, establishing a cult following as a genre bender in music and humor.

A house band gig at Toronto’s famed Albert’s Hall led him to host his own nation-wide TV show, Stormy Monday. Through the eighties, Danny starred in CBC radio’s hit series the Hum Line.

Most recently, Danny Marks recorded two original music albums, Guitarchaeology and True, before paying tribute to Toronto’s R&B roots with Big Town Boy in 2005.

Danny’s in his thirteenth year as the radio host of JAZZ.FM91’s Saturday night blues show, bluz.fm.



DownchildDownchild Blues Band | www.downchild.com

After 45 years, Downchild is still a source of constant innovation on the Canadian blues scene. Featuring Donnie Walsh, Chuck Jackson, Michael Fonfara, Pat Carey, Gary Kendall, and Mike Fitzpatrick.




brandon-keith-546Brandon Isaak | www.brandonisaak.ca

Brandon’s affinity for the rawness and spontaneity of the blues is second to none, as anyone who has had the privilege of being a part of his audience will tell you. He brings a firebrand style of guitar as well as incredibly stirring vocals that truly has to be witnessed to be appreciated! He is VERY much in the moment as he rips it up, and we know you’ll be impressed with the caliber of showmanship within his performance of songs & stories by this great Canadian artist.








Angel ForrestAngel Forrest | www.angelforrest.ca

With a career span of over 26 years and eight records, Canada female vocalist of the year (maple blues award), Angel Forrest sure knows how to rock the house with last spring’s latest release, “LIVE” LOVE at the Palace.







Harpdog BrownHarpdog Brown | www.harpdogbrown.com

Born in Edmonton, Alberta and based in Vancouver, British Columbia, he’s crossed tens of thousands of miles playing club dates and festivals in Canada, North Western United States and Germany.
Over the years Harpdog has issued 6 CD’s  to critical acclaim. In 1995 his Home is Where The Harp Is won the coveted Muddy Award for the best NW Blues Release of the year, from the Cascade Blues Association in Portland. As well that year it was nominated for a Juno for the best Blues Release in Canada. Teamed up with Graham Guest on piano, his CD Naturally was voted #1 Canadian Blues Album of 2011 by The Blind Lemon Survey.






Steve Hill from WebsiteSteve Hill | www.stevehillmusic.com

For the past 20 years, Steve Hill has been touring and recording and has shared the stage with many of his heroes like Ray Charles, BB King, ZZ Top, Jimmie Vaughan, Hubert Sumlin, Jeff Beck and many others. Over the course of eight albums he’s explored everything from Hard-Rock, Country, Stoner Rock to Folk music while always incorporating the essence of his first love, the Blues.



Joel JohnsonJoel Johnson | joeljohnsonblues.com

Joel Johnson is an award winning and highly acclaimed blues guitarist from the Six Nations, has won a Canadian Aboriginal Music Award for best blues album of the year. Johnson was also nominated for best male artist and single of the year, two of another 11 categories that will be announced Friday night during an awards show and concert at Hamilton Place. 2010 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards winner for Best Blues Album, Best Song Single and nominated for Best Male Artist. Also nominated for Blues Recording of the Year at the 2010 Hamilton Music Awards, Joel Johnson packs some hard hitting blues on his solo debut album Blues Joose Vol. 1.



Irene Torres & The Sugar DevilsIrene Torres & The Sugar Devils | www.thesugardevils.com

Irene Torres & The SugarDevils came onto the Toronto music scene in 2011 and made a name for themselves interpreting the music of New Orleans.  They wowed audiences with their versatility in playing blues, funk, r&b, jazz, latin & soul. In 2012, they recorded their first self-titled CD in the cities of Toronto and New Orleans and received rave reviews and international radio airplay.  With this first CD, Irene Torres & The SugarDevils were the recipients of a 2012 Sigy Born Award nomination and were the winners of the 2012 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search.  In 2013 they won the “Road to Memphis” competition and as a result, had the honor of representing Canada at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis TN.