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John's Blues Picks, News

July 2020 – Broke Fuse + Friends

Broke Fuse is the stage name for Jay Moonah, a Scarborough-based guitarist/harmonica player who you may have caught at his gigs at the Stone Cottage Inn among his other gigs. He has released two EPs and now a full album. These are all new songs and as he often appeared with Mike McKenna, it’s perhaps no surprise that McKenna is…   

July 2020 – Big Pacific

Big Pacific is yet another blues band from that musical hot bed Vancouver Island. In this case four veterans of the Western Canada music scene, Roly Sandoval on guitar and vocals, Nick Dokter, drums & vocals, Wayne Veillet, bass & vocals and John Hannah aka Johnny Blitz, keyboards & vocals. Hannah’s is the only name you might recognize, having toured…   

July 2020 – Smoke Wagon Blues Band

Hamilton’s Smoke Wagon Blues Band gives us the story of the mad trapper of Rat River as this long running band continues its Canadian story telling. They also delve deeply into New Orleans, soul and funk in a wide-ranging program. Corey Lueck is on vocals and harp, Mike Stubbs and Steve Sherman on guitars, Gord Aeichele, sax, Brandon Bruce on…   

July 2020 – Justin Saladino Band

These young blues rockers from Montreal have decided to release an album done live in the studio before a sizeable and appreciative audience. That most of the songs are drawn from their last album, 2018’s A Fool’s Heart, is testimony to their abilities as a live act. In addition, on these two evenings last September, they introduced an almost entirely…   

July 2020 – Top Blues

This month’s recommended listening by Brad Wheeler, music writer for the Globe and Mail Twitter: @bwheelerglobe Dion Blues with Friends Keeping the Blues Alive Linsey Alexander Live at Rosa’s Delmark *Jeff Healey Heal My Soul Convexe Johnny Burgin with Special Guests No Border Blues Delmark Shawn Pittman Make It Right! Continental Blue Heaven Maceo Parker Soul Food: Cooking with Maceo Funk Garage *Wayne Nicholson & John Campbelljohn Elmore’s Blues Grindstone Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne Go,…   

July 2020 – Loose Blues News

“Almost Live” Blues: A solid offering of live Blues in Covid came from the stage at Donnelly’s Pub in the city of Thorold, a long-time hub for the genre in the Niagara Region. Most are familiar with Thorold (which banks on the Welland Canal) as home of The Canal Bank Shuffle, a 3-day festival in October featuring Blues performances big…   

July 2020 – Dione Taylor

Dione Taylor drops a new single and is the newest member of the TBS Musicians Advisory Council.

June 2020 – Linsey Alexander

One of the great pleasures is to spend an evening at a blues club in Chicago. As this is quite impossible and will be for a while yet, we can come very close to enjoying that pastime with this new live album. Linsey Alexander is a veteran Chicago bluesman who is sometimes dubbed the ‘King of Halsted Avenue’ on the…   

June 2020 – Jeff Healey

The Jeff Healey Estate has reissued the albums released four years ago to celebrate what would have been Jeff’s 50th. They were released separately at the time but are now available in a deluxe 2CD package. Jeff Healey would have been, should have been, celebrating his 50th birthday that March 2016, but it was not to be. In addition to…   

June 2020 – Michael Kaeshammer

This concert recording began life as a TV special for public television in the US, broadcast during a fundraising week last March. The subsequent CD and DVD are all slightly different from that original broadcast but it’s all the same wonderful music. The DVD version for instance, also includes documentary filming of the New Orleans recording sessions. Recorded in Sidney…   

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The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from FACTOR< and the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage (Canada Music Fund) and of Canada’s Private Broadcasters, The Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Media Development Corporation, and the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

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