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Maple Blues Archive


January 2019 – Robert Connely Farr & The Rebeltones

Robert Connely Farr is a Vancouver resident, who grew up in Bolton MS. In 2017, he travelled to nearby Bentonia to learn from Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, who runs and performs at the Blue Front Café there. It’s celebrating its 70th anniversary this year and is the longest running juke joint in Mississippi.

January 2019 – Robert Davis

Robert Davis moved here from Kingston in 1981, playing harmonica and learning guitar while teaching in community college and working with the homeless. He was also learning Spanish and would regularly visit Cuba to play with band called Bluespirit. He formed a band here called Up the Line, which was a finalist in the 2007 Talent Search. Fraser Melvin is a very talented guitarist and arranger about town, currently playing with Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes and you heard some of his amazing charts at the Women’s Blues revue last fall.

January 2019 – Blue Standard

This is the new project for Raoul Bhaneja, entertainer, vocalist, actor, harmonica player & bandleader. He’s joined by Jesse Whiteley of the famous Whiteley clan and a keyboard wiz formerly with bands like JW-Jones and the 24th Street Wailers. The duo’s name derives from ‘jazz standard’ and they chose songs from well-known jazz singers such as Nat King Cole, Chet Baker and Jimmy Scott. The album title comes from a Joe Williams song, which gets a lovely vocal from Raoul.

January 2019 – Eric Schenkman

You’ve seen Eric Schenkman’s name in the listings playing guitar in Jerome Godboo’s bands for some years now along with many others. He’s also a member of Godboogie, a more formal Godboo lineup whose album Play Music and Dance was released last year by Vizztone. Schenkman was a founding member and guitarist for the New York City alt-rock group the Spindoctors

January 2019 – Whitehorse

Back in May 2016 Melissa McClelland & Luke Doucet, the Hamilton duo who call themselves Whitehorse, released Vol. 1. It became one of the nominees for the Blues JUNO last year. They had already won a JUNO for Leave No Bridge Unburned. Vol. 2 may well do the same or even better next year. On both EPs, they combine their alt-rock (and laptop) sensibility with a deep understanding of the importance of the blues along with their very contemporary music, in each case adding new insights to the selected blues classics.

Top Blues – January 2019

Various Artists    Muscle Shoals Small Town Big Sound    RCA
Keesha Pratt Band    Believe    Independent
Eric Lindell    Revolution in Your Heart    Alligator
Boz Scaggs    Out of the Blues    Concord
Keith Stone With Red Gravy    Keith Stone With Red Gravy    Independent
Billy Hector    Some Day Baby    Ghetto Surf Music
Anthony Geraci    Why Did You Have To Go    Shining Stone
Damon Fowler    The Whiskey Bayou Session    Whiskey Bayou Records
Bob Lanza    Kid Dogs And Krazy Women    Connor Ray Music
Billy Gibbons    The Big Bad Blues     Concord
Big Harp George    Uptown Cool    Blues Mountain Records
Tom Hambridge    The NOLA Sessions    SuperStar
Trudy Lynn    Blues Came Knockin’    Connor Bay Music
Russ Green    City Soul    Cleopatra Records
Kat Riggins    In The Boys’ Club    Bluzpik
David Vest *    David Vest    Cordova Bay
Jack de Keyzer *    Checkmate    Blue Star Records
Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar *    Run To Me    Gypsy Soul Records
Ndidi O *    These Days    Independent
Spencer Mackenzie *    Cold November    Gypsy Soul
Elise LeGrow *    Playing Chess    S-Curve Records
Lindsay Beaver *    Tough As Love    Alligator
Suzie Vinnick *    Shake The Love Around    Independent
Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio    Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here    Alligator
Myles Goodwyn *    And Friends of the Blues    Northern Goody Two Tunes/Linus
Gina Sicilia    Heard the Lie    Blue Elan Records
Kara Grainger    Living With Your Ghost    Station House
Bob Corritore & Friends    Don’t Let The Devil Ride    SWMAF / VizzTone
Nicki Bluhm    To Rise You Gotta Fall    Compass
Kat Danser *    Goin’ Gone    Black Hen
Mike Farris    Silver & Stone    Compass
Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band    Poor Until Payday    Thirty Tigers
Rachelle Coba    Blink    American Showplace
Buddy Guy    The Blues is Alive and Well    Silvertone/RCA/Sony
Al Basile    Me & The Originator    Sweetspot
Jon Cleary    Dyna-Mite    FHQ/Thirty Tigers
Dan McKinnon    The Cleaner    Independent
Michael Kaeshammer *    Something New    Linus Entertainment Inc.
John Fogerty    The Holy Grail    BMG
Sons of Rhythm *    Sons of Rhythm    Independent

*=Canadian

Loose Blues News – January 2019

Rory Block makes a rare Toronto appearance at Hugh’s Room Live on Tuesday, February 12, 2019. Born in Princeton, NJ, Aurora Rory Block grew up in Manhattan in a family with Bohemian leanings. Her father owned a Greenwich Village sandal shop, where musicians like Bob Dylan, Maria Muldaur and John Sebastian all made occasional appearances. She learned her first lessons in blues and gospel music from the Reverend Gary Davis. She swapped stories and guitar licks with seminal bluesman Son House, Robert Johnsons mentor (He kept asking, Where did she learn to play like this?). She visited Skip James in the hospital after his cancer surgery. She traveled to Washington, DC, to visit with Mississippi John Hurt and absorb first-hand his technique and his creativity. Heralded as a living landmark (Berkeley Express), a national treasure (Guitar Extra), and one of the greatest living acoustic blues artists (Blues Revue), Rory Block has committed her life and her career to preserving the Delta blues tradition and bringing it to life for 21st century audiences around the world.

January 2019 – Raoul Bhaneja

Raoul Bhaneja will host the Maple Blues Awards gala February 4 at Koerner Hall

December 2018 – Les Copeland

Vernon BC-based Les Copeland is a veteran country bluesman, tracing his path from Fred McDowell and was a regular playing partner for David Honeyboy Edwards on his trips to the West Coast. Honeyboy guested on Copeland’s earlier discs for Earwig, in person on the first and in spirit on the second.

December 2018 – Jim Dan Dee

This is a new quartet of local players none of whom have been mentioned in this column before. Their name comes from the phrase ‘Everything is just Jim Dandy’ and it is also a stage persona, a character played by Jim Stefanuk, who handles the vocals and lead guitar.

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