Toronto Blues Society | » John’s Blues Picks

John’s Blues Picks is the monthly album review column originally launched by the late Toronto-based blues historian and broadcaster, John Valenteyn. Submission can be sent to the TBS office for consideration and will be circulated to a pool of journalists and others for review in the monthly Maple Blues newsletter and placed at the Spotify playlist.


May 2024 – Glenn Marais & the Mojo Train

It’s not easy to settle on a genre that defines Red, Hot and Blue the latest album from Newmarket, Ontario’s Glenn Marais & the Mojo Train. Is it blues? Funk? Rock? R&B? Yes.

May 2024 – Rick Vito

Rick Vito, born in 1949 had, I must say, escaped my attention, like an invisible man who has nevertheless played on over a hundred records, including a dozen releases, CDs and DVDs under his own signature.

May 2024 – Eric Bibb

After five decades of a fruitful career and thirty-six albums behind him, Eric Bibb, in the tireless pursuit of his musical journey of blues, folk, gospel and Americana represents for me a style, a genre in itself.

April 2024 – Jack de Keyzer

During the pandemic shut-down, what better way for a seasoned blues guitarist and singer to keep his spirits up and stay in top form than delving into performing and recording a new CD, mainly in the acoustic and traditional style.

April 2024 – Mike Goudreau Band

Just want to Have Fun is the 23rd album by the prolific Mike Goudreau. It includes twelve originals by the artist and is co-produced and recorded with his long-time friend, Dany Roy, the brilliant saxophonist and arranger who also plays trumpet and flute on this opus. 

March 2024 – Danielle Nicole

With the release of The Love You Bleed, Danielle Nicole’s career continues to soar. Her previous album was nominated for a Grammy and topped the Billboard blues chart, and this current CD — her third since becoming a solo artist — has hit number one on the Billboard, iTunes and Amazon blues charts. 

March 2024 – Ndidi O

Ndidi Onukwulu submitted a three song demo to the TBS Talent Search as an early first step in her Toronto career, twenty years ago.  She didn’t “compete” in the session as the submission came in too late, however the tracks were so compelling, she got an invite to the Women’s Blues Revue in 2004 at Massey Hall

December 2023 – André Bisson

It has been largely under the radar, but Canadian soul/blues/roots singer/songwriter André Bisson has been a prolific recording artist over the past two decades. Latchford is rather a milestone album, as it is the 10th entry in his discography.

December 2023 – LJ Mounteney

LJ Mounteney spent her early years on the prairies. Her mother had a great love of music, which she passed along to her daughter. LJ moved to BC and found herself in Vancouver. After taking the jazz program at Vancouver Community College, she sang in jazz, swing, R&B, roots and pop bands.

September 2023 – The Blackburn Brothers

The Toronto music scene has been enriched by members of the Blackburn family for over five decades, beginning with veteran R&B artist  and family patriarch Bobby Dean Blackburn. He has passed the torch onto a younger generation, and it is now burning bright in the form of The Blackburn Brothers, comprised of his sons Duane (lead vocals, organ, piano), Brooke (guitar, vocals), Cory (drums, harmony vocals), and Robert (guitar, harmony vocals).

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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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