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Odds and sods from the Toronto blues community and beyond.

Loose Blues – December 2019

“Almost” to be inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame: The first Canadian blues recording ever to sell gold, “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost),” written by The Legendary Downchild Blues Band’s leader and co-founder, Don Walsh, was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame (CSHF) at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa on Friday, November 29, 2019.  The song skyrocketed to international fame when it was covered by The Blues Brothers’ Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi, who were heavily influenced by the Canadian group founded in 1969. The song induction will take place during the band’s 50th Anniversary Party in Ottawa on Nov. 29, featuring special guests Dan Aykroyd, Tony D (MonkeyJunk), Suzie Vinnick and Andy J Forest.

Loose Blues News – November 2019

Blues for the Red Door is back and some of the finest musicians from across Southern Ontario will again take the stage at Lula Lounge on Sunday, November 3 to give of their time, sing their hearts out and make music for this worthy cause. This year’s amazing lineup includes headliners Tyler Yarema & Janice Hagen, Jerome Godboo, Rick Taylor, Fraser Melvin & Raha Javanfar, Johnny Max, Sugar Brown, Sean Pinchin, as well as special appearance from Bywater Call with the night hosted and presented by Big Rude Jake (pictured), and Pivotal Productions.

Loose Blues News – October 2019

John Valenteyn’s Blues on CIUT-FM has moved to a new time. It’s now broadcast Fridays from 1-2pm.  John showcases concert previews, Blues Society events, new music releases and blues news. The shows are available as podcasts at Photo by Doug MacVicar.

Loose Blues News – September 2019

Revival Club bringing the Blues: Music Express is launching a new initiative at the Revival Club on College St. in which they will bring a series of high profile blues shows to help fill the gap from the departure of the Cadillac Lounge. The first show is Jack DeKeyzer, Paul James and Danny Marks on September 20th and on November 15th they will present Myles Goodwyn Blues Band and MonkeyJunk.

Loose Blues News – August 2019

Congratulations to Suzie Vinnick who was just honoured by the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival with their special recognition award, presented to musicians who have made a significant contribution to Saskatchewan’s music culture. Noting that it’s been rare that a female musician has been recognized Suzie told the CBC, “It’s amazing because it’s 30 years since my first performance that I’m going to be back at the festival… I feel old now.”

Loose Blues News – July 2019

Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship: Grossman’s Tavern is pleased to announce that the applications are open for the annual Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship (ALGMS), from June 10, 2019 until September 13, 2019. The winner will be announced at their fundraiser on Tuesday, September 24th, 2019, 7pm at Grossman’s Tavern. Musicians or bands interested in applying for the ALGMS are asked to fill out a proposal, highlighting what they plan to do with the funding. The ALGMS scholarship is valued at $2,000 CAD.

Previous winners of the ALGMS include Jerome Godboo, Chloe Watkinson, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes, Dan McKinnon and The Swingin’ Blackjacks. Details

Loose Blues News – June 2019

Veteran music publicist and “eminence grise” at the TBS, Richard Flohil presented Buddy Guy with his Maple Blues Award for International Artist of the Year backstage at Roy Thomson Hall.  Flo played a big part in Buddy’s introduction to Toronto blues fans in the 60s and has lent a helping hand to many emerging and established Canadian blues & roots artists, many of whom will gather at the Horseshoe Tavern on Friday, June 28 to celebrate his 85th birthday. Ariana Gillis and David Gillis, Jay Aymar, Jaymz Bee, Jenie Thai, Kaia Kater, Paul Reddick, Russell deCarle, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Scotty Campbell, Shakura S’Aida and more will be performing while friends and fans will enjoy birthday cake and other vegetable-less “Flohil food.” All the performers have donated their time and all proceeds after expenses will go to the Unison Benevolent Fund. Photo by Jag Gundu.

Loose Blues News – May 2019

Milton’s 19 year old blues phenom Gavin McLeod will be doing festival dates at Orangeville (May 31), Downtown Milton Streetfest (June 1), Burlington Sound of Music festival, Ottawa Bluesfest (Jul 11) Tremblant Blues (Jul 12 & 13)

Loose Blues News – April 2019

Congratulations to Colin James who received the JUNO award for 2019 Blues Album of the Year for “Miles To Go.” Colin did not attend in person because he was kicking off a huge cross-Canada tour with the same crack band that played on the album, including some familiar faces on the Toronto blues scene, Jesse O’Brien, Chris Caddell, and MonkeyJunk’s Steve Marriner. Colin beat out a field of top contenders, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Jack de Keyzer, Myles Goodwin and Sue Foley. Congrats to all!

Loose Blues News – March 2019

It was a great shock for all of us here at the Toronto Blues Society when we learned about the sudden passing of Vancouver bluesman Wes Mackey. We were privileged to have him on the Blues Summit 9 stage last month in Toronto and pleased to welcome him at the Maple Blues Awards. Raised in South Carolina, Wes learned the art of guitar from seasoned blues players, eventually moving to Georgia when his career took off backing legends such as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed. Years later he would settle in Vancouver and begin a career which was active right up until his passing. Performing worldwide and a favourite of European promoters where he toured often representing classic southern blues, he also kept his art fresh, even taking part in an album of a blues and rap mashup. In his mid-70’s he showed no signs of slowing down. TBS sends its condolences to his wife Laura & his entire family. Photo by Axel Coeuret.

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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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