Loose Blues News – January 2018

The Blues Foundation in partnership with broadcast partner Ditty TV will announce the 39th Blues Music Awards nominees LIVE from Memphis on Tuesday, January 9, 2018. Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, and John Nemeth will emcee the announcements beginning at 10am CST. You can watch the announcements in real time on any of Ditty TVs multiple platforms as well as via Facebook Live on The Blues Foundation Facebook page. Tickets to the BMAs will go on sale in conjunction with this BMA Nominee broadcast so you can visit to purchase your tickets online and get the direct link to the broadcast.

Top Blues – January 2018

This month’s recommended listening by John Valenteyn, host of John Valenteyn’s Blues on, 89.5 and CD reviewer for Maple Blues.

John’s Blues Picks January 2018 – Wes Mackey

Wes Mackey is a Vancouver bluesman, now 75 years old, with roots that go back to South Carolina. He worked as a sideman in blues bands in the US before ending up in Vancouver, where he eventually re-started his solo career. He has often performed as a one-man band but for some of his recordings he assembled the best Vancouver players.

John’s Blues Picks January 2018 – Shirley Jackson & Her Good Rockin’ Daddys

This is a Halifax horn band: two saxes & trumpet carry the load. MBA winner Shirley Jackson leads on tenor & vocals, Dawn Hatfield on baritone and Dave Harrison on trumpet. There are two guitarists: Tom Crilley & Marc Doucet, with Jef Wirchenko on double bass and Ainslie Jardine on drums. Ms. Jackson wrote most of the songs and did the horn arrangements, showcased most admirably on the opening rousing instrumental “Back Porch Swing” which indeed swings like crazy.

John’s Blues Picks January 2018 – Al Wood & The Woodsmen

Ottawa’s Al Wood is the vocalist, songwriter, harp player and guitarist and The Woodsmen are Lindsay Pugh on lead guitar, Frank Deresti on bass and Simon Meilleur on drums. Together they’ve released four CDs now and made it to the semi-finals at the 2011 IBCs in Memphis. They wanted to do a live off the floor album of new songs and they’ve done very well indeed – nothing mattters more than talent & experience for this task.

John’s Blues Picks January 2018 – Vincent Beaulne

Vincent Beaulne is the lead singer and guitarist for the Montreal group Blues Delight. So that’s one way to interpret the CD title. We can also look at it as making a statement through his songs. They are highly original, personal compositions performed with just his various guitars but on many he’s added some very attractive instrumentation.

John’s Blues Picks January 2018 – Billy Joe Green

Billy Joe Green, Osawi Kinew (Brown Eagle) of the Mahkwa Dotem (Bear Clan) is from the Anishnaabe Aki-ing Territory. His escape from residential school was through his guitar. The Winnipeg nightclub scene was hot and Billy Joe soaked it all up, playing every kind of music imaginable.

John’s Blues Picks January 2018 – Crystal Shawanda

After the hard rocking Fish Out Of Water last year, Crystal Shawanda returns to the blues with Voodoo Woman. She’s Ojibwe and this time out she’s paying tribute to the blues women she grew up listening to on the Wikwemikong reserve on Manitoulin Island, in sparkling new arrangements.

January 2018 – Matt Anderson

Matt Andersen will be performing at Maple Blues Awards

2017 Women’s Blues Revue Gallery

Check out some great pictures of the magical evening!

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TBS logo and WBR artwork by Barbara Klunder

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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