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John’s Blues Picks February 2018 – Curtis Salgado & Alan Hager


Soul bluesman/harmonica player Curtis Salgado and his lead guitarist Alan Hager decided to record an acoustic album and a fine decision it was. They’ve worked up a program of originals and newly arranged covers that’s a delight to hear. Salgado has had rather more health problems than any man should endure but he’s back, a fact celebrated in the opening “I Will Not Surrender”. Hager, who is a graduate of the Berklee School and of the New England Conservatory, brings a unique sophistication to the music.

John’s Blues Picks February 2018 – Tinsley Ellis


Atlanta-born guitarist Tinsley Ellis begins his third stint on Alligator Records with a blistering bluesrock disc. The hard-touring Ellis debuted album #19 for us at the Cadillac Lounge on Jan. 29, I hope you were there. This was one of the very few touring acts to come through here, if you want more, you should show the clubs that it’s worth their while. Winning Hand has nine originals and one cover and most certainly honours his pledge that this album is all about ‘guitar, guitar, guitar’.

John’s Blues Picks February 2018 – Jay Kipps Band


The Jay Kipps Band hail from Mono, ON with Jay Kipps on vocals, harmonica & guitar; Chad Burford on lead guitar; Cory Bruyea on drums and Chris Lubker, bass. Strawberry Sunset aka Maddie Ball adds background vocals. They claim to bring blues into modern Americana and to that end open with a “Rawhide”-like instrumental “Colt 45”.

John’s Blues Picks February 2018 – Stan Grizzel and Canadian Bluez


Stan Grizzel now resides in Strathroy but has quite a career behind him. According to his website, he’s a descendant of a family that arrived here on the Underground Railroad. He was a child actor for the CBC and the first black child actor in ACTRA to model for the Eaton’s, Sears & Simpson’s catalogues.

John’s Blues Picks February 2018 – Angel Forrest


Our re-elected Female Vocalist Of The Year brought along a new album to the Awards evening. Electric Love is a two-disc set that gives us her current live set with most of that album with her smoking regular band, which includes the amazing Ricky Paquette on lead guitar – you won’t miss those other guitarists.

Top Blues – February 2018


This month’s recommended listening by Brad Wheeler, music writer for the Globe and Mail. Twitter: @bwheelerglobe

Loose Blues News – February 2018


The Toronto Blues Society is co-presenting an all-star Blues Showcase as part of Winterfolk on Friday, February 16 at the Black Swan (upstairs) with Al Lerman, Kim Doolittle, Julian Fauth and David Essig. The showcase is followed by a performance by Jack de Keyzer and there is a lot more blues throughout the week-end. Winterfolk is an all-ages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival. TICKETS www.winterfolk.com.

February 2018 – Maple Blues Awards Winners


Maple Blues Awards Winners

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 blues.org 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 ciut.fm, 89.5 and CD reviewer for Maple Blues.

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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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