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February 2021 – New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Riders

The genesis of the New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Riders recordings was on a Charlie Musselwhite / Mavis Staples tour bus. The North Mississippi All-Stars were the backing band on the tour; and, while on route, Luther Dickinson of The All-Stars and Musselwhite hatched a plan to record together along with a few friends.

February 2021 – The Swingin’ Blackjacks

This Toronto trio features singer/songwriter/guitarist Matt Allen, ace bassist/backing vocalist Gary Kendall (Downchild), and drummer Adam David. Their new EP comes as a result of winning the Amy Louie Grossman Music Scholarship in 2018, whose funding facilitated this release. Money well spent, as Four Hot Tracks lives up to its title.

February 2021 – Loose Blues News

Winter Blues: Toronto roots music fans have enjoyed the annual appearance of Winterfolk and last year, a new February festival appeared on the scene, the “Be Kind” festival. Both were based out of the Tranzac last year but this time they’ll be online, like everybody else. Winterfolk is happening February 19 & 20 and has plenty of blues content: Donne Roberts, Ken Whiteley, Jack de Keyzer, Suzie Vinnick, Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley and Julian Taylor among other blues-friendly roots artists.

February 2021 – Angelique Francis

Angelique Francis along with Matt Sobb co-host the Ottawa edition of the (virtual) Maple Blues Awards on February 8 on the TBS Facebook & YouTube channel.

Jan 2021 – Layla Zoe

Nowhere Left To Go is the latest offering of ten new original songs from Layla Zoe. Now residing in the Netherlands, this album shows a much deeper, more reflective side, of this fiercely independent artist.

Jan 2021 – Selwyn Birchwood

At 35, Selwyn Birchwood is hardly the ‘typical’ blues artist. Yet, being pegged a maverick has little to do with his age. His musical epiphany came at age 13 upon first hearing Hendrix and, tracing the artist’s love for the blues, a chance to see Buddy Guy live sealed the deal for this young guitarist. He not only realized what he wanted to do but was also fortunate to study under Sonny Rhodes’ tutelage – on the road of hard knocks.

Jan 2021 – Gráinne Duffy

Voodoo Blues is a showcase for the intense, electrifying vocals of Irish singer and guitar player Gráinne Duffy, who wrote all the songs on this album with her rhythm guitarist, Paul Sherry. Her blues-infused rock packs a potent punch. She was voted best female vocalist in 2014 and best artist in 2015 by Blues Matters, a U.K. publication. Her artistry has been honed with a degree in music, and she has four previous albums under her belt.

Jan 2021 – Kat Danser

Having earned the moniker, “Canada’s Swamp Blues Queen,” Edmonton’s Kat Danser lives up to the title with yet another golden album. One Eye Open, Danser’s sixth release, continues her collaboration with guitarist/producer Steve Dawson, releasing the album on his Black Hen Music label, with distribution handled by True North Records.

Jan 2021 – Top Blues

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

Jan 2021 – Loose Blues News

The annual Blues Booster Award determined by the TBS Board of Directors has been renamed in honour of John Valenteyn the late co-founder of the organization. John’s untimely passing in October continues to reverberate in the community as he left a huge legacy. As you can see in this publication we have recruited a pool or scribes to cover off his monthly “John’s Picks” review column, a group that includes Richard Flohil, Sandra Tooze, Eric Thom, Terry Parson and others including the recipient of the the booster, Cindy McLeod.

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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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