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August 2020 – Book Review – Brother Robert: Growing Up With Robert Johnson

With the publication last summer of “Up Jumped The Devil: The Real Life of Robert Johnson” by Gayle Dean Wardlow and Bruce Conforth, we discovered there was previously unknown Memphis chapter in his history. Incidentally this book has won the Penderyn Prize for the best music book of any kind. We now have as full a description of the solid family life there as we’re ever likely to have.

August 2020 – Cootes Paradise

Cootes Paradise is, as you’ll recall, both the former name of the town of Dundas and a beautiful park. Their self-titled first album was nominated for a Maple Blues Award and we are now treated to the follow up. Downstream features all the veterans that made that first one led by the co-vocalists Sue Leonard and Wayne Krawchuk. They call their sounds roots and blues but for this album at least they are into a bluesy soulful blend.

August 2020 – Paul Reddick & The Gamblers

One of the club scene highlights for the past couple of years has been Paul Reddick’s regular gig at The Sauce on Danforth. In lieu of those evenings he has now taken to YouTube to give us a taste every week and we also get a full live album, only one recorded in Italy while on tour there last year.

August 2020 – Downchild

Iconic Canadian Blues Band Downchild is busily celebrating their 50th Anniversary with a tour that would still be happening were it not for the pandemic. Fortunately for us we will have a document of their fabulously well-attended show as part of Downtown Jazz last June.

August 2020 – JW-Jones

JW-Jones likes to change things up for his albums and after an excellent live album with just his road band we get a big band album with no less than thirteen horns! He describes this as his self-isolation project but he was able to assemble the whole band for much of the recording.

August 2020 – Top Blues

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


August 2020 – Loose Blues News

Virtual Blues: TBS Musicians Advisory Committee (MAC) members Gary Kendall and Dan McKinnon have been hard at work assembling and editing performances from last year’s Maple Blues Awards, adding interview sessions. Visit the TBS YouTube Channel and Subscribe to receive notifications of upcoming performances by Big Dave McLean, Michael Jerome Brown, Miss Emily.

July 2020 – Broke Fuse + Friends

Broke Fuse is the stage name for Jay Moonah, a Scarborough-based guitarist/harmonica player who you may have caught at his gigs at the Stone Cottage Inn among his other gigs. He has released two EPs and now a full album.

July 2020 – Big Pacific

Big Pacific is yet another blues band from that musical hot bed Vancouver Island. In this case four veterans of the Western Canada music scene, Roly Sandoval on guitar and vocals, Nick Dokter, drums & vocals, Wayne Veillet, bass & vocals and John Hannah aka Johnny Blitz, keyboards & vocals.

July 2020 – Smoke Wagon Blues Band

Hamilton’s Smoke Wagon Blues Band gives us the story of the mad trapper of Rat River as this long running band continues its Canadian story telling. They also delve deeply into New Orleans, soul and funk in a wide-ranging program.

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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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