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March 2019 – Gaye Adegbalola


It’s been said that no one is singing protest songs these days but whoever said that hasn’t checked out Gaye Adegbalola. This founding member of Saffire-The Uppity Blues Women has never stopped being uppity. Now 74, she sees herself in the role of Griot, the African custodian of oral history and storytelling and her stories are most certainly worth telling. About half the album takes on political and social themes while the other half tackles relationships past & present.

March 2019 – Dashboard Rattle


This new combination of four London area veterans shows great promise. Rick Taylor’s is the name you might most easily recognize and he’s on one guitar; Joe Fournier is on the other guitar; Jay Riehl, drums and Richard J. Miron on bass. They all sing, they all write and they describe their sound as ‘everything roots’ and perhaps more accurately as a ‘kickin’ guitar band’. The opening track, and the first single, is “All Kinds of Good”, an attractive one about the effect a new partner has on our singer.

March 2019 – Miche Love with Louis Janelle Band


Miche Love was but one of the many highlights at the Blues Summit this year. She was proclaimed ‘discovery of the year’ at the Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival in 2013 and this was her first appearance here after several years of touring in Quebec. Her band is now known as The Dynamite while the CD is with the Louis Janelle Band but both bands have Janelle on guitar and Eloi Bertholet on drums.

March 2019 – Sean Pinchin


After a couple of locally available (in Port Credit) albums Sean Pinchin’s talents were recognized by Steve Strongman’s producer Rob Szabo, resulting in 2013’s Rustbucket, 2016’s Monkey Brain, which garnered Pinchin a Blues JUNO nomination and now his new one, Bad Things. What Szabo saw in this by now Toronto resident was a talent for big guitar riffs and memorable songs, both very much on display here.

March 2019 – Matt Andersen


For the hard-touring Matt Andersen, it would seem that this title is long overdue but as you listen to the songs, you discover he assigns different meanings for ‘home’. And for these songs, he has assembled an all-star cast. First the songs themselves: as has become standard practice for Andersen, they are almost all co-writes and these writers are stars by themselves, ensuring a high quality.

Top Blues – March 2019


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

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.

February 2019 – Watermelon Slim


William Homans, aka Watermelon Slim, recorded Golden Boy last year in Winnipeg and released it on France’s Dixiefrog label. This new one has him once again on our NorthernBlues. A longtime resident of Clarksdale MS, Church of the Blues was apparently recorded back in his hometown of Norman, Oklahoma and what we get is his trio with lots of guests, primarily on lead guitar. Howlin’ Wolf once said that he rarely played guitar because he felt his style was too old fashioned, he had  Hubert Sumlin there to provide that more contemporary sound.

February 2019 – Mike Goudreau


This Eastern Townships veteran has quite a large discography both solo or as leader of the Boppin’ Blues Band. Not as well-known is his sideline as a composer of music for films and TV. He now has a CD of highlights from that work and it comes as something of a surprise that songs of this quality have been ‘hidden’ this way. Vol. 1 covers the blues selections from a catalogue of some fifty songs and these are actual songs as opposed to instrumental interludes.

February 2019 – Ragtime Orioles


You may not have known that a renowned expert in early blues and ragtime is right here in town: Professor Emeritus Bill Westcott retired from teaching music at York U. in 2010. He has a couple of solo CDs featuring his piano playing and has now assembled a group to play some of these songs in a more formal setting. Brenna MacCrimmon is on voice & percussion; Andrew Downing, bass; Tim Posgate, banjo and Chris Robinson on clarinet. In these performances, they take us back in time to a period when blues and jazz were emerging from ragtime and into vaudeville.

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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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