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Top Blues – December 2017

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

Loose Blues News – December 2017

Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes will host the Nominee Jam in the Koerner Hall lobby for the Maple Blues Awards after-party. On Thursday, January 25, they host a special event at the Dakota Tavern celebrating Etta James’ 80th birthday with special guests Dani Nash, Samantha Martin, Nicky Lawrence, Alana Bridgewater, and SATE, all backed by a 7-pc band. Join Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes at the Dakota Tavern to celebrate the life, career, and legacy of this legendary singer. Photo by Max Power

John’s Blues Picks December 2017 – André Bisson

This Hamilton artist was part of the Toronto Blues Society presentation at the Hot & Spicy Festival at Harbourfront Centre this past Labour Day Weekend, making it one of the very few opportunities we’ve had to see this veteran performer. We have his albums, though, and they are all ambitious efforts, with good songs and large casts and this one is no exception, in fact some songs on Break feature twenty players.

John’s Blues Pick November 2017 – Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters

Ronnie Earl’s Broadcasters have had one of the most consistent lineups over the years. As each new album arrived, Dave Limina was on B3, Lorne Entress, drums and Jim Mouradian was on bass. But after a performance this past January, Mouradian suddenly passed away. A new album would be an obvious way to deal with the loss. Earl calls it “A traditional blues album of remembrance, love, and unwavering resolve to live with faith and gratitude.

John’s Blues Pick November 2017 – Jim Byrnes

Jim Byrnes has found a modus operandi that continues to pay large dividends for him: songs he remembers from his formative years in St. Louis MO, newly written originals and new interpretations of solid classics. His ‘warm & weathered’ singing style has been recognized with many awards, including several Maple Blues Awards and the key really is his voice, it allows him to make almost any song his own.

John’s Blues Pick November 2017 – Jackie Shane

You may have seen the stories in the papers recently about this hugely important and influential performer active here in the 60’s and who then disappeared. Jackie Shane was a transgender star in an era when this was most unlikely, perhaps especially in 60’s Toronto. Appearing regularly at the Big Bop, the Brass Rail and the Saphire Tavern with dual trumpeter Frank Motley and his Motley Crew, Shane drew huge crowds.

November 2017 – Sue Foley

Sue Foley returns to the TBS Women’s Blues Revue

Loose Blues News – November 2017

TBS Talent Search Winner Dan McKinnon was just awarded the $2000 Amy Louie Grossman Music Scholarship at the 6th annual fund raiser on September 26.  His winning proposal outlined plans to support a new recording that will be released in 2018. He is pictured with Grossman`s owner Christina Louie and 2016 ALGMS recipient Raha Javanfar (Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes) who hosted the evening which featured performances by The Happy Pals, Frankie Foo, The Porch Dog Choir, Robert Priest & The Great Big Face Band, Chloe Watkinson & Park Eddy, Jerome Godboo & Eric Schenkman, Neil Chapman w/ David Hines & Rob Grenway and 2017 ALGMS recipient, Dan McKinnon. $1400.00 was raised for the ALGMS fund. Photo by David Goldberg.

John’s Blues Pick November 2017 – Little Miss Higgins

My Home, My Heart arrives after a little bit of a hiatus from recording for Jolene ‘Little Miss’ Higgins, brought about by her new arrival and that new son is the subject of several of the songs here. It builds on the Bison Ranch Recording Sessions in that it uses a large group of players, different ones this time, and the new songs are very good indeed.

John’s Blues Pick November 2017 – Various Artists

In a first for this label, we get a fabulous collection of modern day harp performances from Electro-Fi’s back catalogue. In an era where it seems only guitar players get noticed, this collection is a welcome antidote. It’s also an indication of the breadth of traditional blues in the catalogue: from the opening solo live-in-the-studio flight of Paul Oscher on several harmonicas to the full out acrobatics of Mark Hummel’s “Harpoventilating”.

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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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