There are not enough words in the English language to explain the incredible impact Gary Kendall has had on the Canadian Blues Industry. His work with Legendary Downchild Blues Band is just the tip of a very deep ice berg. 

As a player with The Kendall Wall Band, Mighty Duck Blues Band, a who’s who of blues, rock and jazz stars, not to mention his solo albums, Gary Kendall earned his reputation as one of the most in demand and highly respected blues players in the great white north.

Add to that, his work as music director of the Maple Blues Band and as a producer and promoter though 47 records, you can begin to understand just what an impact player he truly is.

His latest release, The four song EP “Instrumentalz”, is just a small selection from his impressive musical legacy, revisited from the original recordings with co producer L. Stu Young.

The album opens up with the Maple Blues Review’s appropriately titled ‘Open Up’, originally released on “Live From Twisted Pines”. The full phat toe tapping sound only an award winning group like MBR can deliver is the perfect appetizer leading into a delicious meal of Blues. 

Up next is Chris Murphy and his smoky, jazzy classic ‘Bluesona Slonite’. This song also features a wonderful performance by multiple collaborator and friend, the late great Michael Fonfara.

The third cut is the Gary Kendall Band with a beautiful tribute to a true blues legend, with ‘Sumlin Around’. Kendall teams up with the fabulous Teddy Leonard to give new life to a blues classic, a true Labor of Love.

The album closes with the iconic ‘Thanks A Lot’ also from the Maple Blues Review. This is a piece I personally loved so much, I used it as the theme for my syndicated radio show, The Blind Lemon Blues.

Close your eyes as you listen to this piece (or the entire album) and feel the heart and soul pouring out of instruments, in the hands of true masters. Some of the class of Canadian Blues, sharing their love of music, through the music.

Short but sweet, 4 deep cuts from the career of a true Canadian blues icon. (Terry Parsons)