Toronto Blues Society | » Loose Blues News – January 2019

Loose Blues News – January 2019

Published January 6, 2019 in Loose Blues News, News

Blues Booster of the Year:

This year’s Maple Blues Award for Blues Booster will go to the Hornby Island Blues Society, celebrating their 20th Anniversary this year.

“Twenty years in, Hornby Island Blues Society has polished a gem with their annual workshop week”, says Toronto Blues Society President Derek Andrews. “Their dedication and community building deserves to be recognized.”

Over the last two decades, the workshop has welcomed students from all over Canada and the US to learn from all the best Blues and Roots musicians in the country. This year they’re presenting a big program of fourteen musician/instructors joining in the celebration of their twentieth Blues Week that will rolling out May 4 through May 11. Some familiar names on the roster of guest musicians this year: Gary Kendall, Suzie Vinnick, Jack de Keyzer, Cecile Doo Kingue, Rick Fines, Michael Jerome Browne, Chris Whiteley and Diana Braithwaite.

The workshops are very comprehensive, for example Jack de Keyzer covers a lot of blues guitar styles with topics like: “SRV Texas Flood”, “T Bone Walker : Meat and Potatoes!”, “Elmore James Sliding!” and “The Source: Robert Johnson” where students will learn two essential Robert Johnson blues compositions “Sweet Home Chicago” and “Come in My Kitchen” with open G tuning. Finger picking will be important and both acoustic or electric guitars employed.

To celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Blues Workshop, the Hornby Island Blues Society, who organize all the activities in “Blues Week,” will throw a big party on May 5, 2019. It’s an opportunity to recognize all the past contributors — volunteers, past & present HIBS board members, long-term supportive students, musicians and a host of other “lifers” who continue to make their Workshop and Blues Week a special place to be. Hornby Island Blues Society and all its moving parts is volunteer driven.

For more information on the Hornby Island Blues Workshop and the Hornby Island Blues Society visit their website:

Welcome Greg Torrington:

Readers will notice a new contributor to the Top Blues this month. He is Greg Torrington, programmer for Stingray’s Blues channel, streaming on digital cable throughout North America and around the world on its apps. Beside the main 24/7 stream, “The Blues” the app offers over two dozen more blues-related channels. Greg Torrington who oversees all of Stingray’s Roots channels is a broadcast and music industry veteran has worked in large market radio, major label A&R, and in the past has been in artist management for award winning Canadian Blues artists such as Colin Linden, Rita Chiarelli and Carlos del Junco. He will be a great addition to the team and has a great start with a record forty selections!

Congrats to Rob Lutes: The Canadian Folk Music Awards have declared Rob the Contemporary Singer of the Year for Walk in the Dark. Rob writes, “When the news came, I was streaming the event at Liz Scott’s after performing a show at Irish Mountain, near Meaford, Ontario…Trish Bolechowsky was on site at the event in Calgary and kindly accepted the prize in my honour. So much thanks for this and all the other nominations for the record go to my co-producer Rob Heaney, along with Rob MacDonald and all the musicians on the album. And to the many folks who have come to the shows and bought CDs and kept me going over these years – that’s you.”

Guitar Wars in Thorold:

Guitarslingers Paul DesLauriers, JW Jones, David Gogo, Steve Grisbrook and Riley Michaels will gather at Holy Rosary Hall in Thorold on Friday February 1 for a cross-country guitar showdown. Doors Open at 6 p.m. Show Starts at 7 p.m. Presented by the Canal Bank Shuffle. www.

Blues on the Rideau returns in the new year:

The 2019 edition of Blues on the Rideau kicks off with Jack de Keyzer on January18 & 19. This is Jack’s 8th return visit and he’s Sold Out every time. This is his last gig before he and the band leave to compete at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis Visit their website to see the exciting lineup for 2019.

Small but Beautiful:

The Senator Winebar, located directly above the Senator diner and next to the Jazz Bistro on Victoria Street is the spot for hearing some blues up-close and personal. There is no PA system, just a Heintzman upright and 30 or so seats. Fabulous food and dinner starts at 5:30pm, followed by live music 9:00pm until midnight. Here are some upcoming shows: Fri. Jan. 11 – Julian Fauth with Derek Downham; Sat. Jan. 12 – Alex Pangman; Fri. Jan. 18 – Julian Fauth with Ken Yoshioka; Sat. Jan. 19 – Lance Anderson & Quisha Wint; Fri. Jan. 25 – Julian Fauth with Steve Marriner. www.


The International Blues Challenge will take place January 22-26 in Memphis, Tenessee and represents the worldwide search for those Blues Bands and Solo/Duo Blues Acts ready to perform on the international stage, yet just needing that extra big break. Each Affiliate of The Blues Foundation has the right to send a band and a solo/duo act to represent its organization at the IBC and the TBS will be represented by Jack de Keyzer. Dan McKinnon’s album The Cleaner will represent the Toronto Blues Society in the Blues Foundation’s Best Self-Produced CD competition. The finalists will be announced prior to The

International Blues Challenge with the winner revealed during the IBC Finals on Saturday, January 26, 2019.

During IBC week the Consulate General of Canada will present a panel on trends and opportunities in the blues music industry at the Blues Hall of Fame Museum on Wednesday, January 23, from 2:00 – 3:00 pm

Blues Music Awards Nominees:

Tune-in to on January 9th at 8 a.m. CST for the announcement of the 2019 Blues Music Awards Nominees. There are 26 categories of blues music they will be celebrating, You can visit to find the link or you can visit their Facebook Page for live streaming.

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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.