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Published March 8, 2012 in Loose Blues News, News

Talking Music at Toronto Public Libraries: Holger Petersen, the founding owner of Stony Plain Records and longtime host of CBC’s Saturday Night Blues, Petersen is one of the country’s most trusted authorities on all things blues. In this foray into print, interviews some of the world’s most important and loved artists, including Long John Baldry, Eric Burdon, Ry Cooder, Mick Fleetwood, Jeff Healey, Alan Lomax, Sam Phillips, Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, Duke Robillard and Mavis Staples. Don’t miss this rare treat to meet and quiz our national bluesologist. Holger will be speaking at S. Walter Stewart on Wed April 18 at 7pm-8:30pm, and at Cedarbrae on April 18 at 1pm-2:30pm. Both of these events are free to the public.

Rita in Belleville: Rita Chiarelli will be performing and screening her award winning documentary “Music From the Big House” to kick off the Belleville International Documentary Film Festival’s opening gala at the Empire Theatre on March 2 at 7pm.

Africa Up Close: Africa Up Close is a concert series being put on by the Batuki Music Society which takes place at the intimate NOW Lounge (189 Church St) and features not only terrific music, but also offers healthy, organic food. Blues artist Madagascar Slim performs on Friday March 2. Doors at 7pm, show at 8pm, $10 at the door. For more information, go to

Upcoming Releases: Two of our favourite Toronto-based blues artists are wrapping up CD projects for May release parties at Hugh’s Room. Digging Roots will release their new CD on May 25 and Shakura S’Aida will be playing Hugh’s May 18. Watch this space for more info next month.

More radio updates: DAWG FM is applying for a radio license to broadcast in Toronto. As part of the process they will need letters of support written by the blues community in May. TBS will announce details in the coming weeks, but until then, check out DAWG online at

Meanwhile, broadcaster Jim Priebe is planning to launch Canadian Roots Radio and is collecting Facebook “likes” (he plans to start streaming when 1,000 people have liked the page). Right now he’s reached over 400 musicians and fans, from across the country. Musicians wishing to get airplay are invited to sign up for the musician announcement list. Send an e-mail to [email protected]  Jim can be reached at [email protected]

New Venues Out of Town: Music By The Bay Live is presenting an evening of world class blues on Thursday April 26 starting at 7PM at the Wrokstarz Club & Venue; 75 Consumers Drive in Whitby,   It will feature The Maple Blues Revue, Braithwaite & Whiteley performing their original presentation of  The Underground Railroad and The Jack de Keyzer Band. Proceeds will support the Habitat for Humanity Durham Centre Towne set to commence in May 2012, building homes in Oshawa for 24 families. There will be an open bar, cocktail hors d’ouvres, silent auction and charitable registration tax receipts. Tickets are $100 Available online

A little north of Toronto, world class blues music is coming to Collingwood with the launch of the Casbah Club Blues Masters Series. Starting March 25, Grammy ® Award-winning Blues legend John Hammond will kick-off the series with a performance not soon to be forgotten. Opening the show will be MapleBlues Hall of Famer Paul James. On April 22, 2-time Juno Award-winning Canadian legends FATHEAD will come to Collingwood for a special in concert performance. The series will continue into the summer with 3x Grammy® Award-winner Chris Thomas King on June 28 & 29. Blues Masters Series offers a unique opportunity to see legendary talent up-close and personal in an intimate setting. The series features all-time greats of the Blues genre and will draw the eyes of the Blues music world to Collingwood.

Established in 2010, The Casbah has already hosted over 100 live music events, featuring top local and international award-winning recording artists. The Casbah aims to provide world-class live music entertainment to the Collingwood and surrounding Georgian Bay area. Stay tuned for more amazing artists to be announced soon in the Blues Masters Series. For more info vist and sign up for their newsletter of coming events.

Mississippi Tourism Golf & Blues Experience: Love Golf? Love Blues? Get the best of both worlds with the Mississippi Tourism’s International Golf & Blues Experience! Hosted by Chuck Jackson, upcoming trips take place April 15-21 in Biloxi, MS and Oct 7-13 in Tunica, MS. To learn more, find out about TBS group rates and to book your trip, go to

National Blues Museum: A few blocks from the Mississippi River levee where a homeless W.C. Handy composed “St. Louis Blues” more than 100 years ago, the first national blues museum in the United States is taking shape.

While several regional blues museums have popped up around the country — Memphis, Tennessee; Clarksdale, Mississippi; and Helena, Arkansas — the St. Louis institution will be the first to tell the national story of the unique American musical form.

The National Blues Museum, which Museum chairman Rob Endicott said he hoped would open next year depending on the final design, would be a part of an ongoing public and private effort to revitalize the St. Louis riverfront.

The museum group, which is using private donations, obtained space in an 1892 department store building that is part of the 1.5 million-square-foot, $250 million Mercantile Exchange District whose development is funded by private businesses that receive state and federal tax credits.

An 11-day Bluesweek celebration that will help support the museum was announced last week. It includes a three-day Memorial Day weekend extravaganza featuring Shemekia Copeland, Bobby Rush, Kelly Hunt and Arthur Williams plus regional acts from St. Louis, Kansas and Mississippi.

Groundbreaking on the St. Louis riverfront is set for this year for a $500 million Gateway Arch park rehabilitation aimed at getting more people to walk around the city’s downtown, long a maze of highways and empty blocks that discouraged pedestrians.

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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.