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Published April 25, 2012 in Loose Blues News, News

Bringing It Back To Grossman’s is the title of a fund raiser taking place on Tuesday, May 29th to establish The Amy Louie, Grossman`s Music Scholarship.  The event will feature performances by Donnie”Mr. Downchild”Walsh, Danny Marks, Jerome Godboo, Laura Hubert, The McDonald Rush Band, Alec Fraser, Gary Kendall, Bill Hedefine, Steve Grisbrook, The Swingin Blackjacks, Brian Cober, Nicola Vaughn, Shakey Dagenais and more.  Prior to her passing in 2011, Amy Louie had dreamt of one day establishing a fund to assist musician`s in their creative work.  Her family, longtime proprietors of Grossman`s Tavern on Spadina Ave in Toronto plan to fulfill that wish by bringing together some of the musicians who started their musical journey at one of the cities longest supporters of live music.  Tuesday, May 29th, 8pm, admission by donation, Grossman`s Tavern, 379 Spadina Ave, Toronto ON 416-977-7000

In The Studio: She will not be “robbin’ banks” but powerhouse vocalist Robin Bank$ is launching a fundraising campaign for her next recording which will be be produced by Duke Robillard. On the advice of Suzie Vinnick, Robin has set up a Kapipal account at Robin notes, “It’s quite brilliant, really and Suzie also suggested I make business cards with the pre-sale info on them so as to pre-sell at live shows as well. That Suzie is a smart cookie! Oreo cookie if I remember the song correctly!”

Quebec Blues News: The 10th Annual Lys Blues awards (Quebec’s MBAs) were presented on April 22 in Montreal. Hosted by Martin Lachance, the gala event featured performances by Adam Karch Band, Greenwood Band, Brian & The Bluestorm, Jim Zeller & Friends, Steve Hill Band, Nanette Workman,  Andrée Dupré and the Jean Millaire Blues Band.

Jean Millaire was presented a Lifetime Achievement  award and Angel Forrest Female Artist of the Year, Guy Bélanger (Male Artist of the Year), Richard Carr (Songwriter), Steve Hill (2 awards – Artistic Performance of the Year and Best Show of the Year), Ben Racine (Emerging Artist), Shane Murphy (Discovery of the Year), Mike DeWay (Blues Album of the Year) and Carolyn Fe (Best Album of Blues and associated styles). Bernard Deslauriers, Sam Harrisson,  JD Slim,  François Thiffault and  Gilles Sioui were recognized for their contributions as sidemen.

The Lys Blues Awards were created in 2003 when the Blues category was dropped from the ADISQ Awards (Quebec’s JUNOs). More at

Mystery Solved: Those whimsical graphics at the top of the Loose Blues News, Where It’s At and Where It’s On sections since the inception of MapleBlues (aka the TBS Newsletter) were the creation of one David Olson who has been uncredited for all these decades.  It’s a tribute to his talent that these designs are so timeless that even as we begin planning for another redesign of MapleBlues, no one wants to abandon them.  Thank you David for brightening up these pages for all these years.

Final Drum Roll: In addition to the loss of Toronto’s dearly beloved Billy Bryans (see page 2) another drummer of renown passed away this month. Levon Helm was the only American in The Band, the most quintessential Canadian band who spawned a whole new musical genre which is now called “Americana.” After losing his voice to throat cancer in 1998, he slowly recovered his health and ultimately his voice and was back on the concert and festival circuit for the last couple of years until recently when the cancer resurfaced and finally silenced him on April 19th, 2012.

Songwriters Take Note: Socan’s Board Elections taking place until May 11th have two blues friendly nominees, Michael Burke from Cordova Bay Records (David Gogo) and Gary Kendall from the Downchild Blues Band. Blues songwriters and publishers may want to vote for a blues voice on that board.  More info can be found at or 1-866-307-6226.

Loose Blues News Editor Wanted: If you’ve read this far you probablly noticed that there is not a lot of news this month nor for the last few months.  If you have some writing/editing skills and a love of the blues, we are looking for a volunteer news editor who can help gather items for this column. It mostly involves trolling websites to pick up bits of news and keeping your ear to the ground for who’s in the studio or touring (or having a baby :-). Interested parties should contact Managing Editor Brian Blain at


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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.