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Published April 29, 2011 in Loose Blues News, News

May 2011 – Vol. 27, No. 5

Little Miss Higgins wins Independent Music Award:  Little Miss Higgins, guitarist/singer Jolene Higgins and guitarist Foy Taylor, won in the Blues category for their album “Across The Plains.” Little Miss Higgins is currently on their first tour of the UK and will be appearing at the Hillside Festival in Guelph this summer. The winners in more than 70 categories are chosen from thousands of submissions from around the globe. A complete list of winners, nominees and judges is available at:

Harmonica Winner: Pamela Tena (aka the Dancing Queen) was the winner of the Lee Oskar Harmonica Package at the TBS Harp Workshop last month. Pam will not be taking up the  harmonica and donated the set to Arts Can Circle, after getting it autographed by all the participants.

Congratulations to Holger Petersen on the 35th anniversary of Stony Plain Records. Established in 1976 by Holger and Alvin Jahns, Stony Plain Records has released almost 400 albums of blues, classic R&B, folk, country, bluegrass, rock and roll, and music that is impossible to pigeonhole. Holger Petersen remains a self-confessed music junkie, but in addition to his day-to-day work with the label, gives his time generously to music industry organizations. Along the way, he helped found the Edmonton Folk Music Festival (and was its artistic director for three years), and was a founding member of Alberta Music.

Stony Plain has received six Grammy Award nominations for its artists, including Maria Muldaur, Jay McShann and Duke Robillard. The label and its artists have also garnered numerous awards from the Blues Foundation, 10 Juno Awards, Canadian Country Music Association Awards, Maple Blues Awards and Western Canadian Music Awards. And on a personal level, Petersen was honoured for his contributions to Canadian arts and culture with an honourary Doctorate from Athabasca University in 2002 and was awarded the country’s highest honour, membership in the Order of Canada, in 2003.

All that said, Petersen is much better known in Canada for hosting “Saturday Night Blues,” CBC Radio’s only long-running national blues show, on the air for 25 years. In addition, he hosts a weekly show called “Natch’l Blues,” on CKUA Radio Network in Alberta and programs the “BluesTime” channel on Canada’s Galaxie Satellite Network. A special 3-disc set is being released on May 10 to celebrate its 35th anniversary. Titled 35 Years of Stony Plain, the set includes 41 tracks on two CDs, plus a bonus DVD. Read more about the CD/ DVD in John’s Blues Picks. For more information on the label, visit

Dutch Blues Awards: Congratulations to the newly-formed Dutch Blues Foundation on the first-ever Dutch Blues Awards presented on April 9. Two winners participated in the 2011 International Blues Challenge in Memphis–Ralph de Jongh and King Mo. Twelve Bar Blues Band won Best Dutch Blues Band and King Mo – Sweet Devil won for Best Dutch Blues CD. More at (it will help if you can read Dutch).

Happy 100th Birthday to Robert Johnson: Robert Johnson lived for 27 years and recorded 29 songs that changed music forever. May 8, 2011 marks what would have been his 100th birthday. He will be remembered with a weekend of activities including an exhibition of artwork from the collection of Steve LaVere, a panel discussion on Robert Johnson’s Life & Legacy moderated by Jim O’Neal and guided tours of historic blues locations around Greenwood and Leflore County. There will be concerts featuring Bobby Rush, Honeyboy Edwards, Kenny Brown Band, Alvin Youngblood Hart, RJG (Robert Johnson Grandson Band), Keb’ Mo’ and the Warren Haynes Band along with other world famous blues acts who will take the stage to honour Johnson’s legacy. Honeyboy Edwards was with Robert Johnson on the night he was poisoned and had known him through the blues circuit.  More 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.