Toronto Blues Society | » Loose Blues News – April 2018

Loose Blues News – April 2018

Published April 8, 2018 in Loose Blues News, News

Here Come The Festivals:

There’s still snow on the ground but festival announcements are starting to flow and the first out of the gate is Orangeville. The 16th Annual Orangeville Blues & Jazz festival takes place June 1st – 3rd 2018. Starting on Friday night on the Royal LePage Main Stage is Larry Kurtz & The Lawbreakers with special guest Lisa Hutchinson followed by Raoul & The Big Time 7-piece version with horn section fresh off their semi finals appearance at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Friday night also features the ever popular Blues Cruise on Broadway with 300 classic cars and 10 bands including the Gary Cain Band, Bad Luck Woman & Her Misfortunes, Jake Chisholm, Connor Gains, Brian Blain, Alan Gerber, Ronnie Douglas, Bent Roots, and Andrew Parkhouse.

All weekend there is music in over 20 clubs & restaurants. Saturday on the Royal Lepage Main Stage is a heavy duty lineup of talent, including headliners Sugaray Rayford, plus Crystal Shawanda, Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar, Jimmy D Lane, Jenie Thai, Justin Saladino, and Angelina Hunter. Inside the Orangeville Opera House the lineup includes piano man Stan Chang, from the Yukon – Ryan McNally, Maple Blues nominee Rob Lutes and Juno winner Kellylee Evans. The Sunday Main Stage line-up includes Wayne Buttery’s 8-piece band featuring Danny Weis, TBS Talent Search winner Dan McKinnon and multi Maple Blues Awards winners the Paul Deslauriers Band.

The festival also features plenty of great local talent in the TD Tent and on Broadway on Saturday afternoon. There is a Blues & Bikes event along with workshops in the Orangeville Public Library.

The Ottawa Bluesfest (July 5-15) gets a lot of flack for calling themselves a blues festival while booking everything but blues, but when you comb through that huge line-up, there’s plenty of good blues: Colin James, Benjamin Booker, RL Boyce, Julian Taylor Band, Andrew “Jr. Boy” Jones, John Németh, Steve Hill, Texas Horns, MonkeyJunk, Mr. Sipp, Anthony Geraci, Brandon Santini, Vanessa Collier, TJ Wheeler, Catriona Sturton, JW-Jones, Beth Hart, Larkin Poe and more.

Subway Blues:

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) has overhauled their 35 year-old “Subway Musicians Program,” and rebranded it as “Underground Sounds” — a contest that includes elements like digital auditions, public voting, and a recording contract with Universal Music Canada. Traditionally, the transit agency would issue only 75 subway musician licenses every three years to local artists based on in-person auditions. Now, says the TTC, 90 musicians will win annual permits to perform inside subway stations all across the city. One lucky grand-prize winner will also get “studio time and the chance to professionally record and release one of their songs.” Online auditions open on April 9, and will run until May 6. Participants must submit public YouTube videos of themselves performing to enter. Live auditions will also be held, and filmed, on April 18 and April 19 for those who aren’t able to upload a clip on their own. For more go to

Carlos’ eye:

Carlos del Junco just posted this photo of him at the eye doctor preparing for a rather unpleasant procedure. Carlos apologized the for gigs he’s had to cancel and wrote, “Doing my best Clockwork Orange impression…and about to have a needle stuck in my eye to insert an air bubble to help fix a detached retina – luckily I can still play tonight at the sold out Oak Bay recreation centre, but have to sit and keep head fairly still while playing- that will be a tricky one! We’ll still be doing the show tomorrow at Errington Hall (Parksville area)on Saturday, March 24, and at the Seabreeze hotel on Hornby Island on March 25. With the inserted gas bubble I’m allowed to play shows at low elevation. But any traveling to higher elevations could be dangerous and create too much pressure for injected gas bubble in the eye – hence the cancellation of the shows in interior BC and Alberta. Also, no flying for two weeks. Sorry folks, I was really, really looking forward to playing the missed venues again! So, this will most likely be a rain check until next March 2019 when I already have some anchor dates for some more shows on the West Coast and in Alberta.”

Danny Brooks on DVD:

Hard Working Man: The Music and Miracles of Danny Brooks is now available on DVD. The documentary on Toronto expat Danny Brooks was produced and directed by Metis filmmaker Christopher Darton following up up on his excellent documentary feature The Way We Was: The Story of The Kendall Wall Band.

Hard Working Man: The Music and Miracles of Danny Brooks is a documentary film about the life of singer-songwriter Danny Brooks. An entertainer with over 40 years experience in the music industry who performs in a wide variety of forms; as a solo artist, in a duet with his wife Debi and as part of a band. Danny is a true chameleon … one part street savvy musician; another part born-again preacher, Brooks life and career runs the gamut of all spectrum’s of life much like his music which chronicles the good times, the bad times, relationships, heaven, hell and salvation.

Hard Working Man documents the life of Danny Brooks as a working musician … writing songs, recording, out on the road, meeting people … growing up in Toronto, his musical trajectory, his battle with addiction and his relationship with his wife and musical partner Debi. At its core the film is about survival … determination … faith and the celebration of a creative life in music. It was shot in hi-def video in numerous locations around Southern Ontario and Texas.

Darton has been friends with Danny for twelve years and wrote the screenplay to Danny’s autobiography Miracles For Breakfast, the liner notes to his CD Texassippi Soul Man and articles for MapleBlues.

Christopher Darton’s recent projects include the music video Hammered and Nailed for The Mighty Duck Blues Band and directed and shot the music video Monkey Business for Judy Brown. He is currently working on his third feature length documentary. This Is Paradise: The Cameron House Story. For more info contact

Muddy Waters Month:

The Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, Mississippi has declared April as Muddy Waters Month and have even started a petition to have a “Google Doodle” on April 4th to honour Muddy’s birthday. They will be serving cupcakes on Muddy’s birthday and providing special programming throughout “Muddy Waters Month” at the museum including a photo exhibit by Brandon Thibodeaux via his book and photographic exhibit, In that Land of Perfect Day.

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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.