Toronto Blues Society | » Loose Blues News – December 2016

Loose Blues News – December 2016

Published December 1, 2016 in Loose Blues News, News

Folk Awards

The 2016 Canadian Folk Music Awards gala will take place in Toronto at the Isabel Bader Theatre on Saturday December 3 (93 Charles Street West). Preceding the awards gala will be two Nominee Showcases at Hugh’s Room on Friday, December 2 (evening) and Saturday December 3 (11am-2pm). In addition to the official showcases, a young blues duo from Newfoundland, Nick Earle and Joe Coffin, nominees for Young Performer of the Year, will be appearing at the Free Times Cafe on December 2 (7pm). For tix & info on the Folk Music Awards go to

More Folk

Another folk–centric event is happening in town at the same time, produced by Folk Music Canada, with events at Church of the Holy Trinity, Adelaide Hall and the Sheraton Centre Toronto hotel. FolkNorth is an export-focused showcase event with a couple of blues-friendly performers, Rob Lutes and Digging Roots. More info at

Violet’s Venue changes

After carving out a niche for the Barrie music scene, Violet’s Venue owner Bruce Maltby has announced some changes.“I’ve sold the building, not the business,” Maltby said. The intimate concert theatre has seen some great blues acts in its four-year run. Maltby cited health issues as the reason behind his decision to sell the building, but said if his health improves, he’ll be looking for a new spot in the future. They brought many big blues names to Barrie including Joe Louis Walker, Walter Trout, John Primer and finished off the 2016 season with a show featuring two hot up and coming blues bands, Shawn Holt and The Teardrops, winners for Best New Artist Debut at the 2014 Blues Music Awards and Spencer MacKenzie, who will be representing the TBS at the International Blues Challenge.

Benevolent Blues Calendar

Broadcaster/photographer Brant Zwicker (CFBX 92.5 FM) has come up with a great idea to support the Kamloops Brain Injury Association. He has put together a 2017 calendar comprising photos of the top blues artists he encounters at different blues festivals every year. Artists featured include Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, the late Otis Clay, The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer, Rick Estrin and the Nightcats, Irene Torres and the Sugar Devils, Sugar Ray and the Bluetones, Cecile Doo-Kingue, Amos Garrett, Harpdog Brown, Zakiya Hooker and Kenny Wayne. Calendars are $20 and can be ordered by email to and will be available for purchase at the Blues Summit.

Bob WalshMontreal bluesman Bob Walsh, a recipient of the TBS Blues With a Feeling Award in 2014, passed away in Montreal on November 15 following a heart attack. In a month filled with the loss of musical icons, Walsh’s death came as a great shock to the Quebec blues community. Even the Premier of Quebec tweeted that “Quebec blues has lost one of its mythic figures today.”

Podcasting the Blues

This month, Mako Funasaka has turned the tables and is himself being interviewed by none other than Shakura S’Aida. Mako writes, “I’m hoping to upload my 50th podcast episode which will feature an interview with Steve Strongman at the beginning of December. I’ve been uploading at a pace of one interview a week for most of this past year so I’m thinking of slowing down a bit. It’s been an amazing journey of having the chance to interview people like Sonny Landreth, Walter Trout, Bobby Rush, Sue Foley, Elvin Bishop and guitar maker, Linda Manzer just to name a few as well as to include interviews from the archive such as the interview I did with Chris Whitley (not to be mistaken with Chris Whiteley) from 2006.” You can find the podcast series at the iTunes store under “Talkin’Blues” or at www.

Blues Tribe Productions’ November guest was Michael Schatte from Chatham, Ontario. In this show Michael talks about the story behind the name of this most recent album “Turn Back the Vikings”, the influence of Richard Thompson on his music, and features a “show and tell” with his Fender Telecaster and Gretsch 6120. Songs performed are “The Upper Hand” and “Pistol on Her Pillow”. To watch the show, visit

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