Toronto Blues Society | » Loose Blues News – February 2017

Loose Blues News – February 2017

Published February 1, 2017 in Loose Blues News, News

Winter Blues

The 15th edition o f Toronto ’s Winterfolk Blues and Roots Music Festival has plenty of blues content as it returns to the Danforth at 5 venues over 3 days on February 17 to 19. Performers include Danny Marks, Jack de Keyzer, David Essig, Jerome Tucker, Kim Doolittle, Mike McKenna, Mr. Rick and a Blues Campfire Jam on the Sunday Afternoon hosted by Brian Blain and featuring many of the aforementioned. Winterfolk is an allages, mid-winter, weatherproof event, where you’ll find the best of urban, blues, rock, jazz, country, folk and roots music, emulating a multi-stage rural summer festival. More than 150 artists will be performing and the festival will also include special tribute events, an awards ceremony, community stages and various themed musical workshops with something for everyone to enjoy.

Further on down the road, in the Beaches, the Cold Weather Blues Fest features two nights of live blues (Feb 24 & 25) with more than a dozen acts at Castro’s and other Queen Street establishments. Performers include Paul Reddick, Robert Davis, Mr. Rick, Big Rude Jake, Alfie Smith, Sugar Brown and many others. Various venues in The Beaches. 7-11:45 pm. Pay what you like.

HMV Closing

An Ontario Superior Court of Justice approved an application to place HMV Canada Inc. into receivership on January 27.HMV owes nearly $39 million to HUK 10 Ltd and would require between $2 million and $5 million annually in cash to stay open, according to court filings, and the company was losing $100,000 a day as customers turned towards online media in recent years. TBS boarder and MapleBlues contributing editor John Valenteyn, who has been minding the blues department at HMV, advises blues fans that this would be a good time to pick up some blues CDs. Legal documents state that closing stores must cease operations by April 30.


Musicians Take Note

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has launched a new website with a new online grant application and management system, which is now live. The dynamic new website will make it easier for applicants to search for granting programs that best suit a proposed arts activity. The new application process will be much easier for OAC’s approximately 12,000 applicants each year, and more cost-effective for both applicants and OAC. With OAC’s move to online applications, many granting programs have changed, and some 2017 deadlines have changed. When OAC held province-wide consultations to develop the 2014 Strategic Plan Vital Arts and Public Value, the agency received significant feedback. A common theme was that applicants wanted OAC to significantly simplify its programs and processes. Visit the new website for regular updates.

Bob Walsh Remembered

Lucie Dufault reports that on January 25, 2017 at the Lion D’Or, Montreal there was a tribute concert to Québec’s bluesman Bob Walsh. Following the death of the great bluesman, a multitude of friends came together to offer a unique benefit concert in memory of Bob Walsh. For this evening, Guy Bélanger and the group of Bob Walsh were under the leadership of the pianist- arranger Jean Fernand Girard who also hosted the event. There was a gathering of so many friends of the late singer to perform songs from his 11 albums that he had released over more than 40 years. Performing wereNanette Workman, Sylvie Desgroseillers, Angel Forrest, France d’Amour, Dawn Tyler Watson, Bob Harrison, Stephen Barry, Martin Goyette, Adam Karch, Breen Leboeuf, Rob Lutes and Michael Jerome Browne were among many others that payed homage to Bob. This concert was well attended as Bob Walsh was an icon and was recognized as one of theQuébec’s leading blues artists. Bob also had a huge influence on many of the great blues musicians on the Québec scene today.

Blues Dancin’

The Toronto Blues Revival folks offer workshops with John Lozano. John has returned to Toronto and he’s bringing a big batch of classes to challenge and inspire you! Saturday and Sunday Classes with John plus 3rd Friday Blues. Upcoming Classes include Blues Music History at 7:30pm ($5) discussing the history, the people, the songs, and the culture that formed the dance we love. If you want to geek out on all the nitty-gritty, this class is for you! At 8:30 it’s the AllLevels Class at 8:30pm ($10), a crash course to improve your dancing – both solo and partnered and at 9:30 they gather at Page One to “cut a rug”. More details at or

A new Blues Matinee

The blues is coming to the popular jazz club, Chalkers Pub with a blues matinee on the first Sunday of the month featuring Mark Stafford and Geoff Daye. First event will be Feb 12th at 5 pm to 8pm. Half-price pool for those who attend. Five dollars is the suggested donation.

Blues Tribe

The January guest on the Blues Tribe podcast is Toronto native Sean Pinchin. In this intimate interview Sean discusses his struggles with mental illness, how it influenced his latest album Monkey Brain, and the importance of music in his life. Songs performed are “Goin’ Hobo” and “Monsters”. To watch the show go to www.

Blues Baby

Award-winning blues and roots vocalist Shemekia Copeland is the proud new mother to Johnny Lee Copeland, born in Chicago on Christmas Eve, December 24, 2016. Weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces, Johnny Lee is said have his mother’s pipes and does not like to be messed with. Copeland’s latest release, 2015’s Outskirts Of Love received a Grammy nomination for Best Blues Album.

Guitar lovers take note

World renowned luthier William (Grit) Laskin has followed up his 2003 book on guitar inlay art, A Guitarmaker’s Canvas—The Inlay Art Of Grit Laskin with a beautiful oversize, hardcover, coffee-table book called Grand Complications, focusing on 50 complex inlay projects that he has completed over the last 13 years. In addition to being a master guitarmaker, he is a musician and songwriter, an artist and a storyteller and co-founder of Borealis Records.

For more than forty-five years, he’s been hand-building guitars for such luminaries as Stan Rogers, Jesse Cook, Rik Emmett, and k.d. lang, inlaying many of these instruments with his personalized designs. No two are alike, and their starting points are as varied as the people who play them. Grand Complications is the story behind the story of fifty of these original designs from 2003 to the present. It describes how he teases out a client’s interests and intentions, how he develops and refines his ideas, and how he brings them to life in his mind and on paper. From “Short Stories” that fill only the headstock of a guitar to full narratives that run the length of the neck, each inspired design is the product of research, deep thinking, and a little alchemy. Laskin is a true craftsman and his insights make fascinating reading for lovers of art, music—and the creative process. The book is available at fine bookstores, Amazon or from

Blues Music Awards Nominees

The Blues Foundation has announced its 2017 Blues Music Awards Nominees. Sugar Ray Norcia, individually, and collectively with his band, The Bluetones, received the most nominations with seven, including B.B. King Entertainer Award, Best Song, Best Album and Best Band. Chicago-based guitarist Toronzo Cannon garnered four nominations and he faces off against Norcia in both the Best Song and Best Album categories. Best Album probably ranks as the most competitive category, with Norcia and Cannon battling Bobby Rush, Kenny Neal, William Bell and the Nick Moss Band, who all have three nominations. Instrumentalist-Harmonica winner Kim Wilson is one of this year’s nominees, and Cedric Burnside might again claim the Instrumentalist-Drums crown. Shemekia Copeland and Bettye LaVette also return to the categories they won last year. Detroit native Thornetta Davis’s “I Gotta Sang the Blues” is up for Best Song, while Terrie Odabi is competing against the likes of Bettye LaVette and Mavis Staples to be named Soul Blues Female Artist. The Awards ceremony will be held May 11, 2017 in Memphis

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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.