Toronto Blues Society | » Loose Blues News – June 2017

Loose Blues News – June 2017

Published June 1, 2017 in Loose Blues News, News

Multi-award winning recording artist and renowned blues diva Angel Forrest takes the stage with her band at The Opera House on Saturday June 10th at 9pm with special guest roots/blues singer/songwriter Rob Lutes who
will be joined by longtime accompanist, acclaimed Quebec guitarist Rob MacDonald.

Silver Dollar Swan Song

On Friday, June 16, Spadina and College will reverberate with some great blues at an even they’re calling The Last Shuffle “Before The Wrecking Ball Swings.” It is a celebration of the illustrious history of this blues oasis hosted by The Hogtown Allstars (Chuck Jackson, Gary Kendall, Pat Carey, Mike Fitzpatrick, Michael Fonfara and Darran Poole) with performances by Donnie”Mr.Downchild”Walsh, Danny Marks, Cheryl Lescom, Jerome Godboo, Robin Banks, Spencer MacKenzie, Raoul Bhaneja, Braithwaite & Whiteley.

It’s a well know fact that The Silver Dollar Room closed it’s doors on May 1stto make way for urban development. Now the owners have decided to celebrate what was “Toronto’s Premier Blues Night Club,” banner it held proudly from 1994-2010 and asked Gary Kendall to put together a show with some of the artists who had supported the club during that era. A day or two of email and phone put The Last Shuffle in motion giving Toronto’s blues community a chance for one last boogie before the wrecking ball swings.

During the blues years The Silver Dollar Room presented an amazing lineup of legends and icons. Bobby”Blue”Bland, Snooky Pryor, Levon Helm, R.L.Burnside, Kim Wilson, Junior Kimbrough, Magic Slim, A.C. Reed, Coco Montoya, Madagascar Slim, The Average White Band and Duke Robillard to name only a few. Canada`s Blues elite also played a large role in the club`s history. The Downchild Blues Band, Fathead, Powder Blues, Jack de Keyzer, Rita Chiarelli, Carlos del Junco, Paul Reddick and many of those performing at The Last Shuffle developed their careers at The Silver Dollar Room.

Blues at Beaches Jazz

We’ve got a sneak preview of the blues content at the Beaches International Jazz Festival stretching over all 4 week-ends in July with most of the action at Woodbine Park on 28 and 29 and 30th. You’ll see Soulstack, Monkey Junk with Paul Reddick, Jenie Thai, Spencer Mackenzie, Lance Anderson’s tribute to the Last Waltz (a celebration of The Band), the Saturday Night Fish Fry and of course a good dose of blues on the Streetfest on July 27 – 29 with forty bands covering a 2.5 km stretch from Woodbine Avenue to Beech Avenue.

Downchild album in the can

Overheard at Rock ‘n Docs…Downchild have finished recording a new studio album with L Stu Young at the board again (he’s been working with the band practically since the beginning). Watch for a summer release with some adventurous original tunes and the signature groove of Canada’s “national” blues band.

Lonnie Johnson Documentary in the works

Dr. Dean Alger is a Professor at The University of Minnesota, a political scientist and media analyst. He is also Lonnie Johnson’s biggest fan. In 2014, he published a wellreceived book: “The Original Guitar Hero and The Power of Music – The Legendary Lonnie Johnson, Music and Civil Rights”. He has also worked tirelessly but so far unsuccessfully to have Johnson inducted into both the Grammy and Rock and Roll Halls of Fame. He’s now in the process of making a feature length documentary film based on that book. To that end, he has enlisted the help of Lawrence Cohn, the renowned blues expert. The web site for the documentary is He has set up a kickstarter campaign to finsh the documentary and the official announcement and trailer can be seen at:

Podcasting the Blues

Mako Funasaka’s Talkin Blues’ recent podcast is an interview with American soul blues singer, guitarist, arranger, songwriter and record producer Johnny Rawls. http://talkinblues.podbean. com. This month, the Blues Tribe profiles the Gary Cain Band. In 2016 Gary was named one of the best unsigned Blues Rock guitarists in the world. In this episode, we learn the story behind the release of Gary’s first album “Twangadelic Bluesophunk”, his musical journeys around the world, and he shows us his gear.

Blues Radio

Patrick Monaghan has a new 2 hour Blues program, Buckslide Blues Cruise, on Tues.night (7-9pm) broadcast on air & online on Canoe FM Haliburton 100.9 Patrick is looking forward to obtaining more new material to introduce to his listeners.

Bluesologists Take Note

Delta State University in Cleveland, Mississippi is now accepting proposals for papers, presentations, lecture-performances, workshops, panels, and clinics for the 4th annual International Conference on the Blues.. Deadline for proposals is Monday, July 10, 2017 To celebrate the centennial of John Lee Hooker’s birth, we are soliciting manuscripts and presentations on Mr. Hooker’s music, life, and influence. In addition, we are interested in presentations and papers on the legacy of ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax, and especially his fieldwork in Mississippi. Furthermore, topics of general interest to scholars and enthusiasts are also welcome, such as the African American musical tradition and its influence on world music; call and response as metaphor; black music and the American Civil Rights Movement; African American history in the Delta; African American folk life; and the genres of blues, jazz, gospel, and soul music. Topics of an interdisciplinary nature are also encouraged. Papers are invited from ethnomusicologists, musicologists, scholars, authors, performers, blues enthusiasts, and independent researchers. All presentations will be a maximum of 20 minutes in length, with an additional ten minutes for discussion, and should address a general audience. Proposals must be submitted online via Please include a description of the presentation, audio/visual equipment needs, and biographical information for all presenters. Please note that not all A/V requests will be granted. Presenters agree to appear at the conference at their own expense, which will include registration fees. For more information, please contact Shelley Collins and Don Allan Mitchell at or visit

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