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Loose Blues News

Published September 1, 2010 in Loose Blues News, News

September 2010 – Vol. 26. No 9 (download issue)

TBS Melody Bar Blues Series: The Toronto Blues Society will be presenting the best in local blues talent the first Thursday of each month, beginning in September at The Melody Bar in The Gladstone Hotel. There will be no cover charge and each performance will begin at 8pm. The series will include performances by Suzie Vinnick (Sept 2, pictured), Jack de Keyzer (Oct 7), Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley (Nov 4), and Harrison Kennedy (Dec 2).

Love harps?  Join Massive Harp Attack! Be a part of history and help set the record for Canada’s Largest Harmonica Workshop ever, at this year’s Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle in Port Credit.  Canadian favourites David Rotundo and Jerome Godboo, with the support of Mississippi Tourism, offer instruction, a harmonica, a certificate of participation as well as access to that day’s Mainstage performance (itself a $17 value) all for only $10. Takes place Sunday September 12th at 11:00am, at the Waterside Inn World Stage. No experience required, family packages $20. Bring completed registration forms to the Mainstage entrance – forms can be downloaded from

Musicians Take Notre: Are you interested in showcase opportunities at upcoming music industry events? Please contact the office if you would like to invest time into a showcase at the OCFF Conference in Ottawa, the Blues Summit Five showcase program in Toronto, or the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Rita behind bars: There have been rumours that Rita Chiarelli was working on a “secret project” and now the word is out. Rita calls it “Music From The Big House.’ She and director Bruce McDonald traveled to Louisiana State Penitentiary, also known as Angola, to make a documentary of Rita performing with some of the inmates. Riuta writes “This is my trip to the prison where Leadbelly, Pete Williams and many others were incarcerated. As a former plantation it has a captivating musical history…but instead of just putting on a concert for the inmates I thought I should perform with the musical inmates.

The officials say that this could be the first time ever in a USA prison, that an outsider (that would be me) has performed with inmates. It’s a story about music, love and forgiveness. I’m proud to say that the International Documentary Association has selected this film out of hundreds they receive world wide to show simultaneously in New York at the IFC Center and in LA at the ArcLight Hollywood. A kickass soundtrack will be released early next year….I’m on my way to NY so stay tuned. You can follow me on Twitter and Facebook (links are on my website)” For more on the project visit

Grit Laskin receives OCFF’s 2010 Estelle Klein Award: William “Grit” Laskin, one of the world’s most sought-after instrument makers, is the recipient of the 2010 Estelle Klein Award, presented by the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals (OCFF).  This honour recognises significant contribution to Ontario’s folk music community in memory of Estelle Klein, long-time advocate for the folk music scene in Canada. “If there were a modern-day example of the Renaissance man, Grit Laskin would most certainly be it,” said Paul Mills, Board President of the OCFF and long-time friend of Laskin.  A great Canadian luthier, Laskin is best known for his craftsmanship of inlay work on headstocks and fretboards, and for the innovative beveled armrests and ribrests which create a more biomechanically comfortable guitar. Though a musician in his own right, he’s also known as a lobbyist, author and leader: Borealis Records was founded in part by Laskin, as were the Canadian Folk Music Awards and the Association of String Instrument Artisans. The award will be presented at the 24th Annual OCFF conference, October 14-17 2010, in Ottawa

Songwriting For Dummies: Though many topics other than songwriting are addressed, such as understanding the new face of the online music industry and promoting through social networking, a well-crafted song remains the foundation from which doors will open to the lucrative entertainment world.

As with most of the ‘Dummies’ series, a formulaic approach is key. Written by music industry professionals, it coaches the artist to begin with the end result in mind, to craft according to the impact that is desired. Armed with a coherent and structured piece, it then explains in practical terms how to get in front of industry pros, or foray into stage, screen, and TV.  Songwriting For Dummies 2nd Edition includes 25% updated social media content, maximising the effects of YouTube, Twitter, Viddler, and Digg, and offers online songwriting resources. It serves as le bon ton of promotion etiquette, with “asking permission to send a demo” and how to correctly “take advantage of other people’s websites.”

In the past, navigating the industry involved much intuition and luck.  Ask Toronto soul singer Virgil Scott who’s been earning a living in entertainment for 40 years, “In 1974 I landed a beer commercial for a lot of money and chose to be paid per-play because I heard the Beatles did that.” Luckily, he earned 3 times the pay. As the ‘Dummies’ series is based on practicality, the chapters on copyright, making deadlines and contracts eliminate much guesswork. Songwriting For Dummies, 2nd Edition, $21.99, is available at bookstores nationwide

Call for Volunteers: The TBS is looking for help! Can you legally pour drinks? TBS needs a Smartserve qualified bartender for the Blues in the Garden event on Sept 19, as well as someone to tend a BBQ! The TBS is often needing volunteers beyond our public events.  Have you previously been in touch about volunteering and not heard back from us?  We’d still like to stay in touch so please contact the office with your availability.  We currently need contributors for the Loose Blues News, data entry for the events calendar and website, organizing sponsorships and fund raising events. Please email for more information. Sign up for the Toronto Blues Society or renew your TBS Membership today! Contact the TBS Office today or visit:

RIP Phillip Walker

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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.