Toronto Blues Society | » May 2024 – Loose Blues News

May 2024 – Loose Blues News

Published April 30, 2024 in Loose Blues News

Al Duffy Benefit:  Our dear friend and fellow musician needs our help. There will be a fundraiser for Al, who is suffering from cancer and no longer able to work. The concert will be held at the Redwood Theatre, 1300 Gerrard St. E. on Sunday June 9, 3-6pm. Al’s long-time bandmate Jack de Keyzer will be performing along with Brant Parker and Josh Miller. A professional bassist for over 50 years, Al’s list of credits includes Downchild Blues Band, Morgan Davis, Mark Haines, as well as Josh Miller, Brant Parker and over 20 years as bassist for the Jack de Keyzer band. Al has contributed his talents and time to so many fundraisers throughout his career it is our turn to support our brother in the blues. Tickets are $35 + sc. If you are unable to attend please consider buying a ticket to support Alan. If you can’t make it to the show you can send a donation e-transfer to 

Blues Mondays coming back to Union Station: The lineup has not been announced but the dates are set for another summer of free blues on Front Street, June 24 to August 19 with shows at noon and 6pm all curated by the Toronto Blues Society. Watch these pages and our socials to see who’s playing.

Friends of King Biscuit Boy annual concert: The 20th annual Blues with a Feeling concert will be held Saturday, May 11 at 8:00pm at the Leander Boat Club in Hamilton. Presented by The Friends of Richard Newell the annual concert pays tribute to Hamilton’s foremost exponent of the blues, the late Richard Newell a.k.a. King Biscuit Boy. This year’s show presents two dynamic blues guitarists and their electrifying bands – Steve Strongman and Brant Parker and a tribute to King Biscuit Boy must include at least one outstanding harmonica player and this year it’s multiple Maple Blues Award winner and Juno nominee Carlos del Junco. In addition to those acts, Lester Smith, Larry Feudo and Paul Panchezak of the band Trickbag will offer a short set of acoustic blues from the “Ronnie Copple Memorial Chair” in the foyer of the Leander Boat Club. Acting as musical greeters of sorts and invoking the busking spirit of Chicago’s Maxwell Street they will start the festivities at 7:30. Proceeds from this year’s concert will be donated to the Hamilton Musicians’ Guild’s Bob Pedler Fund, a benevolent fund which provides financial assistance to musicians who are unable to perform due to health issues. Tickets for the concert are $30 cash only please. Available Dr Disc, Stardust Records, Looney Tunes Records (Burlington), and Picks and Sticks.

Etwell concert series announced:  Muskoka will be ringing with the blues as the Etwell Concert series gets underway.  Here’s what’s announced so far: 

Paul James (Sunday, June 30, 3pm), The Tonewheels (Sunday, July 7, 3pm), Campbell & Johnston (Wednesday, July 10, 7pm), Garret T. Willie (Sunday, July 14, 3pm), Cameo Blues Band (Sunday, July 21, 3pm), Glenn Marais (Thursday, July 25, 7pm), JW Jones (Sunday, July 28, 3pm), The Good Brothers (Sunday, August 4, 3pm), Carlos Del Junco (Sunday, August 11, 3 pm), Jerome Godboo (Tuesday, August 13, 7pm), Paul Reddick (Sunday, September 1, 3pm), Durham County Poets (Sunday, September 8, 3pm), Swamperella (Sunday, September 15, 3pm), Lance, Tobin & Roly (Sunday, September 22, 3pm). 

Hugh’s Room Fundraising: Hugh’s Room Live has been having a great first year at their new digs on Broadview but despite a lot of support from the roots music community (financial and otherwise) they still need to raise $2.5M to retire three mortgages as they fall due. They will be offering a combination of community bond purchases (up to $1.3M, secured by a new first mortgage). They raised exactly this amount through the sale of community bonds (secured by a second mortgage) from generous friends of HRL last year to help purchase the building. They plan to retire the other two mortgages through donations.  They raised donations of about $600K last year and now seek another $1.2M in donations to replace the rest of the mortgage debt that the bonds don’t cover. Support this local treasure by coming out to some shows and, if you’re able, donate at

Afro-Metis Constitution:  Chris White and Russ Kelley, two of the protagonists on the Afro-Métis Constitution album that came out a few years ago were in town doing some pre-production for the forthcoming follow up album.  Before heading back to Ottawa, they dropped in to Ken Whiteley’s Gospel Brunch at Hugh’s Room where they were enjoying the gospel sounds of Nova Scotia’s Linda Carvery, who will also be appearing on the new project (to be recorded at Ken Whiteley’s Casa Wroxton studio).

The Mighty Duck Blues Band wraps up the 2023/2024 Saturday afternoon Blues series at Jo Blos Rock & Wok with two final shows featuring special guests Chuck Jackson (Downchild) May 4th and Jerome Godboo May 11th.  The band will take their usual spring/summer hiatus, returning for the 2024/2025 edition of their popular matinee in mid October.  The loss of guitarist and founder Dave Curry in December 2023 was difficult but the current lineup of Gary Kendall bass/vocals, Lorraine Ingle keyboards/vocals, Teddy Leonard guitar/vocals and Jim Casson drums/vocals will continue.  The Dave Curry Memorial Music Fund has been established to provide financial support for music education and career development in the Niagara region.  Jo Blos Rock & Wok, 2 Pelham Rd St. Catharines ON, Saturdays, 2:30 -6:30pm.

Musicians Take Note: Submissions from artists and labels for the 17th Annual Blues Blast Music Awards are open until May 31st, 2024.  Albums released between June 1. 2023 and May 31, 2024 are eligible this year.  Submit your music now. Click this link:

Guitar show in Hamilton:  Alfie Smith is starting a new guitar swap meet in Hamilton on Sunday, June 9th 3-7pm at the Laidlaw Memorial United Church. More info on their Facebook Group: Hamilton Players Grade Guitar Show. Like and share the page to spread the word. Tables are going to be $50 and $25 for a second table – you can split your booth with a second person if you want to keep costs down. General admission is $5 and even if you don’t get a table you can bring in one instrument to try and sell or trade. Alfie writes, “I want this to be a great yearly event. We want to build a great yearly community event for local musicians and collectors”. If you need more info

Increased Support for Music in Budget 2024: A big thank-you to the Canadian Government, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Minister of Canadian Heritage Pascale St Onge, for the increase in support to Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) and the Canada Music Fund (CMF) in the 2024 Federal Budget. The budget allocates $31 million over two years (starting 2024-25) to the CAPF, supporting organizations that professionally present arts festivals/performing arts series. The budget also includes $32 million over two years (starting 2024-25) to the CMF supporting the development and promotion of Canadian musicians and Canadian music. This funding represents a pivotal demonstration of support for our music community. The budget also proposes $50 million over four years to support creative workers who may be impacted by Artificial Intelligence (AI), starting in 2025. 

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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.