As the MapleBlues team adjusts to the loss of our esteemed reviewer, JV, it is important that blues artists and their labels make sure that TBS is getting your new release in good time so that it can be assigned to one of the pool of knowledegable blues influencers who we will call upon for reviews. Thanks this month to Eric Thom, Cindy McLeod, Sandra B. Tooze and TBS Prez Derek Andrews.

Born in London, UK and carrying a Dutch family name Jack de Keyzer is now one of the pillars of Canada’s blues community. Long gone are the apprenticing days with Ronnie Hawkins or rabble rousing with the Bobcats, Jack de Keyzer has evolved into a master musician, a teacher who enjoys his job and loves to shine light on his inspirations.  Tribute’s spotlight is directed at great blues, soul, funk and rock grooves of the sixties and all decades since, spanning Jack’s healthy career hitting hundreds of stages across Southern Ontario and way beyond.  Scott Biersack’s hippie retro artwork is a bit of a giveaway, but you don’t need a crystal ball to see where Jack is going to take you.  Spoiler alert, by my ears, Jack has been inspired by no less than Otis Rush, Robert Johnson, Hubert Sumlin, BB King, Eric Clapton, Steve Cropper, Carlos Santana, James Brown, meant in the most positive of ways…“what could go wrong?”  Motown, Chess, Stax, the man has had his ears open and to borrow Malcolm Gladwell’s notion, put his “ten thousand hours” in a long time ago.  A taste of Wes Montgomery jazz and some scratch reggae guitar riffs?  Variety is the spice of Jack’s life.  This release is a trademark honest and natural classic, straight up, inspired and true.  If you are already a fan, you’ll welcome the piercing electric guitar up front and the snug as a bug in a rug back-up driving his steady crew of players (Al Duffy, Richard Thornton, Nick Succi, Peter Grimmer).  For those just discovering Jack, hang on for a little whiplash in the note bending department and some passionate and at times seductive Canadian blues rock. (Derek Andrews)