Toronto Blues Society | » October 2023 – Loose Blues News

October 2023 – Loose Blues News

Published October 2, 2023 in Loose Blues News

Did U hear? Blues was in the news lately when megastar Drake used some old footage from Danny Marks’ Stormy Monday cable TV show as part of his new release campaign.  The footage features Drake’s father, Dennis Graham playing “Crosscut Saw” with Danny at Albert’s Hall in the early 90s.  The video has been viewed millions of times and raised the profile of one of Toronto’s already high-profile bluesician and broadcaster. Danny says, “We’re looking for video of Dennis Graham’s signature piece “For Your Precious Love” from Stormy Monday TV. Drake is delighted to see his dad as a young man, singing the Blues. Heaven and Earth have moved. Dennis and I have also been talking about stoking the fires again to make more music in this century …Alec Fraser and David Bailey are in touch and looking through the archives. Great things can come of this. Funny thing is that for years I’ve been hoping to revitalize Stormy Monday – our collective history. There seemed nothing I could do to light the fire, then this happened. Nick Krewen told the story brilliantly. It’s a story with many players and parts. Very exciting!”

Saturday Night Blues New Season: Holger Petersen kicked off another season of essential blues programming with lots of Canadian Blues. Always the latest and greatest from Holger with occasional surprises. On his opening show, he played Tony Bennett (and had a great story).  Tune in on cbcmusic Saturdays at 6:05 and anytime on the CBClisten app or CBC On Demand.

A rough season for Festivals: Some festivals have rebounded from the great COVID confinement and report record attendance this summer, but for some of them it’s been a disastrous year. The Salmon Arm Blues Festival got shut down after one night  due to the surrounding fires and smoke.  Volunteers were scrambling home to houses burning down! They just posted, ” If you purchased tickets to the 2023 festival, you will receive a ticket refund survey by email Tuesday, Sept. 26. Please fill out the survey to receive your refund or donate your tickets to the festival. For a full breakdown of the ticket types and refund options, please take a look at the Ticket FAQ page:

The Equinox Festival on Wolfe Island had to cancel because the ferry service has not been restored following disruption to implement an electric boat. They posted on their website. “Due to uncertainty of transportation to and from  Wolfe Island, The Equinox Festival will extend from a weekend into a fall and winter-long series. Ticket holders are eligible to attend all shows as they are rescheduled, or a full refund will be awarded instead.”

In New Brunswick, the Harvest Blues and Jazz Festival had to pack up their tents after one night when Hurricane Lee was headed their way.  Artistic Director Brent Staeben posted online “I guess we made the right decision because the wind just knocked over a fridge in the backstage area.”  

This year was the swan song for the Limestone Blues Festival in Kingston. The Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area, the group that put on the festival, announced its end Friday afternoon with a commitment to create a new event in its place. “Kingston has such a rich history of producing top-level musical talent and a reputation as one of the best live music destinations in Canada. Blues has been a key part of that,” Jan MacDonald, festival artistic director and director of events at the BIA, said in a news release.

In its announcement, the BIA described the event as a “beloved annual event (that) has been an integral part of the community, showcasing world-class blues talent, fostering a sense of togetherness, and creating lasting memories for countless attendees.” According to the announcement, the BIA is working on plans for a new music festival for 2025… to “better reflect Kingston’s growing population, and will aim to invite a broader audience to enjoy the experience of a large-scale live music event held in the heart of the city.” 

There have been many changes in festival directors too and the Vancouver Folk Festival was so far in debt that it was going to cease to exist – until a huge outcry from the festival-goers forced them to reconsider. 

Another festival that’s getting a reprieve is the Canal Bank Shuffle which floundered a bit following the passing of their guiding light, Tim Sinnett. But the festival is back – rebranded as The Canal Bank Blues Festival.  It’s being organized by Brant Parker and Joe Viele, owner of Donnelly’s Pub in Thorold. 

 The festival will be held in Thorold on October 12-15 and will present Jack de Keyzer, Little Magic Sam, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, Brant Parker, Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin, Maria Aurigema, LMT Connection, Rick Taylor, Spencer MacKenzie, Alfie Smith, Joshua Arden Miller & Pappy Johns Blues Band and many more. See full lineup at, $50 All Access Weekend Pass, Tickets @ Donnelly’s Pub – 54 Front St. S, Thorold, Call: 905.227.1947

Congratulations to the Blues Boss:  Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne is the 2023 recipient of the Jus’ Blues Music Foundation’s Bobby “Blue” Bland Lifetime Achievement Award. With a career that spans more than 6 decades, Wayne is known for his distinctive piano style and is a member of the Boogie-Woogie Piano Hall of Fame. He has also been recognized with two consecutive Living Blues Magazine Awards and a JUNO Award and is a multiple Maple Blues Award winner – and the best-dressed Bluesman in Canada (courtesy CelebrityAccess)

Blues For Red Door: This year’s edition of this worthy fundraiser for the Red Door Shelter is on Sunday November 5 (8pm show) and will be hosted by Johnny Max. It will feature performances by Sean Pinchin, Little Magic Sam, Mike Branton, Michael Louis Johnson, Jack de Keyzer, Frank Cosentino and more…backed by the house band of Michelle Josef, Lauren Falls and Roberta Hunt and Musical Director Margaret Stowe. The new venue is the Longbranch Social House, 3595 Lake Shore Blvd W., Etobicoke

Robert Johnson legend depicted in art show: 12:06 AM, An Artist’s Response to the A.I. ‘crisis’ is presented by Abbozzo Gallery at 401 Richmond, Toronto. Richard A. Jacobson’s exhibition queries the legend of Robert Johnson, who was rumored to have sold his soul to the devil… Jacobson explores the efficacy, morality and usefulness of A.I., bearing witness to its potential as an artist’s tool, a spark for inspiration, while cautioning against the presentation of A.I. generated images as one’s own creation. In this exhibition, Jacobson employs guitars, Johnson’s, and the devil’s visage as recurring motifs, introducing new sculptural mediums such as ornamented playable guitars and resin skulls in addition to woodblock prints and the oil paintings he is so well known for.

A.I. is only the most recent technological advancement touted to be the “death” of artists, like Jacobson, and this collection reflects the anxiety that accompanies such grim predictions. 

While traditionally a painter, in this series Jacobson experiments with a wide variety of tools and techniques, including ‘rival’ practices like A.I. Bringing together his fears, curiosity, determination, and creativity, Jacobson constructs a show of artistic resilience. In embracing the tools that mark his fall, could he be making a deal with the devil? Witness the crossroads at “12:06 AM.” The Abbozzo Gallery is at 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 128. The gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday: 11-6 pm, Saturday: 11-5 pm but best to call (416) 260-2220.  The show closes on October 7.  

Passings: There will be a celebration of life for Blues radio host and Maple Blues Blues Booster Patrick Monaghan on October 15th 2023 from 1 to 5 at the Polish Legion in Kitchener. 

Sadly, John Hoevenaars has recently passed and a Memorial Celebration is being organized by his son, Brandon, to be held Saturday, October 14, at The Bruce, Kincardine. Time from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Music provided by the Chris Murphy Band. John will be remembered as one of the Founding Members of the Canada South Blues Society- London Chapter that evolved into the present day Great Lakes Blues Society. John was a hard working supporter, helping to build the early blues community and was their first webmaster..

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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.