Toronto Blues Society | » Sept 2020 – Loose Blues News

Sept 2020 – Loose Blues News

Published September 8, 2020 in Loose Blues News, News, Uncategorized

Something in the Water? What do Dione Taylor, Brian Blain and Michael Schatte have in common? They’re all releasing new CDs this month and all three of them have a strong focus on water. Dione Taylor’s new album is called Spirits in the Water, Brian Blain’s first single from his new album is “The Water Song” and “Water In the Kettle” is the opening cut from Michael Schatte’s new album. All three releases will be premiered on TBS channels and socials this month (see “Mark Your Calendar” for details).

Downbeat Poll Blues Winners: Congratulations to the winners in the Blues categories of the 2020 DownBeat Critics’ Poll: The Blues Artist or Group is Gary Clark Jr., the Blues Album of the Year is Robert Cray’s That’s What I Heard (Nozzle/Thirty Tigers) and the “Beyond Artist or Group” award goes to Dr. John

IBC Cancelled: The International Blues Challenge, one of the premiere events on the blues calendar, has been suspended for this year. Michael Freeman, Chairman of the Blues Foundation wrote, “ I am writing to share with our blues community that our Board voted unanimously to cancel this years’ IBC and look ahead to the first quarter of 2022 when we can hopefully come together in person to celebrate the blues via this signature Blues Foundation event.” The Board concurrently voted to suspend nominations and selection of Keeping the Blues Alive Award recipients until the fall of 2021, with plans to honor those selected during the 2022 IBC Week, where they can be celebrated in person with their family and friends surrounding them. They intend to use the time and resources normally directed towards the IBC to develop unique content and virtual activities for this winter. This is not intended to replace the IBC, but to give the blues world a way to remain connected as we all continue to heal through this pandemic that has uprooted so many of our plans and our lives. Save the dates for the 37th International Blues Challenge – February 1st through February 5th, 2022.

Changes in Bluesville: The Blues Foundation will be taking charge of programming B.B. King’s Bluesville (channel 74 on Sirius). The channel will be powered by The Blues Foundation, which will directly expand the featured programming to include exclusive performances, artist interviews, and archival content that only The Blues Foundation can provide. To kick off this collaboration, B.B. King’s Bluesville will exclusively air the 2020 Virtual Blues Music Awards (held earlier this year), featuring SiriusXM host Shemekia Copeland as the ceremony’s host, beginning Friday, September 4 at 3 p.m. ET, Friday 09/04/20 at 9 p.m. ET, Saturday 09/05/20 at 3 a.m. ET and 6 p.m. ET, Sunday 09/06/20 at 6 a.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET and Monday 09/07/20 at 12 p.m. ET

Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund: The Blues Foundation has also been coming to the rescue of many in the community who have been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you are able to contribute, make a donation to either the COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund or to the HART Fund. Both of these Blues Foundation initiatives are making a real difference in the lives of so many blues musicians who would otherwise find themselves out on the streets or without the healthcare they need and deserve. You can visit and click on the Donate button to choose the fund of your choice and help make a difference.

And if you need some help, The Blues Foundation’s COVID-19 Blues Musician Emergency Relief Fund offers assistance to full-time professional blues musicians (apparently available to all blues musicians living in North America) who have lost all means of income for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This fund has been established for the sole purpose of providing EMERGENCY relief and will only cover those basic necessities required to live. To find out more, contact Elizabeth Montgomery Brown at

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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.