Toronto Blues Society | » September 2018 Loose Blues News

September 2018 Loose Blues News

Published September 5, 2018 in Loose Blues News, News

Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship:

The 7th Annual Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship Fundraiser has announced the line-up for the fundraiser on Tuesday, September 25 at Grossman’s Tavern. The winner of this year’s Scholarship will be announced at the event. The Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship continues to accept submissions until September 14th. The ALGMS is an artist development bursary created in honour of the late Amy Louis Grossman, whose family has been a mainstay in the local music community and owned Grossman’s Tavern since 1975. Since the the scholarship’s inception in 2013, it has grown to a disbursement of $2,000. The prize is awarded annually to a group or individual artist from the Greater Toronto Area whose winning project proposal demonstrates how the bursary would advance their music career. For details visit

TBS office gets soaked:

The huge rainfall on August 5 caused substantial flooding in the basement of the Artscape building where the TBS has our office. Office Manager Huma Uster has been “swamped” with a lot of clean-up duty just when she has a lot of TBS business to arrange for upcoming activities like Blues in The Garden, The Women’s Blues Revue and the Blues Summit. Repairs are underway but if you tried to phone the office in the last week or two, you probably didn’t get an answer. Huma has been working from home or a nearby coffee shop and trying to keep many balls in the air (and she’s doing a great job). Repairs are underway and will be completed by the end of August (we have a great landlord in Artscape). Stay tuned.

Blues is back on the Rideau:

James Doran’s Choose The Blues Productions in co-operation with The Cove Inn are kicking off another season of Blues On The Rideau at The Cove Inn in Westport. The season is dedicated to the memory of Diane Leduc Doran who passed away last November and was James’ partner in BOTR. The series starts with the Steve Strongman Band on September 28 with future appearances by Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, The Hogtown Allstars, Dawn Tyler Watson w/Ben Racine Band, Ria Reese, Rick Fines & Suzie Vinnick, Wicked Grin and two nights with Jack De Keyzer. The package includes a full course buffet dinner, dancing, door prizes and a chance to win 2 Grand Prizes at the end of the season. Proceeds from each show go to support different local charities. To date $68K has been raised for the Westport community and the goal is to raise at least another $5K this season. For details visit

Blues Conference:

The Fifth Annual International Conference on the Blues will be hosted at Delta State University, Sunday, September 30 through Tuesday, Oct 2, 2018. This year’s conference theme “Spirit of the Blues: Roots of Delta Music” explores connections among Blues, spirituals, and gospel music and celebrates the sacred and secular legacy of Blues legend Muddy Waters through a reunion of his descendants, the Morganfield family from Chicago and the Mississippi Delta. Dr. Charles Reagan Wilson, former director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi will be a keynote speaker and there will be a free public Muddy Waters Tribute Concert, an interview and closing concert with Trombone Shorty and more. See the full schedule at

Talkin’ Blues:

It’s been a while since we reported on Mako Funasaka’s adventures in podcasting but he has been very busy posting interviews with bluesicians – most recently Jeff Turmes (Mavis Staples), guitarist Tom Holland and our own Morgan Davis. The podcasts are available at iTunes and all the usual podcasting portals. Mako usually posts information on the latest episode on Facebook at:

Peter’s Players goes to Jamaica:

For many years, Peter Swanek has been bringing big blues names to his intimate concert hall in Gravenhurst and has now embarked on a new project which will appeal to the well-heeled blues fans who have been supporting his shows all these years. Johnny Winter’s Jamaica “Winterfest” will happen January 24-31, 2019 in Trelawny, Jamaica. The package includes flights from Toronto to Montego Bay, ground transfer to and from hotel, all meals, drinks & accommodations at Mango’s Resort with an all star lineup of Blues greats including Sonny Landreth, Derek St Holmes, Samantha Fish, Paul Nelson, James Montgomery and The All-Star Band. The boutique resort has four restaurants include a buffet, Italian, grill, and oceanfront seafood spot, a freshwater pool with two whirlpools, waterslide, and walk-up pool bar, three bars including a pool bar, a standalone bar, and piano bar, Free Wi-Fi, Gym, tennis, game room and even a fire-eater. Info at

Rest in Peace:

The music world lost two great singers last month. Aretha Franklin, of course, The Queen of Soul, who first conquered the charts in the late ’60s and never relinquished her throne, died on August 16th and tributes have been pouring in.  A “Tribute to Aretha Franklin” concert is set to take place November 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York with and all-star line-up.

Closer to home, Betty Richardson, who sang back-up for many Toronto R&B outfits live and on record, died on August 12, of cancer. She started singing professionally at the age of 15 with her older sister, Jackie Richardson. She was an original member of the Toronto cast of Hair and was active as a studio and jingle singer. Groups she featured in included The Tiaras (with Jackie Richardson and Colina Phillips), The Silhouettes with Doug Riley, Formula Five (alongside Liberty Silver), and The Richardsons (alongside Jackie and her daughter Kim Richardson).

And late word that another blues great has passed away. The Blues Foundation mourns the passing of Lazy Lester, born Leslie Johnson, who was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2012. Lazy Lester was one of South Louisiana’s blues artists known for the “Swamp Blues” sound. We join the rest of the blues world in sending condolences to his family. May his spirit live on through his wonderful music.

Lindsay Beaver joins Alligator:

Lindsay Beaver is set to release her Alligator Records debut, Tough As Love on October 12. After releasing five albums with the 24th Street Wailers, Tough As Love is her first release under her own name. Along with her touring band—guitarist Brad Stivers and bassist Josh Williams (“they are the glue that holds it all together,” she says), there are guest appearances by Marcia Ball, Dennis Gruenling, Laura Chavez, Eve Monsees and Sax Gordon. She has toured Canada, the United States and large swaths of Europe, and will be back on the road bringing her new music directly to the people, earning new fans at every stop. On the album and on stage, Beaver is a true powerhouse. She makes an immediate and unforgettable impression. Standing front and center at her kit, singing every song from the depths of her soul, she delivers blues, R&B and old school rock ‘n’ roll with punk rock energy, and sings with a voice brimming with attitude and soulfulness. Starting on the release date, she’ll begin a major tour across the United States and Canada. Until then, she’s holding down a weekly residency at Austin, Texas’ famed blues club, Antone’s.

For Steve Earle fans:

The 30th anniversary of Copperhead Road has Steve Earle and The Dukes touring steadily in the US and Canada. The southern Ontario leg of the tour begins in Toronto at the Phoenix on Sept. 5, Kitchener’s Centre In The Square Sept 7th, Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre on Sept. 8th, followed by London Music Hall on Sept. 9th. For more Ontario dates see

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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.