Toronto Blues Society | » September 2022 – Loose Blues News

September 2022 – Loose Blues News

Published August 30, 2022 in Loose Blues News

Festival season Shuffles to an end: The Southside Shuffle takes over Port Credit September 8-11 with some fine blues from the Legendary Downchild Blues Band, Wide Mouth Mason, Steve Marriner, Ghost Town Blues Band, Lance Anderson Pianorama, Zoom with Shawn Kellerman, Sean Pinchin, Erin McCallum, Jim Dan Dee, Blue Moon Marquee, Rick Taylor, Chuckie Zehr and many more great blues acts. German buzz-act Wellbad will make their Shuffle debut. A highlight is always the Street Shuffle and there are workshops plus interviews and a segment on the history of the Shuffle & Port Credit. The Sunday show will feature the Induction ceremony of the newest member of Port Credit’s Music Walk of Fame and a retrospective on previous inductees including Oscar Peterson.

In The Studio: The Maple Blues Band went into Toronto`s Loud Mouse Studios in August and began work on their first full length recording of instrumental pieces composed during their 22 year residence at The Maple Blues Awards.  A release date in early 2023 will be announced soon.

Folk Music Ontario Conference: FMO has extended the Advance Registration rate for the 2022 Folk Music Ontario Conference, taking place October 13-16 in London, Ontario. Visit their website and purchase your pass before September 16 to save big on registration! The Official Showcase Artist lineup has been announcedand they will soon announce Spotlight Showcase Listings, Speakers, Delegates, Panels, Folk Films and more! Julian Taylor, Mike Biggar, Angelique Francis and Amanda Rheaume are some of the blues-friendly artists selected for official showcases and the good news is there will also be a TBS-sponsored Blues Showcase at this year’s conference (Jenie Thai, Sandra Bouza and more).

Underground Railroad Remembered: The Underground Railroad restaurant was a cultural landmark for Toronto’s black community and a symbol of its resilience and entrepreneurship. It was the local “hang” for black musicians and other aficionados of “soul food,” frequented by the likes of B.B. King and Lonnie Johnson. It was at this venue that the TBS presented the first “Blues With a Feeling” award (pre-curser to the Maple Blues Awards). Last month, Heritage Toronto unveiled two plaques for the Underground Railroad restaurant and its original owners, Archie Alleyne, John Henry Jackson, Dave Mann, and Howard Matthews. The ceremony was attended by Sate and Tuku, daughters of Howard Matthews and Salome Bey and many city dignitaries and community leaders.

Buddy Guy Documentary:  If you missed the Kitchener Blues Fest cinema offerings, but are in the St.Catharines area on Labour Day weekend, there are 2 screenings of the Buddy Guy film The Torch (2019, directed by Jim Farrell) being shown on Friday Sept 2 at 6PM, and Sunday Sept 4 at 7PM. The Film House 250 St. Paul Street (in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre), St Catharines. The Film House notes. “…at 86, Chicago legend Buddy Guy remains the standard bearer for the blues, an icon determined to see the art form live on long after he’s gone.”

Blues For The Red Door: Blues For The Red Door is looking for sponsorship for their upcoming November 6th annual event. The show supports the Red Door Family Shelter and has been hosting a fundraising blues cabaret of award winning artists since 2014. With an all-female house band, this event has over the years raised $20,000 cash and donated hundreds of items that feed and clothe families supported by the shelter. This year’s focus is food: “Access to Food is a Basic Human Right not a privilege. No one should go hungry.”  Sponsors will receive recognition through pre-event promotional materials, onsite, print and website.  Sponsorships come with tables and/or tickets so that they may enjoy a memorable evening with other like-minded corporations and individuals. The event will be in a new venue this year, The Old Mill in Toronto. This is the 8th annual edition of the fundraising concert which was founded by Jake Hiebert (Big Rude Jake) who passed away in June of this year.”

Brian’s Blues Birthday: Your part-time, (barely)managing editor was one of the casualties of the 2-year live music shutdown, and it’s taken him a little longer to get back in the saddle but he’s back “with bells on” for a big show at the newly-renovated Redwood Theatre in Leslieville.  Last year Brian planned a big 75th Birthday Party that got cancelled so Sunday, September 11th he’s hosting his “I’m not 75 Anymore” birthday celebration. Brian has invited many of the musicians who helped him get established in Toronto starting with Lorraine Ingle, whose band Blue Willow was the first to hire Brian as a sideman when he arrived in Toronto. Many more blues luminaries who recorded and played with him will be dropping by for what Brian calls his “Celebration of Life – while I’m still here to enjoy it!” The Redwood Theatre, built in 1914 and located at Gerrard and Greenwood in Leslieville has been renovated with state-of-the-art ventilation/air-conditioning as well as a brand new $30,000 PA system and full audio/video production capabilities courtesy of Media Tribe. It was originally built as a vaudeville theatre in 1914 and it was a cinema until the late 50s.  Check out this new roots music destination, and give the birthday boy a socially-distanced fist-bump. Tix $20 @ but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Blues on the Rideau: The Blues On The Rideau Dinner & Show Fundraiser Series at The Cove Inn in Westport has announced the Line-Up for their 2022/23 and, as usual, it’s the hottest names on the Canadian blues circuit (see ad on page 14). There is one Aussie in the programme, the great Lloyd Spiegel, on a double-bill with Suzie Vinnick. Jack de Keyzer, Samantha Martin, Harrison Kennedy, the Blackburns are some of the usual suspects booked. Note that this year they are looking at doing a second night show (Saturdays) for a number of the artists if there is a demand. More details including artists’ bios, websites and YouTubes at  Proceeds from all shows go to support local charities/good causes. Reservations required – call The Cove 613-273-3636 or email [email protected]

Memphis Bound: The Grand River Blues Society announced that Frank Cosentino will be stepping up to represent them at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis since the contest winners, Bywater Call, have a scheduling conflict. Cosentino placed second in the IBC contest and he is thrilled to have a chance to represent GRBS. There will be a fundraiser at Stonewalls Hamilton on Sunday November 27th at 2PM, to help offset the travel expenses of the representing acts and Bywater Call will play along with Brooke Blackburn (solo) and the Frank Cosentino Trio. Advance tickets for the fundraiser available now at Eventbrite for $20

Blues Tourism: Prefer a swim-up bar to a dive bar? Then you’ve likely considered the all-inclusive blues tours from Canada that have been popping up in the last decade, and at the heart of them is commonly a loyal Blues fan. Dawn Fairbanks of Blues South travel company, already in its 12th season, has just announced her 2023 lineup. She says her long history of hosting blues musicians in her community brought her around to combining her decades of travel specialty and love of the music. Three tours will include Sil Simone and Voodoo Pawn Shop in Jamaica the week of Jan 29th, Cheryl Lescom and Chuckee Zehr in Costa Rica the week of Feb 15, and Steve Grisbrook and Lance Anderson in Roatan the week of March 6. Blues tourism companies each have their own unique features, and as for Dawn the integral part of her experience down south has been supporting schools or animal shelters as well as leaving instruments and supplies with local school children.

– Janet Allilovic, Brian Blain, Derek Andrews

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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.