Toronto Blues Society | » September 2023 – Loose Blues News

September 2023 – Loose Blues News

Published September 1, 2023 in Loose Blues News

Festival Finale:  September brings the blues festival season to an end but it will go out with the usual Big Bang courtesy of the Southside Shuffle on September 8-9-10 which brings out all the blues lovers in Port Credit and the “Mississauga Delta”. This year’s Shuffle brings out top Canadian blues talent including Matt Andersen, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne, local favourite David Wilcox, rising stars Angelique Francis and Spencer Mackenzie and, of course, Downchild.  The month kicks off with the West Coast Blues Festival (Sept 1-2) in Goderich with Emily Burgess, Conor Gaines, Sean Pinchin and more. Following Southside Shuffle is the Wasaga Beach Blues Festival on Sept 15-17 with Angelique Francis, David Gogo, Dylan Wickens, Jordan John, the Ben Racine Band and much more. And the same week-end as the Shuffle, Belleville downtown comes alive with a one-day event on September 9th. The new festival has been put together by local muso Tony Vani and Carol Feeney and will feature Jack de Keyzer. Long-time TBS board member Paul Denyes will conduct a workshop called “How We Got The Blues”. Feeney is a former executive director of the Quinte Arts Council and former city councillor who has extensive experience in creating music festivals and programs,  

Maple Blues Band on vinyl: The Maple Blues Band`s album Let`s Go is now available on high quality vinyl.  It can be purchased online at or  The band has also taken it a step further for those aficionados who appreciate the old school record buying experience and droped it into the Kop`s Records chain at their three locations.  395 Queen St. W, Toronto, 209 Danforth Ave, Toronto, 156 Simcoe St. S. Oshawa

Fonfara Tribute Online: The Michael Fonfara Memorial Concert is back on YouTube with enhanced audio and video.  It can be found on Gary Kendall`s Youtube channel  The event produced by The Toronto Blues Society at the Paradise Theatre on Apr.5, 2022 pays tribute to the late keyboard genius with performances by Avril Fonfara, Alan Gerber, Johnny Wright & Hotline, The Brotherhood of The Lincolns’ Alumni, Robin Banks, The Hogtown Allstars, The Checkmates/Rhinoceros Reunion and Downchild.

Blues is back in St. Catharines: The Mighty Duck Blues Band will launch their 2023/2024 blues series at Jo Blos Rock & Wok in St. Catharines on Saturday Sept.23rd with special guest Joel Johnson.  The Saturday afternoon series, 2:30-6:30pm, will run weekly until June 1, 2024.  Featured performances through the fall will include Maria Aurigema, Lance Anderson with the B3, Bill Durst, Robin Banks, Suzie Vinnick, Little Magic Sam, Michael Schatte, Garnetta Cromwell, Rick Fines and Gail Gunnis.  More info at 

Nominees announced for 2023 Ontario Folk Music Awards: Recognizing the outstanding work and contributions of Folk artists and musicians from across the province of Ontario, Folk Music Ontario (FMO) is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2023 Ontario Folk Music Awards. The award ceremony will take place at London, Ontario’s Aeolian Hall on Sunday, October 15, 2023. The 2023 Ontario Folk Music Award nominees are: CMRRA Song of the Year:  Barbra Lica – The Ghost of Me, Emily Schultz – What Do I Know, Julian Taylor – Seeds, Madison Violet – Sweet Desperado, Michael Darcy & The Atlantic Tramps – The Ballad of Uncle Frank  Album of the Year:  Digging Roots – Zhawenim, Lenka Lichtenberg – Thieves of Dreams: Songs of Theresienstadt’s Secret Poetess, Mama’s Broke – Narrow Line, Mia Kelly – Garden Through the War, Shakura S’Aida – Hold On To Love. ACTRA RACS Recording Artist of the Year: Abigail Lapell, Al Qahwa, Amanda Rheaume, Angelique Francis, Aysanabee. Performing Artist of the Year: Aysanabee, Digging Roots, Julian Taylor, The Fitzgeralds, YAO. More award recipients to be announced later.

Drake’s Daddy:  Dennis Graham performed around Toronto at clubs like Albert’s Hall, Downtown Browne’s and the Silver Dollar.  Out of Memphis originally he was a compatriot of the Hi-Rhythm Section including his cousin guitarist Teenie Hodges.  Research is being done for Drake on his history by the author of the Flyer Vault, Daniel Tate.  Fun fact, or just fascinating, Mr. Graham met Drake’s mom at the Club Bluenote where she was a bartender.  One of his local gigs was backing up Jerry Lee Lewis, but you may also have seen him sitting in with Danny Marks at a Stormy Monday session.  Did you see Dennis Graham and his North Memphis Band? 

Label News:  U.S.-based private equity firm Round Hill Music LP has announced its acquisition of Linus Entertainment and the recording and publishing catalogues of Borealis Records, Stony Plain Records, Mummy Dust Music Ltd, Solid Gold Records, The Children’s Group, and True North Records as well as the distribution company Independent Digital Licensing Agency Inc (IDLA). Linus founder Geoff Kulawick will maintain all operations of the Ontario-based company and continue with his staff of 10 employees. Serving as an indie record label, distributor and music publisher, Linus Entertainment’s artists include Big Wreck, whose 1997 debut album achieved double platinum certification, Canadian Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Cockburn, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Academy Award winner Buffy Sainte-Marie, blues rocker Colin James, Gordon Lightfoot, Natalie MacMaster, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, folk musician Stan Rogers, and Grammy-winning blues musician Taj Mahal. Its more recent roster of acts includes albums by songwriter Marc Jordan, fiddler Natalie MacMaster, celebrated Canadian folk singer Lynn Miles, and Canadian blues and country artist Crystal Shawanda. Round Hill’s extensive and lucrative song catalogues assets also include other works by such notable Canadians as Triumph, Eddie Schwartz, Shawn Hook, Bruce Cockburn, and Jim Vallance, who had a long string of hits co-writing with Bryan Adams in the late ‘70s through 1989.

Bob Dylan Center Songwriter Fellowship: The Bob Dylan Center and Universal Music Publishing Group have introduced the very first Bob Dylan Center Songwriter Fellowship. The prestigious accolade is set to honour two distinct songwriters every year, providing them with a $40,000 project stipend, exclusive presentation platforms, access to the invaluable Bob Dylan Archive, and the opportunity for recording sessions at the historic Church Studio in Tulsa, Okla., previously owned by Leon Russell. Aspiring songwriters can submit their entries until the deadline on Oct. 18. Eligibility criteria require applicants to be at least 18 years of age without a current publishing deal. The fellowship is set to commence on May 1, 2024. Detailed information on the application procedure can be found on the official website:

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. Also sad to report the recent passing of John Hoevenars, a founding member of the Great Lakes Blues Society. The family held a private service but are planning a Celebration of Life in the near future.

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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.