Toronto Blues Society | » Songwriting Workshop

Songwriting Workshop

Toronto Blues Society returns with a “Songwriting Workshop” this year! Suzie Vinnick will host the Songwriting Workshop at Drom Taberna on Saturday, March 9th between 2pm-5pm. Guest musicians who will be accompanying Vinnick are Sugar Brown, Miss Emily, and Brian Blain.

Capacity is limited and tickets will be sold at the door on a first come first served basis: $8 for TBS Charter Members / $10 for Non Members.

Make sure to check out some delicious food that Drom Taberna has to offer. Their special menu is inspired by Eastern Europian cuisine!


A Note From Suzie:

The Songwriting Workshop will take place in the round – we will all sit together on stage and share our songwriting process – where we derive our inspiration for a song, the tools we use when we write and we’ll all perform some songs for the audience.

We may take questions as we go along and we’ll definitely take questions at the end.

We hope that we’ll see you at the workshop on Saturday, March 9th!

*You can also refer to Erin McCallum’s interview with Suzie on our past MapleBlues issue to learn more about placing songs in film and television, collaborating, how to add to your songwriting toolbox and to better prepare for this workshop!

About the Artists:

Suzie Vinnick

A Saskatoon native transplanted to the Niagara Region of Ontario, Roots and Blues singer Suzie Vinnick is a 3X Juno Nominee, CFMA Award winner, and a 10-time winner of the Maple Blues Award for songwriting, female vocalist, acoustic act and more. Suzie has a voice you’ve heard a thousand times and one you’ll never forget. It soars, it growls, it whispers and it shouts from a deep, deep well of emotion. The pure joy she exudes when she picks up that guitar is so worth the show.

Suzie has toured nationally with Stuart McLean’s The Vinyl Café, the John McDermott Band, and she has performed for Canadian Peacekeepers in Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. She was also the voice of Tim Horton’s for 5 years.

Suzie just released her latest album, a full band roots and blues extravaganza entitled Shake The Love Around.

Sugar Brown

Sugar Brown was born in 1971 in the semi-feudal town of Bowling Green, Ohio. He moved to Chicago in 1989, playing harmonica for the west side blues singer, Taildragger, who gave him his nom de guerre, “Sugar Brown”. Then, for almost two decades, Sugar Brown disappeared into obscure, historical archives in Tokyo and New York. He resurfaced in Toronto, Canada with three, critically acclaimed blues albums: Sugar Brown’s Sad Day (2013); Poor Lazarus (2015); and It’s a Blues World (Calling all Blues), 2018. Sugar Brown sings about love, money, misery and madness. As an instrumentalist, he combines ampflied guitar, rack-harmonica, piano, voice and boots. His band is called the People’s Blues Liberation Army Band, or PB-L.A.B. He is presently organizing a tour for the summer of 2019 in Japan and British Columbia, and planning his fourth studio album. Sugar Brown lives and works in Toronto.

Miss Emily

Her music spans genres, crosses barriers and creates bridges. Her voice soars to emotional heights and reaches down into the grittiness of the soul. Her performances are foot-stomping, heart-wrenching adventures in rhythm, blues, jazz and soul. For 15 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the UK with her unique combination of passion and talent.

That passion and talent was cultivated by an unparalleled work ethic. The willingness to step outside her comfort zone and learn new techniques paid off by giving her opportunities to become a regular at large outdoor venues like Ottawa Bluesfest. Then, in 2011 in front of 25,000 people outside the tiny town of Bobcaygeon she opened for The Tragically Hip and began a relationship that would change the direction of her career.

Miss Emily’s latest soul blues album ‘In Between’ features The Hip’s Gord Sinclair (Producer, co-writer, bass) & Rob Baker (co-writer, guitar) and has spent 7 weeks at #1 on RMR charts and over 30 weeks in the Top Ten.

Brian Blain

Brian Blain has spent his 50+ years in the music business mostly on the sidelines as a sideman, manager, producer, writer, editor & publisher but it is his unique songwriting that has brought him acclaim including the prestigious Porcupine “Golden Quill” Award in 2005. His upcoming CD includes some lighthearted fare like “I’m Not 50 Anymore”, “The Not Worried Blues,” songs about touring with Kathi MacDonald and Professor Piano, Scott Cushnie (RIP) and “The Maple Blues” (a song about his “day job” as editor of Maple Blues magazine). His first solo recording, “The Story of the Magic Pick” (Good Noise/Polydor, 1973) was the precursor of a long succession of slightly cynical songs about the music business. “Blues is Hurting” (original released on NorthernBlues) was included on the “Toronto Blues Today” compilation CD & two of his tunes were selected for “Future of the Blues” I & II. Jeffrey Morgan of the Detroit Metro Times wrote, “Now here’s something you don’t hear every day: a bluesman singin’ the blues about how lousy the blues singin’ business is these days.”

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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.

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