2017 Schedule

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Thursday Ticketed Fundraiser Concert
August 10, 2017
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Friday Free Shows
August 11, 2017
YNC Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Downtown BIA Stage
Saturday Free Shows
August 12, 2017
YNC Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Downtown BIA Stage
Sunday Free Shows
August 13, 2017
YNC Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Downtown BIA Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
YNC Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Downtown BIA Stage
YNC Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Downtown BIA Stage
YNC Stage
OLG Clock Tower Stage
Downtown BIA Stage
06:15 PM
Mike Todd/Matt Weidinger

Matt Weidinger has a voice like no other. The 24-year-old Kitchener, ON native is a passionate young songwriter, who is well known for his mature rock/soul vocals and impressive multi-instrumental (keyboards, guitars) talents.

Mike Todd has released his inaugural album, Good Man, after performing professionally for 13-plus years. His music is described as a cool fusion of funk and rock ’n’ roll that’s delivered with his signature husky vocals,

07:45 PM
The Harpoonist and The Axe Murderer

“With a name like The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, you might be forgiven for thinking that the Vancouver-based duo is some sort of concept group based on a hypothetical love story between Captain Ahab and Lizzie Borden.” (Chris Oke, Yukon News)

In reality, Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers evoke much more than just grisly nautical imagery. Armed with an arsenal of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion, and a road-worn Telecaster, the duo kick out raw and primal blues in the tradition of a “decades-deep blues style, while infusing the genre with a jolt of renewed energy.

Their influences range from the iconic songwriting of Willie Dixon to the boundary pushing of Jack White and Danger Mouse, but their sound is distinctly their own, smothered in greasy, gritty soul and imbued with funk. Shawn Hall provides the rousing, rugged vocals and blues harmonica, while Matthew Rogers rips on the guitar and pounds the skins with his feet. Their music is unapologetic. It slaps you in the face and makes cuts you to the core. It’s the blues played the way it was meant to be played. Read more…

09:15 PM
THE SHEEPDOGS

Trends come and go, styles fall in and out of fashion, but The Sheepdogs remain steadfast in their commitment to rock n’ roll excellence. Since their inception, the band has always sought to play the kind of music they themselves love: “Pure, simple, good-time music,” as singer/guitarist Ewan Currie puts it. It’s no surprise, then, that the band’s fifth LP, Future Nostalgia, is firmly rooted in the rock tradition that listeners have come to expect from the boys.

Hailing from Saskatoon, three-time JUNO awarding winning artists THE SHEEPDOGS’ burst onto the international scene after beating out thousands of artists in 2011 to appear on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine. Since then, The Sheepdogs have amassed six JUNO nominations, toured worldwide and earned Platinum certification for their 2010 LP Learn and Burn.

The Sheepdogs’ latest self-titled LP produced by Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) debuted at #1 on the Top 200 SoundScan Chart, garnering another GOLD record for the band.

“Our goal is two-fold,” Currie says. “We want to make killer albums that people really want to listen to, but we also want to have a really reputable live show. When we come through town we want to be the hottest ticket there. Those two elements are what make a truly great rock and roll band. Really, though, we just want to play to anyone who is willing to give us a shot and who wants to have a good time.” Read more…

01:00 PM
Jenie Thai

Born in Chiang Mai Thailand, and raised outside of Edmonton, Jenie Thai is building a musical presence throughout the country through the electric energy she displays on stage and the old soul that’s conveyed through her songwriting.

Vocally, she has been compared to Eva Cassidy, but soaks in the musical influences of Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Memphis Slim, and Nina Simone. .A performer, song-writer, singer, and instrumentalist: Jenie Thai combines her love of the traditional piano blues, sixties r&b, and great American songwriters to produce a unique charm as a roots and blues musician on the national and international scene.

02:10 PM
GRBS Blues Camp
04:30 PM
Blues Camp 10th Anniversary
05:30 PM
Ian Andrews And The Smokin’ Scoundrels

Foreplay, which was released in October 2015 and features all the sides of Ian Andrews- the reds, the oranges, the greens and of course THE BLUES! There’s rock n’ roll, pop rock, and boogie woogie that reference the greats, the legends and the influences of the past – but Andrews, like his live performance, takes it to the next level with his original touch and sound. Read more…

06:00 PM
Miss Angel and The Homewreckers

For Mississippi born Miss Angel Brown, practising music was never an option, a hobby, or even a chore. Music was a lifestyle. Surrounded by it in her upbringing, Miss Angel has no recollection of a life without it: “there was singing at church, singing at school, singing at the front porch after dinner at night.” It was no surprise then that when Mel Brown started wailing his Super 400 Gibson guitar, Miss Angel was hooked and agreed to go on tour with him in the summer of 1975. This decision paved the path for the rest of her life. Read more…

06:00 PM
Silvia Dee and The Boyfriend(s)

Silvia Dee and the Boyfriend(s) are serving up blues with Louisiana spice, swing, zydeco, a little rock and a side order of original music. You’ll dance! Read more…

07:00 PM
Steve Strongman Band

Award-winning Canadian bluesman Steve Strongman is a versatile talent, and a restless one. By constantly pushing himself in new directions, he has kept himself vital. His talent is huge and impossible to miss, and it’s matched by his staggering musical ambition — as guitar-slinger, songwriter or vocalist. The same structures and progressions that animate blues and roots music can also choke the air out of it, smothering it in caricature and cliché. But Strongman is a subtle shape-shifter who manages to slip that trap without betraying the music he loves. Throughout, he never sounds an inauthentic note or loses touch with the essence of the blues. In the tradition of The Howlin’ Wolf Album and Muddy Waters’ After the Rain.

No Time Like Now offers tribute to blues-rock as a full-blooded, living thing, not a museum piece.

With No Time Like Now, one of this country’s most talented and compelling blues players becomes a juggernaut. Backed by an impressive pack of players (including drummers Dave King and Adam Warner, bassists Rob Szabo and Alec Fraser, keyboardist Jesse O’Brien), the band is pure fire — both athletically limber and wickedly tight. The session also features a stellar guitar cameo from Randy Bachman on Strongman’s muscular cover of Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet”.  No Time Like Now buzzes with fresh energy — loose, playful and reinvigorated — but it’s thanks to the caliber and chemistry of the players that it lands its punches so consistently.

They called James Brown the “hardest working man in show business” and it would be no understatement to call Shawn Kellerman the “hardest playing blues guitarist” on the scene today. Shawn is recognized as one of the most powerful stage performers you will ever see. He literally puts every ounce of mental and physical energy into his music. Expressive, dynamic and technically outstanding, Shawn continues to build on his past experiences and push the boundaries of traditional blues into modern territory by adding in some soul, funk and rock influences. Sitting up close at a live performance is truly an awesome, jaw dropping experience.

07:30 PM
Lachy Doley Group

Lachy Doley is Australia’s most celebrated Blues Soul Rock Organ Player. He’s been dubbed the Jimi Hendrix of the Hammond Organ, a player who can pump, pamper and occasionally pound the most unbelievable sounds from a keyboard: sounds that are intense, ferocious and sometimes transcendent.

At 1.6 MILLION views, Lachy’s version of USE ME is just one of his viral videos setting the world on fire.

Lachy Doley has seen much of the world, recording and touring with acts as diverse as Powderfinger, Glenn Hughes, Steve Vai, Jimmy Barnes, The Beautiful Girls – more recently recording on a new album of Joe Bonamassa’s which came out in early 2015. It was 2010 though, that saw the birth of THE LACHY DOLEY GROUP and they have been heavily recording and touring ever since.

The group’s last album CONVICTION has taken Doley onto the world stage reaching #5 on the UK Blues Broadcasters Charts, #1 on the Australian iTunes Blues Charts and #1 on the Australian Blues & Roots Airplay Charts. Along with the group’s 2 performances at the legendary BB Kings in Memphis in January, Doley has cemented himself as a world renowned Blues and Soul Artist. Read more…

07:30 PM
Mike Todd Band

Soulful singers and soulful music has become a rarity on top 40 radio charts in recent years but up-and-coming artist Mike Todd is looking to change that. Affectionately known as “a giant teddy bear” Mike is a funny, charismatic and easy going person but when it comes to music he is deadly serious. Although Mike is only just emerging as a solo artist he’s been a professional musician for 13 years working and travelling with various artists. Mike has been described by other musicians as someone with a natural ability to “feel” music as well as create a sense of authenticity in his songs. With his reserves of soul and a powerful voice, Mike is able to deliver ferocious vocal performances that not many would expect from a “white boy” from Guelph. In addition to his impressive voice box Mike also endears himself with audiences with his humour and enthusiasm. Read more…

09:00 PM
The Last Waltz: A Musical Celebration of THE BAND
09:15 PM
Lucky Peterson

Lucky Peterson was discovered by blues legend Willie Dixon when he was three years old, released his first record at five and soon after appeared on The Tonight Show. Trained by keyboardists Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, Peterson went on to play behind Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Kenny Neal. On return from the “Young Blues Giants” tour of Europe, he signed first with Alligator, then Verve, Blue Thumb and Birdology/Dreyfus, where he recorded what Amazon.com called “his finest album,” Black Midnight Sun, in 2003. The New Yorker called him “a master of the guitar, organ and microphone.

Peterson as usual plays a mix of instruments: duolian resonator, piano and acoustic and electric guitars. Also prevalent is the acoustic piano on which Lucky sounds like a bluesy Elton John. “He’s something of a genius — his piano playing reminds me of Aretha Franklin,” says drummer Burke, who has played behind Franklin on the road.

But it’s Peterson’s vocal instrument that some might find most arresting. Peterson wraps his voice around an eclectic selection of blues-based materials including songs by original Delta bluesmen Robert Johnson, Rev. Gary Davis and Blind Willie McTell up through the music of today’s top songwriters including Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits and Ray LaMontagne.

09:30 PM
Paul Reddick Band

Melding poetry, mystery, darkness and light, along with an extensive knowledge of the history and traditions of blues music is what makes Paul Reddick on of the most popular figures on the blues and roots music scene today. For over 25 years he’s been writing and performing his eclectic brand of blues, bringing the art form to new frontiers with his rapacious, deep vocals, masterful harmonica playing and song writing. As the unofficial poet laureate of Canadian blues, words are his weapon of choice and when he sings, it is near impossible not to listen and get lost within the songs, right alongside him and illustrating what the influential British magazine Mojo described as his “wayward brilliance.”

A devotee of pre-war blues and classic artists such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson and Howlin’ Wolf, Reddick formed his innovative band Paul Reddick & The Sidemen in Toronto in 1990, developing a cult-like following in the clubs and venues on the circuit at the time and spent a the better part decade touring across Canada. Together they released four albums, two of which were JUNO nominated and in 2002 their ground breaking release Rattlebag won three Maple Blues Awards including Electric Act of the Year, Songwriter of the Year and Album of the Year and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award in the USA. One of the tracks from Rattlebag, the gritty “I’m A Criminal”, was used in the popular Coca-Cola “Sip Stealing” television commercial that aired during the Superbowl. Following the trajectory set forth by The Sidemen, Reddick continued to re-work blues traditions on his solo recordings; Villanelle (2004), Sugarbird (2009), which earned Reddick a Maple Blues Award for Songwriter of the Year, and his seminal recording Wishbone (2012). These recordings were released to critical acclaim from reviewers around the world. Read more…

12:00 PM
Legacy Challenge winners
12:00 PM
Sean Pinchin

If you’re looking for a ticket to hot blues licks and good-old fashioned kicks, while wondering what you are doing with your life, you might find yourself on the Sean Pinchin Monkey Brain train. The album is his first since 2013’s “Rustbucket,” although he has a catalogue dating back to 2007.

This particular installment in the Pinchin discography is a roots album on the surface. But make no mistake, this sounds more like a blues-rock album that has the stamp of approval from his influences Sonic Youth, Bryan Adams, and Robert Johnson. Read more…

12:00 PM
Jenie Thai

Born in Chiang Mai Thailand, and raised outside of Edmonton, Jenie Thai is building a musical presence throughout the country through the electric energy she displays on stage and the old soul that’s conveyed through her songwriting.

Vocally, she has been compared to Eva Cassidy, but soaks in the musical influences of Tom Waits, Bonnie Raitt, Memphis Slim, and Nina Simone. .A performer, song-writer, singer, and instrumentalist: Jenie Thai combines her love of the traditional piano blues, sixties r&b, and great American songwriters to produce a unique charm as a roots and blues musician on the national and international scene. Read more…

01:15 PM
Catl

A big city duo with an eye for the wide-open countryside, catl is a breed apart when it comes to your typical stomp and holler outfits. Recently returned from a run of U.S. tour dates that saw them shaking the BBQ shacks and juke joints en route to the Deep Blues Festival in Mississippi, this punk raucous couple’s take on musical hybridization offers a vigourous alternative to bovine domesticity.

“I think we play pretty straight-up rock and roll, but we can get kinda lumped into more sometimes punk rock, rockabilly, or the blues, or any number of things,” says catl’s drummer/vocalist Sarah Kirkpatrick of the band’s chameleon charms. “When it comes down to it, it’s just such a simplistic musical style, just drums and guitar, so people take what they want from it. Ultimately, what we’re trying to do is have a good time, and we want our audience to have a good time and feel the energy of what we’re doing.” Read more…

01:30 PM
Matt Weidinger

Matt Weidinger has a voice like no other. The 24-year-old Kitchener, ON native is a passionate young songwriter, who is well known for his mature rock/soul vocals and impressive multi-instrumental (keyboards, guitars) talents.

His unmistakable earthly tones captivate the hearts of anyone who hears it. He performs like a veteran musician on the piano and organ, and is equally proficient on guitar, bass or mandolin.

Although some consider him a throwback of the ’60s, he still has the capacity to grab the attention of both the old, young and everyone in between. He’s an “old soul” who easily commands the attention of any crowd.  His passion for music and performing is contagious.

01:45 PM
The Cast Iron Potty Band

The Cast Iron Potty Band consists of Rob Deyman, Dick Moffat, Fred Dawkins and Hugh Malcolmson: four long-time friends who share a love of jug band music and a willingness to be ridiculous in public. They started playing together in high school in Winnipeg back in the Bronze Age, and have been at it – sporadically – ever since. Their musical influences range from classic Beale Street jug band standards, to bluegrass and old-time country blues, to frenetic show tunes featuring bird calls and elephant noises. If you have ever wanted to learn how to play the washboard, or the jug, or the gutbucket bass…we urge you to seek psychiatric help now. Or if that’s not practical, come out to see the Cast Iron Potty Band, and let your toes do the tapping. Read more…

03:00 PM
SHAWN KELLERMAN

Shawn started his musical career as a teenager and has been on the road in 35 different countries over the last 18 years. During the last  years he has concentrated on touring with his own trio “The Shawn Kellerman Band” which has played key festivals like the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Fest, Mont Tremblant, Pittsburgh Blues Fest and Blues From the Top . Shawn’s band has also backed international blues greats like Sherman Robertson at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Fest, Memphis in May to name a few. To start off 2011 he did a 7 week, 8 country tour opening for Wishbone Ash and since 2012  he has been touring in The Lucky Peterson Band full time.

Shawn has been nominated for the “Guitar Player The Year” by the Maple Blues Awards, Canada’s most respected blues society based in Toronto, Ontario. Shawn has recorded 3 of his own cd’s plus recording and playing on Bobby Rush’s Raw CD released in 2007 that won a Blues Music Award in Memphis for “Best Acoustic CD of the Year”. Also,  Lucky Peterson’s Live in Berlin 3 DVD/2CD box set which Shawn participated in, was up for a 2013 nomination for Best DVD of the Year. Read more…

03:15 PM
The Skydiggers

Chemistry, passion, energy and evolution are a few words that come to mind when Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson talk about twenty-five years together in Skydiggers.

“It all started in the beverage room of the Spadina Hotel. That is essentially when the band came together.” says Josh. “Andy and I performed there as a duo as part of Andrew Cash’s Monday night series called Acoustic Meltdown. When Andrew released his debut album and could no longer host the night, we took it over. We put an ad in Now Magazine answered by Ron Macey, and together with Wayne Stokes and Andrew’s brother Peter Cash, who was quietly writing some amazing songs, Skydiggers were born.”

The sound developed at an impressive rate, thanks to the discipline and work ethic the weekly showcase placed on the band. New songs, new covers and a sound that grew to include electric instruments developed in the hothouse atmosphere of rehearsals, songwriting sessions and live performances.

A quarter of a century later, thanks to years on the road and in the studio, Skydiggers are not only riding all of those years of momentum but continuing to evolve as well. According to Andy Maize and Josh Finlayson one of the keys is chemistry. Read more…

03:30 PM
Diana Braithwaite/Chris Whiteley

The BLUES has a long and honorable tradition dating back to its origins as the essential vector of African American sensibility and identity. Canadian blues artists, Diana Braithwaite and Chris Whiteley honor the blues tradition by bringing us fully into the realm of 21st century blues expressivity.

Along the musical journey with Braithwaite and Whiteley we learn what it means… a passage to some next classic blues experience.. This is the blues with all of its variety, ethical and escathalogical. James G. Spadey Philadelphia Pa. American Book Award winning author, James G. Spady’s most recent books are: The Global Cipha Read more…

05:00 PM
David Wilcox

David Wilcox is a brilliant song writer, a great singer, and one of the hottest guitar players in the world. He first made his name as a wild, live performer and then as a first-rate recording artist whose work, from “Out Of The Woods” (1980) to his brand new release, “Boy In The Boat” (2007, stands the test of time.

After more than twenty years in the business – including extensive touring, 5 gold & platinum albums, numerous awards, and winning fans everywhere – it’s no stretch to say that David Wilcox deserves icon status.

With the release of David’s new CD, “Boy In The Boat” his music has come full circle. It’s a daring mix of diverse roots influences coupled with his remarkable style. The result? Something not only original but steeped in the raw funky tradition his fans have come to know and love. Tough but soulful; cool but passionate – the music keeps growing without losing its fiery edge. Read more…

05:15 PM
Delta Moon

A chance meeting in an Atlanta, Georgia, music store brought Delta Moon’s two founders, Tom Gray and Mark Johnson, together. Tom tried to sell Mark a Dobro out of the back of his van. The girl with Mark whispered, “Let’s get out of here.” Mark didn’t buy the guitar, but the two exchanged phone numbers and soon were playing together regularly in clubs, coffee shops and barbecue joints around Atlanta. The name Delta Moon came to Mark on a pilgrimage to Muddy Waters’ cabin near Clarksdale, Mississippi.

Delta Moon quickly gathered a wall-full of local “best” awards. After winning the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in 2003, the band widened its travels to include the US, Canada, and Europe. In 2007 bassist Franher Joseph joined Delta Moon. He was followed in 2015 by drummer Vic Stafford (Blueground Undergrass, Donna the Buffalo, Toubab Krewe) to complete the current line-up. The band’s constant recording and touring continues.

Atlanta’s sultans of slide guitar; the blues and roots rock quartet Delta Moon return with their eighth studio album ‘Cabbagetown’, released March 17, 2017, on Jumping Jack Records. The follow-up to the award-winning 2015 release, ‘Low Down’, named one of the best blues records of the year by both Downbeat and Blues Music Magazine.  The new album features nine original compositions and a lively cover of Son House’s timeless classic, Death Letter.” Read more…

05:15 PM
Tarbox Ramblers

Taking listeners to a place where Appalachian music and backwoods blues meet in powerful, unexpected combinations, The Tarbox Ramblers have drawn raves from Rolling Stone, All Things Considered and more. The Washington Post calls The Tarbox Ramblers “a force of nature”; The New Yorker says “Between the fiddle, string bass, drums and slide guitar, you won’t know what hit you.”

The Tarbox Ramblers have released two albums on the Rounder label, toured throughout North America and Europe, and shared the stage with Robert Plant, Alison Krauss, Buddy Miller, Dave Alvin and more. The band’s songs can be heard in TV shows like Sons of Anarchy and Supernatural. Read more…

07:00 PM
Rooster Davis

Rooster Davis specializes in the New Orleans piano traditions of players such as Dr. John, James Booker, Professor Longhair, and Alan Toussaint, and has created his own style that combines their influences with aspects of blues, funk, jazz, country, and rock. Read more…

07:00 PM
Lurrie Bell

Born in 1958, the son of famed blues harmonica player Carey Bell, Lurrie Bell picked up his father’s guitar at age of five and taught himself to play. He was clearly gifted. In addition, he grew up with many of the Chicago blues legends around him. Eddie Taylor, Big Walter Horton, Eddie C. Campbell, Eddie Clearwater, Lovie Lee, Sunnyland Slim, Jimmy Dawkins and many more were frequent visitors to his house. They all helped to shape and school him in the blues, but none as much as his father’s long-time employer Muddy Waters.

Since the onset of the new millennium, Bell’s profile has been steadily rising. 2002 saw the release of the CD Cutting Heads and in 2004 Alligator Records released Second Nature an acoustic duet record with his father Carey Bell that was nominated for a WC Handy Award Acoustic Record of the Year by the Blues Foundation in Memphis.

At last count Lurrie Bell has now appeared on over 50+ recordings either as leader or featured sideman. Lurrie Bell’s elegant and intense guitar playing and passionate vocals have made him a favorite at clubs and festivals around the world and have earned him a reputation as one of the “leading lights” in the future of the blues Read more…

07:15 PM
Plants And Animals

Since debuting in the mid-2000s, Montreal-based indie outfit Plants and Animals have built a reputation for sturdy pop-minded songcraft and high-quality, often intricate musicianship. Creatively, their ambitions have often extended beyond their personnel’s relatively Spartan number.

Plants and Animals give contemporary indie a good name by never quite doing the expected and thereby forging an overall sound that is surely their own (although there are strains of Radiohead on occasion). So tracks like “No Worries” and “Off the Water” may arguably be considered conventional indie fare (although very well executed), but the same cannot be said of the majority of  ‘Waltzed in from the Rumbling’.

“Stay” is a good example of the band’s sound, with the song starting off as gentle folk and then becoming more upbeat and sort of “prog” (tremolo guitars, etc). Elsewhere the trio often indulge in yacht rock ballads (complete with electric piano), but there is almost always a twist, such as the weird turn of events (musically speaking) towards the end of “So Many Nights”. Perhaps the best moments come with “We Were One” and All of the Time”, on which lead singer Warren Spicer sounds a lot like Thom Yorke and both tracks come off like a folk-leaning Radiohead (this is really a good thing).

Although Plants and Animals aren’t quite “prog” or strange enough to join the ranks of, say, Radiohead, there is no question that they are not to be found in the Walwart discount bin of yet-another-indie-act offerings. Read more…

09:00 PM
Rick Estrin and The Nightcats

Rick Estrin, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, “is an amazing harmonica player, a soulful lead vocalist and a brilliant songwriter.” The award-winning musician, another critic said, “sounds like Little Walter playing and singing Leiber and Stoller.” Along with The Nightcats- jaw-dropping guitarist Chris “Kid” Andersen, singing drummer (who plays standing up) J. Hansen and dynamic multi-instrumentalist Lorenzo Farrell (electric and acoustic bass, organ and piano)-Rick Estrin serves up fresh and modern original blues injected with a solid dose of gritty roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll. Since the 2009 release of their celebrated Alligator Records debut, Twisted, the band has toured non-stop, honing their creative synergy to a razor’s edge. Night after night, the band blazes their own innovative musical path while still remaining true to the blues. The results of all of this natural chemistry can be heard on their irresistible new album, One Wrong Turn. Rick Estrin ranks among the very best harp players, singers and songwriters in the blues world. His work on the reeds is deep in the tradition of harmonica masters Sonny Boy Williamson II and Little Walter Jacobs, while at the same time pushing that tradition forward. The Associated Press calls his harp playing “endlessly impressive.”

09:15 PM
The Box

The Box was formed in 1981 by singer/songwriter, Jean-Marc Pisapia, who had been a former member of Men Without Hats. They would eventually achieve their greatest commercial success between the mid 1980’s to the early 1990’s. Their refreshing new wave/pop/art rock sound produced chart topping hits like “Must I Always Remember”, “Walk Away“, and “L’Affaire Dumoutier (Say To Me)” from their first two albums. In 1985, they were awarded Quebec’s coveted Felix award for group of the year, and nominated for a Juno award for most promising group. But it was their third album, Closer Together (1987) where they reached their peak with tracks, “Ordinary People”, “Closer Together”, and “Crying Out Loud For Love”, which saturated the Canadian music airwaves on both radio and video networks. Their fourth album, The Pleasure And The Pain (1990), would not receive the commercial status of their previous albums, although it is still regarded by fans as one of their best. Read more…

09:15 PM
Booker T Jones

It can be argued that it was Booker T. Jones who set the cast for modern soul music and is largely responsible for its rise and enduring popularity.  On classic Stax hits like “Green Onions,” “Hang ‘Em High,” “Time Is Tight,” and “Melting Pot” the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Musicians Hall of Fame inductee and GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award recipient pushed the music’s boundaries, refined it to its essence and then injected it into the nation’s bloodstream.  Sound the Alarm, the new album from Booker T, finds the Hammond B3 organ master looking ahead yet again, laying down his distinctive bedrock grooves amid a succession of sparkling collaborations with some of contemporary R&B’s most gifted young voices. Read more…

10:30 AM
A Beautiful Noise (Gospel Breakfast)
12:00 PM
Smoke Wagon Blues Band

Featuring funky blues harmonica, whiskey stained vocals, slick guitar work and a solid rhythm section, Corey Lueck & The Smoke Wagon Blues Band has been performing in clubs and on festival stages for over a decade. Started in 1996, The Smoke Wagon Blues Band became crowd favourites in Hamilton, Ontario’s famous Hess Village. Four independent releases, international radio play, and a large local fan base propelled the band to national stages across the province and beyond.

12:00 PM
Elliott And The Audio Kings

Elliott and the Audio Kings, from Waterloo Ontario, are a new voice in the Blues coming at you with an old school approach. Standing on the bedrock of the blues recorded by the post-war masters, Elliott and the Audio kings are building on that foundation, with their own brand of shuffles, boogies and swings. After retiring Daddy Long Legs, Southern Ontario’s most infamous Maple Blues award winning garage blues band, guitarist/singer Mike Elliott is back on the blues scene with a new band and a self-titled release, Elliott and the Audio Kings.  With Jonny Sauder on Drums and Scott Fitzpatrick on doghouse bass, Elliott has taken a step closer to vintage blues. Elliott and Audio Kings’ first release captures all the crash and bang of cut-rate guitars running hot through pawn shop amps howling off a concrete floor.

Blues traditionalists at heart, Elliott and the Audio Kings tackle everything from jump blues and big shuffles to 50s style rock and roll.   Their music is raucous enough to feel at home in any roadhouse or 5-star dive bar, and at times, sophisticated enough to be heard at an uptown private club. Their traditional take on the blues focuses on bringing things down to the essential blues ingredients, – wood, wire, blood and bones, and a 60 cycle hum. Electro-fied!

Elliott and the Audio Kings are old school, not retro. Read more…

12:30 PM
Ginger St James

“A sassy and dynamic rockabilly singer, songwriter and guitarist, creating a national buzz with some slightly cheeky music and a captivating charisma fueled by her roaring voice and model beauty.” – Nick Krewen, Toronto Star

With her sultry and powerful voice, her sassy and commanding stage presence, and a repertoire that blends country, rock n’ roll and blues, Ginger St. James packs a lot of entertainment into her 5-foot frame.

01:30 PM
WATERSREET BLUES BAND

At the heart of waterstreet are three good friends who have been playing their growing book of original songs and tunes by their favorite artists for almost 2 decades, including blues, swing, Louisiana spice and rockin’ blues: Rob Deyman – guitars, Paul Sapounzi – bass, and Silvia Dee – keys and accordion. Read more…

01:30 PM
Michelle Malone

Compared to most musical artists in the Americana genre, Michelle Malone seems like a pair of distressed blue jeans amidst a sea of pantsuits. Unlike the surplus of self-professed rootsy rebels, one listen to this woman from Dixie and you know you’re hearing the real thing. Malone’s unforced, soulful voice and slide guitar playing take the blues and turn them into supremely-hooky roots rock songs that will make you wanna trash a juke joint and hi-five yourself after crying in your beer!

After being an Arista artist and making a record for them produced by Patti Smith guitarist, Lenny Kaye, Malone became a pioneer of the indie movement. She started her own record label, SBS Records, in 1992 and began making her way down an independent musician’s rocky road. She’s now fortified with experience, having already released 13 studio recordings, played 1000’s of shows around the globe, and had songs used in TV shows like True Blood and Dawson’s Creek. For the last year, she’s been a part of the touring band of Kristian Bush, singer for Country supergroup, SugarLand. In between, she’s duetted with Gregg Allman, been backed by keyboard legend, Chuck Leavell and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and played everywhere they allow music. In short, Malone has paid her dues. Read more…

02:45 PM
The Music of Etta James
03:15 PM
Crystal Shawanda

Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada, Her parents raised her on Country music and taught her to sing and play guitar, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues. He would hang out in the basement cranking Muddy Waters, B.B. King and Etta James, and Crystal would sit at the top of the stairs, straining to hear those soulful sounds. There was a part of her that often wandered if she would ever be able to sing like that. And when no one was home, Crystal would practice singing the blues.

While she was secretly pining to be a blues mama, out on stage it was Patsy and Loretta. She started performing country when she was six and started getting paid gigs when she was 10, relentlessly playing every stage she could.

After this, she found herself feeling like a fish out of water. She says, “I so wanted to be what everyone wanted me to be, I lost myself along the way.” So Crystal took some time off and, one day while watching the news and feeling overwhelmed by the headlines, she walked into her music room, picked up her guitar and wrote “The Whole World’s Got the Blues.” This was the start of her first blues album.

”The songs just fell out of me and throughout the recording it was like setting my voice free,” she says. “I can’t help but feel like I’m home, no longer holding back.”

Crystal’s album is a modern take on the blues, but is deeply rooted with heart-wrenching laments and catchy rump-shakers. It’s where the north meets the south and captures the resilience of the human spirit — much like the way Crystal does.

Crystal Shawanda is reminiscent of a time gone by. She will make you feel every word with a powerful voice that never fails, pure and gritty at the same time. Read more…

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Michel Pagliaro

Michel Pagliaro is a Canadian rock singer, songwriter and guitarist from Montreal.. Although he writes and records predominantly in French, Pagliaro has released material in English.  His first nationally English-charted hit was his 1970 single “Give Us One More Chance. Other significant hits in English include “Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy”, “Rainshowers” , “Some Sing Some Dance”, and “What The Hell I Got”. Pagliaro was nominated for a 1975 Juno Award as male vocalist of the year Pagliaro was the first Canadian artist to score top 40 hits on both the anglophone and francophone pop charts in Canada.

Michel Pagliaro is Canada’s rock ‘n’ roll mystery man. To some music fans, especially those who grew up listening to radio in the 70s, Montreal-born-and-raised Pagliaro is the king of pop-rock melodies, with hits in both French (La Génération D’Aujourd’hui) and English (Lovin’ You Ain’t Easy, Rainshowers).

But since the early 90s, Pag (as he’s known to his fans) has kept a low profile, showing up occasionally for an appearance on TV singing contest Star Académie or at a 2008 tribute to Leonard Cohen to perform a show-stopping version of The Future. Read more…

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Bobby Rush

To Bobby Rush s innumerable fans, he is an American music icon, a legendary showman, a King of the Chitlin Circuit, and perhaps the most vital living Southern musician to have started his career on the Chicago blues scene in the 1950s. Not only has he made unforgettable contributions to the blues world but also to funk, soul, and a genre he’s credited as creating: folk-funk. His new Rounder Records release, Porcupine Meat, will further enhance the legend of this Blues Hall of Fame inductee, three-time Grammy® nominee, and 10-time Blues Music Award winner. It will also be an overdue revelation for the uninitiated, for it shows Rush, at age 82, at the peak of his powers as a singer, songwriter, harmonica player, and, above all, an entertainer. At a time when Southern soul music is having a comeback, Bobby Rush has never gone away, nor has he ever lost his relevance. This is how it s done.

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