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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Danny Marks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Danny Marks. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Danny Marks - Cities In Blue - New release review

I just received the newest release, Cities In Blue, by Danny Marks and he covers a lot of blues territory from coast to coast. Opening with a super T-Bone Walker style track, Houston to L.A. Danny Marks handles vocals and displays his strong capability to swing that guitar. Very nice! Belt Line Blues has a rural country style with Al Cross on drums, Danny Marks on slide and Johathan Goldsmith on keys. Once I Was Crazy has a great period feel highlighted by strong riffs from Chris Whiteley on trumpet and Ken Whiteley on Banjo. Very cool. Swing track, Kansas City Shout, has a real nice piano line by Julian Fauth and Marks with Alec Fraser on vocal backed by Mike Wark on sax is super. I'm particularly attracted by the guitar intro on Memphis Got Soul which has nice Albert king blues influence and the solid bari sax work by Phil Skladowski gives it that Memphis horn sound. With a light springy rag style, Heading Down To New Orleans, strongly features Marks' vocals and nicely blended vocal backing. Blues Came To Chicago features David Rotundo on harp and Bucky Berger on drums. Going Down The Road maintains it's revival feel but with mandolin and percussion has more of a primitive feel. Chris Whiteley on harp and Chris and Ken on backing vocals does give it a honest sound. Hey, New York Town has a more modern sound with contemporary guitar playing, organ work by Jonathan Goldsmith, beat by Piltch, hip hop style vocal phrasing by Marks and backing vocals by Sherie Marshall. Land Where Blues Began has a very raw instrumental style with Marks on slide guitar, Marks on acoustic, Al Cross on light percussion and Fraser and Marshall on backing vocal. Wrapping the release is Lights Out, a slick jazzy instrumental number with an almost a beach feel but holding onto the blues, Otis Rush style. Possibly my favorite track on the release and a super closer.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

Danny Marks Releases 'Cities In Blue'

Danny Marks Releases 'Cities In Blue'

Available at

Cities in Blue is the soundtrack recording to Danny Marks’ popular television series on HIFI TV. The musician / broadcaster will take you to the land where blues began and beyond. Travel up and down the blues highway on a road-trip over one hundred years in the making, from New Orleans, Mississippi, Memphis and Houston, to Piedmont, Kansas, Chicago, and New York. Cities In Blue explores the evolution of one of America’s most iconic music styles: The Blues.
Original songs and soundscapes by Danny Marks.

In addition to Marks on vocals and guitar, Cities In Blue features appearances from Canadian blues musicians Julian Fauth, David Rotundo, The Whiteley Brothers: Chris & Ken, Delta Sugar's Sherie Marshall, Fathead's Bucky Berger, film composer Jonathan Goldsmith, jazz guitar great Rob Piltch, session ace Al Cross and bassist Alec Fraser in the co-producer's chair.

Early Reviews of Cities In Blue

"The kind of album that I would make if I could sing and play.  It's all blues and no bull! - Dave “Daddy Cool” Booth, Whistle Radio

“A lovingly delivered, delicately-nuanced travelogue of blues, city-by-city, as he moves across the major blues centres, stylistically and otherwise.” - Eric Thom 

…an education for blues fans and provides insight into the evolution of the music. Although the songs are new and written by Danny Marks, they lovingly capture the feel of each region.” - Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records

Here's the collection blues fans who watched the Marks-hosted HIFI TV series Cities In Blue have been calling for since it started airing in 2014.” - Bob Mersereau, Top 100 Canadian Singles

In many cases, you'd swear Marks and company were reviving some great old blues tunes that had undeservedly fallen into obscurity.” - Mark Rheaume, CBC Radio

“Played 3 songs from the new Cities in Blue album by Danny Marks. Great reaction from the audience. The album is different and fresh. Love it.” - Dave Marsden, Curator

Cities In Blue Track List

  1. Houston To L.A. (2:11)
  2. Belt Line Blues (2:50)
  3. Once I Was Crazy (5:29)
  4. Kansas City Shout (2:23)
  5. Memphis Got Soul (2:37)
  6. Heading Down To New Orleans (2:09)
  7. Blues Came To Chicago (2:50)
  8. Going Down The Road (4:04)
  9. Hey, New York Town! (5:15)
  10. Land Where Blues Began (5:07)
  11. Lights Out (3:00) *bonus track

Friday, December 5, 2014


Performers include nominees Downchild, Joel Johnson, Steve Hill, Angel Forrest, Brandon Isaak, and Harpdog Brown

Toronto, ON – Celebrated guitarist, Toronto’s own Danny Marks, is set to take the stage for a second turn as host of the 18th annual Maple Blues Awards on January 19th, 2015. A renowned musician and broadcaster with a lengthy career on the Toronto music scene, Marks is the long-time producer/host of radio program Bluz FM and the face of the 8-part series Cities in Blue on HIFI TV. The not-to-be-missed gala is Canada’s national blues celebration, recognizing outstanding musical achievement and gathering blues musicians and music fans from across the country each year.

A cast of some of Canada’s notable and emerging new blues talent will be performing at the gala concert and are all current or past nominees. This year the performers include Ontario’s Downchild, Joel Johnson, Montreal’s Steve Hill and Angel Forrest. Also performing are British Columbia’s Brandon Isaak and Harpdog Brown. The performers will all be backed by The Maple Blues Band, comprised of Gary Kendall, Michael Fonfara, Teddy Leonard, Al Lerman, Tom Bona, Chris Whiteley, Pat Carey and Chris Murphy. Following the awards and concert will be the popular after-party nominee jam with Irene Torres & The Sugar Devils.

The January 19th gala event is considered to be the premier blues event of the year. Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards, held at The Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall in Toronto, are on sale now for $35 - $65 and can be purchased at the Weston Family Box Office, located in the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, by phone at (416) 408-0208 or online at Charter members of Toronto Blues Society can purchase tickets at a discount of $28.00.

Voting for the Maple Blues Awards started on November 5th and over 2000 Canadian blues fans have registered their votes. Voting is open to Canadian blues fans 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time on December 5, 2014. The Maple Blues Awards gala is presented on the final night of Blues Summit 7. Blues Summit is a biennial music conference for all members of the blues music community including artists, presenters, agents, festival bookers, event organizers, and industry representatives of all kinds. Blues Summit 7 will take place January 16-19, 2015.

Heading in to its 30th anniversary year, The Toronto Blues Society is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Blues. The Maple Blues Awards is Canada's national blues awards program. Its goal is to promote blues music across Canada, and to recognize outstanding achievement in the field.

Located along the Bloor Street cultural corridor, The Royal Conservatory of Music is one of the largest and most respected music performance and arts education institutions in the world. Its breathtaking Koerner Hall, "the jewel in the crown of Toronto's Cultural Renaissance," along with two other concert spaces, presents 70+ concerts annually from acclaimed classical, jazz, pop, and world music and hosts an additional 100+ concerts and events from a wide range of not for profit arts groups, charities, and corporate clients.

Monday, September 3, 2012

A Friend In The Blues - Danny Marks - New Release Review

I just received a copy of Danny Marks' newest release, A Friend In The Blues. Marks, a multi instrumentalist, is joines by Alec Fraiser (bass and vocal), Al Cross (drums), Jonathan Goldsmith (piano) and B3), Sherrie Marshall (vocal) and Wayne Mills (sax). Marks penned all 12 tracks on this release opening with Caretaker, a modern R&B based blues with a light jazzy bottom. Marks trades guitar riffs with Mills on Sax. Blues For Lonnie Johnson a shuffle style track has some cool Texas style riffs. Blues Party Tonight is a swing style track with a heavy horn bass and a Latin rhythm. Uncle John is an acoustic based finger picked blues ballad. Back To The Blues, is a ballad style track with the tale of the blues business and an interesting guitar hook. Two Brothers takes a more rural feel with a western flare. A Friend In The Blues has a very light, happy touch, almost a jingle. The Other Side stays in what I'd consider a more traditional western style in a rhythmic ballad. That Lonesome Valley takes an even further step into the country with a spiritual bent... think Porter Wagonner. Mixed Up Girl is another track that looks at the blues from a rural view adding slide and an uptempo beat. The recording concludes with Maybe Tomorrow, a quiet ballad accompanied with primarily acoustic guitar and slide.
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