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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 Donna Grantis. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donna Grantis. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DONNA GRANTIS - 'If 6 was 9'

As a teenager, Donna launched into learning Led Zeppelin and Guns N’ Roses songs on her brother’s acoustic. With an innate love for the searing electric guitar tones of artists like Jimmy Page, Slash and Eric Clapton, it wasn’t long before Donna bought her first electric guitar and began emulating solos and riffs played by her guitar heroes. At 17, she was selected as a semi-finalist in the North American Jimi Hendrix Electric Guitar Competition. Donna performed the blues classic “Red House” to a capacity crowd that included Al Hendrix (Jimi’s father) at a rock bar in Cleveland, Ohio. This was her first public performance. After studying Jazz at McGill University in Montreal, Donna moved to Toronto and immersed herself in the music scene as a session musician and live performer. In these roles, she has worked with a diverse roster of talented Canadian acts, including Juno award-winning artists Amanda Marshall, Kardinal Offishall, Divine Brown, Haydain Neal and Kellylee Evans. Donna has toured globally with performances in Singapore, Australia, the UK, and throughout Europe, Canada and the United States. She was a part of Ruf Records’ Blues Caravan Tour in 2010 joining Coco Montoya, Shakura S’Aida and Meena. She continues to perform regularly with Shakura S’Aida (2011 Maple Blues Vocalist of the Year), soul-rock songstress Saidah Baba Talibah (described as Living Color meets Erykah Badu), and Hill & The Sky Heros (an alien surf rock group). Donna is also the guitarist and musical director of the annual Women’s Blues Revue at Massey Hall. Now, as leader of her own group, Donna aims to push the boundaries of her live performance; in the spirit of experimental jam bands, each show is musically unique. She describes the group’s approach to improvisation as “creating music in the moment, reacting to each other on stage, exploring musical themes for extended lengths of time, and utilizing effects pedals to broaden the tonal pallet of the music. The creative intention is to be free and continuously challenge each other on stage. Hopefully in doing so, we can create an experience for listeners and take the audience on a musically engaging journey.”

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ruf Records artist: Meena - Try Me - New Release Review

I have been listening to the newest release, Try Me, by Meena. The recording contains 9 original tracks as well as a few classics and Meena is backed by Dave Smith on bass, Steve Potts on drums, Rick Steff on keys, and Chris Fillmore on guitar. First up is the title track, James Brown's classic Try Me. Meena is backed on vocals by Vickie Atkins, Sandy Carroll and Amyee Bragg who give it a genuine soul flavor. Guest artist Joanne Shaw Taylor plays a beautiful melodic solo staying in character with the tune. Send Me A Doctor is a rock track with Eric Sardinas contributing some cool slide guitar flare. Put Your Hands Out Of My Pocket is a solid soul fused blues track showing Meena's vocal range and giving Chris Fillmore a chance to play some pretty tasty guitar riffs. This Song Is For You would work nicely on the airwaves with a classic hook and memorable tune. Again Fillmore plays some tasty guitar riffs topping up an already strong entry. Meena belts out an enriched version of I'd Rather Go Blind and Fillmore again plays a tasty guitar solo. On Let Your Sweet Love Shine On Me, Meena picks the tempo with a Zydeco rhythm. I Shoot You Down again features Eric Sardinas on slide guitar and he gives it a pretty good workout. The final track, Just As I Am, is the best track on the recording featuring Shakura S'Aida as a contrast to Meena and Coco Montoya really spices up the track with his red hot guitar soloing.

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