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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 Ottawa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ottawa. Show all posts

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Phoenix Records artist: Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin - Murder Creek - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Murder Creek, from Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin (cool name by the way) and it's a solid blues rocker. Opening with 70's Brit style blues style rocker, This Old Dawg, featuring Murray Kinsley on lead guitar and vocal, Rod Williams on harp, Leigh-Anne Stanton on bass, Tom Bona on drums, Sonny Del Rio on horns & Jesse O'Brien on keys this band is standing on solid footing. Latin rhythms permeate Dance The Blues with cool, floating harp work by Williams working nicely with flowing guitar lead by Kinsley. Very nice. Electrifying slide work opens heavy bottomed, Trouble Coming, a cool, deep rocker with solid vocals and loose guitar and harp work. Interesting. Traditional blues styling on So Long, Too Soon, makes it the likely candidate for top track with soulful vocals and Kinsley's bluesiest guitar soloing on the release. Very nice. Bass driving rocker and title track, Murder Creek has a great bottom just begging for guitar and harp soloing. Wrapping the release is Freedom, a solid rocker with vocal work with Kinsley and Mary Jane Russell. Stanton really works the bass line and Williams' harp work adds to the tension as it builds to Kinsley's guitar soloing, taking the track home. Nice closer. 

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Ottawa’s JW-Jones Releases First Live Album on September 28, 2018

Ottawa’s JW-Jones Releases First Live Album on September 28, 2018

Canadian and USA tour dates announced

New Video:  JW-Jones - LIVE (Official Promo Video) here

The improv magic you hear on JW-Jones’ 10th album, Live, is the spark that has awakened new sonic frontiers for the veteran Maple Blues Award-winning Ottawa bluesman. 

“I cranked up my overdrive in concert one night for fun, and it opened up this new world of ideas for me,” admits the JUNO-nominated Jones, whose searing axemanship has been praised by Blues Revue Magazine as “a fluid amalgam of T-Bone Walker’s big, bright chords; Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s slashing leads and Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown’s jazzy sting.” 

“I felt a new sense of freedom.” That sense of freedom resonates through Live, an exciting collection of 11 previously-unreleased songs lovingly recorded over two nights at a sold-out Gatineau, QC theatre by producer Zach Allen, fresh off his Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy Award victory for the Taj Mahal/Keb’ Mo collaboration TajMo. 

“This album is a big departure for me,” Jones explains. “Especially on songs like ‘I Don’t Believe A Word You Say’ and ‘Moanin’ at Midnight:’ both of those songs clock in at over six minutes and I’m playing that overdriven guitar in a way I’ve literally never played on record before.” 

As he continues to evolve as one of Canada’s most versatile bluesmen, with one foot in the terra firma of the traditional blues espoused by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf sideman Hubert Sumlin and harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite (who both guested on Jones’ memorable Midnight Memphis Sun, recorded at the historic Sun Studio) and blues contemporaries Robert Cray, for whom the JW-Jones band has occasionally opened, he continues to challenge and raise his standards through his recordings and the 130 dates on average yearly that he clocks in on the road. 

With the last JW-Jones studio project, the Colin Linden-produced High Temperature, capturing the coveted Memphis Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge honours for Best Self-Released CD, the frequent resident of Billboard’s Top 10 Blues charts and Canadian roots radio favourite continues to accelerate his career momentum to new heights, whether it’s as a personally-requested sit-in with the likes of blues legend Buddy Guy, opening for blues rock icons Johnny Winter and George Thorogood or entertaining thrilled audiences in 23 countries and four continents. 

“Audiences get excited because it’s all so organic,” notes Jones, who stretches out on Live with his Goldtop Gibson Les Paul. “The blues is such a universal language, and the fact that we never play the same solo twice just adds to that vibrant energy, which I think we really capture on this album.” 

Live also embraces Jones’ continuing appreciation of modern days blues music, best illustrated by the album’s opening number, a rendition of Robert Cray’s “A Memo (Nothin’ But Love.)” “The first time I heard that tune, written by Robert’s bass player, Richard Cousins, I fell in love with it,” says Jones. “It’s a really great contemporary blues song because it doesn’t sound traditional and it’s got a great chorus and harmonies. Robert saw a video of our version and gave us the thumbs-up.” It also represents progress, reflecting Jones’ growing modern tastes. 

“When I first started out, I studied old blues records and wanted to be accepted by my heroes. I wanted them to notice that I was staying authentic to the sound. Over the years things have changed, and I want to play and write music that moves me, even if it doesn’t sound like a Chicago blues tune cut in 1956. I feel that I need to play the music that speaks to me personally.”   

An additional highlight is the inclusion of the JW-Jones showstopper – the 17-song medley that rifles through snippets of classic guitar riffs backed by the energetic support of 2018 Maple Blues Award Bassist of the Year Laura Greenberg and the inimitable Will Laurin on drums. 

“It’s been a staple of our live show for years,” says Jones. “People have been asking us to record it forever, so now we’ve finally captured it for everyone to enjoy!” And everyone will enjoy Live, an album for the ages that captures the JW-Jones lightning in a bottle. - Nick Krewen  (freelance contributor for Toronto Star, Globe & Mail,, and Billboard) 


“This young man is one of the people who will keep the blues alive”
- Buddy Guy (7 time Grammy winner) 

“His evolution as a musician and vocalist shine through... JW is the real deal."
- Chuck Leavell (The Rolling Stones) 

"This is an amazing blues band"
- Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues) 


1.  A Memo (Nothin’ But Love)  (5:04)
2.  Need You So Bad  (4:05)
3.  I Don’t Believe A Word You Say  (5:59)
4.  Moanin’ At Midnight  (9:37)
5.  Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You  (3:42)
6.  Early Every Morning (4:20)
7.  You’re Gonna Need Me  (4:41)
8.  Catch That Teardrop  (4:46)
9.  That’s Alright  (5:25)
10. Way Down Inside  (3:08)
11. I Might Not Come Home At All / Medley  (5:25)


28-Sep   Live On Elgin – Ottawa, ON  CD Release Party
29-Sep   Van Aukens Inn – Old Forge, NY
30-Sep   Wakeley’s – Utica, NY
10-Oct    Buddy Guy's Legends - Chicago, IL
11-Oct     Shank Hall - Milwaukee, WI
12-Oct     Ore Dock Brewing Company - Marquette, MI
13-Oct     Famous Dave's - Minneapolis, MN
14-Oct     Ramada By Wyndham - Bismarck, ND
16-Oct     Blues on Whyte - Edmonton, AB
17-Oct     Blues On Whyte - Edmonton, AB
18-Oct     Blues On Whyte - Edmonton, AB
19-Oct     Blues On Whyte - Edmonton, AB
20-Oct     Blues On Whyte - Edmonton, AB
21-Oct     Blues On Whyte - Edmonton, AB
22-Oct     Wild Bill's Saloon - Banff, AB
23-Oct     The Dream Café - Penticton, BC
25-Oct     The Flying Steamshovel & Gastropub - Rossland, BC
26-Oct     Finley's - Nelson, BC
27-Oct     Osborne Bay Pub - Crofton, BC
28-Oct     Guilt & Co - Vancouver, BC
1-Nov      Torch Club - Sacramento, CA
2-Nov      Poor House Bistro - San Jose, CA
3-Nov      Covo La Jolla - San Diego, CA
4-Nov      O'Hennings - Bakersfield, CA
8-Nov      Sand Dollar Lounge - Las Vegas, NV
9-Nov      Private Party - San Diego, CA
10-Nov     Tucson Blues Society - Venue TBA - Tucson, AZ
16-Nov     Katie's - Bacliff, TX
17-Nov     Big Easy - Houston, TX

Monday, November 30, 2015

Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin - Stormy Water - New Release review

I just received the newest release, Stormy Water, from Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin and it's a great stripped down blues rocker. Opening with Dance Pretty Mama, Kinsley on lead guitar and vocal, joined by Rod Williams on harp gets this train rockin. Leigh-Anne Stanton on bass and vocals and Liam Melville on drums and vocals show that this band knows how to boogie. Kinsley rips loose with a raw guitar solo capping a super opener. By My Side is another solid rocker with a new wave touch but never falling far from it's blues roots with blues based guitar riffs, blues harp and a blues bottom. Shine opens with a cool tom tom rhythm and almost John Doe like vocals. Kinsley definitely experiments with his guitar and Williams as well on harp with Melville nailing them to the ground solid. Very cool! Sleepy John Estes', Everybody Oughta Make A Change gets a great rock beat with a taste of surf and a taste of the Eagles of Death Metal. I really like this track. Excellent! Evil Coming Round has a solid blues base with a modern flare and a solid rock feel (think Steppenwolf). Williams really blows it out on this track over a steady bottom and Kinsley rips it wide open. Another excellent track! I'm Mad has it's feet solidly in the blues with it's shuffle feel. Kinsley's vocals are heavy and his guitar work a lot in the early British blues masters style. Very cool! Fast paced rocker, Fast Fast Car has a Chuck Berry style and a great beat. Alain McCann adds a great piano ride on this track that really punches the sound. Very cool! Opening with slide riffs, Death If You Find Me has a solid blues rock feel. Williams sets up some really nice harp riffs on this one and Stanton's bass work drives it hard. Boogie woogie track, Talk Is Cheap, has a great feel with super vocals. Williams harp work nicely accents the melody and his solo work is strong. Kinsley also lays down some slick guitar riffs of his own giving the track that 70's blues rock punch. I like it! You're Gone has a cool offsetting melody. With an unusual guitar rhythm and sonic harp and guitar work and cool organ lines this track has a totally different feel that adds to the texture of the set. Wrapping the release is a full out jam, Let Me Love You, with Williams on harp and Kinsley on vocal and slide. A full out driving rocker, this is a super closer to a super set!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Canada's National Blues Awards Land in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and Hamilton

Canada's National Blues Awards Land in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa and HamiltonMaple Blues Award Nominations Led by MonkeyJunk, Downchild and Steve Hill

(October 30, 2014) Toronto, ON - The Toronto Blues Society will be celebrating the 18th annual Maple Blues Awards by honouring nationally and internationally recognized Canadian blues artists from across the country on January 19th, 2015.  Toronto artists lead with twenty seven nominations, followed by Montreal (15), Vancouver (9), Ottawa (8) and Hamilton (7).

Ottawa’s MonkeyJunk and Toronto’s Downchild each received five nominations followed by Montreal’s Steve Hill with four. There are plenty of other acts each with multiple nominations including Fathead, Raoul & the Big Time, The 24th Street Wailers, Brandon Isaak, Steve Strongman and Harrison Kennedy. Quebec blues artists are well represented with nominations for Jordan Officer, Angel Forrest, Dawn Tyler Watson, and Guy Bélanger to name a few. British Columbia’s thriving blues scene is represented with nominations for Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl,  David Vest,  Keith Picot and Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne. The nominees, selected by a panel consisting of industry professionals from across Canada, are recognized both for their talent as well as their contribution to the growing Canadian blues music scene.  

Voting is open from 11:59pm Newfoundland Daylight Time on November 5, 2014, through 11:59pm Pacific Standard Time on December 5, 2014. Blues fans can cast their votes online at www.mapleblues.caCanadian blues fans can cast their votes in all categories except instrumental.

Tickets for the Maple Blues Awards, held at the Royal Conservatory's Koerner Hall in Toronto, are on sale now for $28 - $65 and can be purchased at The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, by phone at RCM box office (416) 408-0208 or online at Contact The Toronto Blues Society for member discounts.

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.

The 18th Annual Maple Blues Awards Nominees:

Entertainer of the Year
The 24th Street Wailers
Raoul & the Big Time
Steve Hill
Steve Strongman

Electric Act of the Year
Jack de Keyzer
Steve Hill
Steve Strongman

Acoustic Act of the Year
Adam Karch
Big Dave McLean
Brandon Isaak
Harrison Kennedy
Michael Jerome Browne

Male Vocalist of the Year
Chuck Jackson
Harrison Kennedy
Jon Knight
Matt Andersen
Steve Marriner

Female Vocalist of the Year
Angel Forrest
Dawn Tyler Watson
Diana Braithwaite
Shakura S’Aida
Suzie Vinnick 

New Artist or Group of the Year
Irene Torres & the Sugar Devils
Joel Johnson Band
Jordan Officer
Sean Pinchin
Wicked Grin

B.B. King International Artist of the Year
Beth Hart
Elvin Bishop
Janiva Magness
Johnny Winter
Mavis Staples

Guitarist of the Year
Paul DesLauriers
Steve Dawson
Steve Hill
Steve Strongman

Piano or Keyboard Player of the Year
David McMorrow (Jack de Keyzer)
David Vest
Julian Fauth
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Lance Anderson

Harmonica Player of the Year
Dave “Hurricane” Hoerl
Guy Bélanger
Harpdog Brown
Jerome Godboo
Steve Marriner

Horn Player of the Year
Al Lerman
Chris Whiteley
Jon Wong
Pat Carey
Richard Thornton

Drummer of the Year
Bucky Berger (Fathead)
Lindsay Beaver (The 24th Street Wailers)
Matt Sobb (MonkeyJunk)
Sam Harrisson (Paul DesLauriers Band)
Tom Bona (Raoul and the Big Time, Soulstack)

Bassist of the Year
Alan Duffy (Jack de Keyzer)
Alec Fraser (Fraser/Daley)
Greg Morency (Paul DesLauriers Band)
Keith Picot (Brandon Isaak)
Omar Tunnoch (Fathead)

Songwriter of the Year
Angel Forrest
Brandon Isaak
Harrison Kennedy
Raoul Bhaneja
Ray Bonneville

Recording/Producer of the Year
Brandon Isaak - Here On Earth (Self) Producer: Chris Isaak
Downchild - Can You Hear the Music (Linus Entertainment) Producer: Don Walsh
JW-Jones - Belmont Boulevard (Blind Pig Records) Producer: Tom Hambridge
Raoul and the Big Time - Hollywood Blvd (Big Time Records) Producer: Raoul Bhaneja
Steve Hill Solo Recordings Vol. 2 (No Label Records) Producer: Steve Hill

Blues With A Feeling (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Diana Braithwaite
Alec Fraser
Danny Brooks
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Ken Whiteley
Michael Fonfara
Stephen Barry
Tom Lavin
Michael Jerome Browne
Brent Parkin
Nannette Workman
Theresa Malenfant

Thursday, August 1, 2013

MonkeyJunk Is Hitting On "All Frequencies" with New Stony Plain Records CD, Coming September 24

MonkeyJunk Is Hitting On All Frequencies with New
Stony Plain Records CD, Coming September 24

Follow-Up to Band’s Juno Award-Winning Label Debut Pushes the Boundaries of Its Blues/Roots Music

EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records announces a September 24 release date for All Frequencies, the new CD from Ottawa-based blues/roots rockers MonkeyJunk. Comprised of Steve Marriner (vocals, harmonica, keyboards, baritone guitar), Tony D (lead guitar, background vocals) and Matt Sobb (drums, percussion, background vocals), MonkeyJunk plays a mix of swamp blues and funky roots rock ‘n’ roll. Produced by Steve Marriner and Ken Friesen (Blue Rodeo, The Tragically Hip), the new album includes nine original songs, plus a scorching version of the Bobby Charles classic, “Why Are People Like That?” For the uninitiated, the band takes its name from a chance remark by legendary bluesman Son House: “I’m talkin’ ‘bout the blues. I ain’t talkin’ about monkey junk.”

“Sonically speaking, there are some new and exciting flavors on this album,” says Steve Marriner about the sessions that produced All Frequencies. “This is an analog recording using a Neve console, cut to two-inch tape and mastered to half-inch tape. These tools helped achieve certain sonic qualities that until now were untapped for us. As well, since the last recording, I've had a custom baritone guitar made which allows me to produce much more bottom end. With the absence of a bassist in our group, representing those low frequencies is always a challenge, but on All Frequencies the bottom end is indeed robust. We did a lot of experimenting with guitar sounds this time, too. On several tracks, I'm running my guitar through a Leslie cabinet to achieve that classic choral effect Buddy Guy and the Vaughan Brothers have all employed over the years.  Tony kicks on a wah-wah pedal more than in past recordings and plays more slide guitar than ever.  Also, I believe we captured the finest drum sounds of any of our records. We had access to many beautifully-sounding vintage microphones, which helped make the drum sounds tighter, yet fuller and have more overall impact.”

All Frequencies is the follow-up to the band’s 2011 label debut, To Behold, which won the 2012 Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy) as “Blues Album of the Year.” Over the last five years, MonkeyJunk has also garnered 15 Maple Blues Awards, including “Electric Act of the Year” four years running.

“The most immediate and noticeable difference about All Frequencies compared to our previous CDs is the originality of the content,” states Marriner. “Whereas the previous albums had a distinctly more traditional blues influence, All Frequencies allows all sorts of influences through the door.  It's really a mixed bag of songs and sounds: greasy rock 'n 'roll, swampy blues, uptown funk and soul, and even a little taste of Appalachia.  Of the ten songs, we wrote nine and covered a Bobby Charles tune. As with previous songs we've covered, we tried to make it more of an 'interpretation' than a faithful cover. We really tried to put our own stamp on it.”

With the release of All Frequencies, MonkeyJunk raises the bar even further than its last multi-award winning album, with an exciting and genre-pushing sound firmly planted in its blues/roots foundation, but driven to new heights with a creative display of energizing musicianship that should bring it even more accolades come next awards time.

“While there are some outstanding solos on this album (particularly by Tony D), the majority of the solos are tight and melodic,” declares Marriner. “The focus was more on the lyrical content and the choruses. We tried to write relevant songs that people can relate to and sing along with, supported by grooves that will make them move. All Frequencies is noticeably more up-tempo than To Behold. Where To Behold included three ballads, All Frequencies has one, and even then, it's a real burner.”   

The three members of MonkeyJunk all started out as players on the Ottawa blues scene, playing solo gigs as well as with a dozen different bands between them before meeting up over beers and deciding to form a band together. Six months after they started, MonkeyJunk was nominated for a Maple Blues Award for “Best New Artist” — without having even released an album yet.

In February 2009, they represented Ottawa at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and with all the tough competition wound up placing third overall. That fueled the release of their own indie CD, Tiger in Your Tank, which came out in April 2009 and generated tons of great press, airplay on CBC Radio in Canada and syndicated airplay world-wide on “The House of Blues Radio Hour,” which featured one of its tracks, “Small Time Evil,” a coveted “Blues Breaker” slot.

MonkeyJunk began to tour in earnest with the first CD’s release, playing a dozen major festivals all over Canada, plus some dates in the U.S. and the Blues sur Seine festival in France. All that hard work paid off with their Juno Award and subsequent multiple Maple Blues Awards, plus international recognition by winning the 2010 Blues Music Award for “Best New Artist Debut” from the Blues Foundation, becoming only the second Canadian to win a Blues Music Award, along with the late, great Jeff Healey.

“Since our inception as band, MonkeyJunk has always tried to do things a little differently,” offers Marriner. “We've always had a wide range of influences in our repertoire.  At some point in the last couple years, we stopped worrying whether it was ‘bluesy enough’ or not.  We've realized that people who know our music, have seen us play and are fans of our band are likely going to dig what we're doing.  There is a noticeable progression between our first and second albums and I think All Frequencies represents that same sort of evolution.  We're growing and we're exploring. Every era of blues music has influential artists who changed the soundscape of the music and throughout their careers, explored different musical possibilities.”

MonkeyJunk will tour extensively in support of All Frequencies. For more information, visit and

Friday, March 29, 2013

Blues In D Natural / Queen Bee - Sue Foley

Sue Foley (born March 29, 1968, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) is a Canadian blues singer and guitarist. Foley has been writing and playing professionally since 1984. She has recorded ten albums, for both Antone's Records and Shanachie Records. She has spent over fourteen years on the road as a bandleader, lead vocalist, guitarist and manager of her own band. In addition to her own touring, she has also shared the stage with blues musicians, such as Back Alley John, B. B. King, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker. Her initial career began in Ottawa, Canada, at the age of sixteen where, in addition to solo work, she sang with the Back Alley John Revue. Foley sent a demo tape of herself to Clifford Antone's label (Antone's Records) in 1990. Impressed, the record label arranged an audition for the guitarist. She moved to Austin, Texas and soon signed a recording contract with Antone's. Foley appeared on the bill at the 1992 San Francisco Blues Festival. In 2000 Foley won a Juno Award for Best Blues Album for Love Comin' Down. Her 2007 album, Time Bomb (2007), features two other female blues players, Deborah Coleman and Roxanne Potvin. The opening title track, "Time Bomb", an instrumental where all three women take turns laying down leads, on the next nine songs the women trade off taking lead vocals and guitar duties of every third song until they come together again on the final track "In The Basement".

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Rocket 88 - Dan Aykroyd

Daniel Edward "Dan" Aykroyd, CM (born July 1, 1952) is a Canadian comedian, singer, actor and screenwriter. He was an original cast member of Saturday Night Live, an originator of The Blues Brothers (with John Belushi) and Ghostbusters and has had a long career as a film actor and screenwriter.
Aykroyd was born on July 1, 1952, at the Ottawa General Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He grew up in the Canadian capital, where his father, Samuel Peter Aykroyd, a civil engineer, worked as a policy adviser to Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. His mother, Lorraine Hélène (née Gougeon), is a secretary, of French Canadian descent. His brother, Peter, also became a comedy actor. Aykroyd was born with syndactyly (webbed toes), which was revealed in the movie Mr. Mike's Mondo Video and in a short film on Saturday Night Live (Don't Look Back In Anger). He was also born with heterochromia – his right eye is green and his left eye is brown.
Aykroyd was good friends with John Belushi. According to Aykroyd, it was his first meeting with Belushi that helped spark their popular Blues Brothers act. When they met in a club Aykroyd frequented, Aykroyd put on a blues record to play in the background, and it stimulated a fascination with blues in Belushi, who was primarily a fan of heavy rock bands at the time. Aykroyd educated John on the finer points of blues music and, with a little encouragement from then-SNL music director Paul Shaffer, it led to the creation of their Blues Brothers characters.

Backed by such experienced professional R&B sidemen as lead guitarist Steve Cropper, sax man Lou Marini, trumpeter Alan Rubin and bass guitarist Donald "Duck" Dunn, the Blues Brothers proved more than an SNL novelty. Taking off with the public as a legitimate musical act, they performed live gigs and released the hit album Briefcase Full of Blues in 1978, and were further popularized in a 1980 film. The Blues Brothers Band continues to tour today, featuring original members Cropper, Marini, and Dunn, along with vocalist Eddie Floyd.

Early in the incarnation of the Blues Brothers, John Belushi joined the Grateful Dead on stage on April 2, 1980, for a rendition of "Good Morning Little School Girl" at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, N.J (coinciding with the Dead performing on SNL that weekend). John sang the part usually carried by the late Dead band member "Pigpen."

Cherokee Studios in Los Angeles was a regular haunt for the original Blues Brothers back in the early days of the band. John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd became fixtures at the recording studio, while fellow Blues Brother Steve Cropper called Cherokee his producing home. Whenever they needed a bass player, they were joined by another Blues Brother, Donald "Duck" Dunn. During this time, Cropper along with producing partner and Cherokee owner Bruce Robb worked on a number of music projects with the two comedian/musicians, including Belushi's favourite band Fear and later Aykroyd's movie Dragnet.

Aykroyd and Belushi were scheduled to present the Academy Award for Visual Effects in 1982, but Belushi died only a few weeks prior to the ceremony. Though devastated by his friend's death, Aykroyd presented the award alone, remarking from the stage "My partner would have loved to have been here to present this, given that he was something of a visual effect himself." Not a few years before, when he and John Belushi were making an appearance on the Today show, he referred to them as "kindred spirits." In the biography "Belushi", Aykroyd claims that John Belushi was the only man he could ever dance with.
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Solid Blues Records artist: JW-Jones - Seventh Hour- New Release Review

I just received a copy of JW-Jones new release Seventh Hour. Jones is taking a slightly different approach to this release and it could garner larger appeal. The 10 track release starts off with Ain't Gonna Beg which is rooted in R&B styling but actually bringing to mind early Yardbirds recordings. Of course there is a healthy scoop of blues guitar staying to JW's roots. Let It Go, a poppy tune, comes out with a jazzy step and produces some really tasty riffs on guitar. In A Song begins with a heavy tom tom rhythm and defines the pace of the tune but JW changes it up for the chorus with the full band breaking to more a rock beat. The guitar solos are all blues, double stops and bends, in reference to Jones' roots and pushing the track into a full rocker. You Got Caught has it's roots in the early R&B blues tracks and really gets a good groove going. I especially like the guitar solo on this with the surf tremolo sustains and articulate picking. All Over Again continues in the R&B style. I don't recall hearing any keys solos on earlier tracks but the Hammond cuts through. JW whips out a cool solo on this tune as well. Heartbreaker is another new path at the edge of Texas swing... with steel guitars and all. Now you have to understand that I hear the similarity in music and this could also be jump blues if you omitted the steel guitar, but JW does some of his most fluid guitar riffs and runs on this tune. Its a tapper! Do For You is back in the R&B / Blues groove. This gives JW the opportunity to really stretch his playing and you can sit back in your chair and close your eyes... and nod along. He gets a really cool groove going on this one...possibly my favorite solo on the release. I'm Trying gets into the Texas groove and we all know that JW can pound this track every which way from Sunday! He gets on that stinger note and rides it. The guitar work is great on this song is terrific... JW...sure you ain't from Texas? What Is Real returns to the R&B style feel. So Long I'm Gone is like a honky tonk rocker and is a great conclusion to the set. JW gets those rockabilly riffs (and the Hawaiian style) steel parts cranking. This is a different release from JW-Blues and one that I think will be well received!

If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Monday, January 9, 2012


(January 9, 2012) Toronto, ON -- The Toronto Blues Society is proud to announce the recipient of the Blues Booster of the Year award, a very special Maple Blues Award honouring outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues music industry.
This year, the Blues Booster of the Year Award goes to Liz Sykes, President of the Ottawa Blues Society.
Sykes, who has been president of the Ottawa Blues Society for ten years, started out as a volunteer writer and editor on the newsletter committee after becoming passionate about blues music through her son. “My older son Marc is the one who got me interested in blues, which would have been in late 1994 - early 1995. He was 18 at the time, too young to be going to the bars to hear blues, but he somehow managed!” she recalls.
The Ottawa Blues Society was formed in 1997, and is led by a small dedicated Board of Directors. The society’s ongoing activities include publication of the quarterly OBScene newsletter that highlights Ottawa area live blues events, bands and CD reviews from artists. The OBS has also participated in the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, held annually in Memphis TN. For the past four years the OBS has held competitions and fundraisers for Ottawa area bands to participate with all fundraising dollars going towards travel costs for Solo/Duo and Band representatives to attend the IBC competitions.
“I really do believe that the things that we at the Ottawa Blues Society have accomplished and that have made us prominent in the blues community are not because of one person”. Sykes explains. “It is a team effort and the award belongs to all of the directors and volunteers who have helped make the OBS a success.”
Liz Sykes will receive the Blues Booster of the Year Award at the 15th Annual Maple Blues Awards gala on January 16th in Toronto.
Tickets for the not-to-be-missed Maple Blues Awards are $37 - $45 and can be purchased at The Weston Family Box Office, located in The Royal Conservatory building at 273 Bloor Street West, Toronto, or online at
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.

The Royal Conservatory presents more than 80 classical, jazz, pop, cabaret, and world music concerts each season. The Royal Conservatory's magnificent new concert hall, Koerner Hall, is a 1,135-seat venue designed in the tradition of the classic “shoebox” venues of Europe. Recognized as being among the world’s greatest concert halls, the Toronto Star has called it "the best concert venue in Toronto" and The Globe and Mail has dubbed it "the temple of tone." In addition, The Royal Conservatory is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2011-12, marking 125 years of developing human potential through music and the arts.