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Tuesday, September 15, 2020

CONGRATS! Local Artists Win in the 2020 International Singer Songwriter Awards + Complete Winners

In August, the 2020 International Singer Songwriter Awards winners were unveiled and a number of local and Canadian artists were honoured. They came from Hamilton, Brantford, Guelph, and many other area of the country.

Below is a complete list of winners. Canadians are bolded.



Band Single
Music Video
Female Emerging Artist
  • Gold –  Destiny Band Oz
  • Silver –  Polygon
  • Bronze –  Steve Newsome (Alberta)
Female Vocalist
  • Gold – Alexandra Hainsworth
  • Silver –  Jimena Arroyo
  • Bronze –  Cheryl Nye (Montreal)
Male Vocalist
  • Gold – MJ Smallman
  • Silver –  Danny McMahon
  • Bronze – Chris Andres (BC)
Female Single
Male Single
  • Gold – Paolo Nunin – Maybe Because
  • Silver – Rick Snider – The Road (Nova Scotia)
  • Bronze – Johnny Westwood – Rain In Tulsa
Male Songwriter
  • Gold –  Jamey Barron (Montreal)
  • Silver – Davey Anscombe
  • Bronze – Samuel Alexander Barbour
Male Emerging Artist
  • Gold -The Winachi Tribe
  • Silver – Crest Glider
  • Bronze – Shelly Jones Band
Female Songwriter
  • Gold – Fiona Ross
  • Silver – KitCat K
  • Bronze – Julie Ludgate
Radio Station of the Year
  • Gold – Frank Hammer – Radio Country Road 58
  • Silver – Colin Pettitt – Iam4U Radio
  • Bronze – Chad J Country – Spectrum Internet Radio
  • Female Rising Star: Nina Flaaseth
  • Male Rising Star: Daniel Agyin
  • Young Adult Artist: Madison Mueller (Barrie)
  • Vocal Duo: Campbell and Green (Nova Scotia)
  • Sound Engineer: Antonio Vergara
  • Promoter: Robert Steiner
  • Humanitarian of the Year: Dina Lynn


  • Gold – Cliff Wheeler Band
  • Silver – Black Cadillac Kings
  • Bronze –  Jay Ricochet and the BFD
Female Vocalist
  • Gold – Brauninger McDaniel
  • Silver – Jennifer Mlott
  • Bronze –  Montana Modderman
Male Vocalist
  • Gold – Rob O’Mara
  • Silver –  Brian Hedges
  • Bronze – Steve Douthit
Young Adult Artist
  • Gold – Sydney Irving
  • Silver – Rylee Lum
  • Bronze – Trinity Rose
Vocal Duo
  • Gold – The Cranberry Merchants
  • Silver – Ginger Grace / Backhand Sally
  • Bronze – Joe Kidd and Sheila Burke
US Band
  • Gold – Limberlost
  • Silver –  Nashville Non Prophets
  • Bronze –  Cheering Tokyo
  • Gold – Lisa Mitts – The Breakthrough
  • Silver – Trenton Chandler – Ten Steps From Tootsies
  • Bronze –  John David Schrader – 21 Summers
Band Single of the Year
  • Gold – Who Shot Lizzy – I Don’t Give A Damn
  • Silver – Night Owl Country Band – Made In America
  • Bronze –  Chris Jones Band – I Still Do
Female Single 
  • Gold –  Alena Rae – Always Let Go
  • Silver – Rhonda Funk – Someday
  • Bronze –  Zandra Arnold – Work On Me
Male Single
  • Gold –  Dustin Chapman – Plus One
  • Silver – Jason Ray Welsh – Lies In You
  • Bronze –  Randall Rutledge – Me And Southern Comfort
Female Songwriter
  • Gold-  Jessie Lynn
  • Silver- Clare Cunningham
  • Bronze- Lora Ann Pine
Male Songwriter
  • Gold – Bobby Johnson
  • Silver – Ricky Davis
  • Bronze –  Geary Nelson
Music Video
  • Gold – Sera Bullis – Bus Stop
  • Silver – Aubrey Wollett – Better On The Beach
  • Bronze –  DethCadence – Blood Money
Female Emerging
  • Gold –  Tracy Cruz
  • Silver – La La Musiq
  • Bronze – Ashley Walls
Male Emerging
  • Gold –  Dylan Swinson
  • Silver –  Chris Johnson
  • Bronze –  Rollin Jewett
Radio Station
  • Gold – Phil Kranz – Black Dog Indie Country Radio
  • Silver –  Jeff Rickett – Cowboy Joe Radio
  • Bronze –  B.C. Lee –  Florida Country Radio
  • Female Rising Star: Karoline Rhett
  • Male Rising Star: Rylee Nicholson
  • Sound Engineer: Ben Travis
  • Promoter of the Year: Angela McGowan
  • Photographer: Corinne Dean
  • US Rep of the Year: Brian Fagan
  • Humanitarian: Necay Howard
  • Team Recognition: Patty “Rose” Zeller

Previous (Grandparents Day Videos)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

NEED COMPUTER HELP? Try First Choice Computer Solutions
Their service is friendly and reliable. In person and remote assistance available.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Roy Brown's 100th Birthday

Today (September 10, 2020) would have been American RnB legend Roy Brown's 100th birthday.

Biography Highlights (from Wikipedia)
  • Born in Kinder, Louisiana (September 10, 1920) through some records do say 1925 instead.
  • Became a professional boxer for a while (1940's)
  • Won a singing contest at the Million Dollar Theater (1945)
  • Recorded his biggest hit Good Rockin' Tonight (1948)
  • Died of a heart attack (May 25, 1981)
  • Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame (1981)

Links: Roy Brown, Videos above courtesy of Roy Brown - TopicMore 100th Birthdays

Previous (Back to School Videos) - - - Next (Grandparents Day Videos)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: The Stephen Lewis Foundation launched the Grandmothers to Grandmothers Campaign in March 2006, in response to the emerging crisis faced by African grandmothers as they struggled to care for millions of children orphaned by AIDS. The Campaign aims to raise awareness, build solidarity and mobilize support in Canada for Africa’s grandmothers.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Celebrate Back to School with Videos by Andy Griffiths, Shrimp Daddy, Kinks

Links: Andy GriffithsMore Andy Griffiths StoriesVideo above courtesy of Andy G and Friends

Links: Shrimp Daddy, More Shrimp Daddy StoriesVideo above courtesy of Michael Reid

Links: KinksMore Kinks StoriesVideo above courtesy of KinksMedia

More Back to School Videos

Interested in going back to school for music? Check out our wonderful sponsor, Pick n Sticks. They have incredible music lessons.

For more (mostly adult) education, we recommend the St. Charles Centre (our blogger's day job) who offer high school credit courses, ESL, computer workshops, career programs and more, Also FREE language classes for elementary/secondary school children. 

Previous (Labour Day Videos) - - - Next (Roy Brown's 100th Birthday)

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Monday, August 31, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

From their site: Working to make a significant impact in the quality of life of Canada’s ill & injured CAF members, Veterans, First Responders, and their families.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

To enable you to make good housing decisions call us or email us: www.judymarsales.com

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hamilton's Gerry McGhee, the Voice of Brighton Rock, Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Gerald "Gerry"McGhee, lead vocalist of hard rock, international superstars Brighton Rock. Gerald grew up in Hamilton and helped form the Niagara band and launched them to world renown. He died August 25, 2020.

Media Links:

Here are some social media reactions

Corey Macfadyen (Producer)
Very sad to hear of the passing of Gerald McGhee. Far too young. I was fortunate to work with him live and in the studio with Brighton Rock. He was a great guy. My heart goes out to his family and bandmates. RIP. Gerry.
Mike Beattie
I remember first hearing his voice and as usual, going on and on way too much about it to my musical friends. My favorite memory of him was when my buddies took me to the Misty Moon to see them for my birthday and making so much noise from the upper level that the band was smiling at us and nodding to us the whole show. 
Jamie Vernon
Canadian rockers knew him as the singer for Brighton Rock. I got to work with him in business when his import/export business Isotope was just taking off from a small industrial unit in Mississauga. He and I cut a deal to distribute my Bullseye catalog overseas. It got us into Australia, Europe, and the Pacific Rim. He was always up front and walked me through the landmines with retail in other territories. He was also fair and paid on time and let me know if our product was sub-par for those markets. A true gentleman in a business full of snakes. My deepest condolences to his wife and daughters, his bandmates, and the many industry people he was loved by. 

Blast from the Past: Gerald Open New Vinyl Pressing Plant in Burlington + more stories

Links: Brighton RockMore Brighton Rock Stories, Videos above courtesy of Brighton Rock

Previous (International Dog Day Videos) - - - Next (Play Music on Your Porch Day Videos)

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: Good Shepherd services include a emergency food and clothing; daily hot meals; emergency shelters for men, youth, families, women and children; transitional housing and education for homeless and street-involved youth; hospice palliative care; community mental health programs; and supportive housing programs.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) wants to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Cootes Paradise Brings Funky, Bluesy Soul to New Album

You can shake off the COVID-19 Blues by listening to Downstream, the fabulous sophomore album from local supergroup, Cootes Paradise.

Cootes lays down some funky, bluesy soul that'll shake off your woes and get your body movin'. The band can boogie it up better than any other band out there and they have the skills to show them how it's done.

Speaking of the band, members include:
The album will be available via the band's website and through Bancamp,  Spotify and more.

Videos above courtesy of Cootes Paradise

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Support Local Charities

From their website: SACHA supports survivors of sexual assault while working to end violence in our community.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020

Local Artist Gravely James Debuts with Magnificent, Stripped-Down Album

From Steve's Shed is a stunning debut album from Hamilton-born, Port Colbourne raised singer/songwriter Gravely James. This live-off-the-floor recording from Snareguy Records is a magnificent collection of acoustic, folky blues tunes (with a bit of soul).

Emotion courses through every note as the lyrics suck the listener into stories of relationship, insomnia, violence, mythology, and more. It's a wonderful example of raw, stripped down, ragged musical storytelling.

Though mostly a one-main affair, Niagara music vet Steve Goldberger lends a hand with upright bass, spoons and production. He also lent Gravely the titular shed to record in. Also Ji Sharp of Road Waves plays lead guitar on Shoot'Em Down.

The album is available through Bandcamp, Spotify and more.

You can stream the album below.

Blast from the Past: Gravely is a finalist in the TBS Talent Search and other news

Links: Gravely James, More Gravely James Stories

Previous (Percy Mayfied's 100th Birthday) - - - Next (Live Music Returns to the Moonshine in Oakville)

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Percy Mayfield's 100th Birthday

Today (August 12, 2020) would have been American RnB legend Percy Mayfield's 100th birthday.

Biography Highlights (from Wikipedia)
Here are a few local covers

Links: Suzie VinnickMore Suzie Vinnick Stories, Tony D, Video above courtesy of James Dean

Links: Small Town Girls, Video above courtesy of Small Town Girls Music

And now some videos from the man himself . . .

Links: Percy Mayfield, Videos above courtesy of Percy Mayfield - TopicMore 100th Birthdays

Previous (Salome Bey Passes) - - - Next (New Gravely James Album)

Monday, August 10, 2020

Canada's 'First Lady of the Blues' Salome Bey Passes

It is with sadness that we report on the passing of Canadian Blues/Jazz/Soul legend Salome Bey, know as 'Canada's first lady of the Blues' who died on Saturday, August 8, 2020.

Bey was born in Newark, New Jersey but moved to Toronto in 1964. She's appeared on TV/radio, performed in musicals, was nominated for a Grammy and received a Martin Luther King Jr. Award.

Media Links:

Here are a few local social media reactions:

This is a bit heartbreaking - in a previous life as an entertainment PR person, I got to work with Salome Bey a number of times in the 80s and 90s. A very real talent, but more than that, a very warm person and a great positive influence for so many, including me. There won't be another like her.
Eric Alper
Canada’s first lady of blues, Salome Bey, has died. She was honoured with a Toronto Arts Award and an honourary Member of the Order of Canada.
She mixed between sorrowful & uplifting euphoria with forthright vocals always on top form, and one the nicest, kindest people in music. 
Jace Martin
It is so sad to hear of the passing of my greatest mentor in music, Salome Bey...I was 11 years old the first day I met her, I was so nervous at my audition for "Rainboworld" among 40 of Toronto's finest young singers, actors, dancers and musicians that included Grammy Winner, Deborah Cox. I sang my favourite song, "Amazing Grace" but I didn't do it well cause I was so shy...I was about to leave and she stopped me, and told me to come over to her. She asked me to just take a breath. Everything was calm and I sang again, this time I nailed it! Then she told me I got the part and that I had something special to share with the world
She then mentored me for 4 summers and beyond while I lived with her and her family in Toronto during rehearsals and performances of "Rainboworld". That light has been in my heart since then and so has my passion for music...I last seen Salome when I performed at her benefit at LuLu's Lounge a few years back and I hugged her and told her I loved her! She is reunited in heaven with her husband & the coolest guy I ever met, Howard! I am currently recording my new album "Rainboworld" dedicated to her and am so sad, she won't get to hear it! But I hope God pulls back the clouds while I record the song I wrote for her called, "Rainboworld"! Rainboworld to me meant everyone is loved...we are all special...we are all created equal...she helped me realize that at a young age and I thank you Salome! I love you and your family with all my heart! 
Micah Barnes
Salome. The mother of us all! A voice truly blessed from heaven. Who came to inspire us. Travel easy Momma Bey. xo just one of your many children... 

Here are a few videos from the lady herself.

Links: Salome Bey, Videos above courtesy of Salome Bey - Topic

Previous (Jimmy Witherspoon's 100th Birthday) - - - Next (Percy Mayfied's 100th Birthday)

Please Support Local Charities

From their Facebook page:
The Giving Closet Thrift Shop is a new neighbourhood thrift store, whose profits will be reinvested into Crown Point and surrounding neighbourhoods. 
We accept donations. If you would like to donate, please contact us through this page or by phone
The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Jimmy Witherspoon's 100th Birthday

Today (August 8, 2020) would have been the late American Blues legend Jimmy Witherspoon's 100th birthday.

Biography highlights (from Wikipedia)
Corey Lueck of the Smoke Wagon Blues Band had this to say about the incredible musician:
I've always thought Jimmy Witherspoon was the quintessential war time blues singer. He had that great big band timeless shout blues style that could also get low down and soulful with the jazz cats. Hope he's belting it out for his 100th in that big ol' gig in the sky....
Jimmy recorded the song below with the late Kitchener Blues legend Mel Brown on guitar.

Links: Mel BrownMore Mel Brown Stories, Earl HookerVideo above courtesy of Pig's Vinyl Emporium

More songs from the man himself.

Links: Jimmy Witherspoon, Videos above courtesy of Jimmy Witherspoon - Topic, More 100th Birthdays

Previous (New Lynn Jackson Album) - - - Next (Salome Bey Passes)

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Kitchener's Lynn Jackson Shows Many Sides on New Album

From a snarl to a roar, a purr and beyond, Kitchener songstress, Lynn Jackson can do it all. The talented lady shows us many sides on her latest incredible album, Lionheart from Busted Flat Records.

Here you'll find Lynn, the acoustic troubadour, the hard-edge punk princess, the jazzy chanteuse and many others all in one package. Her vocals leave a unique stamp on every track and beautifully played pianos, violins and more accentuate the songs.

Joining Lynn is a team of extraordinary talents, including Rob Deyman & Silvia DiDonato of the Waterstreet Blues BandScott FitzpatrickJonny Sauder, Chris Boyne, Chris Colvin, Don Featherstone, John Stuart, Alison Corbett and Wendy Wright.

You can pick up this wonderful album at her web siteBandcamp, the Busted Flat page, iTunes, Spotify and more.

You can stream the album below.

Blast from the Past: Lynn's 2015 album, Songs of Rain, Snow and Remembering

Links: Lynn JacksonMore Lynn Jackson StoriesMore Releases

Previous (Live Music Returns to Stonewalls) - - - Next (Jimmy Witherspoon's 100th Birthday)

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: Ladybird Animal Sanctuary is a unified voice for abandoned, abused and neglected animals in our community. Together, through a system of volunteers, foster homes, educators, animal lovers and exceptionally generous people, we aim to eliminate the unnecessary suffering of domestic animals in our local high­-kill shelters. Ladybird rescues cats, dogs, small animals and even farm animals­ and we never shy away from rescuing senior animals, those with costly medical issues and the so­-called ‘hard to adopt’. Through our success stories, we know that every life is worth saving and that a loving home is just around the corner for these deserving creatures.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Live Music Returns to Stonewalls in Hamilton!

Live music is slowly coming back to our area and Hamilton restaurant, Stonewalls will have many talented local artists hitting the stage.

Please note that all events are 6:30-9:30pm. Cover is $10. Reservations required.

Here's what's coming up.

Friday August 7 - Steve Oros

Links: Steve Oros, Video above courtesy of Steve Oros


Saturday August 8 - Mary Simon

Links: Mary SimonMore Mary Simon StoriesVideo above courtesy of Mississippi Bends


Friday, August 14 - Ray Maurice (Hammersmiths)

Links: Hammersmiths,  Video above courtesy of 20K Summer Song


Saturday, August 14 - Jamie Shea

Links: Jamie SheaMore Jamie Shea Stories, Video above courtesy of Jamie Shea


Friday, August 21 - Robin Benedict

Links: Robin BenedictMore Robin Benedict StoriesVideo above courtesy of Fighting Hate 101


Saturday, August 22 - Riley Michaels

Links: Riley Michaels, Video above courtesy of Canal Bank Shuffle

Previous (Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day) - - - Next (New Lynn Jackson Album)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Hamilton's Jesse O'Brien Helps Sass Jordan Get the Blues on New Album

Legendary Canadian Rocker Sass Jordan recruited talented Hamilton keyboard maestro Jesse O'Brien to help bring the Blues on her latest album, Rebel Moon Blues on Stony Plain Records. The lady proves without a doubt that she can belt out a Blues tune with the best of 'em.

Backed by a powerful band under the cool moniker of Champagne Hookers (Chris Caddell, Jimmy Reid, Derek Brady, Cassius Pereira) -  Sass thunders through energetic classic covers such as My Babe, One Way Out, Still Got the Blues and more. There's also one kick-ass original co-written by Sass called The Key.

The aforementioned Jesse O'Brien also help out with the fun by providing his always dynamic keyboard skills. Steve Marriner of MonkeyJunk brings his harmonica/vocal mastery and Hill Kourkoutis deftly adds some extra vocals to one track.

You can pick up this explosive album at many physical and online shops. It's available through Sass's website, iTunes and Spotify.

Blast from the Past: Sass and Others Live on Canada Day Weekend 2012

Links: Sass Jordan, More Sass Jordan StoriesJesse O'BrienMore Jesse O'Brien Stories, Videos above courtesy of Sass Jordan - Topic

Previous (Local Canadian Country Music Award Nominees) - - - Next (Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: The Mission of the Grimsby Benevolent Fund (GBF) is to help individuals and families in maintaining self sufficiency by providing assistance with basic needs.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers (HBL) want to showcase a deserving local charity every week.  HBL is not affiliated with these charities nor does it fund raise for them.