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Thursday, December 3, 2020

GOOD LUCK! 2021 Canadian Folk Music Award Nominees

For details on the event, please scroll down.

Here is a complete list of nominees (local acts are bolded)

Contemporary Album

  • Are You in Love? by Basia Bulat 
  • At the Edge of the World by Mike McKenna Jr. 
  • Drifters by Joe Nolan  
  • Reliever by William Prince
  • Sugar & Joy by The Dead South 
  • Yours To Break by The East Pointers 

Contemporary Singer

  • Catherine MacLellan for Coyote (Burlington)
  • Coco Love Alcorn for Rebirth 
  • Basia Bulat for Are You in Love? 
  • Tim Chaisson for Yours To Break
  • William Prince for Reliever 

Solo Artist 

  • Coyote by Catherine MacLellan (Burlington)
  • Lynn Miles for We'll Look For Stars 
  • William Prince for Reliever 
  • Riit for ataataga 
  • Julian Taylor for The Ridge 


  • K'eintah Natse Ju by Leela Gilday (Producer: Hill Kourkoutis)
  • Some Kind of Hell by Burnstick (Producers: Jason & Nadia Burnstick)
  • The Spark by William Prince (Producers: Scott Nolan, Dave Cobb)
  • Wintergreen by The East Pointers (Producer: Gordie Sampson)

Indigenous Songwriter(s) 

Instrumental Group

  • Beòlach for All Hands 
  • Gordon Grdina’s The Marrow for Safar-E-Daroon
  • Jessica Deutsch and Ozere for Traces 
  • Rhizome for Double Capture 

Children’s Album

English Songwriter(s)

  • Coco Love Alcorn for Rebirth
  • Basia Bulat for Are You in Love? 
  • William Prince for Reliever 
  • Pharis and Jason Romero for Bet On Love 
  • Sarah Jane Scouten for Confessions 
  • Julian Taylor for The Ridge  


  • OKAN for Sombras
  • Pharis and  Jason Romero for Bet On Love 
  • Sultans of String for Refuge
  • Sussex for The Ocean Wide
  • The Dead South for Sugar and Joy 

French Songwriter(s) 

  • Guillaume Arsenault for La partie de moi qui tremble 
  • Raphaël Delahaye for Le sens de la dérive
  • Marie-Ève Lapierre-Lemoyne for Onze
  • Flavie Léger-Roy for Ce chapeau est trop grand pour moi 
  • Alexandre Poulin for Nature humaine

Instrumental Solo Artist 

  • Marc Atkinson for Solo 
  • Benjamin Barrile for Esperando el Alba 
  • Gordon Grdina for Prior Street 
  • Nick Hornbuckle for 13 or So
  • Natalie MacMaster for Sketches 

New/Emerging Artist(s) 

  • Noah Derksen for America, Dreaming
  • Marie-Ève Laure for Onze 
  • Maya Rae for Can You See Me? 
  • Emily Rockarts for Little Flower
  • Rum Ragged for The Thing About Fish
  • Emily Triggs for Middletown 


  • Dave Clarke and  Bill Garrett for Coming Home (Steel Rail) 
  • Roy Forbes for Edge of Blue (Roy Forbes) 
  • Marc Jenkins for Bet On Love (Pharis and Jason Romero) 
  • Dayna Manning for Morning Light (Dayna Manning) 
  • Chris McKhool & John 'Beetle' Bailey for Refuge (Sultans of String)  

Pushing the Boundaries Award 

  • Aerialists for Dear Sienna 
  • Mélisande [Électrotrad] for Les myriades 
  • Riit for ataataga 
  • The East Pointers for Yours To Break 
  • The Henrys for Paydirt 

Traditional Singer 

  • Mike Bravener for Depends Upon The Pay
  • Kevin Harvey for Hand Me Down Blues 
  • Mark Manning for The Thing About Fish 
  • Lou Natale for Workin' the Mystery 
  • Pharis Romero for Bet On Love 

Vocal Group

  • Beauséjour for Beauséjour 
  • Big Little Lions for Inside Voice 
  • Kennedy Road for A Little Fight Left Yet
  • Pharis and Jason Romero for Bet On Love 
  • The Barrel Boys for Mainline 

World Album 

  • Africa Without Borders by Okavango African Orchestra 
  • Kora flamenca by Zal Sissokho 
  • La Serena by Aviva Chernick 
  • Patria by Mazacote 
  • Sombras by OKAN 

Young Performer(s)

  • Maya Rae for Can You See Me? 
  • Moscow Apartment for Better Daughter 
  • Paige Penney for Watch Out For Your Step
  • Quin With One N for Out of the Blue 
  • The Gilberts for The Gilberts: One  

From the newsletter:

(December 1, 2020 - HALIFAX) The Canadian Folk Music Awards celebrates its 16th edition, with a roster of nominations that celebrates the breadth and depth of Canadian folk music.  This year’s nominees span the country from Baie-Egmont, Prince Edward Island to Pangnirtung, Nunavut, and from Horsefly, British Columbia to St. John's, Newfoundland — celebrating the diversity and talent of artists and musicians across Canada.

Established by Canada’s vibrant and internationally-recognized folk music community, the awards currently boasts 19 categories. Nominees are chosen for each category through a two-stage jury process. More than 100 jurors, located across Canada, representing all official provinces, territories and languages, determine the official recipients in each category.

CFMAs are pleased to present two NEW Award categories for 2021. A new award for “Single of the Year” recognizes an artist or group, and their producer(s) for a single release recording, or a track from an album that was released as a single, open to all folk genres, songs and instrumentals.  Another award has been added, “World Music Album Of The Year,” which replaces the former awards for “World Solo Artist of the Year,” and “World Group of the Year.”

The 16th edition of the Canadian Folk Music Awards Celebration will take place online again this year, and will present all 19 Awards, plus the Unsung Hero Award bringing the total to 20 Awards, virtually, over the weekend of April 9-10, 2021. The Awards were originally scheduled in-person over this weekend in Charlottetown, PEI, however, the CFMAs have made the difficult decision to cancel the live shows and weekend celebrations due to COVID-19. The health and safety of our patrons, artists, staff and the general public remains paramount, more information will be shared in early 2021. 

The Awards Weekend online presentations will capture the true heart of the folk community, while celebrating the 2021 nominees and the category recipients. The virtual CFMA Awards show will announce the recipients of the 2021 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Our bilingual hosts will review all the CFMA categories, nominees, and announce recipients, including the Unsung Hero Award Presentation, along with announcing where our 2022 event will take place. Please be sure to “like” our facebook page here for easier access to the live stream → https://www.facebook.com/prixfolkawards/

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

From their site: We are committed to responding to the cry of the poor and to help them attain for themselves, the basic necessities of clean water, education, and basic health care.

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.

Hamilton Blues Lovers Turns 12!

Today (November 29, 2020), the Hamilton Blues Lovers turn 12 years old! A WHOLE DOZEN!

As you all know it has been a rough year with COVID-19 causing a stop to in-person live music for a long time. A few of our communities still cannot hold music events. Here is a link on how to help musicians during this difficult time.

This was also the year we decided to celebrate the 50th anniversary of local albums. We've only done two so far but will be doing more by year's end.

Previous (National Guitar Day Videos ft Bran Griffith)

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

First Two Albums from Canadian Band, Christmas Turn 50! Featuring Hamilton's Bob Bryden!

Oshawa's Christmas (later named Spirit of Christmas) was a band like no other. They lasted only a few years, produced just three studio albums, but inspired generations of bands to come. Their LP's are now expensive, sought after collectors items. Singer Bob Bryden, who now lives in Hamilton, was a major part of their success. The band was created from the ashes of his previous project, Reign Ghost

Click here for Bob Bryden's Facebook scrapbook on the band.

The first two albums from the group turn 50 in 2020. This is also the year the band won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Oshawa Music Awards


Self Titled Debut


  • Released July 9, 1970
  • On Paragon label
  • Personnel: Bob Bryden, Wolf Hryciuk, Rich Richter, Tyler Raizenne, Robert Bulger, Gary Squiers

Our mini-review:

Psychedelic and trippy, their debut is very loose and free with an off-the-cuff feel. Highlights include Just Suppose and the over 20 minute (a full LP side) workout Jungle Fabulous. 

Bob Bryden's thoughts:

The first Christmas LP was never meant to happen. We went in to do a ‘12 Top Hits’ album of 10 covers and 2 originals (the latter being the only reason we took the gig). In the studio, the producer asked us to jam (total improv). They then scrubbed the covers idea and released the jams and originals. 

Videos above courtesy of Alphan Nukan




  • Released November 27, 1970
  • On Daffodil Records
  • Personnel: Bob Bryden, Rich Richter, Tyler Raizenne, Robert Bulger
  • Click here for Bob Bryden's online Heritage scrapbook
Our mini-review:
More structured than their debut, Heritage is a psychedelic gem with more powerful hard rockin'. Highlights include Blues on an Iceberg and Bustin' Out Tonight

Bob Bryden's thoughts:

‘Heritage’ was done in about 10 days at Toronto Sound with Terry Brown (Rush) engineering. He told us we influenced Rush. I had just become ‘lead’ singer as the 2 singers on the first LP had recently left. Christmas was not a democracy at that time. I was dictator. Wrote all the songs and even many of the other’s parts (not solos). That all changed by ‘Lies To Live By’.

Videos above courtesy of Merry Christmas - Topic


Links: Bob BrydenMore Bob Bryden Stories, More Album 50th Anniversaries

Previous (Gilded Hammer Award Winners) - - - Next (National Guitar Day Videos ft Bran Griffith)

Please Support Local Charities

From their website:

An Instrument For Every Child (AIFEC) provides ALL children with a high quality music education and allows them to explore their creative potential. This program will build self-esteem, develop leadership and teamwork skills and realize a sense of fulfillment. AIFEC will greatly assist in successfully carrying children forward, as vital citizens of their 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, November 23, 2020

CONGRATS! 2020 Gilded Hammer Award Winners

On Saturday, November 21 the The Hamilton Fringe presented the first Gilded Hammer Awards during a wonderful online ceremony that honoured the best of theatrical arts in Hamilton. The event is still available to stream on demand until November 28 by clicking here. Funds raised go to Disability Justice Network of Ontario.

Here is a complete list of winners

The Cutting Edge: Innovation Award - Stephanie Hope Lawlor


The Groundbreaker: Emerging Artist Award - Kitoko Kasiama


The Force of Impact: National Achievement Award - Anna Chatterton


Previous (Polaris Heritage Prize Winners) - - - Next (First 2 Albums from Canadian Band Christmas Turn 50)

Friday, November 20, 2020

CONGRATS! 2020 Polaris Heritage Prize Winners

Three classic albums have won a 2020 Polaris Heritage Prize. This wonderful award celebrates the history of the Canadian music scene.

Click here for the FYI Music News story.

Full list of winners: 

Previous (This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide Inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame) - - - Next (Gilded Hammer Award Winners)

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

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

"This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide" by Oakville's The Kings Inducted Into Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame

The humongous hit This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide by Oakville music legends The Kings has been inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame on its 40th anniversary. The 1980 hit (from the album The Kings Are Here) spent 23 weeks on the Billboard’s Hot 100 charts and has over 2 million streams on Spotify and 4 million views on YouTube.

The Kings had this to say on their Facebook page:
Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming response to our post about "This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide" getting inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.  We are very grateful to you all for reaching out to us, quite humbling actually!  Here's the link to our performance of it at the incredible El Mocambo in Toronto.  Thanks to everyone at the CSHF, Breakfast Television and the Elmo for being so professional, Peter and Toddy for playing so well and Doug McClement for the great live sound mix.  We love you!  

Previous (1st Two Chairmen of the Board Albums - ft Harrison Kennedy - Turn 50) - - - Next (Polaris Heritage Prize Winners)

Monday, November 16, 2020

Two 'Chairmen of the Board' Albums (ft Hamilton's Harrison Kennedy) Turn 50!

Two classic R&B albums by the Chairmen of the Board that featured Hamilton music legend, Harrison Kennedy recently turned 50 years old. Both were released by Invictus Records, a famous Detroit label run by the Holland–Dozier–Holland Motown songwriting team, who also penned a number of the group's hits.

Along with Harrison, the band included Danny Woods, General Johnson and Eddie Custis.

We asked Harrison about his day with the quartet, He had this to say:

Happy that I was the first Canadian of colour to be part  of million a million selling album.

And the only Canadian in that group.


The first album to turn 50 was their Decemeber 969 self-titled debut (which was later renamed after their biggest hit, Give Me Just a Little More Time). Along with that top 3 song, it featured the hit single (You've Got Me) Dangling on a String.

Video above courtesy of pieroangelo2

Video above courtesy of AuntieSoul34


Their second album, In Session was released in May of 1970. Hits from the recording include Everything's Tuesday, Pay to the Piper, Chairman of the BoardHanging On to a Memory and more.

Video above courtesy AuntieSouL1

Video above courtesy of MusicMike's "Flashback Favorites"

Links: Harrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesChairmen of the Board, More Chairmen of the Board Stories

Previous (Drumming Day Videos) - -  Next (This Beat Goes On/Switchin' to Glide Inducted into Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame)

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: 
Holiday Wish Hamilton is comprised of a small group of caring and compassionate people that work tirelessly to help those less fortunate in our community during the holiday season.

There are many reasons why people are in need, a recent job loss, an illness in the family, bereavement, the list is endless.  We give to those who need that little pick me up, just a little bit of the hope to bring them some holiday spirit. 

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, November 9, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

Support Local Charities

From their website: The Canadian Heroes Foundation is a Registered Not for Profit organization and is about creating awareness and support for our front line responders, our fallen heroes and families. It is also a tribute to those who have served in the past, present and future.

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, November 7, 2020

CONGRATS! 2020 St. Catharines Arts Award Winners

Juliet Dunn won the Making a Difference Award

On Sunday, October 25, 2020 the St. Catharines Arts Awards were handed out during an online ceremony. It was great to see all of the creative energy in the Garden City given it's due.

You can view the entire ceremony below.

Video above courtesy of FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

Click here for the St. Catharines Standard story

Here's a full list of winners

  • Making a Difference: Juliet Dunn (singer, actress, festival director)

    Links: Juliet DunnMore Juliet Dunn Stories,  Video above courtesy of FARENH

  • Arts in Education: Kari-Lynn Winters (writer, performer, teacher)
  • Emerging Artist: Erica Sherwood (actor, filmmaker)
  • Established Artist: Danny Custodio (photographer)
  • Jury’s Pick: Candice Turner-Smith (orchestra director, consultant)
The community’s creative best, and those that support them, received their due on Sunday, October 25.

While the annual St. Catharines Arts Awards moved to a virtual format this year, there was no shortage of real-world talent and support in those recognized with awards during the online affair.

Aimed at celebrating excellence in all areas of artistic creation, the awards seek not only to recognize artistic talent, but to promote the city’s vibrant and growing arts scene. Awards recognize creators and those that support them through their leadership, financial assistance and volunteer efforts.

“Arts and culture gives us so much, it challenges us to think, grow and join together as a community,” said acting supervisor of Cultural Services Kathleen Powell, adding, “it’s no secret culture in our community has exploded in recent years, it’s evident in the recipients and in the list of truly phenomenal nominees, including those providing support for the arts to thrive and those creating and performing in our community.”

Arts Awards recipients each received a hand-crafted award and $500 to support future projects. The Emerging Artist recipient received $500 and a civic certificate. Arts Awards recipients were selected by a jury comprised of past recipients Ola Kiermacz (2019 Emerging Artist), Derek Knight (2018 Arts in Education), the 2019 Awards co-director, Emily Oriold of the Foster Festival, and awards committee representative Wynne Nicholson presiding.

Links: St. Catharines Culture, More St. Catharines Arts Awards Stories

Previous (Sax Day Videos ft Richard Thornton) - - - Next (Remembrance Day Videos)

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

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Their service is friendly and reliable. In person and remote assistance available.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

TVO's Teenage Head Documentary + Interview Now on YouTube

TVO premiered their fabulous documentary, Picture My Face: The Story of Teenage Head on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. Now, it's available for all to experience on YouTube.

Our mini-review:
More than just a presentation of facts about the legendary Hamilton band, this documentary tells a tale with emotional heft. It explores the legacy and toll the band's taken on it's members. The incredible music and the moving story makes it a great exploration of an unforgettable band.

Here's the documentary:

Video above courtesy of TVO Docs

Guitarist Gord Lewis and bassist Steve Mahon were guest of The Agenda with Steve Paikin before the premiere. Here's the interview:

Video above courtesy of The Agenda with Steve Paikin

Blast from the Past: Teenage Head and other legendary bands @ It's Your Festival

Links: Teenage HeadMore Teenage Head Stories

Previous (Maple Blues Awards Nominees) - - - Next (Sax Day Videos ft Richard Thornton)

Monday, November 2, 2020

GOOD LUCK! 2021 Maple Blues Award Nominees

Local artists are once again well-represented among the nominees for the 2021 Maple Blues Awards. The virtual ceremony will be held on February 1, 2021 and hopefully, our talented musicians will win a few.

Hamilton's Jack de Keyzer is for a whopping five awards. Two of his bandmates (Richard Thornton and Alan Duffy) were nominated for one a piece. 

Links: Jack de KeyzerMore Jack de Keyzer StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jack de Keyzer


Also from the Hammer are Smoke Wagon Blues Band (2 nods) as well as their horn player Gordon Achiele (1). 

Links: Smoke Wagon Blues BandMore Smoke Wagon Blues Band Stories, Video above courtesy of Corey Lueck


Hamilton Blues legend Harrison Kennedy (2) and Jesse O'Brien (1) round out the list from Steeltown.

Links: Harrison Kennedy, More Harrison Kennedy Stories, Video above courtesy of Harrison Kennedy - Topic


The Legendary Downchild Blues Band (with members from the Niagara region and Brantford) is in the running for Entertainer of the Year. Band member Chuck Jackson and Gary Kendall are also up for one apiece.

Links: Downchild, More Downchild Stories, Video above courtesy of Anthony Bernstein


Kitchener's Matt Weidinger was also nominated for New Artist of the Year.

Links: Matt WeidingerMore Matt Weidinger Stories, Video above courtesy of Matt Weidinger - Topic


Crystal Shawanda's Church House Blues album from Waterdown's True North Records was also given the nod for Recording of the Year

Links: Crystal ShawandaMore Crystal Shawanda StoriesVideo above courtesy of Crystal Shawanda


Below is a complete list of nominees. Local artists are bolded.


Electric Act

  • Jack de Keyzer
  • Dawn Tyler Watson and Ben Racine Band
  • JW-Jones
  • Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
  • Sue Foley

Acoustic Act

Male Vocalist

New Artist


Female Vocalist

  • Crystal Shawanda
  • Angel Forrest
  • Dawn Tyler Watson
  • Dione Taylor
  • Samantha Martin



  • Jesse O'Brien
  • David Vest
  • Duane Blackburn
  • Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
  • Michael Kaeshammer

Horn Player


B.B. King International Artist

  • Christone “Kingfish” Ingram
  • Ghost Town Blues Band
  • Larkin Poe
  • Rick Estrin and The Nightcats
  • Victor Wainwright


  • Crystal Shawanda/Dewayne Strobel
  • Colin Linden
  • Dione Taylor
  • Kevin Harvey (Durham County Poets)
  • Paul Reddick

Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)

  • Alec Fraser
  • Brent Parkin
  • Danny Brooks
  • Joe Murphy
  • Ken Whiteley
  • Michael Fonfara
  • Tom Lavin

Harmonica Player

  • Guy Bélanger
  • Harpdog Brown
  • Paul Reddick
  • Roly Platt
  • Steve Marriner


  • Cory Blackburn
  • Dani Nash (Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar)
  • Gary Craig (Colin Linden, Steve Dawson)
  • Lindsay Beaver
  • Matt Sobb (Monkeyjunk)

Blast from the Past: Last Years's Winners

Sunday, November 1, 2020

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From the website: Carpenter Hospice, located in the heart of Burlington, Ontario, provides individuals who are dying, and their families, with high quality palliative care in a home-like setting.

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.