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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Happy National Cartoonists Day!

Local Cartoonists:
Please email us at if you know of any other cartoonists that should be on our list.

Links: More of our CartoonsMore Cartoonist Day Posts

Previous (Independent Blues Award Nominations) - - - Next (Accordion Day Videos)

GOOD LUCK! Independent Blues Award Nominees !VOTE!

Hamilton Blues giants Smoke Wagon Blues Band are up for quite a few Independent Blues Awards this year and so are a number of other incredible Canadian artists. Please give them a hand by clicking here to vote.

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

Contemporary Blues Band

Blues Rock Band
  • Smoke Wagon Blues Band (Hamilton)
  • David Rotundo Band (Toronto)
  • Albert Castiglia  
  • Dennis Jones 
  • Kurt Allen 
  • Catfish 
  • Too Slim and the Tail Draggers 
  • Trevor Sewell 
  • Peter Parcek Band 
  • Mike Zito 
  • Dave Fields 
  • AJ Crawdaddy 
  • Tinsley Ellis 
Music Video
Modern Roots
  • Smoke Wagon Blues Band (Hamilton)
  • Rev Freakchild 
  • Skylar Rogers 
  • The Proven Ones 
  • The Claudettes 
  • Rev Shawn Amos 
  • Lousiana Leroux 
  • Randal Bramblett 
  • Cary Morin 
  • Harper and the Midwest Kind 
  • Brianna Harness 
  • John Fusco 
  • Grannie Duffy 
Traditional Blues Song
  • Smoke Wagon Blues Band - Matapedia River Blues
  • Frank Bey – All My Dues are Paid
  • Kim Wilson – Strollin
  • Kenny Blues Boss Wayne – Just Go Do It
  • Duffy Bishop – I’m Gonna Do What I Want
  • The Jimmys – Hotel Stebbins
  • Catfish Keith – Jumpin' Jack Rabbit
  • JD Taylor – You Got Me Where You Want Me
  • John Tesky/Ash Grunwald – Low Down Dog
  • The Nighthawks – Shame Shame
  • Johnny Burgin – Old School Player
  • Eric Hughes – I Ain’t Whipped Yet
Modern Roots Song
Modern Roots CD
  • Smoke Wagon Blues Band (Hamilton) - The Ballad of Albert Johnson
  • Harper and the Midwest Kind - Rise Up
  • Larkin Poe - Self Made Man
  • The Proven Ones - You Ain't Done
  • Gina Sicilia - Love e Madly
  • Kurt Allen - Wiskey Women and and Trouble
  • Katarina Pejak - Outside Looking In
  • Lloyd Jones - Tennesse Run
  • Rev Shawn Amos - Blue Sky
  • Lousiana Leroux - One of Those Days
  • John Fusco - John the Revalator
  • Randall Bramblett - Pine Needle Fire
  • Cary Morin - Dockside Saints
  • Grainne Duffy - Voodoo Blues
Independent Blues R&B/Soul CD
Independent Blues Acoustic CD
Independent Blues LIVE CD
Independent Blues Traditional CD

Female Artist

  • Crystal Shawanda (Wiikwemkoong, Ontario)
  • Gina Siclia 
  • Rory Block 
  • Ghalia Volt 
  • Whitney Shay 
  • Katarina Pejak 
  • Shaun Murphy 
  • Kat Riggins 
  • Hurricane Ruth 
  • Kirsten Thien 
  • Vanessa Collier 
  • Eliza Neals 
  • Cathy Lemons 
Independent Blues Contemporary CD
Blues Soul Artist
  • JW Jones (Ottawa)
  • Sass Jordan (Montreal)
  • Whitney Shay 
  • The Lucky Losers 
  • Kirk Fletcher 
  • Gerald McClendon 
  • Mick Hayes 
  • Vanessa Collier 
  • Kevin Burt 
  • Devin B Thompson 
  • Chris Thomas King 
  • Mindi Abair

Male Artist

  • Big Harp George
  • Walter Trout 
  • Kenny Blues Boss Wayne 
  • John Nemeth 
  • Johnny Iguana 
  • Kim Wilson 
  • Bob Margolin 
  • Kirk Fletcher 
  • Bobby Rush 
  • Albert Castiglia 
  • Mike Zito 
  • Bernard Allison 

Traditional Blues Band 
  • Bob Margolin 
  • Big Harp George 
  • Frank Bey 
  • Kenny Blues Boss Wayne 
  • Duffy Bishop 
  • Mary Jo Curry 
  • Kim Wilson 
  • The Nighthawks 
  • John Blues Boyd 
  • Johnny Burgin 
  • Eric Hughes Band 
  • Anthony Geraci
New Artist
  • Bywater Call (Toronto)
  • Dione Taylor (Regina)
  • Mary Jo Curry 
  • Johnny and the Mongrels 
  • Avey Grouws Band 
  • Gravel and Grace 
  • Jose Ramirez 
  • Nora Jean Wallace 
  • Mandalyn 
  • Sayed Sabrina 
  • John Tesky & Ash Grunwald
Content Creators
  • Danny Brooks and Lil Deb (Toronto)
  • Larkin Poe  
  • Mindi Abair 
  • Jackie Venson 
  • Rory Block 
  • Samantha Fish 
  • Ronnie Baker Brooks 
  • Joe Bonamassa  
  • Ally Venable 
  • Avey Grouws Band 
  • Damon Fowler 
  • John Primer 
  • Mike Zito
R&B - Soul Song 
Contemporary Blues Song 
Song for the Common Good
  • Davi Rotundo Band (Toronto) – So Much Trouble
  • Dennis Jones – Like Sheep
  • Avey Grouws Band – Rise Up
  • John Pagano Band – Rise Up
  • Kenny Blues Boss Wayne – Don’t Shoot me Down
  • Brianna Harness – Quarantine 
  • Victor Wainwright – America
  • Gravel and Grace – Bottles – Ava Grace
  • Ronnie Earl – Black Lives Matter
  • Mike Zito – What it use to Be
  • David Keller – Land of the Lonely
  • Chris Thomas King – Black Lives Matter
New Artists CD
Gateway Artist
  • Johnny and the Mongrels 
  • Kirtk Fletcher 
  • Mick Hayes 
  • Kevin Burt 
  • Whitney Shay 
  • Ghalia Volt 
  • Mindi Abair 
  • Larkin Poe  
  • Samantha Fish 
  • Vanessa Collier 
  • Mike Zito 
  • Albert Castiglia 
  • Tom Hambridge
  • Jim Gaines
  • Eric Corne
  • Kid Andersen
  • Kenny Neal
  • Mike Zito
  • Tad Benoit
  • Tony Braunagel
  • Luther Dickinson
Blues Rock Song
  • Kurt Allen – Graveyard Blues
  • Chris Bevington – Deep River
  • Peter Parcek – Mississippi Suitcase
  • Alastair Greene – The New World Blues
  • Tinsley Ellis – Foolin Yourself
  • Albert Castiglia – Big Dog
  • Larkin Poe – Holy Ghost Fire
  • Eric Johanson – Down to the Bottom
  • Dave Fields – Force of Will
  • Hurricane Ruth – Good Life
  • AJ Crawdaddy – Big Hurt
  • Walter Trout – Ordinary Madness
Independent Blues Rock CD
  • Wily Bo Walker - Ain't No Man a Good Man
  • Dave Fields - Force of Will
  • Dennis Jones - Soft Hard and Loud
  • Peter Parcek - Mississippi Suitcase
  • Tinsley Ellis - Ice Cream in Hell
  • Alastair Greene - The New World Blues
  • Hurricane Ruth - Good Life
  • AJ Crawdaddy - Steppin Out
  • Too Slim and the Taildraggers - The Remedy
  • Eric Johanson - Below Sea Level
  • Eliza Neals - Black Crow Moan
  • Mike Zito - Quarantine Blues
  • Walter Trout - Ordinary Madness

Previous (Phil Naro Passes) - - - Next (National Cartoonists Day)

Monday, May 3, 2021

Phil Naro, Rock Superstar Who Was Part of Hamilton's Sarasin, Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of rock superstar Phil Naro. He died on May 3, 2021 after a brave battle with cancer.

Phil was an international rock star. Born in New York, he played in the band Talas with legendary bassist Billy Sheehan (Mr. Big, David Lee Roth) and sang on KISS drummer Peter Criss' solo album Cat #1. He moved to Toronto and played as a solo performer as well as numerous bands such as DDrive, Zeppelin tribute Ozone Baby, and Hamilton's Sarasin (he recorded the album, The Last Word with them).

A message from Lou, our blogger.
"I've been a fan of Phil's ever since I got a cassette of the band Talas out of the library. I noticed how much better the second side was and realized that was because Phil was the singer on those tracks. I've followed his career ever since and was happy when I found out he was now Canadian and hanging out next door in T.O. I managed to catch him live as a member of Sarasin during their CD release. He was absolutely incredible."

Media Stories 

Social media reaction 

Billy Sheehan 

Phil Naro. One of the finest human beings I have ever known. I’m deeply saddened to report his passing. He fought a valiant battle till the end, and inspired all who knew him to stay positive and keep going against all odds. 

God bless you, Phil. Rest in peace dear friend.

Neal Burstyn

Phil Naro (as most of you know) was not only one of the most incredible vocalists but also one of the sweetest and most gentle people I have ever met. 

My most sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and I'm honoured to have been a friend of his. 

David Barrett

Phil wouldn’t get through a set in a pub without calling me up to play Yes or McCartney, who else can sing those songs in full voice? We had some great times with Druckfarben, but the  highlight and my fondest memory of Phil was playing Detroit Rock City at the Phoenix in full Kiss make up and Dressed To Kill suits, he’d do his best Paul Stanley impersonation...”Listen....!”  and we’d crack up and he’d do it again! I’d always tell him he was my favourite singer and Phil would reply with some gracious comment. My condolences to his many band members and musical collaborators, friends and family. 

Links: Phil Naro, More Phil Naro Stories, Videos above courtesy of Phil Naro - Topic

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