Friday, November 29, 2013


A few words from Lou, our esteemed Blogger:

On November 29, 2008 I put an ad online to start a new organization called the Hamilton Blues Lovers.  For five years I've been on a wonderful musical journey that has changed my life forever. 

At first, I was just an occasional local music fan venturing out once in a blue moon.  I spent three years dealing with health issues (both my own and my family's).  This wake up call made me realize I should be enjoying every minute of life!

My interest in local music turned into a passion but there was still a stumbling block.  Very few people I knew realized just how much amazing talent was in their own community.  I would end up going to shows alone and being a shy person by nature, I didn't interact much with other fans.

The Hamilton Blues Lovers was created as a way to break me out of my shell and find like-minded music devotees.  I placed the ad online and the HBL was born.

This has been a life-changing personal journey for me.  It is through it that I learned how to enjoy life more.  I was also extremely lucky to meet Linda, the love of my life, as part of the social group.  She makes music that much sweeter!

I'd like to thank all the new friends I've made throughout these past five years.  To all the musicians: keep up all the good work.  I look forward to many more years of supporting the local scene!

To help celebrate five years of incredible local music, I'd like to invite everyone to Rolly Rocket's on 470 King St W, to join in the fun with a musical Open Stage on December 1, 2013 at 7pm. Both musicians and fans are encouraged to pop in and enjoy!

Video courtesy of Neil Cheeseburger

Previous (New Michael Vallely CD) - - - Next (Videos from Locke Street Fest w Uncorked, Mike Vallely, Banned From Heaven, and B.O.B.)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

New Michael Vallely CD: Circus Songs
If you prefer variety in your music, then Circus Songs, the incredible latest disc from local singer/songwriter Michael Vallely is for you.  Recently nominated for a Hamilton Music Award, the album deftly explores a lot of musical territory.

Though always grounded in the folk/roots tradition, the songs range from pop, Celtic, Country, a touch of Reggae and even a little bit of Rap.  Michael handles it all with distinctive vocals, outstanding songwriting and a wonderfully twisted sense of humour.

Joining him on this unique musical venture are a few amazing local talents such as Tomi Swick, Andrea Unger, Randall Hill, Danny Lockwood, Amy King, Bob Doidge, Colin Lapsley, and Sahra Featherstone

You can pick up the CD at any of his live show or download it through iTunes.

Video below courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers.

Links: More Michael Vallely StoriesMore CD Releases

Previous (Videos: Jerome Godboo & Gonor Gains@RBG) - - - Next (Hamilton Blues Lovers Turns 5)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Hell County Debut CD
The self titled debut CD from local power trio, Hell County is not for the feint of heart.  This is stunning, raw, super-heavy rock with a blues soul.

The powerful, gritty voice and infectious, loud guitar workouts of Wayne Janus set the stage for the whole disc. Tony "Rush" Wachnuik (bass) and Robin Houston (drums) meet him blow for blow as they create a shack shaking sound guaranteed to wake the neighbours.

This ain't just head bangin' music either.  There's enough boogie infused in here to make you shake your booty as well as your head.

If you think you can handle it, you can pick up a CD at one of the band's (or Wayne's solo) live shows.  It can also be downloaded through cdbaby or iTunes.

Video below courtesy of Hell County's YouTube page.

Blast from the Past: Videos - Hell County and others play the Locke Street Fest

Links: Hell County, More Wayne Janus StoriesMore CD Releases

Previous (Videos: Lori Yates@Pine Street Gardens) - - - Next (Videos: Jerome Godboo & Gonor Gains@RBG)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

New Harrison Kennedy CD: Soulscape
There's a good reason area Bluesman Harrison Kennedy's latest CD, Soulscape (from Electro-Fi Records) recently helped him win four Hamilton Music Awards: It's just that good!

With this astounding album, Harrison has successfully fused his soulful R&B sound with the country Blues.  This is Mississippi meets Motown!

The legendary musician works hard on this disc.  Not only does his dynamic voice sound as great as ever but he also deftly handles banjo, mandolin, harmonica, spoons, fife, percussion and more.

With Keith 'Happy' Lindsay on keys and Alec Fraser on percussion, the band is up to the task of helping Harrison fulfill this unique sound.  Justin Dunlop ably lends his bass and guitar talents to one track as well.

You can pick up this wonderful CD at his live shows, Picks N Sticks, or though the Electro-Fi website.  It can also be downloaded through eMusic or iTunes.

Video below courtesy of RandallStaffordCook

Blast from the Past: Harrison Kennedy CD-Shame the Devil

Links: Harrison Kennedy, More Harrison Kennedy Stories, More CD Releases

Previous (Videos: Judi Rideout, Cindy Dell and Duane Rutter@Pine Street Gardens) - - - Next (News Roundup w Duane Rutter, Miles Davis Movie, Searchers, Adam Ostrosser)

Monday, November 18, 2013

2013 Hamilton Music Award Winners

The 2013 Hamilton  Music Awards were handed out on Saturday, November 16 (Industry) and Sunday, November 17 (main).  As always, it was an incredible celebration of the best music this city has to offer.  There was amazing music throughout the Hammer!

The big winners were Harrison Kennedy, who took home four trophies as well as a lifetime achievement award and hard rock band Monster Truck, who won seven awards.

Click here for the Spectator story

Here's a sampling of the winners!

Rising Star Winner: Ash to Ember

Industry Awards
  • Artist Website:
  • Video of the Year: Saint Alvia - Mother’s Day

    Links: Saint Alvia, Video courtesy of Saint Alvia
  • Best Album Artwork: Lee Harvey Osmond (The Folk Sinner)
  • Record Label: Sonic Unyon Recording Company (Terra Lightfoot, Young Rival, Threat Signal)
  • Music Retailer: Dr. Disc
  • Major Concert Venue: Gage Park
  • Live Club of the Year: This Ain’t Hollywood
  • Musical Event (People’s Choice): Supercrawl
  • Theatre: Pearl Company
  • Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year: Jesse O’Brien (Smoke Wagon Blues Band/Andre Bisson)
  • Special Instrumentalist: Yiannis Kapoulas
  • Guitarist: Jeremy Widerman (Monster Truck)
  • Drummer: Steve Kiely (Monster Truck)
  • Bassist: Jon Harvey (Monster Truck)
  • Local Group (People’s Choice): John Mamone
  • Canadian Recording (People’s Choice): Monster Truck 
Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Click here for more about the Hamilton Music Awards 

Previous (New Andre Bisson CD)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

New Andre Bisson CD: Bad Scene
Local bluesman Andre Bisson's latest CD, Bad Scene recently earned 7 Hamilton Music Awards - and with good reason!

Andre's usual tasty blend of blues, swing, R&B, and soul have received an extra shot of energy.  His voice is more powerful than ever and the hot band is right there with him.

The albums packed with incedible numbers: the hard drivin' Soul Survivor, the cool boogie of the title track, straight ahead blues rock (Wasting Time), slow soulful numbers (Ever Since You Went Away) and an excellent cover of Jimi Hendrix's Remember.

Rounding out this killer main band is Loretta Hale (Trumpet), Brad Cheeseman (Bass), Matt Burns (Drums/Tambourine) and Francis Smith (Sax).  Special guests include Jesse O'Brien, Darcy Hepner, Andrew King, Kevin Matthews.

This amazing album can be downloaded through  and iTunes and cdbaby (where you can also get a CD rip of it).

Videos below courtesy of Andre's YouTube Page

Blast from the Past: Andre Bisson CD-Till the Real Thing Comes Along

Links: Andre Bisson, More Andre Bisson stories, More CD Releases

Previous (News Roundup w Big Johnny Blue, Downbeat Reader's Poll, Scotty Campbell) - - - Next (2013 Hamilton Music Award Winners)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

News Roundup (Big Johnny Blue, Downbeat Reader's Poll, Scotty Campbell)



Downbeat Magazine Reader's Poll results 

Hall of Fame: Pat Metheny
Jazz Artist: Wayne Shorter
Jazz Album: Wayne Shorter Quartet, Without A Net
Historical Album: Miles Davis Quintet, Live In Europe 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 2
Jazz Group: Wayne Shorter Quartet
Big Band: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra
Trumpet: Wynton Marsalis
Trombone: Trombone Shorty
Soprano Saxophone: Wayne Shorter
Alto Saxophone: Kenny Garrett
Tenor Saxophone: Sonny Rollins
Baritone Saxophone: Gary Smulyan
Clarinet: Anat Cohen
Flute: Hubert Laws
Piano: Keith Jarrett
Keyboard: Herbie Hancock
Organ: Joey DeFrancesco
Guitar: Pat Metheny
Bass: Christian McBride
Electric Bass: Stanley Clarke
Violin: Regina Carter
Drums: Jack DeJohnette
Vibes: Gary Burton
Percussion: Poncho Sanchez
Miscellaneous Instrument: Béla Fleck (banjo)
Female Vocalist: Diana Krall
Male Vocalist: Kurt Elling
Composer: Wayne Shorter
Arranger: Maria Schneider
Record Label: Blue Note
Blues Artist or Group: B.B. King
Blues Album: Dr. John, Locked Down
Beyond Artist or Group: Robert Glasper Experiment
Beyond Album: Donald Fagen, Sunken Condos 


Links: Wayne Shorter, Video courtesy of Tadeus Jazz

Funny/Weird Stuff

Blasts from the Past

Featured Video

Links: Scotty Campbell, Video courtesy of EllePreece

Previous (Canadian Folk Music Award Winners) - - - Next (New Andre Bisson CD)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

2013 Canadian Folk Music Award Winners

On November 10, 2013 in Calgary there was a wonderful celebration of the great roots music this country has to offer.  The Canadian Folk Music Awards were handed out to some very deserving musicians.

The big winners were the Good Lovelies and Jaron Freeman-Fox with two awards each. Congratulations to everyone!

Links: Good Lovelies, More Good Lovelies Stories, Video courtesy of the Good Lovelies

Links: Jaron Freeman-Fox, More Jaron Freeman-Fox Stories, Video courtesy of Humple Empire

Here is a complete list of winners.
Click here for about the Folk Awards

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Previous (News Roundup w Pete Van Dyk, Azalea, Mike Lynch, Bob Bryden) - - - Next (Remembrance Day Videos) - - - Next (News Roundup w Big Johnny Blue, Downbeat Reader's Poll, Scotty Campbell)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

News Roundup (Spec Awards, Blues Blast Awards, Tom Wilson, Lou Reed, Krickets)


Spectator's Readers' Choice Awards

All lists are Platinum, Gold, Silver
  • Festival: Super Crawl, Winona Peach Festival, Locke Street Festival
  • Live Entertainment Facility: Hamilton Place, Copps Coliseum, Theatre Aquarius
  • Concert Venue: Copps Coliseum, Hamilton Place, This Ain't Hollywood
  • Live Jazz Club: Augusta House, Cat'N'Fiddle, Stonewalls 
  • Live Music Bar/Lounge: Casbah, Slainte, Stonewalls
  • Music School: Academy of Performing Arts, Suzuki School of Music, Picks & Sticks 
  • Recording Studio: Grant Avenue, Hive, Sound Cave
  • Music Instrument Store: Long & McQuade, Mountain Music, Payne Music
  • Record/CD Store: Cheapies, Beat Goes On, Dr. Disc 
  • Local Artists: Julia Veenstra, Kathryn Smith, Tom Wilson 



 Blues Blast Award Winners
  • Contemporary Blues Album: Shaun Murphy – Ask For The Moon
  • Traditional Blues Album: The Cash Box Kings – Black Toppin'
  • Blues Rock Album: Albert Castiglia – Living The Dream
  • Soul Blues Album: Curtis Salgado – Soul Shot
  • New Artist Debut Release: Southern Hospitality – Easy Livin'
  • Song of the Year: Cee Cee James & Rob "Slideboy" Andrews – "I Got A Right To Sing The Blues"
  • Female Blues Artist of the Year: Shaun Murphy
  • Male Blues Artist of the Year: Doug MacLeod
  • Blues Band of the Year: Tedeschi Trucks Band
  • Sean Costello Rising Star Award: Doug Deming

Blasts from the Past

Featured Videos

Links: Rick and the Krickets, More Rick and the Krickets Stories, Video courtesy of SimVid2

Links: Lou Reed, More Lou Reed Stories, Video courtesy of Raufschunaiden

Previous (New Daddy Long Legs CD) - - - Next (Videos: Festival of Friends Workshop w/Sarah Beatty, Liam Titcomb and Brent Titcomb)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

New Daddy Long Legs CD: The Devil's in the Details
With tons of Boogie Blues and hard drinkin' songs, the latest disc from Waterloo's Daddy Long Legs, Devil's in the Details (from Busted Flat Records) is the perfect musical party platter.

This is no-nonsense, rattle the roof, electric blues rock meant to get ya dancin'.  Blazing guitars, fiery harp playing and dynamic vocals are the order of the day here.

There are also a few wonderful detours such as the acoustic Dug My Own Grave, Lonely (a beautiful ballad) and a bit of cool zydeco on Borrowed Time.

This rockin' CD is available at their explosive live shows and through the Busted Flat website.  It can also be downloaded  through Busted Flat and iTunes.

Video below courtesy of Dave Sloan

Video below courtesy of Sound Distillery

Links: Daddy Long Legs, More Daddy Long Legs Stories, More CD Releases

Previous (Videos: Workshop@Festival of Friends w D'arcy Wickham, Steve Sinnicks, Darrelle London, David Knopfler, Ken Whiteley) - - - Next (News Roundup w Tom Wilson, Spec Readers' Choice Awards, Lou Reed, Blues Blast Awards, Rick and the Krickets, more)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Local Acts Nominated for 2014 Maple Blues Awards
Once again, our talented local musicans were honoured with quite a few Maple Blues Award nominations.

Hopefully, some of them will be receieving the kudos on the 17th annual show (run by the Toronto Blues Society) on January 10, 2014.  GOOD LUCK!

Steve Strongman, Harrison Kennedy, and Soulstack garnered two nods each: Strongman for Entertainer & Guitarist; Harrison for Acoustic Act & Male Vocalist; Soulstack for Electric act &  Drummer (Tom Bona).

Other area nominees include: Dave King (Drummer) and Brant Parker Blues Band (New Artist/Group).

Links: Steve Strongman, More Steve Strongman stories,Video courtesy of Urban Hero Magazine

Links: Harrison Kennedy, More Harrison Kennedy Stories, Video courtesy of StellaBlu477

Links: Soulstack, More Soulstack Stories, Video courtesy of Jon Knight

Links: Brant Parker Blues Band, More Brant Parker Stories, Video courtesy of Daragent2
The largest number of nominations went to Ottawa's MonkeyJunk who were listed in six categories.

Here is the complete list of the 17th Annual Maple Blues Awards nominees:


The 24th Street Wailers
Shakura S'Aida
Steve Strongman
The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer

Electric Act
The 24th Street Wailers
Bill Durst
David Gogo

Acoustic Act
Brandon Isaak
Dawn Tyler Watson and Paul Deslauriers
Harrison Kennedy
Little Miss Higgins
Michael Jerome Browne

Male Vocalist
Bob Walsh
Charlie A'Court
Donald Ray Johnson
Harrison Kennedy
Jim Byrnes

Female Vocalist
Angel Forrest
Dawn Tyler Watson
Layla Zoe
Shakura S'Aida
Treasa Levasseur

New Artist or Group
Brant Parker Blues Band    
Declan O'Donovan
Denis Viel
James “Buddy” Rogers
The Mackenzie Blues Band                                         

MonkeyJunk - All Frequencies
David Vest - East Meets Vest (co-produced by Gary Kendall)
Julian Fauth - Everybody Ought To Treat A Stranger Right
Angel Forrest - Mother Tongue Blues
Ben Racine Band - One of A Kind

B.B. King International Artist
James Cotton
Dr. John
Mavis Staples
Tedeschi Trucks Band
Trampled Under Foot

David Gogo
Kevin Breit
Paul Deslauriers
Steve Strongman
Tony D (MonkeyJunk)

Carlos Del Junco
David Rotundo
Guy Belanger
Shawn Hall (The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer)
Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk)

David Vest
Graham Guest
Julian Fauth
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne
Lance Anderson

Al Lerman  (Fathead)
Chris Whiteley
Frank Thiffault  (Ben Racine)
Jon Wong (The 24th Street Wailers)
Shirley Jackson

Bucky Berger
Chris Nordquist
Dave King (Steve Strongman)
Sam Harrisson (Paul Deslauriers)
Tom Bona (Soulstack)

Alec Fraser
Gary Kendall 
Keith Picot (Brandon Isaak)
Omar Tunnoch (Fathead)
Russell Jackson

Brandon Isaak
Charlie A'Court
Harrison Kennedy
Julian Fauth

Blues With A Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement)
Alec Fraser
Michael Jerome Browne
Danny Brooks
Ellen McIlwaine
Joe Murphy
Ken Whiteley
Michael Fonfara
Stephen Barry
Tom Lavin
Brent Parkin
Bob Walsh
Jim Zeller
Nanette Workman
Theresa Malenfant
John Dickie

Blast from the Past:  Last Year's Maple Blues Award Winners

Click here for more about the Maple Blues Awards

Previous (Bluesman Al Carter Passes) - - - Next (Videos: Workshop@Festival of Friends w D'arcy Wickham, Steve Sinnicks, Darrelle London, David Knopfler, Ken Whiteley)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Veteran Bluesman Al Carter Passes
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of veteran Waterloo bluesman Al Carter.  He died the morning of Thursday, October 24th when he was struck by a pick up truck.  Our heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Carter (born Alonzo Carrington) played with many area musicians including the late Mel Brown and Miss Angel.

Click here for the Waterloo Record story.

Videos below courtesy of Almisr

Previous (Hamilton Music Award Nominations) - - - Next (Maple Blues Award Nominations)

Friday, November 1, 2013

Hamilton Music Awards 2013 Nominations Announced

On Wednesday, October 30, 2013, the nominees for the latest edition of the Hamilton Music Awards were announced.   On November 17, there will a celebration of our amazing music scene at when the awards are given out.

Local blues legend Harrison Kennedy leads the pack with 5 nominations (Male Artist, Blues Recording, Songwriter, Male Vocalist, Record) and a lifetime achievement award. Ian Thomas, Bud Roach and Jessy Lanza landed four nods each.  Diana Panton, Ruth Sutherland and Tom Wilson (aka Lee Harvey Osmond) all have three nominations to their names

Click here for the results.

Click here for the Spectator story.

You can click here to see a complete list of nominees or check the highlights below:

Blues Recording of the Year
Andre Bisson – Bad Scene
Jack de KeyzerElectric Love
Sonny Del-Rio – Blow Your Horn Man
Jerry Johnson – Barber’s Chair
Harrison Kennedy – Soulscape
Smoke Wagon Blues BandLive In Hamilton

Folk/Traditional Recording of the Year
The AcousticsErie Long
Dawn and MarraTeaspoons and Tablespoons
Poor AngusGathering
Timid, The Brave – Timid, The Brave
Michael Vallely – Circus Songs

Roots Recording of the Year
The CaretakersLove, War + Propaganda
Rob GreenSoul Dancing
Andy GriffithsMind On Other Things
Lee Harvey OsmondThe Folk Sinner
WhitehorseThe Road to Massey Hall

Alt/Country Recording of the Year
1220 Blast – Home
The Barn Katz – Roadkill Grill
Tia McGraffBreak These Chains
Gillian Nicola & the Radio Interference – Chasing the Wind
JP Riemens & the Fabulous BarfliesNo Filter

Adult Alternative Recording of the Year
Buckshot Bebee & the Secret Boyfriends – Merchants of Youth
Cowlick – Night Vision
Killin Time BandOne Set To Freedom
Meme – Meme
Marcio Novelli – It’s Not An Excuse, It’s A Reason
Perennials – This Is Tomorrow

Adult Contemporary Recording of the Year
Garth Baker – That Could Be Everything
Jamie Barnes – Coming Home
Paul FedericiNow And Then
Ghosts of MemphisThe Devil and the Details
Dave RaveMemphis Midnight
Ian ThomasLittle Dreams

Ethnic/World Recording of the Year
Yiannis Kapoulas – Mystic Journey
Loril Shannik – The Vagabond Harp
Ruth Sutherland – A Canadian Christmas
Steel City Rovers – Steel City Rovers
John Gora and Gorale – Butterfly

Jazz Recording of the Year
Brad Cheeseman Group
George Rose Big Band
Jimmy Stahl Big Band
Robin Lee
Diana Panton

Female Artist of the Year
Buckshot Bebee
Jessy Lanza
Diana Panton
Rosanna Riverso
Ruth Sutherland

Male Artist of the Year
Jack de Keyzer
Harrison Kennedy
Dave Rave
JP Riemens
Bud Roach
Ian Thomas

New Artist/Group of the Year
Engine Empire
Jessy Lanza
Gillian Nicola & the Radio Interference
Two Piece Extra Spicy

Mohawk College Artist Lifetime Achievement Award
Harrison Kennedy

Instrumental Recording of the Year
Brad Cheeseman Group – Brad Cheesman Group
Yiannis Kapoulas – Mystic Journey
Loril Shannik – The Vagabond Harp
George Rose Big Band – Echoes of Legends

Songwriter of the Year
Harrison Kennedy
Dawn Larsh (Dawn and Marra)
Ian Thomas
Walk Off The Earth
Tom Wilson (Lee Harvey Osmond)

Female Vocalist of the Year
Sarah Blackwood (Walk Off The Earth)
Melissa McClelland (Whitehorse)
Diana Panton
Rosanna Riverso
Ruth Sutherland

Male Vocalist of the Year
Jon Harvey (Monster Truck)
Harrison Kennedy
Bud Roach
Ian Thomas
Tom Wilson

Record of the Year
Harrison Kennedy – Soulscape
Jessy Lanza – Pull My Hair Back
Lee Harvey OsmondThe Folk Sinner
Monster Truck - Furiosity
Walk Off the Earth – R.E.V.O.

Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Click here for more about the Hamilton Music Awards

Previous (Halloween Videos) - - - Next (Bluesman Al Carter Passes)