Friday, November 29, 2019

Hamilton Blues Lovers Turns 11 Today!

The Hamilton Blues Lovers is 11 years old today (November 29, 2019).

A word from Lou, our blogger:
With the hustle and bustle of last year's 10th anniversary celebration, it was nice to have a more laid back year of music and fun!. Looking forward to another year of great local music! I'd like to thank my wife Linda for all her hard work and support for the site. I LOVE YOU!

Links: Rodrigo y Gabriela, Video above courtesy of Because Music

Previous (Electric Guitar Videos ft Andrew Aldridge) - - - Next (Marz Garage Season 5 Videos)

Monday, November 25, 2019

GOOD LUCK! Local Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominees + Complete Nominations

Soon, the Canadian Folk world will be showcasing their talent at the 2020 Canadian Folk Music Awards ceremony. A number of local artists recently received nomination and hopefully, they'll be bring home some hardware.

NOTE: The Awards will be streamed online on April 4

Hamilton-born singer/songwriter Ben Caplan is in the running in three categories: English Songwriter of the Year, World Solo Artist of the Year and Producer of the Year

Links: Ben CaplanMore Ben Caplan StoriesVideo above courtesy of Ben Caplan


Steeltown's own Luke Doucet (Whitehorse) is also up for Producer of the Year

Links: WhitehorseMore Whitehorse StoriesVideo above courtesy of Whitehorse


Vineland songstress Ariana Gillis is also up for Contemporary Album of the Year.

Links: Ariana GillisMore Ariana Gillis StoriesVideo above courtesy of Concerts in the Woods


Waterloo's Danny Michel was nominated for Solo Artists of the Year  as well.

Links: Danny MichelMore Danny Michael StoriesVideo above courtesy of Danny Michel


Here's a complete list of nominees.

Contemporary Album
  • Ariana Gillis: The Maze
  • The Small Glories: Assiniboine and The Red
  • Leaf Rapids: Citizen Alien
  • Abigail Lapell: Getaway
  • Jenn Grant: Love, Inevitable
  • The Al Purdy Songbook
  • Lennie Gallant: Time Travel
  • Dave Gunning: Up Against The Sky
English Songwriter(s)
  • Ben Caplan, Christian Barry: Old Stock (Ben Caplan)
  • Lennie Gallant: Time Travel
  • Dave Gunning: Up Against The Sky
  • Kaia Kater: Grenades
  • Abigail Lapell: Getaway
  • Cara Luft, Jd Edwards, Neil Osborne, Catherine Maclellan: Assiniboine and The Red (The Small Glories)
  • Madeleine Roger: Cottonwood
  • Justin Rutledge: Passages
World Solo Artist
  • Ben Caplan: Old Stock
  • Cristian De La Luna: Sabes
  • Quique Escamilla: Encomienda
  • Roberto López: Kaleido Strópico
  • Wesli: Rapadou Kreyol
  • Luke Doucet: The Northern South Vol. 2 (Whitehorse)
  • Ben Caplan: Old Stock
  • Erin Costelo: Grenades (Kaia Kater)
  • Steve Dawson: Halfway Home By Morning (Matt Andersen)
  • Daniel Ledwell: Time Travel (Lennie Gallant)
  • Jory Nash, Chris Stringer: Wilderness Years (Jory Nash)
  • Oliver Schroer Pushing The Boundaries Award / Prix Innovation Musicale  Oliver Schroer
  • Elisapie: The Ballad Of The Runaway Girl
  • Samson Wrote: Pigeon
  • Tri-Continental: Dust Dance
  • Vishtèn: Horizons
Solo Artist
  • Danny Michel: White and Gold
  • Michael Jerome Browne: That's Where It's At
  • Jenn Grant: Love, Inevitable
  • Dave Gunning: Up Against The Sky
  • Sarah Macdougall: All The Hours I Have Left To Tell You Anything
  • Irish Mythen: Little Bones
Traditional Album
  • Old Man Luedecke: Easy Money
  • Vishtèn: Horizons
  • The Slocan Ramblers: Queen City Jubilee
  • Le Vent Du Nord: Territoires
  • Shannon Quinn: Watchmaker
Children’s Album
  • Ginalina: It Takes A Village
  • The Kerplunks: Lullabies For Big Eyes
  • Amos J + Jérôme Fortin: Magical Lullabies
  • Will's Jams: Rocks And Roots
  • Splash'n Boots: You, Me And The Sea
Traditional Singer
  • Rachel Davis: Ashlar (Còig)
  • Joshua Haulli: Aqqut
  • Sophie Lavoie: Portraits
  • Old Man Luedecke: Easy Money
  • Allison Lupton: Words Of Love
Contemporary Singer
  • Matt Andersen: Halfway Home By Morning
  • Jenn Grant: Love, Inevitable
  • Dave Gunning: Up Against The Sky
  • Lydia Persaud: Let Me Show You
  • Andrea Ramolo: Homage
Instrumental Solo Artist
  • Itamar Erez: Mi Alegria
  • Sabin Jacques: Grandes Rencontres (Sabin Jacques & Rachel Aucoin)
  • Graham Lindsey: Tradhead
  • Jon Pilatzke: Amongst Friends
  • Richard Wood: Unbroken
Instrumental Group
  • Emilyn Stam and Filippo Gambetta: Shorelines
  • Mairi Rankin and Eric Wright: The Cabin Sessions
  • Pierre Schryer and Adam Dobres: Mandorla
  • The Fitzgeralds: The Fitzgeralds
  • Toronto Tabla Ensemble: Bhumika
Vocal Group
  • Fortunate Ones: Hold Fast
  • Geneviève Et Alain: De La Rivière À La Mer
  • Musique À Bouches: L'habit De Plumes
  • The Small Glories: Assiniboine and The Red
  • The Sweet Lowdown: Low Clouds In The Morning
  • Haley Richardson and Quinn Bachand: When The Wind Blows High And Clear
  • Oliver The Crow: Oliver The Crow
  • The Slocan Ramblers: Queen City Jubilee
  • The Small Glories: Assiniboine & The Red
  • Vishtèn: Horizons
French Songwriter(s)
  • Bernard Adamus: C'qui Nous Reste Du Texas
  • Jordane Labrie, Clement Desjardins: 12 Jours (Jordane)
  • Jean Leloup: L'étrange Pays
  • Safia Nolin: Dans Le Noir
  • Caroline Savoie: Pourchasser L'aube
Indigenous Songwriter(s)
  • Sugar Plum Croxen, Shelley Hamilton, George Elliott Clarke: Constitution (The Afro-Métis Nation)
  • Jenelle Duval, Danielle Benoit, Stacey Howse: Qama'si (Eastern Owl)
  • Joshua Haulli: Aqqut
  • Diyet Van Lieshout: Diyet & The Love Soldiers
  • Mike Paul: Origine
World Group
  • Al Qahwa: Cairo Moon
  • Ayrad: Zoubida
  • Emilyn Stam & Filippo Gambetta: Shorelines
  • Pierre Schryer & Adam Dobres: Mandorla
  • Toronto Tabla Ensemble: Bhumika
New/Emerging Artist(s)
  • Birds Of Bellwoods: Victoria
  • Geneviève Racette: No Water, No Flowers
  • Gordie Mackeeman And His Rhythm Boys: Dreamland
  • Hook and Nail: Ghosts Of Taylorton
  • Lydia Persaud: Let Me Show You
  • T. Buckley: Miles We Put Behind
  • The Lumber Jills: The Lumber Jills
  • The Unfaithful Servants: The Unfaithful Servants
Young Performer(s)
  • Conway: Conway
  • Nick Earle: Breaking New Ground
  • Joshua Haulli: Aqqut
  • Keltie: Expect Inhibition
  • Jacques Surette: Marche, Marche, Marche
Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

Previous (News Roundup) - - - Next (Electric Guitar Videos ft Andrew Aldridge)

Friday, November 22, 2019

News Roundup (CHCH Videos, Steve Strongman, Lucas Stagg, Treble's Adventures)

Jerry King
Bent Pinky

More Musical Toons

Adventures of Trebleclef, the Music-Loving Monkey

Trebleclef's been a busy monkey

He rocked out to The Matt Weidinger Band performing Van Morrison at the Brantford Polish Hall.


The rockin' continued when he went to see Trickbag w Dave Rave at Frankie's in Brantford


Our little monkey also checked out the recently renovated Locke Street in Hamilton.


Lastly, Treble saw and amazing Lucas Stagg solo dhow at Clifford Brewing Co. in Hamilton.


    Previous (New Famous and Betty CD) - - - Next (Canadian Folk Music Awards Nominations)

    Wednesday, November 20, 2019

    Hamilton's Famous & Betty Create Gritty, Intense Music Together

    New Horizon is the 11th superb album by local Bluesman Famous Framus but it's also the first as a duo with his wife, Betty Bomb. Together they've made a dark, hypnotic and raw disc.

    The duo pack a lot of punch into their incredible sound. Famous' voice just bleeds emotion as the lyrics lead the listeners into the darker themes of heartache, abandonment and pain. His menacing, gritty guitar work accentuates the intensity. Betty's fearsome drumming punctures through the sound to make itself heard. There's also a bit of positivity and hope mixed in, especially in the couples only duet on the album, Blue Betty.

    This unforgettable album can be picked up at their stunning shows or at Dr Disc in Hamilton. It's also available through Apple Music.

    Blast from the Past: Famous' Previous CD

    Links: Famous FramusMore Famous Framus StoriesMore Releases, Videos above courtesy of Famous Framus

    Previous (Hamilton Musicans' Guild Honourees) - - - Next (News Roundup)

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019

    CONGRATS! Catching Up with the Hamilton Musicians Guild Honourees

    It's been a while since we've updated the list of artists that the Hamilton Musicians' Guild have been honouring at their general meetings.

    Here's a quick rundown:

    September 30, 2019

    June 3, 2019
    • Steve Beach (vocals, keys, Trickbag): Life Membership Certificate and Pin
    • Andrew Uranowski (conductor, Concordia Pops Orchestra): AFM Life Membership Certificate and Pin
    • Joey Dimarco (drummer, The Collective R&B):  AFM Life Membership Certificate and Pin

      Video above courtesy of Joey "Pocket" DiMarco

    • Peter MacDonald: Life Membership Certificate and Pin
    • Bob Richardson: Certificate of Live Membership
    • Jon Richardson: 25 Year AFM Membership Pin
    • Diane Kennedy: 25 Year AFM Membership Pin
    November 26, 2019

      Previous (Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards) - - - Next (New Famous and Betty CD)

      Monday, November 18, 2019

      CONGRATS! 2019 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards

      The 2019 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards were recently unveiled. The special supplemental section featured the best that Hammertown has to offer, including our wonderful music community. 

      Here's a list of all the music-related winners.

      D = Diamond (1st place)
      P = Platinum (2nd place)
      G = Gold
      Everything else is in the top ten.

      Local Musician or Band
      • D: Halo
      • P: Blue Tilt Studio / Grant Avenue Studio
      • G: QED Media / BOXO Studio / Catherine North Studios / Studio 410 Sound Productions / Downtown Sound Recording Studios
      A special congrats to one of our sponsors, Picks N Sticks, who won Diamond for Musical Instrument Store.


      Blast from the Past: Last Year's Winners

      Links: Readers' Choice AwardsMore Spec Readers' Choice Awards Stories

      Previous  (Waterloo Region Record Readers Choice Awards) - - - Next (Hamilton Musicans' Guild Honourees)

      Saturday, November 16, 2019

      CONGRATS! Waterloo Region Record Readers Choice Award Winners

      Recently, the Waterloo Region Record tallied up the votes for their 2019 Readers' Choice Awards.

      Here are the music related winners. Click here for the full list.

      Local Entertainment
      Local Musician or Band
      Piano Teacher
      Concert Venue
      Live Entertainment Facility
      Live Jazz Club
      Live Music Bar/Lounge

      Previous (Drumming Day videos ft Danny Lockwood)- - - Next (Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards)

      Wednesday, November 13, 2019

      Crybaby is Resurrected with Remarkable New Album

      It's taken twenty years but Crybaby has been resurrected like a Phoenix and is now blazing a musical trail with reborn energy. Paintings, the incredible debut album was released to much international fanfare in the mid 90s. Sadly, they broke up after only four years together but now they're back in action!

      Hamilton songstress Rae Billing recently revived her critically acclaimed alt-country band, A while back, the reformed group unleashed Still, a remarkable new album that'll help cement its well-deserved legacy as one of the most spectacular country bands on the scene.

      Rae's expressive voice is in full force here, backed by a beautiful, rich sonic landscape. There's a lot for the listener to explore and lose themselves in.

      Along with original members, Rae (guitar, vocals) Steve Koch (guitar) and Lucky Pete Lambert (drums) the gang is now joined by Andrew Aldridge (guitar), Greg Brisco (piano, rhodes, organ) and Scott Bell (bass). James Henry plays on bass on two songs.

      This dazzling album can be added to your collection though their live shows, the band's siteDr. DiscRevolution Records or cdbaby,

      Blast from the Past: Another Crybaby video and more

      Links: CrybabyMore Crybaby Stories, Videos above courtesy of Rae Billing and Crybaby

      Previous (Jackie Washington's 100th Birthday) - - - Next (Drumming Day videos ft Danny Lockwood)

      Tuesday, November 12, 2019

      Jackie Washington's 100th Birthday

      Today (Tuesday, November 12, 2019) Hamilton blues/jazz legend Jackie Washington would have been 100 years old. We here at HBL would like to celebrate this incredible musician.

      Biographical highlights (from Wikipedia)
      Below (and at the top of the page) are paintings created by family friend Casey Parsons.



      A word from Lou, our blogger.
      I had the honour of meeting Jackie Washington while I was volunteering for the Winter Festival of Friends. Back then, I was just getting into Jazz and we had a wonderful conversation about that. We bumped into each other on a few more occasions and he always had a laugh and a smile for me. I'll always treasure my time with him.
      Our blogger Lou (in his babyface days) on the left with Jackie. Pic courtesy of the Spectator's Free Press

      We asked for more comments and stories from the public. We will post more as we get them. Here are a few:

      I remember running the streets downtown with a pretty wild group of young teens in the late 70s - early 80’s. We would often get into minor dust ups with Jackson Square security and or chased around and roughed by a couple of Hamilton Police Officers know as “Starsky and Hutch". There was one man who could tame this pack of punks with a wave of his hand, his soft voice and a song. 
      Jackie Washington was more often than not, on a nice day,  sitting on a Gore park bench with his guitar in hand and he would settle us down with a story or a song or both. I knew him as only Uncle Jack back then as he may have been distantly related to some of the kids because the Washington family was one of the larger ones in town. We all called him Uncle Jack and we treated him with the respect he deserved. 
      Only years later when I became a musician myself and part of the music scene in Hamilton did I put two and two together and realize what a giant of a man Uncle Jack really was!
      Jason R. Stewart  
      He came to my school back in 1987 (when I was in Grade 8). He played the ENTIRE day to small groups of students (in rotation) where he played music and shared humorous, yet informative stories. This happened all those years ago, yet the memories of him playing had a profound effect on this little 14 year old! I was introduced to sounds I had not discovered until that day, and influenced me to create my own songs about life (and with a touch of humour!). It's amazing what moments from childhood stick out more than others. 

      Paul Hill
      I turned 60 in 2006. I was having a birthday party up in Elfrida and Jack de Keyzer and his band was the band I booked for the party. Jackie contacted and asked if he could attend. If course, I said yes! He told me he had never heard Jack play live! He came. Jackie thoroughly enjoyed himself and had a long chat with Jack. 
      Ted Willey
      I have many memories of this great man. Honoured to have worked with him over the years. A joyful spirit that brought happiness to everyone. He is truly missed!
      Eudene Luther
      Remembering him today for his beauty in all its manifestations and, most especially, for his passion for music and the guitar that he passed on to Brian (Griffith). Forever in our hearts. 

      Blast from the Past: Jackie Washington Passes

      Links: Jackie WashingtonMore Jackie Washington StoriesVideos above courtesy of  Bee-Sides RadioMore 100th Birthdays

      Previous (Remembrance Day Videos) - - - Next (New Crybaby CD)

      Saturday, November 9, 2019

      News Roundup (Blaine Sharpe, Concert for Devan, Parachute Club, Sold on Hamilton, more)

      Both are from Andertoons
      More Musical Toons

      Friday, November 8, 2019

      GOOD LUCK! Local Maple Blues Awards Nominees (incl complete nominees list)

      The 2020 Maple Blues Awards nominee list is jam packed with local artists. Hopefully, a number of them will bring home the hardware at the ceremony on February 3, 2020 at Koerner Hall in Toronto.

      You can help them out by voting online  - open from November 1st, 2019 at 12:01am through December 1st, 2019 at 11:59pm. Click here to vote.

      From Hamilton we have both Harrison Kennedy and Steve Strongman vying for Male Vocalist of the YearJack de Keyzer is up for Electric Act of the Year and Guitarist of the Year. Jack's bandmate Richard Thornton is in the running for Horn Player of the Year as is Loretta Hale of the Andre Bisson BandJesse O’Brien is another Steeltown hopeful (Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year). Also of note is the Matt Andersen album - Halfway Home By Morning which was released by Waterdown's True North Records.

      Links: Harrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesVideo above courtesy of Canal Bank Shuflle

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

      Other area nominees include Downchild Blues Band (including remembers from Brantford and Niagara) for Entertainer of the Year as well as group member Gary Kendall for Bassist of the Year Matchedash Parish (featuring Kitchener's Matt Weidinger and local bassman Mark McIntyre) are up for New Artist of the YearTom Bona (from Waterloo band Soulstack) is in the running for drummer of the Year.

      Links: Downchild Blues BandMore Downchild StoriesVideo above courtesy of Downchild Blues Band

      Links: Matchedash Parish, Video above courtesy of Montreal Blues Society


      Other Maple Blues Awards stories
      Here's a complete list of nominees. Local musicians are bolded.

      Electric Act
      New Artist
      Acoustic Act
      Female Vocalist
      International Artist

      Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)
      Harmonica Player