Sunday, September 19, 2021

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.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Happy International Country Music Day! Videos by Donny Lee, Elora Taylor, JP Riemens

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Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

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

Snooky Pryor's 100th Birthday

Yesterday (September 15, 2021) would have been American Blues legend Snooky Pryor's 100th birthday. Snooky performed with a number of local artists such as Mel Brown, Gary Kendall, John Lee and many others.

Biography highlights (from Wikipedia)
We asked a number of local artists about working with the legendary Bluesman.

Al Richardson (Mel Brown and the Homewreckers)

Snooky has an old-style approach, where he would drop beats at various places in a song, when he felt it. And he didn’t feel bound to do it in the same places from performance to performance, or take to take. This is very different from jazz-style improvisation which is much more about working within a pretty locked-down structure.

So here we were, just doing everything on ESP, and it went brilliantly. I think people often call it ‘flow’ and that’s exactly what we all had. Everything felt free but at the same time it like it was all inevitable. 

The only sad thing about it is that I’m probably one of the few people my age who got to come up in this traditional, apprenticeship kind of way, with guys like Snooky and (of course) Mel, who was already a generation younger than Snooky. I’m almost certainly one of the last who got to learn that way, and I’m eternally grateful that I did.

Jimmy Boudreau (Western Swing Authority

Andrew Galloway, owner of ElectroFi Records aked me to play on an album with Snooky.  Andrew introduced me to him on the sidewalk outside of the studio in Toronto.  Snooky shook my hand, looked me up and down, felt my bicep and said: 

"Yep.  He'll do!"

Mr. Pryor was a true gentleman.  Morally strong, never touched liquor.  Ever.  Some of my fondest memories in all my years playing drums come from my time with Mel Brown and Snooky Pryor.

Gary Kendall (Downchild)

Being able to meet Snooky Pryor, share his positive approach to life and play his deep blues was an extremely important part of my journey in the world of music. 

Click here for a 3 page story bout Gary's history with Snooky.

John Lee (Mel Brown and the Homewreckers)

Snooky was so much fun to play with.   The live recording we did at 'The Little Bighorn' really says it all.

Links: Kendall Wall Band, More Kendall Wall Stories, Morgan Davis, More Morgan Davis Stories, Video above courtesy of KendallWallBand

Links: Mel BrownMore Mel Brown StoriesVideo above courtesy of ElectroFiRecords

Links: Snooky PryorMore Snooky Pryor StoriesVideo above courtesy of Snooky Pryor - Topic, More 100th Birthdays

Previous (2021 CMAO Award Winners)

Monday, September 13, 2021

CONGRATS! 2021 Country Music Association of Ontario Awards Winners!

The Ancaster Fairgrounds were home to this year's Country Music Association of Ontario Awards ceremony on September 5, 2021.

Below is complete list of winners. Local acts are bolded. 

Sunday, September 12, 2021

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, September 11, 2021

Friday, September 10, 2021

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

John Lennon's Imagine Turns 50 (including local covers)

John Lennon's classic album Imagine was released 50 years ago today (September 9, 2021).

Here are two local covers of the unforgettable title track.

And a song from the man himself

Previous (Back to School Videos) - - - Next (House of Frightenstein Turns 50)

Monday, September 6, 2021

Celebrate Back to School! Videos by Big Trouble Band, Diana Braithwaite & Chris Whiteley, Ace Frehley

Links: Blueswinder (has former members of the Big Trouble Band), More Blueswinder Stories, Video above courtesy of Hamilton Blues Lovers

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 school children. 

Previous (Labour Day Videos) - - - Next (John Lennon's Imagine Turns 50)

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Happy Labour Day! Videos by Stan Rogers, Snooky Pryor & Mel Brown, Ronnie Hawkins

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.

Friday, September 3, 2021

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To enable you to make good housing decisions call us or email us:

St. Catharines Drummer Glen Gratto Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of St. Catharines drummer Glen Gratto. He passed away on August 31, 2021. Our condolences to his family,  friends and fans.

Here is Glen's obituary

Born in St Catharines April 8 1951 – August 31 2021

It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I share the news that the love of my life and best friend passed away peacefully in his sleep at home, as he wished.

Missing Glen more than ever is our daughter Missy (Lisa) & Jeff Phelps (affectionately known as “Phelpsman”). Grandfather “G Man” was the biggest fan of Luc, Nick, Carson, Bella & Walker Phelps.

He will be forever loved and missed by his sister Cory Bissell and her late husband Martin and their children Colin & Sarah, Devon & Casey.

Father of April Gratto-Gibbs (Nick), Jordan & Conner

Glen Gratto

Alex Gratto (Jessica)

Cassandra Gratto (Dalton), William & Alec

Loving son of the late Chester & Pearl Gratto, brother Larry and son-in-law Jeff Gibbs.

On February 9, 1964, Glen was mesmerized with Ringo Starr playing the drums on the Ed Sullivan show and announced “I can do that”. Glen played for The Kidds, Bull Rush, Madcats, Lee Aaron, Burnside Blues Band and Frank Soda just to name a few. You may have seen him in The Big Story of Small Potatoes with bandmates from the glory days.

Locally, Glen played with the Chris Anton Band and of course, The Glen Gratto Band.

Glen admired the musicians he played with, fondly reminisced, told stories and laughed about “the road”. He was a teacher and friend to many.

He loved Jazz, Afro/Cuban, Funk and Country music although “rock straight up” was his niche.

Garage rehearsals and Eller Stock are fond memories.

Glen was an avid, long suffering and forgiving fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. He loved his Yankees just as much.

Hi sweet love “Pawco” will be missing his dad giving him sausage and eggs from the table and snuggling alongside him.

The “crows nest” will never be the same.

As per Glen’s wishes, there will be no service. Put on your favourite music – pour a drink and raise your glass to a life well lived.

Our family is grateful to Sally NP, RN’s Mychalina, Heather and Trevor, PSW Lindsay, Dr. Butera, Dr. Abonowara, Dr. J Roberts, Dr. Blewett and Dr. Lejnieks.

In lieu of flowers, if so desired, memorial donations may be made to The Lincoln County Humane Society.

To plant a tree in memory of Glen Gratto, please visit our Tribute Store.

Social Media Comments 

Jim Casson (Mighty Duck Blues Band, Downchild)

He was an amazing drummer who performed in many Niagara bands, most notably The Mad Cats.  He also recorded with Frank Soda and Lee Aaron.  Glen was our first soundman when the band started at The Duck.  A great guy, always with a smile and a fierce drummer.  Our condolences to his family and friends.

Frank Soda

I remember when I came to Toronto in the mid 70's with Thor,  drummer John Lechasseur (RIP), and Charlie Towers on bass. Glen was playing in a band called Bullrush, along with Brian Gagnon. They headlined a show in St. Catharines, which included Rush and Mahogany Rush. Later he played and recorded with the Madcats, who were on the same record label Quality Records, that I was on. For my 3rd album Saturday Night Getaway, I recruited Glen and Peter Crowley, with Michael Tilka producing. I toured extensively with Glen and Brian,  Doug Raymond and Lorraine Morgan. I will always remember his smile and all the laughs we excellent drummer and friend that I will dearly miss.

Links: MadcatsVideo above courtesy of Bainmillions

Links: Lost Marbles Boogie BandVideo above courtesy of Bruce Andrews

Links: Glen Gratto, Video above courtesy of Doug Raymond

Previous (Our Blogger Lou, Remembers His Grandmother) - - - Next  (Labour Day Videos

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Remembering Maria da Luz Pinto 1921-2020

A message from Lou, our blogger:

Today, September 1, 2021 my beloved maternal grandmother, Maria da Luz Pinto would have turned 100 years old. Unfortunately, she passed away on December 13, 2020 from COVID complications. I miss her every day.

Maria da Luz was born in Portugal and had a hard life in her early years. She lived in poverty, raising five children, a lot of that time on her own. Despite all this, grandma was always one of the happiest people around. I remember her playfulness and how wonderfully fun she was. Grandma is a big part of the man I have become.

I will miss her beautiful smile and her childlike sense of fun.

Previous (Play Music on Your Porch Day Videos) - - - Next (Glen Gratto Passes)

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From their site: Hope for People-Fodivha Inc, is a Canadian Non-Profit Organization partnering with Fodivha Orphanage and School in Thomaseau, Haiti. We work to fund the building of the infrastructure necessary to give children a safe, nurturing environment to live and learn in. Funding also supports a nutritious feeding programme. Currently, 35 orphaned children live at Fodivha and another 300 come to school everyday. It is the only free school in the area, servicing the most marginalized and needy, in this very poor area of Haiti.

100% of your donation to Hope for People – Fodivha goes directly to support the ongoing construction projects at the orphanage and school and to the purchase of food for the children.

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.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: Arts After School Kids (AASK) is a Unique Free not for profit charitable organization that offers an arts based program that develops self esteem and confidence and sparkling potential in youth 11-14 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.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Vote for the 2021 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards (Deadline is Sept 19)

Below is a complete list of music-related nominees. Please click the picture above for the complete listings. 

As a favour, we'd also like to ask you to vote for:

Monday, August 16, 2021

GOOD LUCK! 2021 St. Catharines Arts Awards Nominations

From the City of St. Catharines newsletter:

City announces nominees for the 2021St. Catharines Arts Awards

A diverse group of nominees — shining a light on just how vibrant the city’s arts scene is — are being recognized as part of this fall’s 2021 St. Catharines Arts Awards celebration.

The jury for the event, which annually celebrates the arts community and those who champion it, has made its selection for this year’s nominees. The 17 nominees chosen as finalists range from visual artists to film makers to musicians, and more.

Nominees for the Arts in Education Award, celebrating individuals and groups committed to engaging residents through arts education, include:

Artists in their first 10 years of a creative career will be recognized with the Emerging Artist Award

Nominees include:

Nominees for the Established Artist Award, presented to a professional St. Catharines artist in any discipline who has received critical recognition for excellence in their art practice in St. Catharines and beyond, include:

Nominees for the Making a Difference Award — celebrating entrepreneurs, administrators, organizations and volunteers contributing to the growth of arts and culture — include:

The Patron of the Arts Award, presented to a well-deserving recipient that has made a meaningful contribution to the arts through innovative, transformative, and entrepreneurial partnerships or philanthropic investments, will be announced at a later date.

The 2021 St. Catharines Arts Awards will be presented as a free live-stream event on Sunday, Nov. 21.

Links: St. Catharines CultureMore St. Catharines Arts Awards Stories

Previous (Who's Next 50th Anniversary) - - - Next (Vote for 2021 Hamilton Spectator Readers' Choice Awards)

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Support Local Charities

From their website: Food for Life holds a unique niche among Canadian food relief charities in that we focus on redistributing fresh, nutritious food as opposed to traditional food bank fare such as canned goods. Our clients tell us that they are often not able to afford fresh food and that having access to this healthy food allows them to focus on obtaining other life essentials as they work towards no longer relying on our services.

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 13, 2021

'Who's Next' Album 50th Anniversary featuring Local Covers

On August 14, 1971, the Who released their classic album, Who's Next.  To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the recording, here are a few local covers of songs from the LP.

Links: JamSchoolVideo above courtesy of  JamSchool Videos

Links: John MamoneVideo above courtesy of johnnymo69

And a song from the band itself.

Previous (Friday the 13th Videos) - - - Next (2021 St. Catharines Arts Awards Nominations)

Sunday, August 8, 2021

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: Hamilton Food Share's purpose is to increase our community's capacity to reduce hunger. We do this by supplying much needed food supplies and short-term storage to food banks and hot meal programs. Additionally, our organization establishes community partnerships, donor relations and fundraising activities that support our food recovery operation.

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, August 3, 2021

New Incendiary Album from Hamilton's The Lowdown Dirty Mojos

With track names like Mystic Highway 6, Superstition Blues, Devil Blues, and Lucky Juju Hand, there's certainly a lot of incredible hoodoo in Stone Cold Groovers. Magical music permeates this incendiary sophomore album from Hamilton's The Lowdown Dirty Mojos (featuring Paul Wootton and Stephen Foster, formerly of the Crawlin' Kingsnakes).

You can feel the swamp country boogie Blues haunting every song. The essence of the bayou rises up and gets electrified, creating an unforgettable otherworldly sound that just sucks you right in. 

Pick up this wonderous album through the band's Bandcamp page.

The album can be streamed below.

Previous (Uncommon Instrument Awareness Day Videos by Walk Off the Earth) - - - Next (Cat Day Videos)

Sunday, August 1, 2021

Support Local Charities

Support Local Charities

From their website: Sustainable Hamilton Burlington is a non-profit social enterprise in Ontario, Canada, dedicated to inspiring sustainability leadership in our business organizations for a healthier environment and thriving, prosperous communities.

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.

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