Sunday, January 31, 2021

Kicking Off Black History Month w Videos ft John Ellison, Jackie Washington, Sharon Musgrave, Viola Desmond

Historical Bits

  • John Ellison is the writer of the world-famous song Some Kind of Wonderful which he first recorded as part of the Soul Brothers Six.
  • John moved from the States to Canada. He became a Canadian citizen in 2006.
  • He currently resides in Dundas.

Links: John EllisonMore John Ellison StoriesVideo above courtesy of John Ellison - Topic

Historical Bits:

  • Jackie spent most of his life in Hamilton, Ontario.
  • In 1948, Jackie became the first Canadian black disc jockey when he was hired by Hamilton's CHML
  • Jackie was a major force in the Canadian blues scene for decades.
  • He passed away in 2009.

Links: Jackie WashingtonMore Jackie Washington StoriesVideo above courtesy of Jackie Washington - Topic

Historical Bits:

Previous (Carol Channing & Mario Lanza's 100th Birthday) - - - Next (Play Your Ukulele Day Videos)

Carol Channing & Mario Lanza's 100th Birthday

Today (January 31, 2021) would have been the 100th birthday of Carol Channing and Mario Lanza. Both were famous American actors and musicians.

Carol Channing

Biography highlights from Wikipedia

  • Born (January 31, 1921)
  • Began starring in roles as a musical actress (1949)
  • Won a Tony for Hello Dolly. (1964)
  • Oscar nomination for Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)
  • Performed at the first Superbowl half-time show (1970)
  • Received Lifetime Achievement Tony Award (1995)
  • Passed away (January 15, 2019)

Links: Carol Channing,Videos above courtesy of Sun Record CompanyMore 100th Birthdays

Mario Lanza

Biography highlights from Wikipedia

  • Born (January 31, 1921)
  • Made opera debut (1942)
  • Signed movie contract with MGM (1947)
  • Passed away (October 7, 1959)
  • Movie debut with That Midnight Kiss (1949)

Links: Mario Lanza, Videos above courtesy of Richard BurtonMore 100th Birthdays

Previous (Local & Canadian Blues Music Award Nominees) - - - Next (Black History Month Videos)

Saturday, January 30, 2021

GOOD LUCK! Local & Canadian 2021 Blues Music Awards Nominees - Updated with winners

Below is a complete list of nominees. Winners are also listed.

Canadians are in bold.

Acoustic Blues Artist

Contemporary Blues Female
Acoustic Blues Album


  • Shemekia Copeland WINNER!
  • Rick Estrin 
  • John Németh 
  • Sugaray Rayford 
  • Lil’ Ed Williams 
  • Anthony Geraci and The Boston Blues Allstars 
  • John Németh and The Blue Dreamers 
  • Rick Estrin and The Nightcats WINNER!
  • Southern Avenue 
  • Sugar Ray and The Bluetones 
  • “All My Dues Are Paid” – written by Kathy Murray, Rick Estrin, Frank Bey, Kid Andersen (performed by Frank Bey) 
  • “All Out of Tears” – written by Walter Trout, Marie Trout, and Teeny Tucker (performed by Walter Trout) WINNER!
  • “Blues Comin’ On” – written by Dion DiMucci and Mike Aquilina (performed by Dion Feat. Joe Bonamassa) 
  • “Is It Over” – written by Don Bryant and Scott Bomar (performed by Don Bryant) 
  • “Uncivil War” – written by John Hahn and Will Kimbrough (performed by Shemekia Copeland) 
Best Emerging Artist
  • Hard Workin‘ Man, Andrew Alli 
  • Harlem, King Solomon Hicks WINNER!
  • Here I Come, Jose Ramirez 
  • High Risk Low Reward, Ryan Perry 
  • Peace In Pieces, Betty Fox Band 
Blues Rock Artist
  • Tinsley Ellis 
  • Reverend Peyton 
  • Ana Popovic 
  • Kenny Wayne Shepherd 
  • Mike Zito WINNER!
Blues Rock Album
  • Ain’t Done Yet, Savoy Brown 
  • Ice Cream In Hell, Tinsley Ellis 
  • Mike Zito and Friends – Rock ‘n’ Roll: A Tribute to Chuck Berry, Mike Zito WINNER!
  • Mississippi Suitcase, Peter Parcek 
  • Ordinary Madness, Walter Trout
Contemporary Blues Album
  • Cry Out, Kat Riggins 
  • My Blues Pathway, Kirk Fletcher 
  • Self-Made Man, Larkin Poe 
  • Stronger Than Strong, John Németh 
  • Uncivil War, Shemekia Copeland WINNER!
Soul Blues Male Artist
  • William Bell 
  • Don Bryant 
  • John Németh 
  • Johnny Rawls 
  • Curtis Salgado WINNER!
Soul Blues Album
  • All My Dues Are Paid, Frank Bey 
  • Found! One Soul Singer, Sonny Green 
  • That’s What I Heard, Robert Cray Band WINNER!
  • Where Have All The Soul Men Gone, Johnny Rawls 
  • You Make Me Feel, Don Bryant 
Traditional Blues Female Artist
  • Rory Block WINNER!
  • Rhiannon Giddens 
  • Diunna Greenleaf 
  • Trudy Lynn 
  • Teeny Tucker
Traditional Blues Male Artist
  • Billy Branch 
  • Sugar Ray Norcia 
  • John Primer WINNER!
  • Jontavious Willis 
  • Kim Wilson
Traditional Blues Album
  • 100 Years of Blues, Elvin Bishop and Charlie Musselwhite WINNER!
  • Blueswoman, Nora Jean Wallace 
  • Every Day of Your Life, Jimmy Johnson 
  • Rise Up, Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters 
  • Too Far From the Bar, Sugar Ray & The Bluetones featuring Little Charlie
Contemporary Blues Male Artist
  • Selwyn Birchwood 
  • Chris Cain 
  • Rick Estrin 
  • Christone “Kingfish” Ingram WINNER!
  • J.P. Soars 
  • Thornetta Davis 
  • Ruthie Foster WINNER!
  • John Németh 
  • Sugar Ray Norcia 
  • Sugaray Rayford 
  • Christoffer “Kid” Andersen 
  • Chris Cain 
  • Laura Chavez 
  • Kirk Fletcher 
  • Christone “Kingfish” Ingram WINNER!
  • Willie J. Campbell 
  • Larry Fulcher 
  • Danielle Nicole WINNER!
  • Patrick Rynn 
  • Michael “Mudcat” Ward 
  • Tony Braunagel 
  • June Core 
  • Derrick “D’Mar” Martin 
  • Bernard Purdie 
  • Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith WINNER!
  • Billy Branch 
  • Rick Estrin 
  • Dennis Gruenling 
  • Jason Ricci 
  • Kim Wilson WINNER!
  • Mike Finnigan 
  • Anthony Geraci WINNER!
  • Johnny Iguana 
  • Bruce Katz 
  • Jim Pugh 
  • Mindi Abair 
  • Jimmy Carpenter WINNER!
  • Doug James 
  • Mark “Kaz” Kazanoff 
  • Nancy Wright 

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Many Local Artists Performing Live Weekly Online (incl sample shows)

The lockdown got you down? Need your live music fix. A number of area artists are performing live on a weekly basis online.  If you miss it, you can always catch them later too. Please see our Coming Soon page for more details.

Please tip the performers if you able to help support them.

Below are a few samples of what you can check out on the web.

Tuesdays at 8pm: Lori Yates

Links: Lori YatesMore Lori Yates Stories, Video above courtesy of Lori Yates


Wednesdays at 9pm: Waterstreet Blues Band w Guest

Links: Waterstreet Blues BandMore Waterstreet Stories, Video above courtesy of Waterstreet Blues Band


Fridays at 7pm: David Lum

Links: David LumMore David Lum Stories, Video above courtesy of David Lum - Official YouTube Channel


Fridays at 7:30pm: Mike Lynch

Links: Mike LynchMore Mike Lynch StoriesVideo above courtesy of Mike Lynch

Previous (Janis Joplin's Pearl Turns 50) - - - Next (Dolly Parton's 75th Birthday incl local covers)

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Janis Joplin's 'Pearl' (ft Local Musicians) Turns 50 + Local Covers

Pearl, the final studio album from the unforgettable icon Janis Joplin was released 50 years ago this year. It was released January 11, 1971 - three months after her untimely death.

The legendary singer was backed up on the recording by the Full Tilt Boogie Band, an incredible group that featured area members like Ken Pearson on organ (Woodstock, ON) and Brad Campbell on bass (Milton). Rounding out the gang were Canadians John Till on guitar (Ronnie Hawkins and Janis' previous group, Kozmic Blues Band)and Richard Bell  (Ronnie Hawkinsthe Band). Clark 
Pierson was the American drummer.

Here are a few local acts covering the amazing song from this timeless album.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Fort-Erie Keyboardist Michael Fonfara (of Downchild) Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of the legendary, Fort-Erie born keyboardist Michael Fonfara. We do not have many details but we will will post it here as we know more. Our condolences to this family, friends and fans.

He was a member of such unforgettable bands as the Checkmates, Rhinoceros, Rough TradeElectric Flag, Blackstone, Tycoon, The Lincolns, and most recently Downchild. Michael also worked with Lou Reed on many projects in the 1970's. Other career highlights include many Maple Blues Awards wins and working with the Everly Brothers, Foreigner, plus many more.

Media links
Social media reaction

It is with heavy hearts that we sadly announce the passing of our dear friend and longtime bandmate, Michael Fonfara. He was an incredible musician, a gentle soul and we were honoured to share the stage with him every time we performed. He will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. There will be a celebration of life once we are all safely able to get together.

Gary Kendall (Downchild)

I've heard Donnie Walsh say many times "He's the best musician I've ever worked with".  I echo those words.  Yesterday we lost a brother, a band mate, a co-writer and a dear friend.  His important role away from the music business was as a husband, father and grandfather.  If you met him, you loved him.  A creative genius and a band leader's worst nightmare.   I was very fortunate to share space with him in recording studios, big stages, small stages, vans, cars, planes, hotels and restaurants.  Fonf has left us but we'll continue to play music that he wrote, arranged or just made better by his presence.  Thanks for the memories, see you on the other side. 

Howard Moore (Powder Blues Band)

Musical genius, bandmate, innovator, wild man, loyal friend and sweet sweet soul. From the very first time I worked with him 15 or so years ago, he instantly became one of my biggest supporters and encouragers. It was never a handshake with Fonf, always a hug. We played a ton of gigs together on some huge stages and also tiny clubs, recorded together many times, misbehaved together once in a while and laughed our asses off more times than I can remember, and through it all I was always amazed by his playing, which really was out of this world. No matter his preparation or more often lack thereof, HE was the one who moved the crowd. Always. He was a star and our world is a little dimmer tonight because of this massive loss. 

I love you Fonf. 

God bless you as you continue your journey.

Kat Kings

Fonf was a true genius. Every time I played with him he would amaze me. I would often look at Gary Kendall or Mike Fitzpatrick and they were amazed too.  I would ask guys who played with him a lot more than I did and they said the same thing. You don't see too many musicians who could play like Fonf. 

I only got to know him in the last 10 years or so.  He was always smiling and laughing. He was just a sweet guy. 

He always had time to say hello. When he talked to you he was intense and focused. 

I was so fortunate to get to play and hang out with Mike. His musical gifts will be missed by so many. His sweet personality will be missed even more.

Bob Omar Tunnoch (Fathead)

Fonf's enthusiasm and joy for playing was infectious!! Whether there were 2 people or thousands he always gave 110%. I always looked forward to playing with him when I knew he was on the gig. RIP Fonf love you !! 

Betty Richardson

Videos above courtesy of Jeff Thrasher 

Previous (Hamilton Public Library Concerts on YouTube) - - - Next (Janis Joplin's Pearl Turns 50)

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Hamilton Public Library Has Great Concerts on YouTube

Need some music to perk you up during the pandemic?

The Hamilton Public Library has a collection of fabulous, concerts available on their Noon Hour Concerts Playlist Page.

Here are a few of the highlights:

Videos above courtesy of Hamilton Public Library

Previous (National Bird Day Videos) - - - Next (Michael Fonfara Passes)