Sunday, May 30, 2021

GOOD LUCK! First Annual Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Award Nominees

Nominees for the the first ever Summer Solstice Indigenous Music Awards have been unveiled and quite a few local artists are on the list. Hopefully, they'll be honoured at the online ceremony on June 12, 2021.

From the website: 

The SSIMAs will present awards representing a variety of music genres as well as awards for cultural contribution, significance, legacy and social voice. The award show itself will be two hours in length including the presentation of awards to the winners, as well as live performances from finalists throughout the evening.

Below is a complete list of nominees. Local acts are bolded.

Live Musical Performance

Artistic Video

Country Album

Hand Drum-Fiddle-Instrumental Album

International Indigenous Artist-Group Recording 

Inuit Artist-Group

Metis Artist-Group

Music In The Arts

Pop-Alternative-Rock Album

Pow Wow Traditional-Contemporary Album 

Radio Song Single

Rap-Hip Hop-Electronica Album 

Youth Leadership In Music

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Saturday, May 29, 2021

2021 SOCAN Award Winners

On May 27, 2021 the winners of the 32nd SOCAN Music Awards were announced.

A number of visionaries received special awards (including a few local people). Click here for those.

Here's a complete list. Local artists are bolded.

Viral Song
Main Awards

International Television Series Music

Achievement in Made-For-TV Movie Music
Links: SOCAN AwardsMore SOCAN Award Stories

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Friday, May 28, 2021

GOOD LUCK! 2021 Hamilton Arts Awards Short List

From the Hamilton Arts Awards website:

Congratulations to the shortlisted 2021Arts Awards nominees! These remarkable local artists, arts collectives, arts community leaders and volunteers have been named to the 2021 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Short List in three categories:

Lifetime Achievement Award: Recognizes those who have contributed substantially to the artistic vitality of the city over the course of a career

Arts Champion Award: Honours the work of arts sector volunteers, advocates, or board members who are essential in supporting success in the arts community.

Creator Award: Conferred to individual artists and artistic collectives (including bands) working in any artistic discipline and at any career level.

A panel of 45 local artists and arts professionals evaluated 122 public nominations for the 2021 Arts Awards, shortlisting 37 nominees to move forward for final adjudication for an award. 

Award recipients in all categories will be announced via an online presentation during Hamilton Arts Week (June 3 to 12, 2021). 

Here's the complete short list. Music-related nominees are bolded.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Arts Champion

Creator Awards

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Thursday, May 27, 2021

Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival Founder Tim Sinnett Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Tim Sinnett, the founder of Thorold's Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival. He passed away on May 24, 2021. Our condolences to his family and friends.

Click here for the Thorold Today story

Here is a video tribute from the festival:

Click here if you can't see the video.

Social Media Reaction

Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival

Blues fans in Thorold and beyond are deeply saddened and shocked after hearing we've lost the man behind the Canal Bank Shuffle and Blues on the Battlefield. We received word this morning that the artistic director and driving force behind these events, and many more, Tim Sinnett, passed away suddenly last evening in hospital. We ask that family members are not disturbed at this difficult time.

Al Lerman

This is very sad news. Sincere condolences to Lynne and Tim's family. Oddly enough, I put on my Canal Bank Shuffle T-shirt when I got up today and thought to give Tim a call. Then I saw this post... We would occasionally call just to catch up. Tim was one of my fave music people to deal with. A friendly soul who will be missed for sure. He was very generous in giving Fathead and my own solo show many high profile slots at his festival over the years. He also arranged for Fathead to go to Memphis for the IBCs many years ago. Tim & Lynne were frequent patrons of all the guest spots in the Niagara region. Tim was so supportive of so many musicians!!! I know he will be missed by many. Thank you for everything Tim!!!!

Jack de Keyzer

So sorry to hear this very sad news. Tim was one of the best guys I ever had the pleasure of working with. One of the most supportive, he helped so many blues artists. He was also one of the few that integrated US and Canadian musicians in the Canal Bank Festival. A real solid guy and class act. Condolences to his family, legions of friends and all the musicians who worked with him. RIP Tim Sinnett.

Brant Parker

Very sad and shocking news , Tim has always been such a support and great friend to me and hundreds of other blues musicians all over the world . He was truly the mover and shaker in Southern Ontario blues scene . My deepest heartfelt condolences to Tim's family and many friends . 

A word from Lou, our blogger

I got to meet Tim at the last Blues Shuffle and he was a very friendly and knowledgeable about the world and Canadian Blues scene. 

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Local Musician, Teacher, Store Owner Bob Kirkpatrick Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of bassist, artist, teacher and business owner, Bob Kirkpatrick. The former Hamiltonian and current Oakville resident passed away on May 26, 2021. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Social Media Reaction

Andrew Kirkpatrick (son)

My father Bob Kirkpatrick passed away this morning. Many of you knew him from the stores he used to own. Music was his passion and he loved to share that with with world. Although sometimes stubborn, he touched many lives for the better. There was so much more I wish I got to experience and see with you. I love you dad ❤️ I wish we got more time together.

Carl Jennings (Freedom Train)

He was my first bass teacher when I was 12.

He always kept in touch and showed an interest in everything I did since my early teen years.

In my late twenties, I rented the basement of his music store in Burlington, where I operated my first recording studio. 

Bob was my "landlord" for 8 years, and he was helpful, generous, and supportive the whole time.

He has helped, hired, mentored and loved MANY local musicians ever since I've known him.

Thank you for all that you did for me Bob!

Keith Richards (local musician)

It is with a heavy and broken heart that I have to say goodbye to my good friend, former bandmate and superb human being in Mr. Bob Kirkpatrick .... or as I called him " Rock Bobster! Along side our drummer and vocalist George Kaloxilos , Bob would bring his knowledge and experience into our band and provide the groove. I loved the man and was shaken up when I heard of his passing away this morning. God bless you and your loved ones Mr. Kirkpatrick! May healing come soon for us here on earth and may you rest peacefully in the hands of God Bob. ..... you will be dearly missed. ❤ Thank you for gracing my life.

Video above courtesy of Sylvia Richards

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Monday, May 24, 2021

Musician Ron Baumber Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Mississauga musician Ron Baumber. He lost his brave battle with COVID-19 on May 19, 2021.

Ron was a regular part of the Oakville music scene as he played the area regularly, including many performances at the Moonshine Cafe

Social Media Reactions

Ryan Baumber (son)
Dear Dad, 
I still can’t believe I lost my bestfriend. There so many things I’d like to tell you. I either lack the words or fail to find the time or place. The memories of childhood days and all that you have done to make our home a happy place and growing up such fun.
First I’m proud to say I’m the luckiest son to have you as my father, even though we have ups and down but you never give up on me instead you give me your unconditional love. I will missed the time we spent together watching CP24 all day, I will missed the time that you will asked me to cut your toenails using the saw (jokes), you called me Ryan Jacob Baumber as the new member of American idol, I will missed my mid morning routine saying I love you to you and giving you my big hug over and over.
Lastly, it’s not gonna be the same watching Roughriders play knowing you're not there to cheer with me . We were inseparable, I don’t have many friends but you I would also called my best friend, my rock, my idol. I’ll keep these precious memories as cherished souvenirs. My bestfriend, I love you so much Dad!!!

Danielle Baumber (daughter)

Dear Daddy,

I don’t even know where to begin. My  heart is shattered in pieces. I want to start by thanking you for stepping up when our mom left. Most men would have walked away but You worked 3 jobs to take care of us all and make sure we had everything we needed and more. You were my rock, I’m gonna miss picking on you and licking your glass before you could drink out of it or hiding your cup when you turned around to put the water back in the fridge. I’ll miss our days of watching Jeopardy together  & you knowing all the answers. Dinners will never be the same without you to roast. I wish you could yell at me one more time for messing with the thermostat & or leaving the garage door open.

Even though we lived together we would FaceTime or talk on the phone every day while I was at work. What I would give to hear you tell me you loved me one more time. You were the smartest man I know. You’ve taught me so much in life but mostly you taught me that family is everything. You literally lived your life for your kids. You gave up so much so that we could have a good safe life & I am forever grateful for that. I’ll always remember the days of riding in your taxi and getting tips from your customers. Even though I made a lot of mistakes in my life you were always there for me no matter how bad I was. You always accepted me back home with open arms. I promise to take care of Erin, Ryan and Tanya for you.

Erin Baumber (daughter)

Daddy, my heart is broken... I never thought I would be saying goodbye to you at 25. I would do anything for one more hug from you. To hear you call me baby bear or bunny one more time. To tell you I love you one more time. I haven’t been able to sleep since you left me.
All I can think about is all the Sunday Swims we went to when I was little and scootering around Lake Aquitaine. Our recent trip to Banff where you told me all the routes and directed me to cool places that google can’t even tell you because you’re literally human Wikipedia. Sitting 4 of us in the TV room 2 on chairs and 2 on the floor watching EVERY basketball game together. It makes me feel so happy knowing I took you to your first basketball game ever, your favourite team and got you post game tickets. I loved seeing you happy.
I'm so proud to have you as my father, the musical genius that you are with an amazing heart and soul for people in need. I love you for always supporting my art you’re such an influence on me and you don’t even know. These last 4+ weeks have destroyed my family to say the least. All testing positive for Covid, my dad and I being admitted to the hospital because we couldn’t breathe from Covid, my nephew getting admitted to the hospital for a dog bite. And now losing our best friend to COVID.
We’re lost without you Daddy, we already don’t know what to do. Come back and yell Danielle for touching the thermostat in the house, or Ryan for not taking the garbage out. Let me steal your drink so Danielle and I can drink it all and give it back empty, or eat all the ice cubes in the machine so you have none left. We don’t function without you. It breaks my heart that I promised you you wouldn’t die, if I had one wish it would be to make sure I came through on that promise I made to you. You tried fighting Daddy and we saw that. We know you were tired of fighting and it was time to go.
Although you won’t physically be with me anymore I hope you visit me in my dreams and watch over me always. I’ll forever be playing your songs to remind me of you. One promise I need from you is to still be with me at my future wedding, and when I have my own children. You really have no idea how many people love you. I’ll miss you and love you forever Papa, wait for me upstairs ❤️ - Love your baby girl  

Neil MacNaughton

What can you say about Ron Baumber that hasn't now been said by the dozens and dozens of tributes pouring in for this beloved man? Ron had a way of making everyone feel like they were his special friend. His kindness knew no bounds. His music brought a hush to the room. His humour was warm. He always had a twinkle in his eye, and he always had some new plan that he would hint about, but never tell you.

I knew Ron through my years of participating in, and then hosting, the Moonshine Cafe Open Mic. He was such a great supporter of the 'Shine and the cast of characters that would show up to share their talents. Ron often came by even if he had no plans to play. He just wanted to be where the music was.

Ron, your presence will be deeply missed. My condolences to your lovely family, and the many, many friends you have touched. Goodbye, friend. 

Andy Griffiths

I am so sad to hear of covid 19 taking the life of my musical buddy .... Ron Baumber .  Devastating. 😔

Ron was not only a highly skilled musician ... but was a truly supportive and compassionate human being.

I was lucky enough to meet Ron years ago, through the music community at the Moonshine Cafe. He was always supportive and encouraging to me for my original music. He actually liked most of my tunes that he heard!  🙂

One thing for sure about Ron ... he truly loved his kids/family and friends ... and made no bones about it.

He was a good man and will be missed very much.

Our heart felt condolences to Ron's family. 

The Moonshine Cafe Open Mic produced a wonderful tribute to Ron.

Video above courtesy of MiscellaneousFish

More Gordon Lightfoot Covers/Stories

Links: Ron BaumberMore Ron Baumber Stories, Videos above courtesy of Ron Baumber

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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Album Turns 50 + Local Covers

American soul man Marvin Gaye's groundbreaking album, What's Going On, was released 50 years ago.

There is a local connection to the album. Hamilton Blues legend, Harrison Kennedy played harmonica on the sessions for the album when he was a member of the Detroit group, Chairmen of the Board. Unfortunately, none of his work was used for the final recording but he has fond memories of the experience.

"Competition for recording with any of the major groups was intense," Harrison said, "That’s what I respected about the work ethic those days."


Here are a few local cover of tunes from the legendary album.

And now a song from the man himself:

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Sunday, May 16, 2021

Kitchener's John Lee Wins Mel Brown Blues Award

Kitchener singer/songwriter/keyboardist John Lee is the 2021 winner of the Mel Brown Blues Award. It is named in honour of the late, legendary Kitchener bluesman.

From the Kitchener Blues Festival website:


The Kitchener Blues Festival Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the 2021 Recipient of the Mel Brown Blues Award is John Lee.

John has had an exemplary career as a blues musician, having been a touring member of The Dutch Mason Blues Band, Matt Minglewood and Mel Brown and the Homewreckers.

John has worked with many other musicians throughout his career and has appeared on many recordings, as both a musician and recording engineer/producer.

John has mentored countless musicians over the years, and is an instructor at the annual Grand River Blues Camp. He is currently working on his own CD that will be available soon as a digital download.

John sings vocals on the song below. 

Links: Pappy Johns BandMore Pappy Johns Band Stories, Video above courtesy of The Pappy Johns Band - Topic

Links: Mel Brown, More Mel Brown StoriesVideo above courtesy of johnleekeys

Links: Cheryl LescomMore Cheryl Lescom StoriesVideo above courtesy of Dave Sloane

More John Lee Stories

Previous Years' Winners

Previous (SOCAN Awards to Honour Local Visionaries) - - - Next (Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Turns 50)

Thursday, May 13, 2021

SOCAN Awards to Honour Local Visionaries

The 32nd SOCAN Awards will be handed out on the week of May 24, 2021 but SOCAN recently announced the winners of a series of new Guardian Awards. These awards are to honour people who helped boost Canadian music over the years. It's all part of the 50th anniversary of the Canadian Content (aka CanCon) rules. A number of amazing local people got the nod.

Here is a complete list of winners - area ones are bolded:

Those with an asterisk (*) are Canadian Independent Record Production Association co-founders

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Thursday, May 6, 2021

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

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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

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