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Friday, July 1, 2022

Today's Listings

Happy Canada Day! Videos by the RHLI, Ludgates, Walk Off the Earth, Michael Mitchell

Update of 2018 Post

Links: John and Sheila LudgateMore John and Sheila StoriesVideo above courtesy of saxondale2

Links: Walk Off The EarthMore WOTE Stories,  Video above courtesy of Walk Off the Earth

Links: Michael Mitchell, Video above courtesy of Michael Mitchell

More Canada Day Videos!

Previous (Global Beatles Day)

Sunday, June 26, 2022

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.

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

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

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

CONGRATS! Local 2022 Maple Blues Award Winners

The 2022 Maple Blues Awards were handed out on June 20, 2022 at a wonderful ceremony at the Koerner Hall in Toronto,

Here's a complete list of winners:
Local artists are bolded.

Links: Maple Blues AwardsMore Maple Blues Awards Stories

Monday, June 20, 2022

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day & First Day of Summer! Videos by Lee Harvey Osmond, Shane Yellowbird, Pura Fé

Update of 2021 post!

Since Indigenous Peoples Day and the 1st day of summer on the same day this year, here are three summer songs by Indigenous Canadian artists.

Links: Shane YellowbirdVideo above courtesy of APTN

Links: Pura Fé, Video above courtesy of jotaene75

Previous (Father's Day Videos) - - - Next (2022 Maple Blues Award Winners)

Sunday, June 19, 2022

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.

Happy Father's Day! Caretakers, Ludgates, Craig Cardiff, Donald McGeoch

Update of 2017 post.

Links: CaretakersMore Caretakers StoriesVideo above courtesy of TheCaretakers Project

Links: John and Sheila LudgateMore John and Sheila Stories, Video above courtesy of saxondale2

Links: Craig CardiffMore Craig Cardiff Stories, Video above courtesy of Latent Image Studios

Friday, June 17, 2022

Big Rude Jake Had a Heart of Gold and a Sharp Wit - R.I.P.

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Jake Hiebert aka Big Rude Juke. He unfortunatey passed away on June 16, 2022 after a brave battle with cancer. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Jake had an amazing, long career which took him around the world, melding the styles of jazz, rock, punk and blues. He was a true original.

A word from Lou, our blogger:
I was lucky enough to see Jake quite a number of times and he was constantly full of life and had a smile on his face. You could see Jake loved what he did and was go great it. His lyrics were sharp and witty and his guitar skills were always world-class. I will miss him terribly. 
Social Media Reaction

He was very kind to me and invited me into his home when he first moved to Hamilton.  I was very lucky and honored to play with such an amazing talent.  He was in a league of players of their own.  My heart goes out to the family and the family of musicians and fans he affected.   Rest well my friend.

Ginger St. James

Dear Big Rude Jake: I'd say I have no words but there are plenty. Until I can muster a sentence up without crying i can peep out that I love you, respect you and will always remember you. Maybe that'll do for now. Every lightning strike and thunder crash I'll know that its you and your pals gettin' the band warmed up in heaven - taunting us earthly folks of the party that awaits. I'll be on my best behavior (mostly) so I can meet you up there one day .  the good Lord raised His hand and has taken you home. We can find comfort in knowing you are at rest. Ladies and Gentleman Big Rude Jake. Whatta guy! 

Raoul Bhaneja

Jake dreamed big and rode a wave that inspired many of us who loved swing, jump, early jazz and blues to make Toronto a home for our music. 

JakeFest in his honour last week was filled with love for the man and his tunes that uplifted us all. 

One of the best nights of music I’ve experienced in Toronto. A fitting evening to honour an important member of our musical family.  

Richard Underhill (Shuffle Demons)

A loving farewell to Big Rude Jake Hiebert, an erudite and dapper man with a heart of gold and a wit sharper than a Bowery barber's razor. Thank for the impossibly witty lyrics, the soulful singing and the meaningful music that touched everyone in the bar and let them dream that they too were living the bohemian life of a crooning troubadour. I'm so lucky to have played and chatted, noshed and laughed with such a beautiful man. Sincere and deep condolences to his family, friends, colleagues and fans. We've lost a great one and somehow we'll have to soldier on without him. He'd want you to Live Large and follow your dreams. And damn the barricades!   

Video above courtesy of Big Rude Jake

Video above courtesy of Big Rude Jake

Links: Big Rude JakeMore Big Rude Jake StoriesVideo above courtesy of Big Rude Jake

Previous (50th Anniversary of Ziggy Stardust) - - - Next (Father's Day Videos)

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Bowie's Ziggy Stardust with Amazing Local Covers & More!

Today (June 16, 2022) The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, David Bowie's classic album turns 50 years old.

Below are a few local covers of songs from the album.

Links: StardustVideo above courtesy of Robert Manley

Stardust had this to say about the incredible album: 
Sure Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars was in my opinion and probably in all of our opinions one of the greatest albums ever.
It didn’t leave my tape deck for a year. It’s mesmerizing from start to finish: the production is beautiful and warm, it’s lyrically amazing, it’s one of the best album I’ve ever heard to this day.
Personally it inspired me the way I write music the limitless boundaries of creativity: no fences,  no genre - phenomenal.
And now a song from the main man himself:

Monday, June 13, 2022

June 2022 Episode of 'Sold on Hamilton with Judy Marsales' featuring Theatre Ancaster

On June 4, 2022 CHML 900AM in Hamilton aired another fabulous episode of the 'Sold On Hamilton with Judy Marsales' radio show.

This wonderful show is generally broadcast on the first Saturday on the month between 11am and 12pm. It is hosted by Judy Marsales, owner of Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd (a proud HBL sponsor) and an amazing local music supporter. The program showcases the best and brightest citizens of the Hammer, including many musicians. Judy also discusses the Hamilton housing market.

The June 4, 2022 show featured Gord Conroy of Theatre Ancaster, Cindy Hawryluk (Westdale BIA & Ancaster BIA) and real estate broker, Catherine Palmer from Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd.

Links: Show above courtesy of Global NewsSold on HamiltonMore 'Sold on Hamilton' Stories

Video above courtesy of Erin Bree Pierce

Previous (Judy Garland's 100th Birthday) - - - Next (50th Anniversary of Ziggy Stardust)

Sunday, June 12, 2022

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, June 10, 2022

Celebrate Judy Garland's 100th Birthday with Local Covers and More!

Today (June 10, 2022) would have been American singer/actress Judy Garland's 100th birthday.

Biography highlights
  • Born Frances Ethel Gumm (June 10, 1922)
  • Made film debut in the short The Big Revue (1929)
  • Signed with MGM (1935)
  • Signed recording contact with Decca Records at 13
  • Starred as Dorothy in the movie classic Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Gave birth to daughter Liza Minnelli (March 29, 1946)
  • Recorded Miss Show Business, her first solo album.
  • Starred in The Judy Garland Show on TV (1961)
  • Passed away of an overdose (June 22, 1969)
Below are covers of her songs by Beamsville songstress Melissa-Marie Shriner

We asked Melissa-Marie for her thoughts on Judy:
As I watched the Wizard of Oz as an 8 year old child, and heard Judy Garland singing Over the Rainbow for the first time, I knew right then and there, I wanted to be a singer when I grew up. It was a defining moment in my life - she inspired me to become a singer and performer.

Here is local musicologist Mike Daley with a question and answer session about the legendary lady.

Now a song from the lady herself . . . 

Previous (Portugal Day Videos) - - - Next (Sold on Hamilton June 2022 Show)

Happy Portugal Day! Videos by Paulo Filipe, Brian Melo, Luis Ferraz, Madredeus

Update of 2020 post

Please join us in celebrating our founder/blogger Lou's ethnic background!

Viva música ao vivo (Viva live music)

Here's some live Fado (a Portuguese musical genre) performed in Hamilton.

Links: Paulo Filipe, Video above courtesy of CesarPedro

Brian Melo is a Hamilton singer/songwriter of Portuguese heritage

Links: Brian Melo, Video above courtesy of BrianMeloVEVO

Links: Luis Ferraz, More Luis Ferraz StoriesVideo above courtesy of luis ferraz

One of our blogger, Lou's favourite bands from Portugal

Links: Madredeus, Video above courtesy of Madredeus

Previous (Black Music Month Videos) - - - Next (Judy Garland's 100th Birthday)

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

NEED COMPUTER HELP? Try First Choice Computer Solutions
Their service is friendly and reliable. In person and remote assistance available.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

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.

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Please Support Our Wonderful Sponsors

Ken Wallis is an amazing local music supporter. He has a number of incredible radio shows 

Mondays: 8-10pm: Blues Source Vault w Ken Wallis @

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Remembering the Legendary Ronnie Hawkins

The music world lost a titan on May 29, 2022 when Canadian icon Ronnie Hawkins passed away. Our condolences to his family, friends and fans.

Ronnie was born in Arkansas but moved to Ontario early in his career due to the great reception he received here. He's also responsible for helping launch the careers of many musicians such as the Band, Crowbar and many more.  

Media Links

Social Media Reaction

Robbie Robertson (The Band)

My heart sank when I heard “The Hawk” just flew into the sunset. 

The story of The Band began with Ronnie Hawkins. He was our mentor. He taught us the rules of the road.

Ronnie Hawkins brought me down from Canada to the Mississippi delta when I was 16. He recorded two songs I’d written and thought I might be talented. He tried me out on guitar and bass the only problem was; I’m too young to play in the clubs they toured, I was too inexperienced, not a good enough musician yet, and there are NO Canadians in southern rock and roll bands. But I practiced until my fingers were bleeding and he ended up hiring me against all odds. 

Ron prided himself in always having top notch players in his group. Levon Helm his drummer in the Hawks and I talked Ron into hiring Rick Danko on bass and vocals, Richard Manuel on piano and vocals and Garth Hudson on organ and sax. Along with Levon and me this became the magic combination. 

Ronnie was the godfather. The one who made this all happen. 

He had us rehearsing constantly into the wee hours. We balked about it, but we got better and better. Our goal whether we knew it or not. 

After the Hawks left Ron and went out on our own, we joined up with Bob Dylan. Next the Hawks became The Band and the rest is history, as they say. 

All starting out with Ronnie Hawkins. 

He was not only a great artist, a tremendous performer and bandleader, but had a style of humor unequaled. Fall down funny and completely unique. Yep, God only made one of those. And he will live in our hearts forever. 

My deepest condolences to his family. 

Bless his soul.

Jesse O'Brien

This is a tough one. RIP Ronnie Hawkins, a brilliant, hilarious, once in a lifetime entertainer and family friend. My first stint as a Hawk was in the summer at 15 years old before going back to school.  Thanks Ronnie for so many laughs and lessons, a musical education like no other, and thanks for letting a young kid wear your hat. 


Jack de Keyzer

Such a generous man, he was  a father to me, I joined at age 19,  but he told everyone I was 16  lol.  Ronnie Hawkins introduced me to the real  rock and roll lifestyle. We played everywhere from concert halls to biker bars, to supper clubs to strip joints.   Through Ronnie, I met  BB King and Johnny Rivers and Roy Buchanan,  Jerry Lee Lewis, Bo Diddley and   Ian and Sylvia.  We played with Levon Helm and Dr John and had a great band with King Biscuit Boy, John Till, Mike Short, Stan Szeleste, Carl Mathers, Rob Johnston and Wayne King to name a few who are all lifelong friends.  An amazing legacy of great entertainment; humour and music.  RIP Ronnie Hawkins.

Bill Culp Productions

I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing of the legendary Ronnie “The Hawk” Hawkins today. 

While I was plying my trade as a young musician living in Toronto in the 1980’s, I always looked up to Ronnie Hawkins. He was the “king” of the local “Rock’n’Roll” scene while I was just starting out. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to catch his live act on numerous occasions and eventually got to meet the man...more than once. 

It turned out “The Hawk” was a boxing fan, just like me. We’d run into each other at boxing matches, whether it was a live event featuring Canadian Olympian Shawn O’Sullivan, or a closed circuit match featuring Oscar De La Hoya, Ronnie Hawkins was always there. “The Hawk” was a true “man of the people” who loved to talk about music, boxing, and was always quick with a one-liner. 

As I reflect today on this “larger-than-life” character, it’s clear “The Hawk” had a huge influence on my own music career. We both loved “Rockabilly” music, playing with a high-energy, talented band of musicians, and putting on a show. Thanks Ronnie!! 


He will never be forgotten.

Ron Cole

I got to meet Ronnie Hawkins at his home in March. Gary Lucas invited Wendell Ferguson, Mike McCurlie and myself to come play a few BAND songs with accordion, guitar and mando. He loved it. Even said I had a bit of Garth Hudson going on in my playing which was a big compliment for me. Woo, the stories. LOL! Great to have met The Legend, The Hawk and sad to see him go.

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band

Very sad to hear of the passing of the legendary Ronnie Hawkins. Even though Ronnie was originally American his finger prints are all over Canadian Rock'n'roll & Blues history. Especially here in the Hammer and Ontario you'd be hard pressed to find a Rock or Blues group that wasn't touched or directly influenced in some way by the Hawk. 

The Smoke Wagon Blues Band is no different: We got our big break opening for the Hawk back in 2003 at The Burlington Sound of Music Festival. Ronnie had been fighting cancer and hadn't played for some years so 50,000 folks packed into Spencer Smith Park for the show. At that time we were still holding residency in the small cubs of Hamilton's Hess Village when the Hawk requested a local blues band open for him.  We felt so out of our element walking out on that big stage, we couldn't see where the crowd ended gulp! Ronnie was so gracious with us, offering lots of liquid courage back in his trailer as encouragement haha. After the show he invited us back to his trailer for lots of party favors, and to give us shit for covering the same song in our set list (Born in Chicago) haha When he realized my mom was trying to  talk to me through the back gates he said get your mom in here whom was dying to meet him. 

We most definitely got the full Ronnie experience that evening. I met Ronnie a few times over the years but I'll always remember that first moment. Its pretty damn cool to get the chance to share the stage with one of your idols and he sure made it special. Long live the Hawk in our musical memories.

Links: King Biscuit BoyMore KBB StoriesDuane Allman, Video above courtesy of Deep Track Zach

Video above courtesy of Classic Music Videos & Pictures 1960s

Links: The BandMore Stories of The BandVideo above courtesy of plimfec

Links: Ronnie HawkinsMore Ronnie Hawkins Stories,

Previous ('Grand River Blues Society' Solo Blues Challange Rep Chosen)

Monday, May 30, 2022

CONGRATS AND GOOD LUCK! Brooke Blackburn to Represent the Grand River Blues Society at the 2023 International Blues Challenge

Toronto musician Brooke Blackburn was chosen to represent the Grand River Blues Society for the 2023 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. On May 29, 2022, after a hard-fought musical battle at Bobby O'Brien's in Kitchener, judges picked him to make us proud next year when he gets up on the international stage. He also gets a spot on the prestigious Kitchener Blues Festival.

Here's the announcement and acceptance speech.

Here's a performance of one the songs that helped him get the win.


Below are links to videos of performances from the other amazing contestants:

Sunday, May 29, 2022

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.

CONGRATS! 2022 Hamilton Arts Awards Recipients

Recently, the 2022 Hamilton Arts Awards recipients were unveiled. They'll all be honoured at a celebration on June 9, 2022 as part of Hamilton Arts Week in association with the Hamilton Arts Council.

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

Lifetime Achievement Award: Harrison Kennedy

Links: Harrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesVideo above courtesy of Paul Mill

Arts Champion: Jamie (Gunner) Smith (Steel City Music), Art to Go Podcast (Nancy Benoy, Cornelia Peckart), David Beresford

Creator Awards: Jaclyn Desforges (poet, writer), Yuma Dean Hester (Bawaadan Collective)(multi-discipline), Terrance Odette (filmmaker), Joe Ollmann (cartoonist), Marla Panko (painter), Emma Smith (ceramics), Santee Smith (multi-discipline), Donna-Michelle St. Bernard (theatre)

Previous (New Les Smith with Trickbag CD) - - - Next ('Grand River Blues Society' Solo Blues Challange Rep Chosen)

Friday, May 27, 2022

Fiery New Album from Lester Smith & Trickbag

Ancaster singer/songwriter Lester Smith has teamed with his good pals in Trickbag to forge a fiery new album, Another Day in Paradise. Together, they've created a wonderful melding of Blues, Roots and a little Country. 

As always, Les is a skilled songwriter and storyteller. He touches on themes of love, hope, disaster, survival and more. The tracks can be touching, fun, inspiring, intimate and poignant. Above all - it will move you. Les and Trickbag can also groove with the best of them.

You can pick up this unforgettable album at the CD Release on at Stonewalls (Hamilton) on May 28th at 8pm or at any of his other live shows. Picks and Sticks (Hamilton) and Looney Tunes (Burlington) have copies on hand as well. Also, it can be download via Bandcamp soon

Previous (Chairmen of the Board's 'Bittersweet' Turns 50) - - - Next (Hamilton Arts Awards Winners)

Monday, May 23, 2022

'Bittersweet' by Chairmen of the Board (featuring Hamilton's Harrison Kennedy) Turns 50

This year (1972), Bittersweetthe incredible album from the unforgettable soul group, The Chairmen of the Board, turns 50 years old. At the time, Hamilton Blues legend, Harrison Kennedy was a member of the popular trio. This Invictus Records release would end up being Harrison's final album with the ensemble.

Harrison had this say about this classic album:

My first blues tune on any COB’s releases was Weary Traveller.

Men are Getting Scarce was in protest of the war.

This release was my favorite because of the Country Blues feel. I played harp on Elmo James.

Video above courtesy of Missing Oldies

Video above courtesy of Anthony Rosano

Video above courtesy of uk70singles

Links: Harrison KennedyMore Harrison Kennedy StoriesChairmen of the BoardMore Chairmen of the Board Stories, More 50th Anniversary Albums

Previous (Victoria Day Videos) - - - Next (New Les Smith with Trickbag CD)

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