Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Strong Debut from Hamilton's Garnetta Cromwell

As a former Olympic weight-lifter, Hamilton musician Garnetta Cromwell knows all about strength. Actually, strength can be the main theme of her incredible debut solo album, Time to Shine. There are songs about strong women, tunes about having a strong will and more. Even the slower songs have a strong vibe to them. Powerful Funk, Soul and Blues beats flex their way into each and every number throughout this brawny album.

Her band, DaGroovmasters:
Available: live shows, Bandcamp, Spotify, YouTube

Stream the album below

Previous (Promotor Victor 'Big Vic' Mirco Passes) - - - Next (Living Blues Award Nominees)

Sunday, April 28, 2024

Buy Holiday Smile Cookies This Week to Help Local Charities


This week (April 29-May 5) all sales from Tim Hortons' Smile Cookies will go towards local charities, A tasty way to give.

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, April 25, 2024

Brantford Music Promoter Victor 'Big Vic' Mirco Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Brantford music promotor, Victor 'Big Vic' Mirco. Unfortunately, we do not know the details but we will post them here when we know them.

A word from Lou, our blogger:

I got to know Big Vic well through promoting shows in Brantford. He was always fun to be around and knew a ton about music. I will miss his friendship. RIP Vic.

Social Media Reaction

Bruce Hall, founder of the Grand River Blues Society

So sorry to hear this news of the passing of a good friend. Really enjoyed working with Big Vic on all his shows. He knew how to pack rooms with top notch entertainment. Will miss sparring with him on music trivia for he knew his stuff. Rest in Peace Victor.

Jeanna Jackson

So so sad to hear this, I knew Vic for the 25 years. I owned Brantford Minuteman Press Printing, he always printed the posters and tickets for the show.Vic would sit for hours at the office, talking , laughing crazy jokes i never got....hahaha, Last time I saw him was when he dropped off the coconut heads (from his parents) he had when he was cleaning the house. I have them still hanging on the wall. I will miss him always. xo. And I still have the files for all the old posters he would order. I am sure most are still on the old hard drive. Having some hanging up would be sweet memories of the loss of an amazing person. 

Susan J Neziol

R.I.P. Vic Mirco  aka "Big Vic"...my dear friend ...you were a big part of our teenage years working at Records on Wheels and organizing bus trips...in particular, for me, the Police Picnic bus!  I have been lucky enough to have had you as a life long friend and attend many concerts with you....you will be dearly missed....xo 

Rose Devereux 

Been missing you at the blues for a while! He used to "pay me" in merch to start up the dance floor not that I needed to be persuaded. I miss harassing you  at your table 🤣 I know I have a million more photos like these somewhere and I’ll forever cherish them! The shows are so insanely huge these days im never the first person on the dance floor but it’s probably because we paved the way lol! Rest easy my friend you finally get to meet some of the greats that paved the way! Thank you for always making me feel so special ❤️

Brad Grose

Vic has left a lasting legacy of creating great times and a real celebration of music. A real Community Champion and a dear friend. Godspeed Vic.

You will be missed.

My sincere condolences to the family and friends 🧡 

Previous (Ensemble! Nominated for 2 Cable 14 Impact Awards) - - - Next (Garnetta Cromwell Debut Album)

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Ensemble! Nominated for 2 Cable 14 Impact Awards

It's with pride that we announce that the Ensemble! TV show was nominated for 2 Cable 14 Impact Awards: Outstanding Entertainment Series & Outstanding Social Media Promotion.  The program, created and produced by HBL's own marketer, Linda Fraser, has been showcasing local singer/songwriters for over a decade now.

There's a lot of hard work that goes into each episode of the show. Dave Rave does an incredible, high-energy job as the host of the proceedings.  Eric Bower and Gary Greenland handle the sound wonderfully. The staff and volunteers of Cable 14 are also an integral part of the success of Ensemble!

A big thank you the Clifford Brewing Company for inviting the show to film at their fabulous venue.

Of course, the show couldn't exist without all the talented local musicians who volunteered their time to perform on the show. Thanks everyone!  

We'll all be keeping our fingers crossed for Ensemble! at the awards ceremony on May 28, 2024 at the Westdale Theatre. GOOD LUCK!

Unfortunately, we do not know who the nominees are for any of the categories but if we find out, we'll be posting them here.

Links: Ensemble!, More Ensemble! Stories, More Impact Award Stories

Previous (Earth Day Videos) - - - Next (Promotor Victor 'Big Vic' Mirco Passes)

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Happy Earth Day - Videos by Sultans of String ft Duke Redbird, Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn

Update of 2018 post 

Links: Neil Young, More Neil Young Stories, Video above courtesy of TheMusicExtener

Links: Bruce Cockburn, More Bruce Cockburn Stories, Video above courtesy of BruceCockburnVevo

More Earth Day Videos

Previous (New Andre Bisson Album) - - - Next (Ensemble! Nominated for 2 Cable 14 Impact Awards)

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

The Brian Lee Griffith Guitar Bursary is intended to support a different, talented, deserving guitar student each year. In honour of the late, great Hamilton guitarist Brian Griffith.

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, April 19, 2024

Hamilton's Andre Bisson Reaches New Heights on Latest Album

Hamilton's Andre Bisson shows growth with each new release and the tradition's alive and well with his latest fabulous album, Latchford. The incredible songwriting continues from the previous offerings. On top of that, Andre also now manages to add a bit more of a singer/songwriter, almost folky vibe. There's even a bit of country thrown in the mix. Without sacrificing his trademark funk and soul, the Bluesman has once again expanded his sound to new heights.

Band members:
Guests: Dan Rodrigues (Piano on Enough)

Stream album below

Previous (Harmonica Day Videos) - - - Next (Earth Day Videos)

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

2024 City of Hamilton Arts Awards Short List (including Linda, our Marketing Maven)

The Hamilton Blues Lovers are beaming with pride as Linda, our very own marketing maven, has been placed on the 2024 City of Hamilton Arts Arts Awards Short List! She's up for an Arts Champion Award for her dedicated, tireless support of the local music scene.

The winners will receive the awards at a ceremony in June 2024 (details TBA)

We're all rooting for you! CONGRATS! 

Below is the compete Short List.

Arts Champion

Lifetime Achievement

Monday, April 15, 2024

Local Blues Supporter Doug Gilmore Passes

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of local Blues supporter, Doug Gilmore.

Rest in Peace Doug Gilmore (GORFIT) 5-Mar-1953 - 7-Apr-2024

Doug was a long time supporter and a member of The Grand River Blues Society and worked behind the scenes helping transition the former Blues Blast into the weekly GRBS Blues Buzz. He also designed and formatted the Grand River Blues Bi-Monthly Newsletter. In the early years of the Grand River Blues Society, Doug provided assistance with research and music selections for the former Poor Folks Radio Blues Show on CKMS Univ. of Waterloo hosted by DJ Bruce Hall

Doug peacefully passed in his 72nd year, surrounded by the love of his family. Son of the late Samuel and Janet Gilmore. Forever cherished and loved by his wife Catherine. Dearly loved father of Jason (Paola) HALL , Erin, Brandon (Amy), and Shaughna (Geoff). Adored Poppa of Madisyn, Brooke and Cole. Doug will be dearly missed by many treasured family members and friends. Survived by his loving sister Shirley (Bruce). He will be fondly remembered by his first wife Maureen Hall-Gilmore. Doug will be missed dearly by his beloved puppy Jake. A celebration of Doug’s life will be held at Toll Funeral Home, 55 Charing Cross St Brantford on Tuesday, April 16th, 2024 from 10am – 11am. Eulogies will be shared in the Chapel at 11am. In Lieu of flowers the family would appreciate memorial donations to the Brant County SPCA.

Previous (Videos: Steve Strongman, Brant Parker, Carlos Del Junco) - - - Next (Hamilton Arts Awards Short List)

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Enter to Win 2 Tix to 2024 Blues With A Feeling!

Blues With a Feeling is back for another year!  The annual fundraiser (proceeds go the Bob Pedler Fund) in honour of Blues giant King Biscuit Boy (aka Richard Newell) always features killer Blues acts and this year's no different.

Juno winner Steve Strongman will be headlining the incredible show. Brant Parker will bring his recently reunited Bay City Blues Band to join in the fun. Special guest Carlos Del Junco is gonna be showing off his harmonica virtuosity too. All this for only $30. Click here to buy tickets.

Thanks to the event's promo team, we have two tickets to this not-to-be-missed show to give away. To enter to win please do one (or more) of the following:
The deadline to enter is Monday, May 6, 2024 at midnight. A winner will be drawn and they'll have until the end of the day to respond. If they don't respond, another winner will be picked.

Links: Steve StrongmanMore Steve Strongman StoriesVideo above courtesy of Mario Toneguzzi

Links: Brant ParkerMore Brant Parker StoriesVideo above courtesy of Angelo NotoCampanella

Links: Carlos Del JuncoMore Carlos Del Junco StoriesVideo above courtesy of Stray Music Tracks From DavoRobbo

Previous (Blues Legend & Legacy Distinctions) - - - Next (Local Blues Supporter Doug Gilmore Passes)

Support Local Charities

From their siteOur goal is not only to help meet the needs of our clients in the short term, but also to help clients become self-sufficient and gain and maintain self-worth / esteem to eventually stand on their own with little or no help.

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, April 13, 2024

2024 Erin McCallum Blues Legend & Legacy Distinctions

From the news release,

The Erin McCallum Blues Legend & Legacy Distinction has just announced the next musician to be recognized with the distinction of “Blues Legend”.  

Upon receiving an official letter detailing the structure and initiative of the Blues Legend & Legacy Distinction, and how his contributions meet the strict criteria, Morgan Davis has accepted the distinction of Blues Legend

For over 50 years of musical contributions dedicated strictly to the Blues, singer, songwriter, and guitarist Morgan Davis is recognized with the distinction of Blues Legend.

Links: Morgan DavisMore Morgan Davis StoriesVideo above courtesy of Morgan Davis - Topic

In addition to being officially recognized as a “Blues Legend” by title and a physical acknowledgement, Davis has also received full entitlement to recognize up to two eligible musicians of his choice for the “Blues Legacy” distinction.  

Each musician recognized with the Erin McCallum Blues Legend & Legacy Distinction will be recognized for their contributions to the Canadian Blues Collective on the globally accessible platform, The Sound Café.   

Morgan Davis has elected to select two artists to be acknowledged with the “Blues Legend” distinction. Back Alley John (John Carl David Wilson) and Fraser Finlayson are set to be officially recognized alongside Davis on The Sound Café website this spring.  A customized physical representation of the Blues Legacy Distinction will also be awarded to Davis this spring.

Links: Back Alley JohnVideo above courtesy of Greg Partyka

Links: Fraser FinlaysonVideo above courtesy of Cam Hildebrandt

The Erin McCallum Blues Legend & Legacy Distinction recognizes Blues musicians who have made an impact through their contributions to the Canadian Blues Collective. The self-funded, criteria based, and musician-led initiative strives to educate people about the musicians who have been acknowledged via this distinction, serving as its own contribution to the Canadian Blues Collective.   

More BL&LC Stories

Previous (Global Music Award Winners) - - - Next (Videos: Steve Strongman, Brant Parker, Carlos Del Junco)

Monday, April 8, 2024

Enter to Win 2 Tix to Spencer Mackenzie Band with Brant Parker in Hamilton

Juno nominee Spencer Mackenzie is bringing his brand of Rocking Blues to Stonewalls in Hamilton on Saturday, April 27, 2024 at 8pm! He'll be joined by talented Bluesman Brant Parker for an amazing two-guitar attack. That's two Blues Slingers at the top of their game for only $20.

Click here to purchase tickets. Some physical tickets are available at Picks and Sticks.

Thanks to our friends in Spencer's promo team, we have two tickets to this energetic show to give away. To enter to win please do one (or more) of the following:
Deadline to enter is Monday, April 22 at midnight. A winner will be drawn and will have until the end of the day to respond. If they don't respond, another winner will be picked.


Previous (Eclipse Videos) - - - Next (Global Music Award Winners)

Sunday, April 7, 2024

Total Eclipse Videos ft Rush, Rob Lamothe, Bonnie Tyler

Links: RushMore Rush StoriesVideo above courtesy of  RushLyricsOnScreen

Links: Rob LamotheMore Rob Lamothe StoriesVideo above courtesy of Rob Lamothe - Topic

Links: Bonnie TylerVideo above courtesy of Bonnie Tyler

Previous (Banjo Day) - - - Next  (Spencer Mackenzie & Brant Parker Videos)

Happy National Banjo Day! Videos by Tim Gibbons and the Driftin' Drawers

Update of 2021 Post 

Links: Tim GibbonsMore Tim Gibbons Stories, Videos above courtesy of Mark Foley

Previous (Canadian Folk Music Award Winners - Day 2) - - - Next (Eclipse Videos)

Please Support Local Charities

Please Support Local Charities

From their website: Since 1966, the poverty of loneliness and exclusion has been overcome with friendship and compassion at Welcome Inn Community Centre, where people from all walks of life work together to alleviate poverty in the North End and across Hamilton.

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.

2024 Canadian Folk Music Award Winners (Day 2) including Hamilton's Jill Barber

The second night of the 2024 Canadian Folk Music Awards was on on Sunday, April 7, 2024 during a ceremony at The Majestic Theatre in St. John's Newfoundland. 

Here's the event:

Links: CFMAMore CFMA StoriesVideo above courtesy of prixfolkawards

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

Click here for the winners of Day 1.

Previous (Canadian Folk Music Award Winners - Day 1) - - - Next (Banjo Day)

Saturday, April 6, 2024

2024 Canadian Folk Music Award Winners (Day 1) including Vineland's Suzie Vinnick

Vineland's own Suzie Vinnick won for Contemporary Singer of the Year in the first night of the 2024 Canadian Folk Music Awards. They were handed out on Saturday, April 6th during a ceremony at The Majestic Theatre in St. John's Newfoundland. More awards will be handed out on Sunday, April 7, 2024.

Here is Suzie's reaction from her Facebook page.

Links: Suzie VinnickMore Suzie Vinnick Stories,Video above courtesy of Suzie Vinnick

Here is the first ceremony

Links: CFMAMore CFMA StoriesVideo above courtesy of prixfolkawards

Below is a complete list of winners from that night.

Links: CFMAMore CFMA Stories

Previous (Oakville's Jordan John is new Singer for Tower of Power) - - - Next (Canadian Folk Music Award Winners - Day 2)

Friday, April 5, 2024

Oakville's Jordan John is New Singer for the Legendary Tower of Power

Congratulations to Oakville's own Jordan John. He was recently hired as the new lead singer for the legendary R&B band, Tower of Power (just in time for the 55th anniversary).

This is what Jordan had to say on his Facebook page
Greetings everyone!  I’ve been meaning to share some exciting news with you. 🥳🚨 (long post ahead) Some of you may have already heard over the past few weeks (& to those who haven’t), I am pleased to announce that I am now the official lead singer for the iconic American R&B/Soul band Tower of Power! I am humbled, excited & grateful to Emilio, Doc & the members of the band for this opportunity! They have also graciously invited me to pick up a 🎸 or sit in at the 🎹 on stage whenever the opportunity arises. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks but my first few shows with them have been a blast!
To say that this is a great honour would be an understatement. As a kid, I was obsessed with the ‘Tower of Power’ & ‘Back To Oakland’ albums. It was (& still is) like listening to the ‘Dream Team’ of classic R&B bands! The combination of skill level, discipline, cohesion & musicianship was unrivalled & still remains such to this very day. They continue to uphold the relentless (& necessary) gold standards of excellence in music. They are in every sense of what a band should be. Above all else, they are gracious human beings… especially towards their fans. Each member of the band/management team has made me feel welcome, included & every bit a part of the unit and ongoing journey.
I am grateful to my family & every single person who has reached out to me, sent messages or posted their heartfelt congratulations online over the past few weeks. As well, to the fans for the props & sincere words of kindness at the first few shows we’ve performed in the 🇺🇸 thus far. This is a proud moment for me as both a musician & Canadian citizen. A moment that I happily share in great joy & delight with you all. I am looking forward to traveling the 🌎 about 150 days a year with T.O.P. all the while maintaining my home base & continuing my various 🎶 projects in Toronto, Canada. 
Never in my lifetime would I ever have imagined that a young boy from Oakville, Ontario would one day be touring the 🌎 singing lead vocals & sitting in on the 🎸, 🎹 & 🥁 in one of THE baddest Rhythm ‘n Blues bands on the planet! This is truly an unparalleled blessing & one that I will cherish for the rest of my life!  
With ❤️ & gratitude

Here are a few recent performances from this lineup.

Video above courtesy of Joseph Saccomanno

Video above courtesy of dbarthTv

Links: Tower of Power, More Tower of Power StoriesJordan JohnMore Jordan John StoriesVideo above courtesy of Bobbi A

Previous (Teenage Head Celebrates 50 Years of Rock) - - - Next (Canadian Folk Music Award Winners - Day 1)

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Teenage Head Celebrate 50 Years of Rock

Hamilton Music Legends Teenage Head are celebrating 50 years of rock & roll in 2024. The band's been through a lot in the past 5 decades: accidents, deaths, riots, a documentary, a book biography, personnel changes and much more. Their road to becoming a Canadian Rock Institution hasn't been easy put the band never stopped their explosive shows.

To commemorate their anniversary, the group will be playing a special show/memorabilia exhibit at Carmen's in Hamilton on Saturday, April 6th. There's also limited edition Teenage Head 50th anniversary beer crafted at Clifford Brewing Company. Grab the tickets and the beer before they're gone!

Below is a recent CHCH interview

Video above courtesy of UXB Press

Previous (Hamilton Musicians' Guild Honourees) - - - Next (Oakville's Jordan John is new Singer for Tower of Power)

Tuesday, April 2, 2024

New Hamilton Musicians' Guild Honourees

The past few months the Hamilton Musicians' Guild presented a number of local artists with a number of honours.

They include: