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White Rock Blues Society
The White Rock Blues Society
Weekly Bluesletter
#358 February 7 2019
In this issue
Colin James and Women Sweep the Maple Blues Awards - Sarah French Press Release
Hornby Island Blues Workshop
Mount Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival
Carlos de Junco - Blue Frog Studios
Sue Foley - Blue Frog Studios
Michael Jerome Browne New Album and Tour Dates Saturday May 4 House Concert with WRBS
Harpdog Brown New Album Coming Soon
Links For Blues Fans
Colin James and Women Sweep the Maple Blues Awards - Sarah French Press Release

Colin James and Women Sweep the Maple Blues Awards

Seven Women Take Trophies Home from Koerner Hall Gala

It was a hot time on a cool night at Koerner Hall in Toronto as some of the best in Canadian Blues were honoured with Maple Blues Awards at the near sold-out 22nd annual Maple Blues Awards.

Vancouver’s Colin James was the big winner of the evening, taking home five awards for Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Male Vocalist of the Year, Recording/Producer of the Year and Songwriter of the Year.

Female blues musicians were well represented in several of the other categories, with awards going to Sue Foley for Guitarist of the Year, Lindsay Beaver for Drummer of the Year, Laura Greenberg for Bassist of the Year, Shirley Jackson for Horn Player of the Year, Emily Burgess for New Artist of the Year and Angel Forrest for Female Vocalist of the Year.

Calgary based Ellen McIlwaine aka Goddess of the Slide, was honoured for her long career and outstanding contribution to the Canadian blues scene with the Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award).

The Blues Booster of the Year Award, another special Maple Blues Award, was handed out to the Hornby Island Blues Society for their continued contribution the Canadian blues scene. The volunteer-driven organization hosts the Hornby Island Blues Week and Music Camp every May on beautiful Hornby Island, BC. Their mandate is to bring blues performers to the island to create a greater awareness of Canadian blues music and of the depth that Canadian musicians have to offer.

In addition to the 17 Maple Blues Awards handed out throughout the gala event, the winners of the 5th annual Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award were announced. The Cobalt Prize Contemporary Blues Composition Award was created and originally funded by Juno Award winner Paul Reddick, whose goal was to change the way audiences perceive and appreciate blues music. The intention behind the Cobalt Prize is to promote blues music through the exploration of its form. In 2020 the Maple Blues Awards will introduce the Sapphire Award for Best Blues Video.

The winning Cobalt Prize for composition was “It’s Happening” by Edmonton based Ann Vriend. The runners up were “Down on Vaughn Rd” by Toronto’s Son Roberts and “Chasing Dreams” by Toronto’s Samantha Martin. A cash prize of $1000 was presented to Vriend, with the second and third place winners each receiving $250.

Hosted by popular theatre/television actor and blues artist Raoul Bhaneja, the audience was treated to sizzling performances by Edmonton expat Jenie Thai, Newfoundland’s Earle & Coffin, Ottawa’s Sue Foley (now based in Austin), and Toronto-based guitarist and singer Emily Burgess. Salt Spring Island's Harry Manx teamed up with Monkey Junk's Steve Marriner to preview their new release and Raoul closed the show with the Big Time joined by surprise guest and big winner Colin for the finale.

22nd Annual Maple Blues Award Winners

Entertainer of the Year
Colin James

Electric Act of the Year
Colin James

Acoustic Act of the Year
Big Dave McLean

Male Vocalist of the Year
Colin James

Female Vocalist of the Year
Angel Forrest

New Artist of the Year
Emily Burgess

Recording/Producer of the Year
Colin James - Miles to Go / True North (Colin James & Dave Meszaros)

International Artist of the Year
Buddy Guy

Songwriter of the Year
Colin James

Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award)
Ellen McIlwaine

Guitarist of the Year
Sue Foley

Piano/Keyboard Player of the Year
David Vest

Harmonica Player of the Year
Steve Marriner

Horn Player of the Year
Shirley Jackson

Drummer of the Year
Lindsay Beaver

Bassist of the Year
Laura Greenberg (JW-Jones)

Blues Booster of the Year
The Hornby Island Blues Society

For more information please contact:

Sarah French
Sarah French Publicity
416-566-4188 |

Hüma Üster
Toronto Blues Society
416-538-3885 |

We acknowledge the traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishnaabe and the Wendat.

The Toronto Blues Society acknowledges the annual support of the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council and the Department of Canadian Heritage, and project support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the SOCAN Foundation, Ontario Creates, FACTOR, the Government of Canada and of Canada’s private radio broadcasters. Nous reconnaissons l’appui financier de FACTOR, du gouvernement du Canada, et des radiodiffuseurs privés du Canada.

Hornby Island Blues Workshop

Twenty Years of Blues - 1999-2019

While twenty years is just a drop in the bucket of Blues time, we here on Hornby Island take great pride in saying we have been helping to keep the Blues vibrant and alive on the west coast in that time. These last two decades have been a blast as we have watched and heard students from all over Canada and the US come to our Blues Workshops to learn from all the best Blues and Roots instructors we could talk into coming to teach. We really appreciate the faith that has been shown as every musician who has come here to teach has agreed to do so without a contract, holding faith in our mantra that the entire operations runs on the egalitarian principle that everyone gets one share of whatever revenues we generate. That’s pretty cool if you think about it, that in a world driven mad by cash, that music can still generate such good faith and good vibrations. And here we are once again, this time with a big program of fourteen musicians joining with us and our faithful student disciples in the celebration of our twentieth Blues Week that will rolling out May 4 through May 11. We are planning a big party, some special musical treats and several acts of prestidigitation, conjuring and voodoo that will stun those who attend. Are you coming to the big show? You really should consider it.
Mount Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival
Another great line up for this year's 24th Annual Mount Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival.
Great venue, fans and talent on stage. Check out their website for more details.


Carlos de Junco - Blue Frog Studios

It's probably a good thing Carlos del Junco wasn't there when the harmonica appeared in North America in the 1860s. Neil Young and Bob Dylan can probably roll with it when he says they are very mediocre harmonica players. Aspiring harmonica players Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid might have overreacted and pulled out their pistols...
To say that Carlos is just a harmonica player is like saying Jimi Hendrix was just a guitar player. He blows the blues harp through a prism -- suddenly it seems he's holding every colour in the musical rainbow right there in his hands.

Considered one of the world's greatest harmonica players, he is a pioneer of the "overblow" technique, allowing him to play a diatonic harmonica chromatically. The result is stunning: a sophisticated blues/jazz fusion from sublime to raw to quirky. 

Carlos is one of those players whose music is so advanced that when it comes to awards, it's either retire the category or rephrase the question "Best Harmonica Player Not Named Carlos". This includes two Gold Medals from the Hohner World Harmonica Championship in Trossingen, Germany, as well as multiple national awards in Canada and several JUNO Award nominations.     

Simultaneously sophisticated and raw, his playing blurs the boundaries between blues, jazz and "roots" music (hence the name for his band The Blues Mongrels). The emphasis is on blues, but Carlos and his band (Eric St. Laurent on guitar, Henry Heillig on upright bass) are not afraid to merrily traipse off in other directions delivering a seamless fusion of New Orleans second line grooves, swing, ska, rocking blues, to singer/songwriter themes.

“…a model of focus and urgency..a true virtuoso.. 
Brad Wheeler - The Globe and Mail

“One listen to the man who bent his first notes on the harmonica at the age of fourteen and it's obvious he's in a class with such greats as Toots Theilemans, Paul Butterfield, and Howard Levy…
Peter North - The Edmonton Journal
Sue Foley - Blue Frog Studios

Sue Foley is a multi-award-winning musician and one of the finest blues and roots artists working today. She’s a triple-threat as a lead guitarist, songwriter and vocalist. Foley has a long history of defying convention, and being a positive role model for aspiring, young female musicians.

She began her recording career in Austin, TX with Antone’s, the esteemed blues label and historic nightclub that helped launch the career of Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others. In 2001, she won the prestigious Juno Award (Canadian equivalent of the Grammy) and also holds the record for the most Maple Blues Awards in Canada and has earned three Trophees de Blues de France. She has also garnered several nominations at the Blues Music Awards from The Blues Foundation.

The Ice Queen (Mar 2 2018) was recorded in San Marcos, Texas. The album represents Foley’s full circle journey – her return to the roots of her career in Austin and her reconnection with many old friends. Joining Sue Foley as special guests is a trio of legendary Texas guitarslingers – Jimmie Vaughan, Z.Z.Top’s Billy F Gibbons and Charlie Sexton - as well as a host of other Lone Star State all-stars.
Michael Jerome Browne New Album and Tour Dates
Saturday May 4 House Concert with WRBS

Michael Jerome Browne is a three-time Canadian Folk Music Award winner (Traditional Singer, 2015; Solo Artist, 2012 & 2008), Maple Blues Award winner (with 32 nominations since 1999), Kerrville (Texas) New Folk Finalist, four-time Juno Award Nominee in both the Roots/Traditional and Blues categories. He is a multi-instrumentalist, a songwriter, and a living encyclopedia of American Roots music.

That’s Where It’s At! is Michael Jerome Browne’s latest collection, focusing on soul music through the lens of a traditional blues player. Recorded largely live off the floor in Sherbrooke and Montréal (Québec) and Hamilton (Ontario), Michael’s finger style guitar and warm, unaffected vocals are front and centre, accompanied only by John McColgan’s funky drumming on five songs.

That’s Where It’s At! is the new album on Borealis Records, available February 8, 2019. This album focuses on the connection between blues and soul, the stripped-down accompaniment consisting only of Michael’s guitar, with drummer John McColgan on five tracks. Vocal guests include Harrison Kennedy, Roxanne Potvin and Eric Bibb. Five originals are mixed in with songs from Sam Cooke, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Al Green, and Stevie Wonder, as well as two spirituals from way back- the roots of gospel and soul.

To celebrate and share this outstanding new recording, Michael Jerome Browne will be on tour throughout Canada in the coming months, starting with industry showcases at both Blues Summit Nine in Toronto and Folk Alliance International in Montreal.

Upcoming Tour Dates

Feb. 1 - 4 - Blues Summit Nine, Toronto, ON

Feb. 13 - 17 - Folk Alliance International, Montreal, QC

Feb. 21 - Mississippi Queen Foods, Hamilton, ON
(w/special guest Harrison Kennedy)

Feb. 22 - Hugh’s Room Live, Toronto, ON
(w/special guest Harrison Kennedy, Michelle Josef on drums)

Feb. 23 - Greenbank Folk Society, Greenbank, ON

March 9 - La Vitrola, Montréal QC
(w/John McColgan, drums)

March 13 - Irene’s Pub, Ottawa, ON
(w/special guest Harrison Kennedy, John McColgan on drums)

May 3 - Rogue Folk Club, Vancouver, BC
(w/Tim Williams, Cecile Doo-Kingue, Paul Pigat)

May 4 - House Concert, White Rock, BC - More details to follow.

May 5 - 11- Hornby Island Blues Workshop

May 12 - Duncan Garage Showroom, Duncan, BC

May 13 - Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge, Parksville, BC

Visit and for more information

Harpdog Brown New Album Coming Soon
We are so excited about this new album and we’re glad you’ve decided to join us for the experience. You’ve known Harpdog Brown as a real-deal purveyor of classic electric blues – Chicago Blues. This new band delivers a whole new sound and brings it a little closer to New Orleans Blues. Still a classic sound, just a different vintage and it’s a whole lotta fun to play and enjoy. I dare ya to sit still!
This music is too much fun to keep to ourselves so we’ve partnered with PledgeMusic as our way to invite you into the process and as a fun way of giving back for all the support you’ve shown in recent years. Let us take you behind the scenes and into the incredible Warehouse Studio in the Gastown district of Vancouver BC.
You’ll be the first to get an autographed CD before it’s released and you’ll even get a downloadable version well before that! While we’re at it we’ll show you exclusive behind-the-scenes shenanigans and updates. Wait you want more? Well, of course, we’ll have cool exclusives that you can only get by participating! You can check out the merch and memorabilia bundles in the store! The first 100 to order will also receive an exclusive downloadable track right away!
Simply by pre-ordering right here, you could help land the album on the charts. It’s true! All pre-orders count towards the release day. Wouldn’t it feel good to know that you were a part of that? So please tell all your friends to join the fun too. The more the merrier!
This world needs more love and that’s what we’re about to deliver.
Join us and we’ll reveal more details along the way!

Links For Blues Fans

“The Blues Foundation plays an absolutely essential role in ensuring the present and future of the blues as well as celebrating this great American music tradition. With the Blues Music Awards and The Blues Hall of Fame, the Foundation honors the finest blues artists and recordings of the past and present. With the International Blues Challenge, Generation Blues Scholarships and the Foundation’s support of blues education, The Blues Foundation nurtures the great blues artists of the future.”
Bruce Iglauer, Founder and President, Alligator Records
Here is a link to a podcast that focuses on the blues produced by the Blues Foundation.

Canadian Blues History
White Rock Blues Society  •  15798 38A Ave  •  South Surrey  •  BC  •  V3S 0K9

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