BTW -Dan MacDonald, Rory Block, Young Thieves, Girl Pow-R, Rose Cousins, Sarah Harmer, Becky Bowe

Fri Mar 13
Dan MacDonald

This week’s my fave format, the mixed bag. First outta the bag, Dan MacDonald. Dude’s from a family of musicians from the small village of Ironville, Cape Breton and began fiddling around at a very early age. His fiddle education came mostly from his father, Lloyd MacDonald, who is a well-schooled fiddler, and from the surrounding musical culture of Cape Breton Island. In the late 1980s, MacDonald, and his family formed Scumalash, a traditional Cape Breton band, with whom he toured throughout the United Kingdom between 1988 and 1992, culminating in the release of a self-titled album. Scumalash recently returned from a reunion tour of England.

MacDonald moved to Toronto in 2003, where he became a co-host at the Irish music session at Dora Keogh Irish pub, which is where I became acquainted with his stellar skills and amiable perso. He hooked up with the traditional Irish group, Spraoi. Spraoi.In 2006, MacDonald became music director of The Magic of Ireland, an Irish dance and music show, with which he toured the UK, Canada, the USA and Europe.

Rory Block Announces Second Release of Her "Power Women of the Blues" Series with ‘Prove It’

Fri Feb 07, 2020

Six-time Blues Music Award-winner (including the 2019 award for the “Acoustic Artist of The Year”) Rory Block announces the release of the second installment in her “Power Women of the Blues” album series with Prove It on Me, coming March 27 on Stony Plain Records. It follows the critically acclaimed 2018 release of her first CD in the series, a tribute to the legendary Bessie Smith titled A Woman’s Soul.

Rory was recently nominated for another Blues Music Award - “Traditional Female Blues Artist” (AKA – The Koko Taylor Award) - for the upcoming BMAs in Memphis in May. “I am incredibly honoured to be nominated for ‘The Koko Taylor Award,’” she said upon hearing the news. “I met Koko in Germany years ago when I opened for her. We crossed paths again at various times on the road, where she began to introduce me as “Little Miss Dynamite.’ It means the world to me to be nominated in a category that honours her memory and her incomparable, historic legacy. I feel as if she is not gone but remains among us- supporting, encouraging, and cheering on the next generation of blues women.”

BTW-Tedeschi Trucks Band, Amanda Rheaume, Rory Block, King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard, Len Mizzoni

Fri Feb 08
Tedeschi Trucks Band

GRAMMY-winning 12-piece musical ensemble Tedeschi Trucks Band, led by husband and wife, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, have announced their new album, Signs, out February 15. Featuring 11 new original songs, the album expands on the group’s omnivorous musical appetites, while facing down troubled times with credence and conviction. World-class musicianship is on full display in the genre-defying collection that runs the gamut from uplifting soulful anthems to bittersweet ballads and driving rock and roll.

The teaser is new single ‘Hard Case,’ which showcases Derek’s peerless guitar work and Susan’s stunning, soulful vocals, done to a rootsy rockabilly shuffle.

Rory Block A Woman’s Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith

Fri Jul 27, 2018

As a young teenager Rory Block — her full name is Aurora — grew up in New York’s Greenwich Village at the height of the “folk revival.” At 14, already an accomplished guitarist, she discovered the Delta blues — then part of the wide world of folk music. She vividly remembers hearing Mississippi John Hurt in 1963, and spending time with Son House, Fred McDowell and the Reverend Gary Davis.

Her first recordings (under the pseudonym Sunshine Kate) were made for Elektra Records, but she didn’t return to the studio until 1975 when she recorded for RCA Victor and Chrysalis before signing to Rounder Records, for whom she cut more than a dozen albums. She has also recorded for a number of other labels, in between endless tour schedules.

Along the way, she has won five W.C. Handy Awards (now known simply as Blues Awards) from the Blues Foundation, two for “Traditional Blues Female Artist,” and three for “Acoustic Blues Album of the Year.” She’s earned a gold record in Holland, and toured from one end of the United States to the other end of Canada, not to mention Poland and Norway and Italy and a half a dozen more European countries.