2019 Artist Lineup!
David Rotundo (Huatulco, Mexico)
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 11:15 – 12:30 am
We first met David back in the early 2000’s when he came through London to play at The Honest Lawyer. It was easy to become big fans of this incredible singer and harp player and when we launched the very first Lighthouse Blues Festival in 2010, David was our headliner! We were able to secure a return visit in 2012. Inspired by a James Cotton performance at the El Mocambo in 1991, David has been playing the blues harmonica ever since! He’s played with and been tutored by all the greats – Jack deKeyser, Lee Oskar, James Cotton, Jeff Healey, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Madagascar Slim, Magic Slim and many others. While his music career was Toronto based for many years, he has since re-located to Huatulco, Mexico and opportunities to see him here in Canada are now limited to his occasional trips back home. We’re proud that he has chosen our festival for one of these rare appearances!
Danielle Nicole Band (Kansas City, MO)
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 11:15 – 12:30 am
Clearly a fan favourite in 2018, bringing Danielle back this year was a no-brainer! And what a year since last summer, capped off with her recent Grammy Award nomination for her 2018 cd “Cry No More”. Nicole’s band features guitarist/multi-instrumentalist Brandon Miller and drummer Rodd Bland, son of blues legend Bobby “Blue” Bland. It’s a dynamic trio powered by Danielle’s through-the-roof emotional vocals that brings audiences to their feet every time! Her tone is rich, full, warm, raw, and a range that is notable, impressive, and only serves to add emotional elements to the songs. Bassist, song-writer and powerful vocalist…Danielle Nicole is having an incredible impact on the North American blues scene.
Steve Strongman (Hamilton, ON)
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 10:00 – 11:00 pm
Originally from Kitchener, but now living in Hamilton, Steve was introduced to the blues by listening to legendary Mel Brown at Poppa Gators. Mentored by that great bluesman, Steve steadily honed his craft, becoming an incredible guitar player (2019 IBC Best Guitarist Award) and vocalist (Juno and Maple Blues Award winner). That attention and tutoring by Mel also had another effect on Steve… he himself takes the time to share his craft and encourage others. One example we have witnessed was right here with the Bruce County Blues, “Blues in the Schools” program where Steve, as guest artist, teaches younger musicians about the blues (local talent Thales Hunter got some one-on-one with Steve and plays on our OPG Stage on Saturday!) Steve is a versatile talent - guitar-slinger, songwriter and vocalist – but also a great ambassador for Canadian blues!
Larry McCray (Bay City, MI)
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 9:45 – 11:00 pm
Born and raised in Arkansas, Larry moved north to Saginaw, Michigan as a young adult to work in the automobile factories. On the side, after following his sister’s Freddie King inspired band, Larry took up the guitar and his future career unfolded. His debut album, Ambition, was released in 1991 and since then he’s added another 8 to his discography including the most recent, The Gibson Sessions. He tours extensively and has shared the stage with many greats including the three Kings (B.B., Freddie and Albert), Albert Collins, Jimmy Thackery, Sister Monica and others. It's been 30 years -- award-winning ones at that -- of scalding-hot and tasteful blues from the Arkansas-born, Michigan-based singer, guitarist, bandleader, songwriter and we look forward to many more!
Joanna Connor (Chicago, IL)
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 10:00pm – 11:00 pm
We had the pleasure of introducing Joanna to Ontario blues fans at our 2018 festival and bringing her back, based on the enthusiastic reception she received, was an easy decision. Of course, many fans who have been to Kingston Mines, in Chicago, were already familiar with this gifted slide guitar virtuoso and appreciated getting the opportunity to hear her closer to home. While Joanna is an accomplished singer, it’s her guitar playing, particularly her blues slide guitar playing that demonstrates her rich talent the most. If you like blistering Chicago blues solos and gut-wrenching, soul-searing performances with equally strong vocals, you won’t be disappointed. And Joanna has blossomed into a gifted blues songwriter. Her songwriting talents, strongly influenced by greats like Luther Allison, will insure that she stays in the blues spotlight for years to come.
Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar (Toronto, ON)
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 8:30 – 9:30 pm
A lot has happened with this band since their first appearance at our 2015 festival and considering their busy touring schedule across Europe and North America, we feel lucky getting them back this year! Their sophomore cd, Run to Me, was Juno nominated Best Album and the band received four recent Maple Blues Award nominations including Entertainer of the Year. Samantha is lead singer, songwriter and dynamic front woman but she is powerfully backed up by Delta Sugar -Sherie Marshall and Mwansa Meansa. Together they produce a pure, unadulterated gospel-tinged, neuron-tingling magic where the sum is even richer than the already soul-melting parts. If there’s going to be a Queen of Soul in Canada, this talented young lady is heading to the front of the line!
Digging Roots (Barrie, ON)
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Digging Roots is a First Nations musical group consisting of husband and wife duo Raven Kanetakta and ShoShona Kish, whose musical style blends roots, rock, folk and blues. Formed in 2004, their first album, Seeds, was released in 2006. They followed with We Are in 2009, and For the Light, in 2014. Awarded a Juno for Indigenous Album of the Year in 2010, Raven and ShoShona have built their sound on a unique musical marriage of unvarnished truth and unconditional love. Digging Roots’ new song and video AK-47 has both, in spades. AK-47 packs the punch of Digging Roots’ live anthem Hwy 17, adding the romantic optimism of “For the Light”, the title track of their last album. The Digging Roots appearance at our festival this year has been made possible with the generous financial support of OPG.
Lindsay Beaver (Austin TX)
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 5:50 – 6:45 pm
Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Lindsay re-located to Austin Texas where she has firmly established a successful career with a new band featuring her own soulful vocals and dynamic drumming and the talents of fiery guitarist Brad Stivers and rock-solid bassist Josh Williams. Canadian blues fans will remember Lindsay as leader of the 24th Street Wailers, a young band that we introduced back in 2011 and who went on to release five albums and toured extensively across North America. Since 2018 Lindsay has been taking her new band to major festivals and club dates performing a whole new repertoire of original tunes infused with blues, R&B and old school rock ‘n’ roll with punk rock energy. She has received wide acclaim and just recently signed with famed Alligator Records which is committed to bringing her music to a whole new world of fans with the inaugural release Tough As Love. Be sure to get your copy this weekend! “She’s like the love child of Amy Winehouse and Little Richard.”—Bruce Iglauer, Alligator Records President
Miss Emily (Kingston, ON)
Saturday, July 13, 2019 - 4:45 – 5:35 pm
One of the hard parts of festival planning is the time spent during the winter months traveling to clubs and showcases of talent we’re not familiar with or just haven’t seen in a while. This last January we were at the Blues Summit in Toronto organized by the Toronto Blues Society and came away with being most impressed, despite all the talent we saw, with this singer, Miss Emily. Performing since she was 12, Miss Emily has matured with a voice that soars to great emotional heights and brings audiences to their feet. Her performances are foot-stomping, heart-wrenching adventures in rhythm, blues, jazz and rock and roll. For 15 years Miss Emily has captivated listeners across Canada, the US and the United Kingdom with her unique combination of passion and talent. We’re confident this will be one of your festival favourites and you’ll be taking home her cd!
Trevor Mackenzie Band (Owen Sound, ON)
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 7:15 – 8:15 pm
Lead by the guitar wizardry of Trevor Mackenzie, this band of incredibly talented musicians from Bruce, Grey and Simcoe Counties have been tearing up clubs and festival stages for the last few years and were warmly received at our 2018 festival. Evolving from the earlier Maple Blues Award winning Mackenzie Blues Band, this incarnation is driven by a tight rhythm section, and two powerful vocalists. Seasoned pros they bring a high energy to their original tunes and classic blues covers. And Trevor has been described as “one of the most dangerous guitar players in Canada”, and he engages audiences with his soulful and playful musicianship.
Justin Saladino (Montreal, QE)
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Returning from a performance on one our 2018 Street Stages, Montreal born, Justin Saladino leads a guitar-driven blues/rock group. The Justin Saladino Band has two all-original releases under their belt: “No Worries” (2016) and “A Fool’s Heart” (2018). The compositions are inspired by a colourful palette of genres and artists, moving effortlessly from smooth R&B textures to wailing blues riffs. In 2018, the 21st annual “Maple Blues Awards” nominated the group for “New Artist of the Year.” Representing Québec, the group competed in the 2019 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN. The Justin Saladino Band’s performances are dynamic, offering an energetic and captivating display of versatility and originality.
Riverside Blues Band
Friday, July 12, 2019 - 5:00 – 5:45 pm
The Riverside Blues Band are well known and longtime favourites for Bruce and Grey County blues fans for many, many years! Steve Cuneo (bass, vocals) and Bob Richards (drums) drive the band with a tight groove accompanied by Greg Dechert (keyboards, vocals and former member of Bad Company!) and guitarist Jevon Cox. They are seasoned musicians who site Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana as their greatest musical influences. Each member brings their individual talents and years of experience to a collaboration that together creates a solid blues infused musical experience for area fans. Performing a mix of blues standards and their own originals they’ll provide a high energy kick off to our festival main stage!