Victor Wainwright and The Train (Memphis TN)
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 11:15 – 12:30 am
We first met Victor during an extended stay in Daytona Beach where he was a regular in area blues clubs, like Bank of Blues, while he was attending college. That was back in 2005. Amazed at his talent, we followed his career in music as much as we could from Canada and it was made easier when he moved up to Memphis after graduation. Then in 2012 we were able to introduce him to Canadian blues fans at our third festival. Since then he’s been back in 2013 and 2015 as well as some club shows we’ve presented. Yes, you could say he’s a favourite! Composer, producer, vocalist, and award-winning entertainer and piano player; Victor Wainwright is a raucous high-octane, dynamic performer and crowd pleaser with soul to spare.
Ghost Town Blues Band (Memphis TN)
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 11:15 – 12:30 am
This is another personal favourite that we met in Memphis back in 2014, introduced to Canadian blues fans that fall with club show at The Bruce, followed up with a main stage performance at the 2015 Festival. We’ve brought them back for club shows, school performances and another Festival Main Stage performance last year. Matt and his Memphis buddies are the best ambassadors of southern blues-rock since the Allman Brothers. With a legion of fans across the US and now here in Canada they constantly tour with their incredible live show.
Danielle Nicole Band (Kansas City, MO)
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 10:00 – 11:00 pm
Like many blues fans, we were introduced to Danielle back in 2008 when, performing as Trampled Under Foot with her two brothers, the trio won the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. In 2014 their album Badlands won the Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues Album, with Danielle recognized as Best Instrumentalist-Bass Award, the first woman to win this prestigious award. The following year Danielle stepped on her own with her debut album, Wolf Den, reaching the Number 2 spot on Billboard charts. Danielle is touring this year in support of her second album Cry No More. Be sure to take a copy home with you! This is her first appearance in Ontario with her own band.
John Nemeth (Memphis)
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 9:45 – 11:00 pm
Raised in Idaho but launching his career in San Francisco, Nemeth landed in Memphis in 2013 where he has become a key player in that city’s rich music scene. Németh fearlessly crushes all barriers of style and genre with music that defies all the usual pigeonholes. Drawing from his strong influences in blues and R&B, as well as contemporary sounds in hip hop and rock & roll, John creates music that is personal as well as universal, and owes its origin to no one but John Németh. He creates his songs from melodies and phrases he draws from the sounds of life, from early-morning Memphis songbirds to the din of the city.
Joanna Connor Band (Chicago, IL)
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 8:30 – 9:30 pm
If you’ve been to Chicago for the music, you likely went to Kingston Mines. And that’s likely where you first heard Joanna Connor, where she’s a regular performer playing three nights most weekends. For the rest of you, we’re proud to be introducing her to the Ontario blues community. While Joanna is an accomplished singer, it’s her guitar playing, particularly her blues slide guitar playing that demonstrates her rich talent the most.
She’s one powerhouse of a slide blues guitarist, someone who attacks frets with a beautiful fury and doesn’t let go. 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 signwriting talents, strongly influenced by greats like Luther Allison, will insure that she stays in the blues spotlight for years to come.
Tas Cru (New York)
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 8:45 – 9:45 pm
We first heard Tas Cru at Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale MS in 2008 on the Tuesday night before the IBC in Memphis. He was hosting the blues jam that had a lot of the competitors in the house and getting up playing in between. It’s a gig that he moved to Rum Boogie on Beale Street the next year and has become one of the mainstays of the IBC week. Raucous, rowdy, gentle, sweet, eccentric, quirky, and outright irreverent are all words that fittingly describe Tas Cru's songs and testify to his reputation as a one of the most unique of bluesmen plying his trade today. It’s not for nothing that Cru has received wide praise for his songwriting.
Gracie Curran and The High Falutin’ Band
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Another talented blues artist we were introduced to in Memphis, Gracie Curran started out in Boston in 2010 and played the New England blues club circuit, taking her band to the IBC in Memphis in 2013. With the release of her debut album, she was nominated for a Blues Music Award as Best New Artist in 2014 and after performing at the Award Ceremony that year, she permanently relocated to Memphis to immerse herself in that rich music scene. With powerful performances and a contagious enthusiasm, Gracie Curran & The High Falutin' Band have established themselves as one of the most exciting young bands on the roots scene today. This is her first performance in Ontario but likely won’t be her last!
The Sons of Rhythm (Toronto)
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 7:15 – 8:15 pm
There are many rooms in the House of Blues and The Sons of Rhythm create a unique sound all of their own with a blend of fiery electric guitar, wailing saxophone, funk thumpin’ bass, swelling B3, melodious vocals and pocket rhythms. They played on one of our street stages last year and the buzz from the fans was loud and clear- bring them back! In the short time the group has been together they have been able to captivate audiences with creative arrangements of old standards as well as catchy, energetic originals. They have performed at numerous venues and festivals across Southern Ontario and Quebec including Montreal Jazz Festival, Sound of Music Festival, and Violet’s Venue to name a few.
SoulStack (Kitchener, ON)
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 6:00 – 7:00 pm
Soulstack delivers a visceral experience; one of seasoned musicians playing the music of their roots with authentic realism. It’s the sound of Staples Singers-inspired southern harmony, tremolo-drenched baritone guitar, with a late-sixties New Orleans-style rhythm section and the gurgle of a Hammond organ driving it along with the unmistakable and distinctive voice of Jon Knight. Since their debut album in 2012 this Kitchener based band has been building a loyal fan base across Ontario. Their unique live show, already known in circles as a finely tuned machine burning down the highway from Detroit influenced fuzz-tinged rootsy rock’n’roll to swampy Alabama soul. Soulstack had positioned themselves as a band to watch!
Trevor MacKenzie Band (Owen Sound, ON)
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 5:45 – 6:45 pm
What can we say about this band. If you’re from Bruce County or have attended earlier festivals, you’ll already know that this is one of our local favourites! Incredibly talented musicians and vocalists, they are led by Trevor MacKenzie, one of the regions most gifted and exciting guitar players. Schooled by Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zepplin, Trevor now bends the notes with his own unique style that others try to emanate. Backed by an equally talented seven piece band will be a festival highlight for many!
Brent Tingley (Halifax, NS)
Saturday, July 14, 2018 - 4:45 – 5:35 pm
We’ve known and been fans of this east coast bluesman since 2004 when he was a regular at the blues jams in London. After a brief stay in Ontario he moved back home and it’s been harder for us to keep track. A regular at east coast blues joints, it’s rare to have him touring this way so we’re fortunate to grab him for our festival. Don’t be fooled by his youthful appearance. Brent Tingley, raised in Turtle Creek and now living in Halifax, is an old school blues musician. Stripped down and raw… that’s the way he presents his music. And he can be a bit cranky at times too…. Just saying.
Andrew Parkhouse Band (Kincardine, ON)
Friday, July 13, 2018 - 5:00 – 5:45 pm
This is definitely the most exciting artist to emerge from the local Bruce County music scene in some time. Whether performing solo, with his band or backing others at one of the area’s open mics, Andrew Parkhouse’s gifted vocals and guitar playing stands out. Andrew’s songwriting mixes the musical boundaries between country and blues so don’t get too hung up trying to categorize him. Just sit back and let his set of original tunes pull you into his musical storytelling and then hop over to our merch tent to buy his debut cd released in early 2018.