Juno Award-winning powerhouse Crystal Shawanda is back for her fourth appearance with her latest studio album, Midnight Blues, nominated for a 2023 Juno Award. Her latest fiery blues collection showcases her full-throttle raspy voice, unmatched in today’s musical landscape, and an authentic appreciation for the genre dating back to her youth. Born and raised on Manitoulin Island but now living in Nashville with her husband and long-time collaborator Dwayne Strobel, she comes home to her familial roots every summer and we’re always lucky to be able to get her to stop in Kincardine when we can as she passes through. Proudly presented with the support of Canadian Union of Skilled Workers.
Cash Box Kings
Mixing tough Chicago and Delta blues, jumping proto-rock ‘n’ roll, and steamrolling “bluesabilly” (their original mix of Chicago blues and Memphis rockabilly), the Cash Box Kings are bona fide blues royalty. Co-led by real-deal Chicago blues vocalist and songwriter Oscar Wilson and Madison, Wisconsin-based songwriter, harmonica giant and singer Joe Nosek, the band plays masterfully raw and unvarnished house rocking blues. Wilson’s huge, gritty vocals and Nosek’s powerhouse harmonica fuel their razor-sharp original songs. With their top shelf musicianship and trademark good humor, The Cash Box Kings are a one-of-a-kind blues band. In the words of MOJO magazine, the band is “flawless.”
A fan favourite at last year’s festival, Bywater Call brings their exuberant musical hybrid of rock, blues, New Orleans funk, r&b and southern soul back to our Main Stage! Fronted by the powerful vocals of Meghan Parnell and the driving force of Dave Barnes guitar playing, this 7-piece ensemble has had the opportunity to extensively tour Europe, (returning this fall), as well as mainstage performances at premier Canadian festivals including Tremblant International Blues, Donnacona Blues, TD Toronto Jazz, Toronto Beaches Jazz and the Orangeville Blues. All agree, this is one band you need to see live! !
Gracie Curran and The High Falutin’ Band
We were first introduced to Gracie and her High Falutin’ bandmates at the 2013 International Blues Challenge and were able to see her a second time at the Blues Music Awards in 2014. Gracie Curran & The High Falutin' Band have earned their reputation for draw dropping Blues & Soul. With their amazingly energetic live shows and stunningly soulful sound, the band has quickly garnered the attention and adoration of fans and critics alike. This is Gracie’s second appearance on our Main Stage.
Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne
Kenny became one of the beacons of the Canadian blues scene a couple of decades ago, largely based on the west coast. His smooth yet robust piano playing, and cool and soulful vocals are injected into a canon of original tunes that can take his audience on quite the journey. With Kenny in the driver’s seat, it’s always about preparing for a multi-faceted ride, as the musical terrain can shift quickly thanks to a plethora of influences. Now living in Toronto, he tours extensively across North America and Europe so we’re fortunate to have him stop in in Kincardine!
Kansas City, Kansas
Cassie Taylor is already a veteran musician. She's spent a decade playing bass and singing on stage and in the studio with her father, modern-day blues innovator Otis Taylor. Now she stakes her own claim as an artist of intelligence, power and soul, drawing on a wide swath of influences – spanning centuries, continents and cultures – to create her own indelible and utterly modern sound.
Durham County Poets
With 5 Maple Blues Award nominations and a Juno nomination, this 7-piece band from Ormstown, Quebec, has caught the attention of blues fans across Canada. You’ll hear a variety of genres and a broad range of styles. Be it Blues, Soul, Folk, R&B or Gospel, it all weaves seamlessly together to create a truly authentic contemporary Canadiana sound. Be sure to grab their 2022 hit cd, Out of the Woods from our merch tent!
Joshua Miller and The Pappy Johns Band
Six Nations, Ontario
Returning to our Main Stage this year after an incredible performance last year, Joshua Miller and The Pappy Johns Band brings a rockin’-soul blues sound that gets you moving on your feet. The Pappy Johns Band’s core members have been performing together for over 30 years and Josh has served as singer, songwriter, and guitarist since 2003. Josh and the band provides an electrifying mix of blues, rock & soul that solidifies their reputation in the Canadian blues community
Sandra was the winner of the 2019 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search and in 2020 reached the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Given this and her young appearance, you might think of her as “new” talent, but the truth is, her performing history stretched well back to the early 2000’s. With stints living in Spain, Morocco, Scotland, Vancouver, Hamilton, and Toronto, she brings a worldly life experience to her music. A mix of soul/R&B, her songs are delivered with power and passion and if this is your first time hearing her, we’re confident you’ll become a believer!
Matt Weidinger and The Tonewheels
A long-time mainstay in the Kitchener-GTA music scene, Matt can be seen performing with any number of accompanists. He’s a talented multi-instrumentalist though sitting behind his Hammond organ seems to be a most natural setting for him. Blending R&B, jazz, and soul with blues, Matt’s originality and talent shines with every performance. Performing professionally since he was 16, we last had him here in 2017, too long a gap so we’re proud to have him back!
Little Magic Sam
Ordinally from St. Thomas but now living in Toronto, Sam is claiming his own in the competitive music scene of the big city. A born entertainer with a penchant for raw blues and soul music and lyrics that bely someone much older than his young age. With an enormous stage presence, it comes as no surprise that this multi-talented singer/songwriter has been performing internationally since the age of 7. He was a fan favourite last summer on one of our street stages so deserves to be on our Main Stage this year.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Originally from London Ontario but now transplanted to Vancouver, Sarah will be familiar to many local blues fans. Renowned for the passion she brings to each live show, to each recording session, to her writing and indeed her life, Sarah is beloved by her fans for the intimacy and authenticity she brings to her craft, and the way each one of them can identify with the way she brings her own truth to every note, every lyric and every interaction.