The Durham County Poets are having an absolutely fabulous year. They released the wonderful “Hand Me Down Blues” in 2019 – a celebration of all things blues and the artists that have inspired their music. Since then, they have received nominations for both the 2020 JUNO Blues Album of the Year & the 2019 Maple Blues Awards New Artist/Group of the Year. According to band front man and lead vocalist Kevin Harvey, the decision to make a full-on blues album brought back memories of catching the great Muddy Waters live in Montreal in 1981, when – front row and centre, a young Kevin Harvey was able to touch the great man’s shoe. “Muddy looked at me and winked, as if to say ‘welcome to the blues, son’. I didn’t know then, that I would have a life-altering spinal cord injury three months later that would place me in a wheelchair for the rest of my life. That experience made the blues come alive to me. The band and I – we have our own experiences and inspirations that lead to the creation of a dedicated ‘blues album’, paying homage to our favourite blues artists. Muddy Waters was just one of many who handed the genre down to us, and now we want to continue in that tradition by putting our own stamp on it and “Hand” the blues to the next generation.” Hand Me Down Blues which was produced by Bill Garrett, features compositions written by all four long-time members of the band: David Whyte, Neil Elsmore, Carl Rufh and Kevin Harvey alongside some well chosen covers. New boy Rob Couture joins them in the drum chair. The Durham County Poets continue to tour on a regular basis, and upcoming dates include Sharbot Lake ON (March 21, Sharbot Lake Inn), Oakville (March 26, The Moonshine Cafe), Kingsville ON (March 27, Road to Kingsville Folk Fest), Wallaceburg ON (March 28, Jeanne Gordon Theatre) and Wakefield QC (May 16, The Blacksheep Inn). For more information, visit durhamcountypoets.com. Music: Durham County Poets, “Hand Me Down Blues”, “Can’t Be Satisfied”, “If The Lid Don’t Fit” and “Evil In The Heart Of Man” from “Hand Me Down Blues” (2019, Self).
We’re giving over the whole of Episode 490 of Folk Roots Radio to a fabulous in-depth conversation with Bill Garrett who sat down us at the 2019 Folk Music Ontario conference to talk about his long career in music and the development of the wonderful boutique folk music record label Borealis Records. We wrap up the conversation with music from Bill Garrett, Bill Garrett & Sue Lothrop, Naming The Twins, Durham County Poets and Shelley Posen. Check out the full playlist below.