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).
On the back of rave reviews at this summer’s Kingsville Folk Music Festival, Toronto’s folk quintet Union Duke are heading back down into Ontario’s banana belt for a show at Leamington’s Bank Theatre on Saturday November 26 at 8 p.m. (Doors 7 p.m.) The band released their third album “Golden Days”, the follow-up to the very well received “Cash & Carry” earlier this year. With a lively alt.folk bluegrass pop sound, the band inhabit the same territory as Mumford & Sons and The Strumbellas. They have a fabulous live show, and are definitely worth checking out if you haven’t yet done so. Get your tickets online HERE. Check out Union Duke online at unionduke.com.
Dave Gunning is back on tour in Ontario this April. Dave joined us to chat about the tour and his latest album (number eleven) “Lift”. For more information on Dave’s tour dates, visit davegunning.com. Music: Dave Gunning “I Robbed the Co. Store”, “They Don’t Do That No More” and “Sing It Louder” from “Lift” (2015, Wee House of Music).
Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter Dave Gunning is back on tour in Ontario this April, including a stop off in Leamington for a Road to Kingsville Folk Fest show at The Bank Theatre (April 15), The Registry Theatre, Kitchener (April 16), Hugh’s Room, Toronto (April 21) and The Moonshine Cafe, Oakville (April 28). He’ll also be appearing at this summer’s Mariposa Folk Festival (July 7-10). Dave is fresh off a 13-date trip to Australia and the release of his 11th album “Lift” (2015, Wee House Of Music), a stellar collection of personal and character-driven songs featuring four Dave Gunning originals alongside co-writes with some other great Canadian songwriters including contributions from Matt Andersen, Catherine MacLellan, Thom Swift and the late Jim Dorie. There is also a fabulous tribute to the late great Pete Seeger, “Sing It Louder” co-written with North Carolina singer-songwriter Sally Spring. Check out all of Dave’s upcoming appearances at davegunning.com.