2013 Saskatoon Blues Festival Lineup

2013 Saskatoon Blues Festival

Winter Meltdown

Main Stage Artists


Winter Meltdown - Artist Sound Bytes (mp3 link)

 

 

Odeon Electric Blues Room

241 2nd Avenue South

Sponsored by Potash Corp
Thursday, February 28th Tickets $30

Doors Open 6:30pm Show Time 7:30pm

 

Apollo Cruz


Apollo Cruz

 

Saskatoon’s own APOLLO CRUZ will ignite the evening with its young and vibrant sound. Led by Nick Longpre’s searing guitar and deep throated vocals, along with Brandon Ziola and Aiden Currie’s “beyond their years” rhythm section, this trio manages to pay homage to the blues masters, whether it be covering the classics or playing their own songs.

 

The Harpoonist And The Axe Murderer

 

The Harpoonist and the Axe Maurderer

 

Despite the name and the instrumentation (a sack full of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion and a greasy Telecaster) this is no novelty act. Shawn Hall and Matthew Rogers are making blues for a changing world. Combining the raw swagger of acts like The Black Keys and The White Stripes along with a deep love for the roots of the blues the Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer remind us where this kind of music is supposed to reside: in your nether regions. They play Blues that will get you on the dance floor, plain and simple. The Vancouver based duo has become a festival favourite and a 2013 Maple Blues nominee. We have no doubt that Saskatoon will be their next conquest. Put your dancin’ shoes on people, and enjoy.

 

 

Albert Castiglia

 

Albert Castiglia

 

Being born to a Cuban mother and Italian father while growing up in Miami may give us a clue to the "swampy" blues mixture that permeates Albert Castiglia's music, not to mention that he got his first big break being hand picked to play in Junior Wells’ touring band where he learned how it’s done at the feet of a Master Blues Man. But, that being said, there’s no doubt that Albert has progressed to a style wholly his own. Albert’s blues can best be described as "hard edged," his guitar work as "ferocious" and his vocals “soulful.” His latest album "“Living the Dream" spent most of 2012 in the top 10 on the Blues Charts. When he sings the album’s title song he leaves no doubt that he believes it’s true and he wants you to know it, and feel it too. We are very proud to be able to be the first to present Albert and his powerful trio to this area. If you liked his Miami cohort J.P. Soars last year you will love Albert Castiglia this year.

 

 

Hilton Garden Acoustics Blues Room

90 22nd Street East

Friday, March 1st Tickets $30

Doors Open 7:00pm Show Time 8:00pm

 David 'Boxcar' Gates


David 'Boxcar' Gates

 

If you think that a guy who uses a home made harmonica holder made out of a couple of lamp shade holders, some bicycle brakes and a few other odds and ends might just be a real Bluesman then you need look no farther than David Boxcar Gates. This Vancouver based musician got his first exposure to the festival circuit in 2011 when he toured extensively in Europe and hasn’t looked back since. Piedmont, Ragtime and Delta Blues; Mr. Gates plays them all, supporting material that is mostly self penned. No hype, no frills, no gimmicks (well, maybe the harmonica holder) just a man playing his blues with genuine sincerity and honesty. A sheer pleasure to experience, this amazing one-man blues presentation is a not-to-be-missed and must-see performance.

 

 

Steve James

 

Steve James

 

During the vaunted 60”s there was a cadre of young American blues instrumentalists who were obsessed with the playing of acoustic greats like Robert Johnson, Rev. Gary Davis, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Charlie Patton. Amongst this list of young protégés who searched out and learned from the remaining masters were the likes of Rory Block, Stefan Grossman, Ernie Hawkins, and Jorma Kaukonen, just to mention a few. And, very much at the head of this class is Steve James. According to Ms. Block ""he's the best." Historian, educator, and captivating stage performer Steve James has gone from New York, via Tennessee, to Texas where he has been around the Austin area scene just about as long as there has been an Austin and area scene. "Austin is where I keep my stuff,” says Steve, "but I maintain a second home called the road," and our Acoustic Room will be the benefactor of that lifestyle this year. Look forward to a night of accomplished Fingerstyle Blues playing, singing, some great stories and no doubt a history lesson or two from this one of a kind Bluesman.

 

 

Odeon Electric Blues Room

241 2nd Avenue South

Sponsored by Potash Corp
Friday, March 1st Tickets $30

Doors Open 6:300pm Show Time 7:30pm

 Transcontinental Blues Band


Transcontinental Blues Band

 

Marilyn 'Mama B' Boll and Randy 'Freight Train Wayne' Hawryliw have been a constant presence on the local Saskatoon music scene for some time now and we think their best incarnation is the Transcontinental Blues band. Behind Marilyn’s stellar vocals, Randy’s "geez I didn’t realize this guy was that good" guitar playing, and veteran rhythm section of Laurence Deslauriers on bass and Don Sproule on the drums this band will get you out of your chairs and on to the dance floor early. A fine way to start off a Friday night of Blues music.

 

 

Steve Strongman

 

Steve Strongman

 

Winner of the 2012 Maple Blues award for best Electric Guitarist Steve Strongman graced our Acoustic Room stage last year showcasing his versatility, charm and talent. At the Sunday windup jam at Vangelis Steve brought out his electric guitar and wowed the crowd with his guitar virtuosity and strong vocals while jamming with the locals. Just think what he’ll show us this year with his regular band and a full set on the Electric Stage. At the 2013 Maple Blues Awards he received three Maple Blues awards - Songwriter of the Year, Recording of the Year for his recent release “A Natural Fact” and Guitar Player of the Year... Steve is a consummate performer and front man who along with his trio will keep the late night revelers happily on the dance floor and by the end of the night no doubt asking for more.

 

 

Shakura S'Aida

 

Shakara S'aida

 

What can one say about a smart, vivacious and dynamic vocalist that can sing circles around many of her contemporaries? Well, let’s start with this: Nominated in five categories for the 2013 Maple Blues Awards including Female Vocalist and Entertainer of the Year. Shakura S’aida has a huge following on the international scene where she played every where from Abu Dahbi to Moscow to the USA in 2012. The truth is she is probably better known abroad than she is in her chosen homeland of Canada, but we suspect that is all about to change.

Born in New York, raised in Switzerland and now a long time Torontonian Shakura has been plying the stages of the world long enough to make her the consummate pro. In the past she has sung backup for Patti Labelle and Ruth Brown, but it is her solo career that has bolted her into the front of the international blues scene. Be ready to be entertained at the highest level.

 

 

Hilton Garden Acoustics Blues Room

90 22nd Street East

Saturday, March 2nd Tickets $30

Doors Open 7:00pm Show Time 8:00pm

 

Ross Neilsen

 

Ross Neilsen

 

You may Know Ross Neilsen from his energetic blues rockin’ shows at Buds with his band. But Ross has another side to him as can be heard on his latest album The Shack Up Sessions. Ross will showing off his acoustic blues prowess from coast to coast via the Via train while jumping off (not literally we hope) to grace our Acoustic Stage as the Saturday Night opener. Fredrickton’s favourite son will be all ours for one night at least.

 

 

'Blind Boy' Paxton

 

'Blind Boy' Paxton

 

Jerron 'Blind Boy' Paxton, a songster, busker and itinerant bluesman, the living embodiment of the true blues in the 21St Century. The young bard was born in 1989, but his vast talent rivals the greatest in the genre. He is the whole package. He’s witty, fast rhyming, poetic, fun, exciting, wonderfully skilled as a musician and a fine singer, he is the continuation of a proud tradition, literally and figuratively. He is even the real-life son of Robert Johnson’s cousin, so you can say it’s in the blood. Blind since age 16, the charismatic bluesman, sometimes also called 'J-Dog Paxton' or 'Blind Boy Jerron Paxton', hails from a Creole family in Watts, South Central Los Angeles, but his people come from Louisiana. He is a capable multi-instrumentalist who picks banjo and guitar, plays harmonica, piano and other instruments. He is a joyous entertainer, humorous with a dazzling wit, a terrific storyteller, exuding an affable excitement. He feels home in the Piedmont tradition with its ragtime influence. Country blues fans will pick up on Blind Boy Fuller, Gary Davis, but also on the swampy blues of Louisiana and the Mississippi Delta. On the piano he can remind you of Fats Waller. He is often cited to have said that at the age of fifteen– about the time he started to go blind– that he just didn’t like anything written after 1934. He raised himself on 78s by the blues masters of another era. There are many that feel Blind Boy is a once in a generation blues star in the making. We are very proud to get in on the ground floor and be able to present him to you.

 

 

Odeon Electric Blues Room

241 2nd Avenue South

Sponsored by Potash Corp
Saturday, March 2nd Tickets $30

Doors Open 6:30pm Show Time 7:30pm

 

B.C. Read Big Band

 

B.C. Read Band

 

Sometimes we take our local bands for granted which is neither wise nor deserved. The local Blues scene is alive and well with many, many great musicians. Just check out any of the current jam sessions. The senior ( and we mean that in the best possible way) member of that group of blues musicians is B.C. Read. I don’t think you’ll get much of an argument on that. B.C. has paid his dues and then some. We are pleased to present B.C with his full big band. This is a power house band replete with veteran local players too many to list here, but you know who they are, and you know how good they are. In fact that’s the only thing you should take for granted; this is one fine band.

 

 

Bill Durst

 

Bill Durst

 

Always an audience favourite, Bill Durst has long been compared to the best guitar player/singer/entertainers anywhere in the world. Bill has written and recorded over 100 songs on ten albums including seven charted Canadian radio hits. After the early success of his band Thundermug in North America and Europe, Bill was acclaimed as one of the top songwriters in Canada, signing with CBS (now Sony) Publishing, and releasing his first two solo albums in 1984 and 1989. In between these two albums, as a side gig, Bill played in “the biggest bar band in Canada” Tres Hombres, a ZZ Top clone band, and that’s how he got his beard started. But With the release of his 2009 Great Willy Mammoth and the 2012 Live albums, Bill is seeing a renaissance of his musical talents, in particular his live shows best described as a synthesis of fun and exciting Blues, roots and rock music by an incredible guitar player and entertainer. A more than fitting way to wind up the Electric Stage performances.

 

 

Marcia Ball

 

Marcia Ball

 

Marcia Ball is a woman with a reputation. The Texas-born, Louisiana-raised pianist/vocalist/songwriter is famed worldwide for igniting a full-scale roadhouse rhythm and blues party every time she strolls on stage. Ball's groove-laden New Orleans boogie and rollicking Gulf Coast blues have made her a one-of-a-kind favorite with music fans all over the world. But she's also a master at transfixing her audience with an emotionally rich, passionately sung ballad. The Boston Herald says, "Ball plays masterful, red hot tracks from the Texas-Louisiana border. Her voice can break your heart with a ballad or break your back with a rocker." On her new CD, Roadside Attractions (her 15th solo recording), Ball's songwriting is at the forefront, ranging from tales of wild parties to stories of twisted motel affairs to declarations of the enduring power of love and family. It is inspired by her years on the road and from insights gained from everyday life, making it her most autobiographical album. For her Blues Festival appearance, she will be supported by a stellar five piece band of road worn professionals who can cover it all. Marcia is the absolute highlight of this years festival and she should be the highlight of your weekend as well. Don’t miss this one.