The Maple Blues Awards

Maple Blues Award

Written by Joe Taylor

February 02, 2024

Monday February 12,2024

I was lucky enough lately to sneak in about 20 minutes with Manny DeGrandis, the man responsible for organizing and being the band leader of  the Maple Blues Awards this year. It is his first year and he is stoked that the awards ceremony is being held again at the Phoenix Concert hall. “It is like going back to your roots”, exclaimed Manny. With the Phoenix, they will be adding chairs on the floors, but will have spots if you prefer to stand. They also have the upper balcony if you enjoy the bird’s eye view.

The awards added a new category, which is exciting for the healing of the Canadian spirit. They added “Best new Indigenous artist or group”: Another win for the First Nations People. With that said, I just found out that Crystal Shawanda will be one of the acts performing that night as well. I just discovered her on the Sultan of Strings new record- Walking through the fire. It is a total collaboration with other Indigenous artists creating a new History.

Also on the Bill for performing is, Matt Anderson, The Blackburn Brothers,( whose new record I just reviewed if you want to go back and read that.) They also have Brandon Isaak, Angela Hunter and a couple more that I will leave as a surprise.

There will also be a pre-party Friday Feb 9-Sunday Feb 11 at the Chelsea Hotel with 30 different bands performing. You can get your tickets from the Maple Blues Award site. This is totally worth it if you love discovering new talent at a very low price. I highly recommend it.

I did bring up the fact, that the Blues scene has changed, but how has it changed. I believe that the old guard blues artists are still around and making great music, but the up and coming Blues artists are just not making a big impact on the scene. I am not seeing young people attending many Blues shows. I think it is because there are not a lot of young artists exploding on the scene like other music genres out there today. The Pop scene is vibrant; the Punk scene is thriving with a lot of great punk bars. The lack of Blues bars and the dim of the spotlight on up and coming acts seems prevalent in the Blues scene currently. Are there any young Blues artist worth talking about and raising them into a brighter future in the city of Toronto or even the rest of Canada? I guess that is why these Blues awards are so important.

So I send this message out to the young concert goers of today to go to the Chelsea Hotel and experience a lot of various Blues sounds. I guarantee you will find a few artists that will excite you and fill up those Blues bars around Toronto.

Here is a link to buy tickets to the Pre-Party Shows as well as the awards ceremony. I want to see you there so we can sing the blues together.

Tickets for Maple Blues Awards | TicketWeb – The Phoenix Concert Theatre in Toronto, CA – Vente de billets, Ticket, Spectacle, Ticketing Solutions, Theatre, Festival, Musique, Music, Humour, Comedy, Billeterie, Venue, Salle, Concert

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