The boys in this Hall may wonder what it really means
/// As if it weren’t enough that Blues fans already find themselves constantly embroiled in arguments with one another about what is and what isn’t “authentic Blues”, now they may have another controversy to niggle over: what is and what isn’t an authentic Blues Hall of Fame.
I’m not really sure exactly what the pedigree of www.BluesHallofFame.com group really is, but having looked into it a little bit at the urging of a subscriber, a couple of things do seem clear about the organization, which seems to exist primarily as a website:
Firstly, they aren’t affiliated with any recognized “Blues Society” such as the Toronto Blues Society or Canada South Blues Society (both of which have dues-paying members and conduct various activities related to promoting Blues artists and shows) nor to The Blues Foundation, which since 1980 has operated its own Blues Hall of Fame out of Memphis and which, like TBS, holds an annual Awards Show. Secondly, they certainly do seem to know their Canadian Blues music and musicians. Thirdly, they could use an upgrade of their website design and artistic and literary skills.
The organization came to my attention after talented keys virtuoso Michael Keys reported to me a couple months back that the band he is regularly affiliated with, Danny B (who seems to have dropped “The Sons of B’s” from his group name) had been inducted into the “Hall” as a “Master Blues Band”. Kind of a curious turn of phrase that is to my mind and the certificate of induction itself (or at least the image of it that appears online) seems somewhat hokey-looking to my eye.
A visit to the organization’s website reveals that it seems to operate basically as an online presence only. [Not that there’s anything wrong with that –hell, the publication you’re reading resembles that remark, although Toronto Moon evolved out of a journal that was printed hard-copy for nearly 20 years before going digital-only.] They are somewhat upfront about being only a web presence because they do have a tag that says “Help us build this virtual Blues Hall of Fame eMuseum” clearly displayed.
But I think having a “hall of fame” connotes more than just a website, so to be honest it made me a tad skeptical about who and what exactly this is and how it operates. No physical location or phone number nor “Contact Us” section appears anywhere on the website, although there is a form for visitors to nominate their own favourite artists via registering and submitting.
And there’s no question that, as I noted above, the group knows its artists and it’s either been around for a while or wants to create that impression. The first artists inducted, apparently back in November of 2007, were Morgan Davis, Ken Whiteley, Colin Linden and Kevin Mark, all named as “Ambassador”s to, respectively: “Nova Scotia, Canada”, “Toronto, Ontario, Canada”, and simply “Canada” in Linden and Mark’s cases.
Back then the phrase “A National Heritage Foundation, Nonprofit [sic] Organization” was included as the organization’s descriptor on the certificates pictured on the site, and it still did in December 2008 when Danny Marks, the late Hock Walsh and Donnie Walsh were all named as a “Great Canadian Blues Musician”. That “Nonprofit Organization” tagline continued to appear on two certificates issued in 2010, but by July of 2012, when something called “International Blues” was inducted as an “Ambassador from Canada” (as opposed to “to Canada”), the organization’s tagline had changed to “An American Heritage, International Organization”. [I’m not sure what’s with the use of the commas in those taglines, but whatever…]
The new tagline and use of “Master Blues Artist” as a “category” also appear on the more recent 2013 and 2014 certificates naming the members of the Danny B Band and one for another Blues artist, James Anthony Pecchia (whom most know simply as James Anthony).
Certainly nobody could argue with pretty much all of the above-named choices of “inductees”. The ones I know are all huge forces in the advancement of the Blues in Canada and even internationally in some cases.
It would appear, judging by the link that urges people to nominate their favourite artists, that “Members” of the “Hall” are chosen by online votes, but no clear description of the process is outlined anywhere on the site that I could find, nor is there any “About” section that describes its history. There is, however, a Registered mark ® after the phrase “Blues Hall Of Fame” and a caveat that states “Not associated with The Blues Foundation”. An apparent link to another organization, www.BluesHallofFame.org (with the ® mark in use again), did nothing but spin my cyber wheels when I clicked on it.
There is also a link to “make Tax Deductible Donations” which takes you away from the page to a section of the website of an organization known as United Charitable Programs based in the city of Falls Church, Virginia, and which appears to have the ability to extend its tax-exempt status to any “projects that we accept and sponsor” such as, presumably, this one.
It all seems like a bit of a tangled web and this reporter simply doesn’t have time to unravel all of its threads, which may in the end, in any case, knit together to be a perfectly legitimate and sincere attempt simply to promote great musical artists. And what is wrong with that? You certainly can’t blame the artists for being excited about being included on the list and so long as none of the bands paid to be inducted, it really shouldn’t be a problem. But it all does make one wonder –and could get confusing.
If you’re curious to learn more about it you could perhaps get some answers today (or pretty much any Saturday) by visiting Blue Goose Tavern out in Etobicoke off Royal York Road near the train tracks. For it turns out that not only is Danny B and the band there every Saturday afternoon 3-6, but now the club has hired on James Anthony to do its weekly 9 p.m. Saturday night shows, featuring various special guests. You could go out and catch some of Danny B’s always entertaining sets, have a bite from the kooky kitchen, enjoy the patio if the weather’s nice (even play horseshoes in the summer if they haven’t paved over the pit yet) and stick around for some more great Blues at night. No cover for either show so you can lavish your dough on feeding and watering yourself and the master talents you will very most certainly enjoy and appreciate, no what the authenticity of the Hall they’re inducted into may or may not be.
-Gary 17, www.torontomoon.ca
Listings preceded by an asterisk (*) are repeating weekly events. Admission prices followed by a slash and minus (/-) after the amount indicates door charge with availability of cheaper rates for some purchases. /+ indicates stated price is minimum. Names of subscribers appear in bold and include a live link to their websites where applicable. Advertisers’ listings are in larger type, include live link to website and also have ad icon included in listings.
*12-3> Danny Marks @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~eclectic Jazz/Blues/Rock
12:30-2:30> Glen Hornblast @ Humble Beginnings, 3109 Dundas St. W., TO West ~acoustic Roots/AC
1-4> open mic with hosts Loren Hicks @ Full Of Beans, 1348 Dundas St. W., TO West
1:30-4:30> Words & Music with hosts Linda Stitt & Peter Solmes & guests Glen Hornblast with Bob Cohen (4-4:30) & more @ Portobello, 995 Bay St. TO ~eclectic original mix
*2> Saturday Sessions @ The Swan open mic with Brian Gladstone @ Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave., TO East
*2-6> jam w. Tom Finocchio @ Sam’s Place, Barton-Chestnut Sts., Hamilton
**2-6> Saturday Blues Sermon with James Anthony & special guest Brent Parker @ Black Swan Pub Burlington, 4040 Palladium Way, Burlington ~Blues
*3-6> Danny B’s House Party Band feat. Michael Keys on piano @ Blue Goose, 1 Blue Goose St., Etobicoke South ~R&B/Pop
*3-7> jam with Michelle Deneault & Redder @ Port Credit Legion, 35 Front St., Port Credit
*3-6> jam @ Sauce, 1376 Danforth Ave., TO East
3> JAMZAC @ Tranzac Club (Southern Cross), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
3> The Hot Five Jazzmakers @ C’est What, 67 Front St. E., TO ~traditional Jazz; $5
*3-7> open stage jam @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville
*3:30-6> Johnny Wright @ Outriggers, 2232 Queen St. E., TO East ~R&B
*3:30-6:30> Climax Jazz Band @ Seven44, 744 Bayview Ave., TO North ~Jazz; $
3:30> Chris Hunt Tentet + 2 @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
3:30> Sugar Daddies Sextet @ The Pilot, 22 Cumberland St., TO ~Jazz
*4-8> The Bear Band & guests @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Etobicoke South ~Rock-R&B
4-7> Sin City Boys feat. Kevin Jollimore @ Graffiti’s, 170 Baldwin St., TO ~vintage Pop Rock
4-7> Heart’s Desire feat. David Hines; Laura Thomas; Tom Barlow; more for Marc Robert Nelson memorial @ @ The Harp, 55 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~Pop Rock/Top 40
*4-7:30> Ronnie Hayward Trio @ McQueen’s, 993 Queen St. E., TO E. ~Blues/Roots
4> Cadillac Ranch with Kevin Phillips @ Cadillac Lounge, 1296 Queen St. W., TO West ~Rootsabilly/Country
*4-8> The Meteors with special guest Michael Danckert @ Timothy’s Pub, 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~Blues/Rock/R&B
*4> PRJ @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St., Oshawa ~Blues
5-8> Bill Heffernan & Friends with guests Orit “Little Birdie” Shimoni Band feat. Julian Fauth on piano @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave. TO West –Rootsy Pop
5-8> Arthur Renwick @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~Rootsy Pop
5> Rick & Gailie @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
6-10> Mark Yan & Barry Mulcahy @ Ray’s 3rd Generation, 1475 Queen St. W., Alton ~acoustic Pop
6-8> Rattlesnake Choir @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
6:30> Rock You – a night of classic hits presented by Irish Chorale Society singers @ Tranzac Club (Main Hall), 292 Brunswick Ave., TO
7> The Bacchus Collective @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~ Jazz
8> Mudpunch @ The Only Café, 972 Danforth Ave., TO East ~Blues/Rock duo
8> Itchy & Scratchy @ The Duke Live, 1225 Queen St. E., TO East ~Pop Rock
8-12> Ernie G. @ Ember Hot Stove, 3039 Lakeshore Blvd. W., Etobicoke South ~acoustic Pop Rock
8-12> Jay Aymar Band @ Moonshine Café, 137 Kerr St., Oakville ~Roots; $10
8:30> 7th anniversary show (2nd of 2 nights): Tom Wilson, Lee Harvey Osmond, Layah Jane, Brent Titcomb & many more perform the songs of Neil Young @ Hugh’s Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., TO W. ~tribute; $32/-
8:30> Downshift @ Free Times Café, 320 College St. TO ~$5
*9-1> karaoke with Rob MacArthur @ Tudor Rose, 700 Harwood Ave. S., Ajax
9-1> Melissa Boyce Jazz & Blues Band @ Gate 403, 403 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West ~ Jazz/Blues
9> Luther Wright @ The Local, 396 Roncesvalles Ave., TO West
9> Melissa Payne @ Dakota Tavern, 249 Ossington Ave., TO West
9-1> David Cavan Fraser @ Black Dog Pub, 87 Island Rd., Scarborough ~Pop/soft Rock
9> James Anthony with special guest Brent Parker @ Blue Goose Tavern, 1 Blue Goose Rd., Etobicoke South ~Blues/R&B
9> Jack Connolly & The Gas Station Cowboys @ The Corral, 433 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa ~Country
9-1> Leghorns @ Simcoe Blues & Jazz, 926 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa
**9> Niagara Rhythm Section with guest Raoul Bhaneja @ The Old Winery, 2228 Niagara Stone Rd., Niagara-On-The-Lake ~R&B/Blues
9:30> Mr. Pharmacist @ Linsmore Tavern, 1298 Danforth Ave., TO East ~tribute to The Fall & more
**9:30-11:30> The Ditch Horses @ Relish, 2152 Danforth Ave. TO East ~original
9:30> James Sloan @ Black Swan, 154 Danforth Ave., TO East ~original Roots/Canadiana
*9:30-2> karaoke with The English Rose & The Mad Scotsman @ Winners, 2181 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarborough
9:30> Al Reilly’s Catalyst with special guest Rick Anderson on keys for @ Karla’s Roadhouse, 4630 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~classic Rock
9:30> Tamin’ Thunder @ Seven44, 744 Mount Pleasant Blvd., TO North ~Rock/R&B/Dance
9:30> Tungsten @ The Loaded Dog, 1921 Lawrence Ave. E., Scarb. ~Pop Rock
9:30> Steve Bass & The Kids @ Stone Cottage Pub, 3750 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ~Pop Rock
9:30> Blackboard Blues Band @ Timothy’s Pub 344 Brown’s Line, Etobicoke South ~big-band Blues
9:30> BLUSH featuring Ranko’s Last Night @ Jake’s Boathouse Brampton, 59 First Gulf Rd., Brampton ~Pop Rock
9:30> Soul Funkshun feat. Dave Girdlestone @ Sixth Line Pub, 1500 Sixth Line, Oakville
9:30> Tim Park Trio @ Gator Ted’s, 1505 Guelph Line, Burlington
9:30> Johnny Cox & The Magnetic Line @ West Shore Bar & Grill, 877 Bayly St., Pickering ~electric Blues
9:30> Chelsea Bennett Band @ Black Horse Pub, 452 George St. N., Peterborough
9:45> Ross Woolridge’s Benny Goodman Tribute @ The Rex, 194 Queen St. W., TO ~Jazz
10-2> Lady Tyra’s 50th birthday bash with Chris Hawley & many more musical acts @ Southside Johnny’s, 3653 Lakeshore Blvd. W. Etobicoke South ~Rock/Top 40/R&B
10> Shawn Brady & Hervé Basset @ P.J. O’Brien’s, 39 Colborne St., TO ~Pop Rock
10> Ride The Tiger @ Orbit Room, 480 College St. TO ~Funk/Soul
10> Whitebow & Combo Royale @ Cameron House (front), 408 Queen St. W., TO
10-2> Andy Earl & The Bandits @ Fionn MacCool’s Ajax, 36 Kingston Rd. E., Ajax ~Pop Rock
10> Crack Me Up Comedy @ Oscar’s Roadhouse, 1785 Queen St. E., Brampton ~Pop Rock/Top 40
10-2> Pop Cherry @ Roc’n Doc’s, 105 Lakeshore Rd. E., Port Credit ~vintage Rock/Top 40
10:30> The Beggars @ The Hideout, 484 Queen St. W., TO ~indie Rock
10:30> Ric Jacobs @ The Dickens, 423 Elizabeth St., Burlington ~Pop Rock
10> The Losing Hand + Weed & Cobras + Ben Rough @ The Red Garnet, 231 Hunter St. W., Peterborough
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