Gary Tate

Gary Tate

2007 has been quite a year for Mel Brown who is finally getting the recognition he deserves after more than a half-century in the music business. Living Blues Magazine has been at the forefront of the bestowal parade. Mel--who records for the Toronto-based Electro-Fi label---won their Reader's Poll Award for "Most Outstanding Musician (Guitar) 2007" beating
out his old friends B.B. King and Buddy Guy. To put the icing on the cake he was also the co-winner for best DVD of the

An essential Soul/Blues singer, Johnny Max is an integral part of a Golden Horseshoe music scene stretching from St. Catherines to Toronto. He should be making international waves soon in light of his latest superb release "A Lesson I’ve Learned".

It’s been 7 years since this reviewer first encountered Johnny with then partner-in-crime Kevin Higgins. Johnny has recently summoned forth a new aggregation lead by keyboardist extraordinaire Martin Aucoin and bravur

His output has been staggering over the last 20 years, but those creative juices run so deep that Duke Robillard never runs out of things to say. On "World Full Of Blues", there’s even a bonus CD that ups the total playing time to nearly 2 hours---consisting of about half originals and half covers, for a total of 23 songs.

There’s a lot happening: Jazz, Jump Blues, Chicago Blues, Folk, Pop, Motown, but Duke’s sweet funky grooves tend to predominate. Still, as he elaborates in his insig

There’s no other way to describe this union of Canada’s 2 most strikingly unorthodox string wielders than by calling it a match made in Guitar Heaven. It was bound to happen, although most assumed the fates would delay the confab by a few years.

The great news is that "In Good We Trust" fulfills one’s anticipations from the opening bell as Manx adds his vocals to an intensely personal version of Bruce Springsteen’s "I’m On Fire". While 8 of the 11 tracks are vocals, the hypnotic interw

Watermelon Slim is single-handedly reviving interest in Blues, and it’s just a matter of time before this conclusion is acknowledged in all quarters. This truth is forcefully demonstrated on "The Wheel Man" which is a case study in raggedly unadorned Blues where all the requisite emotional hotspots are pushed with a huge dose of "devil-may-care" abandon. No subtlety here. This is 100 proof Blues!

A few kegs of prime bourbon must have contributed to those gravelly and rheumy vocals tha

This battle-hardened collection of All Stars consists of 79-year old Rock & Roll legend Jimmy Cavallo, Louisiana Hall Of Famer Johnny Pennino, plus "Mr. Versatlity" Pat Carey who’s chalked up numerous awards as Canada’s top R&B player. To its very core, "Steppin’ Out Of Blue Monday" is a smile-inducing journey down memory lane steeped in the spirit of the Golden Days of Rock ‘n’ Roll when honkers and wailers threw the gauntlet down and launched the Big Beat.


Many tribute releases tend to suffer from an excess of adulation, often reducing them to the level of sing-a-longs by professionals. Instrumentalists tend to be less hidebound by these considerations, and that’s the case with Run Neil Run, where the Sisters Euclid profoundly re-think 10 Neil Young tunes by twisting them in an off-kilter direction.

It doesn’t disappoint, and the reason is the guitar pyrotechnics of Kevin Breit, the looming presence behind Sisters Euclid. Breit has an e

If you’re seeking a guitar player that can channel the spirit of Jimi Hendrix then look no further than Eddie Turner. That authoritative sense flows from 4 decades spent honing his craft. On "The Turner Diaries", the leading man summons notes and phrases like a modern prophet, who’s done it all, seen it all, and isn’t the least shy about revealing the mysteries he’s uncovered along the way.

There’s intensity to spare, and throughout a bold assertive mood to sustain one’s in

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