2005 Festival Artists

Magic Slim is the greatest living proponent of the intense, electrified, Mississippi-to-Chicago blues style that spawned much of the music played by modern blues artists and rockers. It's no wonder that Magic Slim and the Teardrops, considered by many "the last real Chicago blues band," have become one of the busiest and best-loved blues bands around. The high priest of blues voodoo taps into an elemental blues force that casts an enchanting spell on any lover of roots music. This is no-frills, unapologetic, straight-no-chaser, bewitching blues for the ages. Slim's live performances have become legendary, he fills the room with his slash and burn guitar, booming vocals, and an encyclopedic repertoire of hundreds of blues songs.

Slim established himself as a formidable player on the scene when he put his own band together called the Teardrops, launching a career that has garnered international recognition and acclaim. He's one of the most sought-after headliners for festivals, and Slim's live shows are so electrifying that Eddie Vetter invited Slim to open Pearl Jam's concert in Chicago after catching the Teardrops' performance at a local nightclub. Slim went on to build an impressive catalogue of recordings, winning him five W.C. Handy Awards.

Downbeat called Slim "a true all star; a guitarist of considerable authority whose lines snap like a crocodile's mighty jaw and a singer with a persuasive capacity for wrenching every bit of emotion out of his lyrics", but perhaps Living Blues said it best: "A Magic Slim disc is the next best thing to a Saturday night in a backstreet juke along with a half-pint of whiskey, a pig-ear sandwich, and a sexy companion. It's best if you can gather together as many of these accessories as possible - but the only indispensable one is the music."

Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater is a versatile, flamboyant Chicago blues rocker who can perform good-natured party music and original, deep, melancholy blues with equal finesse. "It's country, blues and rock 'n' roll combined, high energy music," Clearwater says of his trademark sound.

With his distinctive blend of Chuck Berry-style rock, his left-handed/upside-down guitar playing and dramatic stage performances, Clearwater quickly developed a reputation as a great showman with a diverse repertoire. He recorded several singles and performed clubs for the next 20 years, but remained a hidden treasure until recognition began to come when he toured Europe, and recorded for France's MCM Company. His U.S. debut album, "The Chief", was named after Clearwater's affinity for wearing the full Indian headdress given to him as a good luck charm.

The Chief is the winner of W.C. Handy Award for "Best Import Blues Album", and three W. C. Handy Award nominations, "Blues Song Of The Year", "Blues Artist Most Deserving Wider Recognition" and "Blues Song Of The Year". Touring internationally, he performs 200+ concerts a year. With his powerful left-handed guitar playing, unique hybrid of West Side blues and relentless rockabilly, stage costumes, and high energy performances, Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater lives up to his reputation as one of the most versatile and colorful entertainers to have emerged from Chicago's blues scene.    www.eddyclearwater.com

Under the spell of music he heard in Chicago's famed blues melting pot, John Grimaldi began performing as Studebaker John and the Hawks in the '70s. With a rocketing recording career, Canadian filmmaker Atom Egoyan selected three songs to include in his film Calendar, and two tunes for his film, Exotica. John also had his music featured in the 2001 film Cowboy Up, a CNN/NASCAR Raceway theme, and a Ford Thunderbird commercial. His unique songwriting talents, blazing guitar, and harmonica technique have created a new sound that transports the blues genre into the 21st century. www.studebakerjohn.com

Internationally renowned guitarist, vocalist and tunesmith, Grammy nominated songwriter Gaye Delorme possesses a musical range unparalleled. From scoring films for Columbia pictures to producing such Canadian superstars as k.d. Lang and Jann Arden, Calgary native Delorme is the deserving winner of the Premier's Award for Excellence. Stevie Ray Vaughn labeled Gaye "One of the best I've heard." Joining Gaye for his 'one of a kind experience of genius" performance are drummer Greg Pretty, and bassist Doug Radford     www.gayedelorme.com

With their combined years of experience and highly danceable repertoire, The Rippers are one of Calgary's most popular and soulful bands. The powerful vocals of Kirby Sewell, and a solid rhythm section featuring Bryan Czarniecki on bass, guitarist vocalist Quinton Rybuck, drummer Adam Esposito, and Don Muir on keyboards (who worked for years with Dutch Mason), come together to groove your socks off.

Considered by many to one of Canada's finest acoustic blues artists, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Tim Williams brings his electric sound to the festival stage with his fine group the Electro-fires. Known for his superb picking style and anecdotal performances, Tim will be joined by Suitcase James on bass, Ron Casat on Hammond B3, and drummer Kevin Belzner.

If you like a little rock with your blues, then get ready for Texas Flood. Touring as a tribute to the late, great Stevie Ray Vaughan, over the years the band has adopted many other influences and forged them into an identifiable sound of their own. Forming the group are drummer Mike Woodford, bassist Paul Junior Holden and singer/guitarists Paul Kaip and Leah Christensen. Texas Flood is joined by Calgary's Brock Gillis on Hammond B3 for the Kaos Blues Festival.

A highly respected and gifted blues guitar player/vocalist, Bill Johnson made regular appearances at Kaos and the King Edward Hotel in the 90's. He subsequently moved out to Vancouver Island and formed another band there, which has been garnering rave reviews from blues fans. Bill's new CD is now out, and we are sure you will agree that after his performance there will be a line-up at the merchandise tent for CD's and autographs.

Guitar virtuoso Jack Semple leaves a crowd speechless. Jack, who Colin James has called his mentor, plays with unparalleled feeling and total technical control. He also has a set of pipes that are smooth as silk, and as raw and jagged as rocks cutting through an ocean shore line. The Juno award winner will be backed by his stellar band, including Andrew Glover on keyboards, Steve Hoy on drums, and bassist Dave Chabot. www.jacksemple.com

The Mike Clark Band is one of Canada's favourite Blues and Roots bands, wowing audiences for over four years. Tenor saxophonist Clark, (nominated for the prestigious Maple Blues Award) recently released his second CD, Clarkology. Mike hits the festival stage with guitarist Johnny V, Greg Carroll on bass, drummer Thom Moon, Croby Dorner on keyboards, and saxophonists Danny Michels and Peter Fischer. www.mikeclarkband.com

Voted Canada's Blues Drummer of the Year, Calgary is very proud to be home to the great Jimmy Payne. For the Kaos festival, Jimmy has put together his All Star band, one that earns their name with the fine lineup of personnel. This band is sure to set your feet moving, with Bill Hills on harmonica and vocals, guitarist vocalist Brother Ray Lemelin, and bassist Curtis Cripps.

Amos Garrett plays better one-handed on an off-night than most guitar players put together. Amos, who now makes his home in the foothills of Turner Valley, is accompanied by his veteran band, which he named the Eh! Team. Kelly Jay Fordham (keyboards), Brian Pollock (bass), and Thom Moon (drums), and Gib Monks (saxophone) know every twist and turn of his playing, and they give him incredibly heartfelt support. www.amosgarrett.com

Grammy award winning drummer/vocalist Donald Ray Johnson has built a following worldwide, but now makes his home in Calgary. Named "Best Canadian Male Blues Vocalist" by Real Blues Magazine, Donald was also nominated "Best Blues Drummer" and "Best Male Blues Vocalist" by the Toronto Blues Society, and was recently nominated "Best Blues Artist" by the Alberta Recording Industry Association (A.R.I.A.). Donald is joined onstage with Michael Huston and Brent Wright on guitars, Kent McCrae on drums, bassist Bill Eaglesham, Ron Casat on Hammond B3, and Gib Monks on sax. www.donaldray.com

A perennial favourite on the Calgary scene, no blues festival would be complete without multiple award-winning guitarist/songwriter/vocalist Johnny V, known as "Alberta's Unofficial Blues Ambassador". Joining Johnny for the show will be Brock Gillis on Hammond B3, bassist Curtis Cripps, Duris Maxwell on drums, and a killer horn section featuring saxophonists Mike Clark, Richard Harding, and Pat Belliveau, and trombonists Paul Ashwell, Craig Sobey and Paul Toutont. Look for Johnny's new recording with his big band in our merchandise tent! www.johnnyv.org

Chicago born Sam Cockrell is an expert showman with a sense of humor who specializes in audience participation. Even when he's off stage or on break, the charismatic singer continues to work the room, making new fans and friends. When it comes to the blues, Cockrell, who can be described as a young bass guitar playing Robert Cray, can be counted among the ranks of contemporary blues/R&B artists who are pushing the boundaries of the blues into the 21st Century. www.samcockrell.com

Formed in 1992, A Little Voodoo has built a solid following of fans across Western Canada with their unique blend of reved-up psychedelic blues. Sharing a passion for the great southern bluesmen, they built their sound on the classics of BB. King, Albert Collins, and Jimmy Hendrix. The trio, led by guitarist Ronnie Burke, is rounded out by bassist Tommy Knowles, and drummer Anders Czarnecki. They will rock the festival stage and make your body move!

This 7-piece band boasts a massive repertoire, amazing crowds with their energetic blend of R&B, roots, funk, soul, and reggae grooves. They have opened for many blues luminaries such as The Powder Blues, Long John Baldry, Downchild Blues Band, and the great B.B. King. The band features Mike Little on Hammond B3 and various keyboards, bassist/vocalist Jory Kinjo, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Bourne, Gareth Hughs on sax & vocals, trombonist Rod Tate, and Fernando Longhi on drums. Theirs is a unique contemporary-retro sound that will have you dancing to the beats! www.mockingshadows.com

For over three decades, Billy Joe has worked as a bandleader and sideman from coast to coast of Canada and the US. Virtually self-taught, he has rocked, reeled, boogied, tumbled and stumbled - only to get up again and carry the blues banner one humble step further. Born into the Moose Clan of the Kejick Ojibway Nation located on Lake of the Woods, his home base is currently Winnipeg. In his teens, Billy Joe was asked to join The Feathermen, a fiery young group of primarily Ojibway musicians. Following that, and armed with only a 1964 Les Paul Jr., sunglasses, and no I.D., he grew quickly, learning how to play, live, and survive the life of a bluesman. Billy Joe has since become one of Canada's Premier Blues Guitar players, is a winner of numerous awards including a JUNO nomination, and recently released his third indie, "Muskrat Blues & Rock and Roll". www.billyjoegreen-band.com

Trumpeter John Lacey is the senior statesman of The Real Deal, one of Calgary's premiere R&B bands. Filliing out the sound are Julian Kerr on keyboards, John C. Roggensack on saxophones, guitarist Mike Peters, bassist Jeremy Coates, Neil Lawton on bass and tenor trombones, Allan Beckett - drums and percussion, and vocalist Chris Aris. Sure to get your feet shuffling with a "big horn section sound", the Real Deal Band has been a fixture on the Calgary club and dance scene for some years now, offering their highly danceable blend of rhythm & blues.

Paul Finn's music is steeped in Texas shuffle with shades of Delbert McLinton, Jimmy Reed, the kings of the southern sound. Paul and his band, with drummer Duris Maxwell, bassist Greg Carrol, and Sax/harmonica man Rick McLeod, will serve up hard drivin' blues with a back-beat that will stir your soul. Get ready to boogie!

The festival site sits on the north-east corner of Stampede Park. Calgary Transit provides regular bus service to the site with it's Route 403 bus, stopping at 12th Ave. and 6th St. S.E. Although there is limited street and lot parking, we suggest considering public transit option for your convenience. The Stampede/Erlton LRT station is also just blocks away!