Countdown to 2018
Calgary Midwinter Bluesfest






Ramada Hotel Downtown
Calgary Bluesfest Host Hotel
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The Blues Foundation












Alittle Voodoo

Calgary favourites Ron Burke & ALittle Voodoo are a tight-knit unit of masterful musicians who cut a gritty swath of original roots, blues & rock, the fan-favourites bringing down the house each time they perform.
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Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy

Acclaimed Texas singer Diunna Greenleaf's powerhouse style combines intricate patches of jazz, gospel and heartfelt soul. With a background steeped in Gospel and influences such as Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Sister Rosetta Thorpe and Sam Cook. Winners of the 2005 International Blues Challenge, Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy appear on mainstage Thursday evening, then rock the Twilight Blues Series for a get down & dirty dance party.
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Colin James

One of Canada's most successful blues artists, Colin James' debut album was the fastest selling in Canadian history and he hasn’t showed any signs of stopping. Throughout his 20 year career in music, he has made ten albums, sold over a million copies worldwide and won six Junos. The Saskatchewan-born musician, who was voted as the #1 requested artist on the Bluesfest survey 3 years running, appears with his 7-piece band.
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Watermelon Slim & the Workers

With a colourful past and a blazing future, Watermelon Slim is a blues dream come true. The "one-of-a-kind pickin' 'n'n singing Okie dynamo" has received rave reviews and features in leading publications such as Guitar One, HARP, Blues Revue, Toronto Star, Chicago Sun-Times and many more. Watermelon Slim & the Workers perform mainstage Friday afternoon as well as later that night for the Twilight Blues Series... this is one dance party you won't want to miss!
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Rita Chiarelli

Dubbed "the goddess of Canadian blues" by CBC's Shelagh Rogers, Chiarelli is equally comfortable belting out the blues; delivering her original material, crooning an Italian folk song or wailing R&B or an Elvis Presley cover tune. Rita, who has captured multiple Juno's for her stunning performances, appears with her six-piece band on Friday afternoon.
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Joe Bonamassa

“This kid deserves to be in the same class with Stevie Ray F*&cking Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix and Jeff Beck.” Rock Guitarist Ted Nugent.– Blues-rock guitar virtuoso, vocalist and songwriter Joe Bonamassa kicked off 2007 with the honor of being named Best Blues Guitarist by Guitar Player Magazine’s readership in their annual Reader’s Choice Awards. The year continues with the release of Sloe Gin, Bonamassa’s seventh solo album, and fourth on his own J&R Adventures label. A mix of heavy blues, big rock are the mark of this international guitar giant.
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Elmer Ferrer

Since 2004, Cuba´s most sought after electric guitarist has been leading his own project: the Elmer Ferrer Band (EFB), known for their intense, energetic fusion of jazz, blues and rock - Cuban style. We can now boast another fine Cuban-Canadian artist in our midst, for Ferrer has recently settled in Toronto. Elmer appears for the Friday night Twilight Blues dance party, and on mainstage at noon on Saturday.
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John Campbelljohn

"The string magic of the front man fascinates,” says Rolling Stone Magazine. Power blues that touch on rock, reggae and roots with a few overtones of pure country – these are John Campbelljohn’s stock and trade. The Cape Bretoner brings his top-notch pedal steel and stunning slide guitar chops to the mainstage on Saturday afternoon.
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Zac Harmon

A disciple of the Farish Street blues sound (Farish Street is universally recognized as the home of many great blues legends including the late, great Elmore James), this Jackson, Mississippi native is now based out of L.A., where is often found in the studio or scoring major films. Zac and his band, who appear on mainstage Saturday afternoon and later that night for the Twilight Blues Series, won the 2008 XM Satellite Radio Poll for Best New Blues Artist as well as the 2004 International Blues Challenge for Best Unsigned Blues Band.
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Kal David & the Real Deal featuring Miss Lauri Bono

Chicago born, California based guitarist Kal David's career began as a teenager. Since that time he's released multiple acclaimed albums, toured with Etta James and Johnny Rivers (among the many), inherited the lead guitar chair from Mick Taylor in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, and led his own acclaimed groups featuring his partner Lauri Bono. Kal, who appears on mainstage Saturday afternoon and later that evening for the Twilight Blues Series, is described by Mayall as one of the best blues guitarists in the biz.
read more Kal David & the Real Deal featuring Miss Lauri Bono

 





Tommy Castro

One of the most popular and creative roots artists to emerge in recent years, California based Tommy Castro skyrocketed to international fame in a remarkably short time, going from a tiny San Francisco saloon to opening for B.B. King on national tours. Distilling the essence of great bar bands everywhere and putting his personal stamp on it at the same time, Castro's "loose-jointed blues-rock sound" will rock mainstage Saturday evening and later that night, a Twilight Blues Series appearance.
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Tim Williams

Dubbed Calgary's "guru of the blues," Tim is considered one of the finest acoustic blues guitarists in Canada. Revered by fellow musicians and fans alike for his ability to educate and inform audiences (with sly wit), Tim performs his renowned solo acoustic show on Saturday evening.
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Booker T

Hammond B3 alchemist Booker T Jones is one America's most prolific, distinguished and instantly recognizable musical forces. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer led one of the first-ever integrated groups to soul immortality with his Booker T & the MG's, and in 2007, was honoured with the Grammy for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Booker T appears on mainstage Saturday night to perform familiar favourites including his archetypal hit, 'Green Onions,' along with songs from his latest album, Potato Hole. "
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Kat Danser

Edmonton vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Kat Danser throws down funky, laidback rhythms and thought-provoking lyrics. Her swamp blues style, steeped in early roots and blues traditions, is delivered by her deep, resonant vocals and backed by the soulful sound of her Weissenborn lap slide guitar. Much like a long stretching railroad track, Kat's music draws a direct line from the Canadian prairie to the Mississippi Delta. Kat appears on mainstage on Sunday afternoon. read more about Dione here Kat Danser

 





Mocking Shadows Rhythm & Blues Revue

One of Calgary's all-time favourites, Mocking Shadows bring their 9-piece Rhythm & Blues Revue to mainstage on Sunday for a funkified, groove laden performance. The multiple award-winning 9-piece band features a variety of keyboards, full horn section, guitar, bass, drums and 3 vocalists.
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Mud Bay Blues Band

For 31 years (and counting), Vancouver based Mud Bay Blues Band has been electrifying audiences with their eclectic brand of Rhythm and Blues. Mud Bay's hard-edged, high-voltage approach is the mark of their distinctive style, the band playing the blues their way: unconventionally, uncompromisingly and unapologetically. The group appears on Sunday afternoon's mainstage roster.

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Julian Fauth

Toronto's Julian Fauth captured the 2009 Juno Award for Keyboard Player of the Year. The talented musician, who is also a fluent guitarist and vocalist, has toured in Russia, Cuba, Europe and Canada. Julian is backed by Tim Williams' Electric Band for a Sunday afternoon mainstage performance.
read more Julian Fauth

 





Sue Foley

Powerhouse singer/songwriter/guitarist Sue Foley has solidified her place as one of the leading lights of the contemporary blues scene. The Ottawa native spent time in Austin, Texas, honing her skills, soaking up southern blues, and opening for greats such as B. B. King and John Lee Hooker. The multiple Maple Blues Award winner was nominated for a W.C. Handy Award (2002). Once again living in Canada, aside from her busy music career, Sue has become a recognized author for her work, Guitar Women, documenting the lives of some of the most influential female guitar players through history. Sue appears on mainstage Sunday afternoon.

read more Sue Foley

 





Murray Porter

Born Mohawk, Turtle clan, born and raised on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario, Murray Porter tells the Aboriginal side of history with a mixture of country, blues and humor. He's travelled the world for 30 years spreading his unique style of foot-stomping, hand clapping, native piano blues around the world and has shared the stage with such legends as Etta James and B.B. King. Murray performs a solo acoustic set on Sunday evening.
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Johnny V

One of Canada's leading blues guitarists, Johnny V forged his original fire-brand style of blues touring and performing internationally for more than three decades. The term "getting in your face" has never known a better illustration than when the "Vmeister" starts firing volleys of scorching guitar passages intertwined with his passionate vocals. Johnny closes this year's Calgary Bluesfest with his latest incarnation, the Recession Blues Band, featuring Johnny at the helm with his rippin' guitar, a world-class rhythm section formed by his 18 year-old son, James Mills (drums) and 20 year old bass player Darren Snowdon, and a killer horn section led by Paul Ashwell.
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