Countdown to 2018
Calgary Midwinter Bluesfest






Ramada Hotel Downtown
Calgary Bluesfest Host Hotel
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The Blues Foundation












Little Feat

Little Feat have indeed been leading a storied life ever since they formed in 1969, with today's Little Feat a seven-member powerhouse. Their unconventional signature of earthy, organic appeal and polished, first-rate musicianship wrapped around eclectic and memorable songs - clearly delivered as an authentic labor of love - has been a lasting fixture on the musical landscape. As American as apple pie and rock 'n roll itself - Feat's music transcends boundaries, a freewheeling fusion of California rock and Dixie-inflected funk-boogie. In the mix as well are strains of folk, blues, rockabilly, country and jazz, inventing a hybrid sound that is truly Little Feat's own.
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David Clayton Thomas

David Clayton-Thomas began his amazing journey as a homeless street kid and developed into one of the most recognizable singer/songwriters in the world, to date selling over 40 milion records. In 1996, he was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. His 1968 debut album with Blood Sweat & Tears sold 10 million copies worldwide, topped the Billboard album chart for seven weeks, charted for a staggering 109 weeks and won an unprecedented five Grammy awards.
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Coco Montoya

Over the course of his 30-year career, guitarist and vocalist Coco Montoya's explosive guitar playing and soul-driven voice have propelled him to the upper reaches of the blues-rock world. From his early days as a drummer to his current status as one of the top-drawing guitarists and vocalists on the blues-rock scene, Montoya has forged his reputation through years of hard work and constant touring.
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The Holmes Brothers

Over the course of their 30-plus year career, The Holmes Brothers (bassist/vocalist Sherman Holmes, guitarist/pianist/vocalist Wendell Holmes, drummer/vocalist and brother-in-spirit Popsy Dixon) have been feeding the souls of their devoted and ever-growing fanbase with a joyous and moving blend of blues, gospel, soul, R&B, rock & roll and country. Their amazing three-part harmony singing, mixing Wendell's gruff and gravelly vocals with Popsy's soaring falsetto and Sherman's rich baritone brings the soul and spirit of gospel music into everything they perform. Equally gripping is the rhythmic foundation laid down by Sherman's bass playing and Popsy's drumming, perfectly complimenting Wendell's blues-soaked guitar solos and church-inspired piano playing. The band easily blends Saturday night's roadhouse rock with the gospel fervor and harmonies of Sunday morning’s church service.
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Chicago Blues Reunion

The Chicago Blues Reunion is an all-star collaboration of Chicago music legends who defined the sound of their generation in the 1960's. The iconic players who comprise CBR are a who's who of blues lover's household names; Barry Goldberg (Hammond B-3 organ), Nick "The Greek" Gravenites (vocals/guitar), Harvey "The Snake" Mandel (guitar), Sam Lay (drums/vocals) and Corky Siegel (harmonica/vocals). In their various earlier musical incarnations, they catalyzed the historic transition in popular music from acoustic folk to electric blues-influenced rock. Over the course of time, they have continued to be an inspiration to younger generations that followed the trail they blazed.
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MonkeyJunk

Winners of numerous accolades including 5 Maple Blues Awards and the only Canadian band to win a Blues Music Award (formerly W.C. Handy Awards), MonkeyJunk is a band that draws heavily on the legends of the blues and translates that influence into a contemporary blend of swamp R&B, soul boogie and bedroom funk. This triple threat trio comprised of STEVE MARRINER, TONY D and MATT SOBB draws on ALMOST 60 years of combined experience playing blues live and in studio.
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Lester Quitzau

Meet Canadian roots music artist Lester Quitzau, a mellow guy who throws down a heavy groove. In a field where intangibles like feel and integrity count for so much, Quitzau has forged an exemplary career.

What began with a solid blues apprenticeship in the funky working-class bars of Edmonton has grown into an eclectic and constantly evolving musical journey for the guitarist, singer, song-writer, composer and producer.
read more Lester Quitzau

 





Gary Comeau & the Voodoo Allstars

Take the rhythm of the Maritime Acadian music, season well with Louisiana zydeco blues, add a twist of Highway 61 era Dylan, serve it up with great showmanship, and you've got a potent musical cocktail that will have your head spinning and your feet dancing! (Island Folks Festival)
read more Gary Comeau & the Boodoo Allstars

 





Mississippi Heat

On the back of Mississippi Heat's CD Footprints On The Ceiling, there is a photograph of a man with his eyes closed, playing the harmonica with such passion, that one is almost stunned by the actual silence of that frozen moment. Yet when he is heard live or on record on his harmonica, the listener is caught up by its fervent, inspiring presence. The man behind the harmonica is Pierre Lacocque, Mississippi Heat's band leader and song writer.
read more Mississippi Heat

 






Mason Rack Band

Mason Rack (Guitar, Vocal) hails from Southport on Queensland’s sunny gold coast. Raised on jazz, rock and surfing, Mason started performing at the tender age of six, tutored by his father, Billy Rack, who was an awesome musician and all-round legend. Together with his band, outstanding vocals, guitar playing and awesome stage presence, Mason continues to deliver high impact performances to audiences everywhere. His influences include: Tom Waits, Tex Perkins, Jeff Buckley, Ben Harper, Violent Femmes, and Dave Matthews.
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Sean Carney Band

"The next big thing has already been around the block", a Canadian newspaper reporter wrote of The Sean Carney Band's impressive showing and subsequent victory at The 2007 International Blues Challenge, held in February in Memphis, Tennessee, explaining that Carney and his crew are no newcomers to Blues. The IBC is presented by The Blues Foundation, who also awarded 34 year-old Carney the Albert King Best Guitarist Award and Best Dressed in their 23rd annual competition, before an audience of 1,700 blues lovers from all over the world.
read more Sean Carney Band

 





John Lee Sanders

John Lee Sanders can sit in front of a piano and bring the smoke from a Texas BBQ, A New Orleans Street Parade, and the Soul of the Mississippi Delta, all in one set. He's an Emmy nominated Composer, and winner of three 2009 Canadian Music Awards. His songs, voice and film scores have been heard on CBC Radio-Canada Live, Network Television, Commercials for giants of industry such as Apple Computer, Nissan & Wal-Mart. He is beginning to headline blues and Jazz festivals across Europe and Canada, his music is crossing over into mainstream pop culture.
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Mike Reilly Band

B.B. King once said that playing the Blues was like having to be black twice. "Stevie Ray Vaughan missed on both counts, but I never noticed," he concluded. The same can be said of Mike Reilly, who's played with both B.B. King and Stevie Ray. Mike may not be black, but he knows the Blues, and he's been playing them for a long time. Like Muddy Waters--another legend Mike's shared the stage with--he's still delivering 'cause he's got a long memory.. "
read more Mike Reilly Band

 





Randy O Band with Annika Odegard

Led by multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Randy Ousten, the Randy O Band delivers genuine, passionate performances that move effortlessly across a musical map of blues, classic rock, funk, R&B and more. Randy O Band will also back 2010 Singing the Blues competition winner Annika Odegard. (see below) read more Randy O Band


 





Annika Odegard

Singer-songwriter Annika Odegard performs both nationally and internationally, and made it to the Top 11 in Canadian Idol, Season 5. She is currently recording her own songs for a future release and in February, 2010, won the CBMA Singing the Blues competition.
read more Annika Odegard

 





Marshall Lawrence Band

In addition to his electric blues gigs with the MLB, Marshall also performs acoustic dobro blues as a solo artist or as a duo with a little harmonica on the side. His acoustic slide playing is steeped in roots music and has a true and genuine blues feel. His throaty vocals remind you of sitting in a smoky Gin Joint in the '30s and '40s listening to the blues masters, and his pounding rhythms and fierce attack on the guitar transform each song into raw emotion.
read more Marshall Lawrence Band

 





Morgan Davis w/Tim Williams & the Electrofires

For nearly four decades Morgan Davis has been on the road travelling across Canada, the United States and Europe. His performances draw from a rich tradition of country blues, as well as his own contemporary songs infused with wit and a large dose of humour.
read more Morgan Davis Band

 




Tim Williams & the Electrofires

"Conversation halts, glasses still, and all eyes turn on Tim Williams as the room becomes a train stop on a tour of half-forgotten memories in the collective consciousness."
Program notes, 2005 Calgary Folk Music Festival
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Arsen Shomakhov

Guitar player, singer and songwriter Arsen Shomakhov was born in 1969 in Nalchik, in Russia's North Caucasus. An old family piano had been the first Arsen's musical instrument. Later he discovered his passion for the guitar and began his self-education listening to the recordings of jazz and blues greats.
read more Arsen Shomakhov

 




David Vest Band with Bill Johnson

David Vest grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, not far from Tuxedo Junction. Like his hero Pinetop Perkins, he spent a long time in the shadows as a sideman before stepping out on his own. "Consider this: Half a century after David's first paying gig in 1957, one of his CDs (recorded as co-leader of the Paul deLay Band) made it into the Top 10 on Billboard's blues chart."
read more David Vest

 




Bill Johnson (with David Vest Band)

Considered one of Canada's top blues guitarists, Bill Johnson is a master of the form... in short, the man is a powerhouse who never fails to impress. Bill, who's been called 'Victoria's Guitar Flame Thrower', has spent a lifetime immersing himself in the blues. Aside from leading his own bands for many years, his fiery fingers have opened for the likes of Delbert McClinton and Otis Rush as well as played lead guitar for veteran bluesmen Dutch Mason, Son Seales, Donald Ray Johnson and Cash McCall, to name a few.
read more Bill Johnson Band

 




Kelly Kavanagh Band

Calgary based Kelly Kavanagh has been singing and performing since the age of 16. Born and raised in Toronto, Kelly started playing clubs and festivals in the Toronto and Southern Ontario areas. In the late 1980's Kelly recorded her first album, Somewhere Sometime on the Boot record label.
read more Kelly Kavanagh Band

 




Bob Deutscher

After being a 'virtual band' in Bob Deutscher's basement since 1998, CheckOne2 comes to life on stage in collaboration with Calgary based musicians Mark Bishop on keyboard, guitar and vocals, Samuel Downie on drums, and Murphy Martin on bass.
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John Rutherford

Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter John Rutherford manages a career encompassing several facets of the Canadian music industry. As a musician he's often a member of several bands, juggling dates, tours and projects simultaneously. He produces records and has written and produced music for film and television. John recently released his debut solo project, "Echo Broadcast."
read more John Rutherford

 




Bill Dowey & the Blues Devils

A powerful and heartfelt voice, a searing slide guitar tone, and a tour bus full of experience makes Bill Dowey one of the most convincing and dedicated blues artists in Canada. Bill Dowey & the Blues Devils are one of the City's most beloved bands.
read more Bill Dowey & the Blues Devils