Admittedly, not many of us would have thought of Toronto, Canada, as even being mentioned in the same breath as Chicago, Memphis, Kansas City, or, New Orleans when it comes to being a hub for the blues however, think again. A quick look at what is happening in Canada’s most populous city proves what seemed unlikely to in fact be true.

Consider this. Various venues in Toronto host well known blues acts. For example, George Thorogood & The Destroyers just performed at Massey Hall on May 6 which is where Rush recorded its epic live album All The Worlds A Stage.

Massey Hall
Massey Hall

Additionally, Toronto sports the Toronto Blues Society.  Toronto also hosts the Maple Blues Awards which is Canada’s national blues award program.

However, we think the real proof is in the success and quality of the blues artists coming out of Toronto. You can start with Toronto’s own Danny Marks who just put out Cities In Blue. It’s an interesting concept album which takes the listener through Kansas City, Memphis, and New York. Cities In Blue has been received well.  Danny Marks Cities in Blue

Another new release is from veteran bluesman Ken Whiteley who just put out Freedom Blues. Whiteley, a 2 time Juno award recipient (he also sports 2 Grammy nominations and 22 Juno award nominations), is a well known performer who has sold more than 8 million records in his career. He possesses a very impressive resume which is certain to catch the eye of any blues lover. Ken-Whiteley-Freedom-Blues

So the next time someone suggests that the Toronto blues scene is worth checking out, don’t go looking for a baseball or hockey team. Instead, take in the blues culture that our friends to the North offer; indeed, the blues run richly through Canada’s largest city. Isn’t that right eh?

Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor

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