817 Broadway Ave
Thursday, February 28th
Doors 8:00pm Show 9:00pm
Mitch Romancia & the Heart Attacks
202 4th Ave N
Friday, March 1st
Doors 8:00pm Show 9:00pm
Tickets - $40
For 45 years 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.
Originally from Detroit, Davis grew up listening to a prolific mix of rhythm and blues. The music of Jimmy Reed, Ike and Tina Turner, Chuck Berry and Fats Domino was in the air. He later moved to California with his family, and then in 1968 left for Canada.
While living in Rochdale College, Toronto's mecca for the subculture of the late 1960's, he immersed himself in the study of Delta Blues, especially the music of Robert Johnson. Davis hit the road with the Rhythm Rockets, The Knights of The Mystic Sea, and David Wilcox's first band, eventually forming his own trio.
Over the years he has had the privilege of opening for Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Albert King, John Hammond, Albert Collins, and Eric Bibb. A highlight of his career was backing the phenomenal Dr.John. Morgan has shared the stage with Colin Linden, who also produced his second album, shared the stage with James Cotton, Hubert Sumlin, Sunnyland Slim, Snooky Pryor, James Harmon, Gene Taylor, Dutch Mason, Gene Taylor and many other great blues artist over the years.
Morgan's recording "Blues Medicine", on Electro-Fi records, garnered critical acclaim as well as awards for songwriting and production. His multi- award winning release "Painkiller" won an impressive four awards at the 2004 Maple Blues Awards and not long after took home Canada's top music prize...the Juno for Blues Album of the Year.
Web site: Morgan Davis
Crystal Shawanda grew up on the Wikwemikong reserve on an island in Ontario, Canada. Her parents taught her to sing and play guitar and encouraged her to play country songs, but it was her oldest brother who introduced her to the blues.
She was signed as a country artist to RCA Records in 2007 by Joe Galante. Her country debut album produced a Top 20 hit on country radio, sold over 50,000 copies in the US, went Top 20 on Billboard's Country Albums chart, but left Crystal feeling like a fish out of water. She says, "I so wanted to be what everyone wanted me to be, I lost myself along the way."
While on the road promoting the album, visiting radio stations she wrote "The Whole World's Got the Blues", told RCA Nashville she wanted to make blues albums, formed her own label - New Sun Records - and began making the music that was her calling. "The songs just fell out of me and throughout the recording, it was like setting my voice free," she says. "I can't help but feel like I'm home, no longer holding back."
Crystal Shawanda is reminiscent of a time gone by. She will make you feel every word with a powerful voice that never fails, pure and gritty at the same time. Do yourself a favour and buy a ticket or two.
Web site: Crystal Shawanda
202 4th Ave N
Saturday, March 2nd
Doors 7:00pm Show 8:00pm
Tickets - $40
Mama B & Freight Train
Mama B & Freight Train - Are a dynamic acoustic blues duo. Drawing extensively from blues music of the 1920s through the present, they remain true to the origins of the blues while bringing their own fresh take to both originals and covers. Mama B & Freight Train will draw you in with their sincere, heartfelt interpretations of artists ranging from Robert Johnson, Memphis Minnie and Bessie Smith to Bonnie Raitt, Sean Costello, Rita Chiarelli and more. In addition to covers of past and present blues greats, Mama B & Freight Train have their own stories to tell and they do so with heartfelt sincerity and honesty. Their original roots and blues music draws from the past, speaks to the present and looks to the future.
Listen to them here: REVERBNATION
Revered as one of the top guitar players in Alberta, the reputation Amos Garrett has spent over four decades building spans beyond the geography of the Prairies, reaching into the U.S. and overseas.
Born in Detroit, but raised in Toronto, Garrett moved through piano and trombone lessons, remarking that neither instrument suited him, before finding the guitar at the age of 14. Within a year, Garrett was gigging.
"I just sort of took to the guitar - it suited me and I guess I had gotten over my awkward years as a teen. I was getting little jobs playing within a year of picking up the guitar," remembers Garrett.
Although known worldwide as a jazz and blues cat, Garrett's eclectic style of playing has allowed him to transcend beyond those genres that lie closest to his heart, rooted in childhood, into country-rock, pop and folk.
Garrett had become a skilled guitar player, one who could be picked up as a hired gun by any type of band and hold the music up. He spent the next number of years moving up through the guitar ranks and contributing his legacy to music history. He teamed up with folk artists Geoff and Maria Muldaur, played guitar in virtuoso harmonica player Paul Butterfield's band Better Days, later on reunited with a now-divorced Maria Muldaur as her guitar player and band leader and, finally, made the decision to part with Muldaur some ten years later to go out on his own.
Garrett was the player who performed the famed guitar solo in Maria Muldaur's 1974 hit, "Midnight at the Oasis."
Harpdog Brown takes Chicago Blues down to New Orleans for a unique and vibrant sound.
Harpdog Brown has earned a solid reputation as a real-deal purveyor of classic electric blues. Think of the old Chess Records and Sun Records of the late 40's and early 50's. These days he's been touring more and more as Harpdog Brown & the Uptown Blues Band. They have a unique sound that takes Chicago Blues down to New Orleans. It's piano driven and often features slide trombone, sax and clarinet. Still a vintage vibe, just a different vintage! This music will move you! They perform mostly originals yet they often include great songs of the masters from that era. Think Louis Jordan, Satchmo, Sonny Boy Williamson, Wynonie Harris, even Duke Ellington. Audiences are raving about this new show!
He's been called a Blues Evangelist, and that's a very fitting moniker. "I speak the blues like it's the truth, and it is", he was recently quoted. "I do feel like I'm a servant of the people. A missionary if you will. Music can heal people if they pay attention to the messages in these songs." He delivers those messages using the vintage sound whether it be with his lowdown classic blues band the Travelin' Blues Show or with his new Uptown Blues Band. Harpdog says "Blues has a healing power. It's a beautiful celebration of our perfectly flawed lives. We help people forget about their issues of the moment and then they realize that we all have our issues, and that's OK."
Vancouver-based Harpdog Brown was born in Edmonton in 1962, an adopted child who has felt somewhat detached his whole life - "a lifelong battle of not feeling like I belonged. I feel like I was born for the circus, you know, born to travel. The blues tapped me on the shoulder years ago and said 'this is where you belong, son'. So the blues became my circus and there's no better way to travel than with a band!"
Harpdog Brown is a gifted vocalist and an imaginative harmonica player. He has won three consecutive Maple Blues Awards for Harmonica Player of the Year (2014/2015/2016), the Fraser Valley Music Award, has three consecutive Western Canadian Music Awards Nominations, a Juno Nomination and is the only Canadian to win the coveted Muddy Award. In 2016, he was nominated for 3 Maple Blues Awards (Harmonica Player, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year) for his latest release Travelin' With The Blues. Travelin' With The Blues released in 2016 is listed as #9 on the Roots Music Report Top Classic Blues Albums of 2017. This follows his Top 20 charting 2014 release What It Is (Roots Music Report International Blues Albums).
Web site: Harpdog Brown
Black Cat Tavern, 801 Broadway Ave
(Limited Quantity online and at the door)
Tickets are available at Cherry Insurance, McNally Robinson and Long & McQuade Music