First, no excuses - get to the Biltmore on Wednesday, September 13 for Great Lake Swimmers. I promise you a spiritual experience; Tony Dekker’s angelic, warbling vocals will carry you over the mountain, as will the beautiful melodies this band can conjure. Formed in 2003, the Great Lake Swimmers (GLS) play what is called Americana but is really Canadiana if you ask me as it has very deep roots in the Band, four of the Band’s five being from Southern Ontario, yes (Great Lake Swimmers has its origins in Wainfleet, in the Niagara area) and thus yes GLS are on that road, along with Wilco and Mumford and Sons, Blue Rodeo and the Skydiggers et al. On only their second album, Ongiara, Great Lake Swimmers came out with an absolute classic track, ‘Your Rocky Spine’ which still sends chills up my spine and their easy exploration of folk and country-fringed rock has carried on over eight albums, including the recent ‘Uncertain Country’ which they are now touring. So yes, do some research, grab a ticket, and clear your mid-week schedule for this one.
You may as well stick around for the week as the Durham Blues Festival takes over the Regent Theatre and Victoria Lane from September 14 to 17. Outdoor shows are free, with tickets needed for those inside the Regent. Ticketed shows include, on Thursday, a tribute to the Eagles; on Friday, the Maple Blues Band featuring members of the Downchild Blues Band; and on Saturday, the Official Blues Brothers Revue. In the laneway, Tin Pan Alley, Hard Soda, the fab Andy Earle and the Bandits on Friday evening and Saturday it's Cheryn Lyn and the Catalysts, Cold Shot, Blues Junkies, Nemoniks, and closing out, the Fabulous Tonemasters. Sunday continues with Broke Fuse, Emerson Ireland Band, James Anthony, and Otis Wonder and the Hustle. Sunday evening, the Regent features Sweet Soul Revue, covering the hits from Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, and, of course, many more.
So that's a lot of Blues and Soul for you at the Regent but at Simcoe Blues and Jazz, the fun continues with a doubleheader of Harsh Conditions and Horsfall on Friday while at the Wee Pub, the colourful sounds of Will Surphlis will wow you all.