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NewsBlues Music Awards span genre's past, present, future - USA Today

"With an awards agenda that spans 26 categories and a 46-act lineup that will perform 29 sets over six-plus hours, the 30th Blues Music Awards in Memphis Thursday will embrace a typically sprawling array of styles, from rural acoustic to uptown jump.

"But unprecedented this year is the nine-decade age range among the more than 100 nominees and presenters, a span that almost covers the genre's history.

"At the pioneering end are the last two touring original Mississippi Delta bluesmen, pianist Willie 'Pinetop' Perkins and singer/guitarist David 'Honeyboy' Edwards.

"Perkins, 95, who began playing in the late 1920s and is best known as a sideman to Muddy Waters, will present an award named after him to the top piano player. Edwards, 93, a friend of the legendary Robert Johnson who claims to have been present at his mystery-shrouded death in 1938, is nominated in the traditional blues album category for Roamin' and Ramblin', featuring sessions from 2007 and the mid-1970s.

"'I feel good all right, good about that,' Edwards says. 'I've been around long enough ... and the blues is something that stays on your mind.'

"The future is heralded by Tupelo, Miss.-based Homemade Jamz Blues Band, consisting of the Perry siblings, singer/guitarist Ryan, 17; bass player Kyle, 14; and drummer Taya, 10. Their 2008 debut album, Pay Me No Mind, is nominated in the new-artist category and features electrified Chicago- and raucous juke-joint-style songs written by their father/manager, Renaud, an ex-serviceman and amateur musician. On some songs, Ryan and Kyle play homemade guitars made from auto parts.

- Jerry Shriver, USA TODAY

Read the whole article here:
NewsZac Harmon Joins NorthernBlues Music

Zac HarmonNorthernBlues Music is proud to announce that Zac Harmon, winner of the 2004 International Blue Challenge, will be releasing his first CD for NorthernBlues in early 2009.

Born and raised in the heart of Jackson, Mississippi, Zac relocated to L.A. in the early eighties, and then established himself as a writer and producer, crafting songs for the likes of the O'Jays, Freddie Jackson, Karyn White, Alexander O'Neal, Black Uhuru and the Whispers.

In 2002, Harmon pursued his lifetime dream to record his first blues project. The result was 2002's Live at Babe & Ricky's Inn, an electrifying testimonial to Mississippi blues. In 2004, Zac with and his then band, the Mid South Blues Revue, won the Blues Foundation's prestigious International Blues Challenge (IBC) title of "Best Unsigned Band".

Zac's next CD, "The Blues According To Zacariah" debuted at #14 on the Living Blues National Radio Airplay Chart, with tracks also airing on XM and Sirius satellite radio and the American Blues Network. The listeners of XM Satellite Radio voted Harmon "Best New Blues Artist" in the inaugural 2005 XM Nation Music Awards. In 2006, Zac Harmon won a Blues Music (formerly W.C. Handy) Award for "Best New Artist Debut" from the Blues Foundation. He was also featured in the June/July 2006 issue of Blues Revue, as one of the 10 artists that represent the future of the blues.

In 2007, Zac Harmon was named to the Blues Foundation's Board of Directors and was chosen to endorse endorsing the Category 5 Amplification line of superb amplifiers. He continues to tour nationally and internationally.

Zac's 2009 release for NorthernBlues Music, "From The Root", is an eclectic mix of blues, reggae, soul and gospel. "Zac fits right into the NorthernBlues roster - he stretches the boundaries of the blues, and I love that," said Fred Litwin, President of NorthernBlues Music.

NewsSugar Bird receives a Juno Award nomination for best artwork.


Paul Reddick's Sugar Bird receives a Juno Award nomination for best artwork. That is our 3rd Juno Award nomination for artwork since we opened shop. We're extremely proud of this nomination as it shows the effort we put into making our CDs look great - and of course, sound great.

NewsBluzapalooza goes back to Iraq - with Moreland & Arbuckle
BLUZAPALOOZA, the star-studded celebrity Blues concert tour is heading back to Iraq and Kuwait for its second tour on October 26th.

Created by Blues producers Steve Simon and John Hahn and presented by Armed Forces Entertainment, this 12 day BLUZAPALOOZA tour stars Blues icons Shemekia Copeland, Michael Burks, Deanna Bogart, Zac Harmon, NorthernBlues recording artists
Moreland & Arbuckle and Tony Braunagel and The BLUZAPALOOZA All-Star Band.

"I am deeply honored to be going over there to entertain our troops, and Lord knows I love to hang out with men in uniforms", stated Shemekia Copeland.

"We are thrilled to be going back to Iraq and to have so many great Blues artists volunteering to go to a war zone. This is certainly an historic event for the Blues and for our men and woman who so proudly serve our country," stated BLUZAPALOOZA founder and producer Steve Simon.

"Our October tour's lineup would sell out any blues festival in the country. It's an honor to be able to bring it to our troops," stated BLUZAPALOOZA co-producer John Hahn.

This historic tour will be documented by renowned New York photographer, Joseph A. Rosen, a recipient of the "Keeping the Blues Alive" award in photography from the Blues Foundation.

The BLUZAPALOOZA tour has been made possible with the help of Armed Forces Entertainment, The Blues Foundation, Blues Revue, NorthernBlues Music, Alligator Records, Blind Raccoon, Delta Groove Records, Blind Pig Records, Hohner Harmonicas, Telarc Records, Sony Corporation, Ruf Records and Entertainment Support Systems, LLC.

Armed Forces Entertainment (AFE) is the lead Department of Defense agency for providing entertainment to U.S. military personnel serving overseas. Founded in 1951, AFE brings a touch of home to more than 500,000 troops each year. BLUZAPALOOZA is proud to be working with AFE.

For further information contact Steve Simon at 340-643-6475 or at
NewsWatermelon Slim & the Workers win 2008 Band of the Year and Album of the Year
The Wheel ManThe NorthernBlues Music release The Wheel Man wins 'Album of the Year' over peers Koko Taylor, Bettye LaVette and Jimmie Vaughan.

Watermelon Slim & The Workers won a pair of awards at the Memphis-based Blues Foundation's 2008 Blues Music Awards (formerly W.C. Handy Awards) on Thursday May 8, 2008 at the Grand Casino Event Center in Tunica, Mississippi.

Watermelon Slim is a relatively new luminary of the blues, rapidly building a career behind four albums and constant touring. In 2008 Slim was nominated for six awards, a feat matched only by the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy, and Robert Cray. Slim has twelve nominations in the last two years, a feat unmatched in the event's 29 years.

Slim, his band and the album have been steadily building praise preceding these two Blues Music Awards. The legendary Jerry Wexler penned the liner notes of the award winning album which also won the Independent Music Award for '
Blues Album of the Year.' Watermelon Slim and the Workers have long been leading earners for their exclusive booking agency, Intrepid Artists. Among other accolades, the band also won the 2008 Maple Blues Award for 'International Artist of the Year.'

Blues Revue Magazine wrote of The Wheel Man "(Watermelon Slim) not only holds his own but defines a new genre - one that's the blues' answer to some of rock's greatest garage bands." Mainstream media such as Paste Magazine describes Slim as "the most exciting and authentic blues performer I've heard in years." The U.K.'s MOJO Magazine ranked Slim's last two records #1 on its annual 'Best Blues Albums of the Year' list.

The Toronto based world/roots/blues label
NorthernBlues Music has released the last two Watermelon Slim & The Workers CDs. A self titled album was released in February 2006. The Wheel Man was released in April 2007 and debuted in the top ten on Billboard's Blues Charts. It was produced by Chris Wick and features keyboardist Dave Maxwell and Chicago blues legend Magic Slim on the title track. As mentioned earlier, Jerry Wexler wrote the liner notes yet had to decline a producer role due to health issues.

Owner of
NorthernBluesMusic, Inc. Fred Litwin beams "I can't tell you how proud I am of Watermelon Slim - these awards show that the fans recognize he is the most authentic and honest bluesman out there." These are not lighthearted words considering Litwin's label launched the likes of Otis Taylor and Janiva Magness into worldwide recognition and their own bevy of awards.

Born in North Carolina, raised in Boston, Bill 'Watermelon Slim' Homans was schooled at Middleberry College until he enlisted in Vietnam. While laid up in an Army hospital he taught himself upside down left handed guitar with his military issued Zippo as a slide and a plastic pick cut from the top of a coffee can. He has been a truck driver, watermelon farmer, sawmiller, funeral officiator and small time criminal. He's earned two masters degrees in history and journalism and hauled industrial waste. In the early 2000s, a near fatal heart attack clarified his focus on mortality and he hit the road on a new career as a singing/songwriting/guitar playing/harmonica blowing/ performing bluesman.
No Paid Holidays

The highly anticipated follow up to
'The Wheel Man' is entitled 'No Paid Holidays' and features Lee Roy Parnell on slide guitar. 'No Paid Holidays' hits the street June 24, 2008 on NorthernBlues Music via Redeye Distribution.

For almost three decades, the
Blues Music Awards (and previously the W.C. Handy Awards) have celebrated excellence in performance and recording of the blues. For more information about the Blues Foundation and the Blues Music Awards, visit
NewsGibson Guitars names Watermelon Slim one of the top ten blues albums of 2007

Watermelon Slim is Back

This Oklahoman is one of the rawest and most fascinating figures in today's blues. He fought in Vietnam, officiated at funerals, and worked as a trucker, forklift operator, saw miller, firewood salesman, and collection agent until a near-fatal heart attack compelled him to find his calling as a bandleader in 2002.

Slim’s latest is a devil’s playground for his weathered oaken voice and Delta-fueled six-string slide and harmonica, full of stories of crime ("
The Wheel Man"), lust ("Peaches"), and sin ("Jimmy Bell"), all packed with true grit.

Gibson Best Blues

newsNorthernBlues Music received eight 2008 Blues Music Award nominations!

The Blues FoundationFor the second consecutive year, Watermelon Slim has received six Blues Music Award nominations, including Album of the Year, Band of the Year, Entertainer of the Year, and Song of the Year.

And, Mem Shannon received two nominations - Soul Blues Album of the Year, and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year.

Here is our complete list of nominations:

Album of the Year - Watermelon Slim & The Workers for "The Wheel Man"
BB King Entertainer of the Year - Watermelon Slim
Band of the Year - Watermelon Slim & The Workers
Contemporary Blues Album of the Year - Watermelon Slim & The Workers for "The Wheel Man"
Contemporary Blues Male Artist of the Year - Watermelon Slim
Song of the Year - William Homans for "The Wheel Man"
Soul Blues Album of the Year - Mem Shannon for "A Night At Tipitina's"
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year - Mem Shannon

Online voting begins December 13th for members of the Blues founation. Voting, ticket and host hotel information can be found at The Blues Foundation's website -

2007 - Canadian Company NorthernBlues Music Garners Nine BMA Nominations & IMA Win for Watermelon Slim & The Workers!

Toronto, Canada (December 14, 2006)

The Blues FoundationNominations abound for NorthernBlues artists this year, including an incredible nine at the prestigious 2007 Blues Music Awards!

Three For Janiva: Winner of the 2006 Blues Music Award for Contemporary Female Artist of the Year, Janiva Magness is back for a second shot at the title. Released earlier this year, her recording Do I Move You? also received nominations for Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year.

Six For Slim: 2007 Blues Music Award nominations for Watermelon Slim & The Workers include Album of the Year, BB King Entertainer of the Year, Band of the Year, Song of the Year (for Hard Times), Traditional Blues Album, and Traditional Blues Male Artist. "The most amazing story of the 2007 Blues Music Awards is the six nominations racked up by Watermelon Slim & The Workers... their self-titled release struck a chord with the nominators as this former truck driver with a Masters degree in history picked up song, album, band and entertainer nods, among the 25 album, artist and instrumentalist categories." - Blues Foundation

The Blues Music Awards are universally recognized as the highest honour given to Blues artists. They are produced by
The Blues Foundation, a non-profit organization established to preserve Blues history, celebrate Blues excellence, support Blues education and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. The Blues Foundation consists of a worldwide network of 150 affiliated Blues societies and has individual memberships in thirty countries. The winners will be announced at The Blues Music Awards on May 10, 2007 in Memphis. More information can be found at
Maple Blues Awards
Hot on the heels of the Blues Music Awards, NorthernBlues artists have a total of six nominations at the
Maple Blues Awards this year, to be held on January 15, 2007 in Toronto. JW-Jones Blues Band's Kissing in 29 Days is up for Recording of the Year, nominees for Harmonica Player of the Year include Dave Hoerl (The Twisters), Carlos del Junco, and Paul Reddick, Kevin Breit is up for Guitarist of the Year, and Watermelon Slim is nominated for the BB King International Artist Award. Voting is open until Dec 16th at midnight, and all Canadian residents are eligible to vote:

Watermelon Slim & the WorkersLast but not least, self-titled
Watermelon Slim & The Workers took the prize for Blues Album of the Year at the 6th Annual Independent Music Awards! Nominees for the category included Eddie Turner for The Turner Diaries and Glamourpuss for Bluesman's Prayer, also up for Blues Recording of the Year at the East Coast Music Awards, to be held in Halifax in February 2007.

I'm extremely proud of what we have accomplished this year - it shows that NothernBlues is a truly world-class blues label with world-class blues artists."
- Fred Litwin, President of NBM
NorthernBlues Music Recording Artists Garner Four 2006 Blues Music Awards' Nominations and several Maples Blues Nominations

NorthernBlues Music recording artists, Mem Shannon, Eddie Turner and Janiva Magness, have received a total of four nominations for Blues Music Awards. These are:

I'm from Phunkville
Mem Shannon
I'm From Phunkville
Soul Blues Album of the Year &
Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year

Eddie Turner
Best New Artist Debut

Bury Him at the Crossroads
Janiva Magness
Bury Him At The Crossroads
Contemporary Blues Female Artist of The Year

The Blues Music Awards (BMAs), formerly known as the W.C. Handy Awards, celebrate the best in blues recording and performance from the previous year and are universally recognized as the highest honor given to blues artists. The award ceremony will be held May 11, 2006 in Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the host, The Blues Foundation, where many of the nominees have the privilege of playing live to a large gathering of blues music industry professionals and fans. Members of the foundation are eligible to vote for artists and their recordings at

In addition, two NorthernBlues CDs,
Villanelle by Paul Reddick and Blues Mongrel by Carlos del Junco have received Album of the Year nominations by the MapleBlues Awards.

We are all delighted at the news," says Fred Litwin, president of NorthernBlues Music. "This is the first time that we have had three of our recording artists obtain BMA nominations in the same year. This demonstrates our desire to present blues & roots music with originality and diversity, different from the norm."

This goal will continue in 2006 when both
Janiva Magness and Eddie Turner will release new CDs on NorthernBlues Music. Janiva's new CD "Do I Move You?" (March 7, 2006) is co-produced by Colin Linden and Janiva with Rick Holmstrom on guitar, Richard Bell on keyboards, Stephen Hodges on drums, Jeff Turmes on bass & sax. NorthernBlues will also present a newcomer Watermelon Slim, whose self-titled CD will release February 14, 2006. Other releases include Glamour Puss and JW-Jones and a Neil Young Tribute.

NorthernBlues Music, founded in 2000 by Fred Litwin, stretches the boundaries of the blues, finding unique artists that offer distinctive interpretations. The roster includes Mem Shannon, Janiva Magness, Watermelon Slim, David Jacobs-Strain, Doug Cox & Sam Hurrie, Chris Beard, Eddie Turner, Brian Blain, JW-Jones Blues Band, Paul Reddick, Glamour Puss, Carlos del Junco, John and the Sisters (Kevin Breit), Taxi Chain, Toni Lynn Washington, James Cohen, Dan Treanor and Rita Chiarelli.

W.C. Handy and Canadian Independent Music Award nominations for NorthernBlues artists
Two of NorthernBlues artists have received W.C. Handy Award nominations. Janiva Magness received a nomination for Contemporary Blues-Female Artist of the Year and Toni Lynn Washington received a nomination for Soul/Blues-Female Artist of the Year! Congratulations to both Toni and Janiva!

John and the Sisters and JW-Jones have just received a Canadian Independent Music Award nomination for Blues Act of the Year. Congratulations to both bands...they sure deserve it.

JW-Jones Named Electric Act of the Year; Carlos del Junco Best Harmonica Player

JW Jones

Fans across Canada voted the JW-Jones Blues Band the Electric Act of the Year at the 2004 Maple Blues Awards held this week in Toronto. Over 2000 fans voted across the country - and this JW's first win at the awards. Carlos del Junco was voted Canada's best harmonica player - for the second time in a row. We can't even count how many times Carlos has won that award. And, last but not least, Colin Linden & Janiva Magness won for best produced CD for Janiva's "Bury Him at the Crossroads". Congratulations to JW, Carlos, and Colin!
Paul Reddick's "Villanelle" and Dan Treanor/Frankie Lee's "African Wind" Now on Listening Stations at Borders

For the next two months, these 2 great CDs from NorthernBlues will be featured at Borders on their listening stations. Please check out these titles at your nearest Borders!

  "My Kind of Evil" and "John and the Sisters" nominated for a 2004 Maple Blues Award for Blues Recording of the Year.  

Toronto band
John & the Sisters received 5 nominations, more than any other group -
Recording of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Guitar Player of the Year (Kevin Breit), Male Vocalist of the Year (John Dickie), and Producer of the Year (Kevin Breit).
The JW-Jones Blues Band received four nominations - Recording of the Year, Producer of the Year (JW-Jones and Kim Wilson), Guitar Player of the Year (JW-Jones), and Electric Act of the Year.

Winners will be announced at an all-star celebration on Monday, January 17 at the Phoenix Concert Theatre, 410 Sherbourne Street, Toronto.

For the first time in the awards' eight-year history, voting will take place entirely online. Marking an exciting evolution in how the winners are chosen, blues fans across the country can vote for their favourite artists on the Maple Blues Awards website at until December 15th.

The Maple Blues Awards are Canada's annual celebration of homegrown talent. The nominees represent the best Canadian blues literally from coast to coast to coast. The Maple Blues Awards gala evening is much more than an awards show; it is a gathering of a national community, it is a party, and it is a great show. The MBAs coincide with the bi-annual Blues Summit, a three-day conference which brings together blues musicians, agents, record companies, promoters, festival and venue presenters, and top blues media and fans from across Canada and the United States.

Nominees were chosen by an independent panel of blues radio personalities and music journalists across Canada. The winners are chosen from votes by blues fans across the country, many of them members of a growing network of blues societies. Voting for the awards at is open to anyone across Canada with a valid email address. The law firm Levinter & Levinter will once again verify the results.

Maple Blues Awards tickets are $35 for the public and $30 for TBS members. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster at 416-870-8000, or the TBS office at 416-538-3885 or 1-866-871-9457,

The Maple Blues Awards are supported by FACTOR and Heritage Canada, GALAXIE - CBC's Continuous Music Network, the SOCAN Foundation, SOCAN, the Ontario Ministry of Culture and the Toronto Arts Council.


NorthernBlues signs up Eddie Turner   NorthernBlues signs up Carlos del Junco
NorthernBlues is proud to announce that Eddie Turner has been signed and that his CD, Rise, will be released in February 2005. Eddie used to play guitar with Otis Taylor's band, and is known for his killer psychedelic guitar. On "Rise", Eddie showcases his song-writing capability - and with Kenny Passarelli producing - has put together an incredible sounding, very urban, CD.   NorthernBlues is also proud to announce that Carlos del Junco has joined the label, and that his CD, Blues Mongrel, will also be released in February 2005. Carlos is a leading pioneer of the 10-hole diatonic harmonica and he has won world championships in Germany at the Hohner World Harmonica competition. His new CD, Blues Mongrel, showcases blues and jazz and layers a variety of different sounds for something that is totally unique!
New! Coming in March
Taxi Chain's "Smarten Up!"
  New! Coming in April
John & The Sisters
with Kevin Breit
Funky sawdust-rockin' bagpipe blues with a country twist.   Crazy Burning Cosmic Blues From Another Planet!

A funky soulful, absolutely unique blend of Americana, R&B, blues and bagpipe, yes, bagpipe!

Band leader
Grier Coppins founded Rare Air, the ground-breaking, the wildly successful jazz/celtic-fusion band over 20 years ago, and continues breaking down walls between musical genres with Taxi Chain. A fresh new brilliant sound, a blend of lowdown American roadhouse and bluesy R&B with a Tom Waitsian sense of lyrics and that damned bagpipe. Seamless, dirty, sweet, and extremely danceable.

You will not believe your ears when you hear this genre-bending, live-off-the-floor sonic blues adventure!!!

Kevin Breit (Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson) fresh from critical success with 2003's "Jubilee" returns with a huge sounding, monstrous junkyard dog of a sonic blues adventure. With his immensely talented Sisters Euclid Band, and brash blues-belter John Dickie, Kevin has produced a jaw-dropping, string-bending, stew of original songs and sounds.

Kevin Breit is one of North America's finest session musicians (can play over 30 different stringed instruments) and he has recorded with a virtual who's who of music.

  Wire & Wood, Jubilee nominated for Blues Album of the Year  

NorthernBlues is extremely proud that two of its CDs (
Jubilee by Harry Manx and Kevin Breit, and Wire & Wood by Glamour Puss) have just been nominated for a Maple Blues Award for Blues Album of the Year. Glamour Puss receieved a total of four nominations - Album of the Year, Producer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, and Bass Player of the Year. Jubilee received nominations for Album of the Year, and Producer of the Year. We wish both CDs the best of luck at the Awards Night in mid-January.

  Canadian labels unite to release a star-studded tribute to Canada's
greatest songwriter, Gordon Lightfoot
August 12, 2003.

The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Ron Sexsmith, Cowboy Junkies and Bruce Cockburn are among the artists who have recorded Lightfoot songs for the first-ever salute to Canada's premier songwriter.

Borealis Records, Canada's pre-eminent folk/roots label and NorthernBlues, Canada's cutting-edge blues label have combined forces to release "Beautiful: A Tribute to Gordon Lightfoot." The upcoming album will be released in Canada, the United States, and a number of overseas markets, in Autumn, 2003.

Some of North America's best-known roots and blues artists produced and recorded their own interpretations of some of Lightfoot's best-known songs.

The Cowboy Junkies open the album with "The Way I Feel" and are joined by a cast of performers that include The Tragically Hip, who recreate "Black Day in July," Blue Rodeo, with one of Lightfoot's earlier songs, "Go Go Round," Murray McLauchlan, who essays a personal solo version of "Home From the Forest." and Bruce Cockburn who delivers a soulful version of "Ribbon of Darkness" - the first Lightfoot "hit" recorded by Marty Robbins.

Other Lightfoot hits are here too: "
Sundown" (Jesse Winchester), "For Loving Me" (Terry Tufts), "If You Could Read My Mind" (Connie Kaldor) and the classic "Canadian Railroad Trilogy." from Canadian folk hero James Keelaghan.

Ron Sexsmith - who once lined up to get Lightfoot's autograph - performs "Drifters," while other artists include Blackie & The Rodeo Kings ("Summer Side of Life"), guitarist Harry Manx ("Bend in the Water"), Quartette (Song for a Winter's Night"), and Maria Muldaur ("That Same Old Obsession.")

The CD closes with a simple salute to the songwriter. "
Lightfoot" is sung by Aengus Finnan, a young singer who represents the new generation of Canadian songwriters who regard Gordon Lightfoot as an artist who broke boundaries by writing songs that were uniquely Canadian, and that remain influential, and enormously popular, today.

The principals of the two labels are delighted that the project - which has been in the making for almost two years - is finally about to be released. Said
Grit Laskin of Borealis: "Gordon Lightfoot is the most significant figure on Canada's folk scene, and has been creating wonderful music for well over 30 years. Canadians - and many others around the world - know so many of his songs." Fred Litwin, who heads NorthernBlues, added: "This has been a labour of love for both labels, and the willingness of all the artists to get involved shows how grateful they are to Gordon Lightfoot for the music he created."

Surprisingly, this is the first album that's paid tribute to Lightfoot's astonishing catalogue of songs - which are still available on almost 20 different albums.

The salute is being announced a week after it was announced that Lightfoot has been appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Beautiful" has been executive-produced by Colin Linden, and will include a 20-page booklet. A special series of events is being planned to coincide with the release of "Beautiful" in early October. The album will be distributed in Canada by Festival Distribution and in the United States by Big Daddy Music Distribution, based in New Jersey.
  NorthernBlues to release new Glamour Puss CD, "Wire and Wood."  
Toronto, July 3, 2003.

Glamour Puss
, the unmatched high-energy blues, blues-rock and Zydeco group from New Brunswick, and exceptional Canadian blues record label, NorthernBlues Music have come together to release the outstanding new Glamour Puss CD, "Wire and Wood."

This NorthernBlues Music release showcases Glamour Puss' thoughtful and intelligent songwriting, tight arrangements, and polished production on both electric and acoustic tunes. "Wire and Wood" also features the contributions of Montreal's
Michael Jerome Browne in his new role as producer of other artists.

"Wire and Wood" will be launched across Canada on September 2, 2003. Glamour Puss will tour across Canada and the USA in the autumn of 2003 in support of the new release.

Fred Litwin, President of NorthernBlues Music, enthuses, "I am really proud to release 'Wire and Wood'. Glamour Puss simply rocks, and this CD is going to turn a lot of heads. It certainly turned mine."

Bruce Morel, President Music Management International, comments, "We are all very excited about working this record with Fred and Pamela at NorthernBlues, they love the music and their roster has some of the best talent in North America.

Media Contact:
Heather Kelly Communications
Heather Kelly, 416-364-5701, cel: 416-879-0283,
Chris Orange, 416-364-5701,

Management & Booking:
Bruce Morel, 902-435-0330,

Coming in June!   Coming in July!

Toni Lynn Washington's debut on NorthernBlues
Johnny's Blues: A Tribute to Johnny Cash
Toni Lynn Washington is our newest artist! Toni has just received her 5th W.C. Handy Award nomination for Soul/Blues Female Artist of the Year, and we are super excited about her new CD, Been So Long. Produced by Duke Robillard, Been So Long is Toni's bluesiest album to date, and features a ton of superb old material from the likes of Bessie Smith. Of course, Toni's band is just superb - and Duke also chimes in with some nifty guitar picking!

Here's what Duke had to say about working with Toni:

"Working with Tony Lynn Washington on her latest CD "Been So Long" has been pure pleasure! Armed with great material and a studio full of expressive musicians, Toni wailed her way through rocking Blues, Soul and Jazz in a way no newcomer to the scene could even think about doing! She proves here that her presence is powerful - and lasting - as she squeezes every ounce of emotion out of each lyric with confidence and grace. Toni Lynn is simply the embodiment of all that is great about Blues, Soul and Jazz vocalizing!!!"

Been So Long" will be in stores on June 17th.
  NorthernBlues Music has announced the forthcoming release of Johnny's Blues: A Tribute to Johnny Cash. Scheduled to hit stores worldwide in July, the disc features chart-topping, internationally known blues, roots and gospel musicians who revere Cash as a symbol of originality and integrity.

Here is a complete song listing for this amazing CD of all-new recordings!

Paul Reddick Train of Love
Gatemouth Brown Get Rhythm
Maria Muldaur Walking the blues
Chris Thomas King Rock Island Line
Garland Jeffreys I Walk The Line
Blackie & The Rodeo Kings Folsom Prison Blues
Harry Manx Long Black Veil
Alvin Youngblood Hart Sunday Morning Coming Down
Sleepy LaBeef Frankie's Man Johnny
Kevin Breit Send a Picture of Mother
Corey Harris Redemption
Colin Linden Big River
Mavis Staples Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Johnny's Blues" will be in stores on July 15th.

Coming in April! High Side of Lowdown

With years in the trenches as a rock guitarist, James Cohen has now confidently immersed himself into the world of flamenco music. The speed with which he plays has been finely honed by a keen sense of time and polished by emotion, as shown by his third CD, High Side of Lowdown.

This time around, James has fused flamenco, gypsy jazz, and blues-and has done it with a quartet that includes two of Canada's best guitarists. Add legendary keyboard player Richard Bell to the mix (Janis Joplin's piano player), and you have the recipe for a world-class world music CD!

"A perfect mix of virtuosity & soul. Guitar players, beware - this album rocks!" -Sue Foley

"A delightful blend of exotic melodies" -Miguel de la Bastide

High Side of Lowdown will be available in stores in Canada in mid-April and in the US in mid-May.

Jubilee Getting Rave Reviews

NorthernBlues Music Gets 2 Juno Award Nominations!

NorthernBlues Music Gets 2 W.C. Handy Award Nominations!

David Jacobs-Strain on Borders' Listening Posts

How to Contact NorthernBlues Music

Jubilee Getting Rave Reviews

  Harry Manx and Kevin Breit's new CD, Jubilee, is getting rave reviews from across North America! We actually got a copy of Jubilee to Bruce Cockburn and he was just blown away - and he graciously agreed to give us a quote:

"Jubilee is excitingly original approach to roots music."
Bruce Cockburn

We're really gratified to see the incredible reaction. Here are some of the quotes that have come in on Jubilee:

"There are moments on the Jubilee recording that are a SONIC REVOLUTION!
Derek Andrews, Music Programmer, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto

"Individually Kevin Breit and Harry Manx are two of the most compelling and original musical artists in the country. Together on "Jubilee" they've THROWN DOWN A ROOTS MUSIC GAUNTLET, creating sounds that are familiar yet STUNNINGLY ORIGINAL. This is music that will CHALLENGE A WHOLE GENERATION OF ARTISTS TO INVEST A NEW VITALITY INTO OLD FORMS."
Bill Stunt, Music Producer and Host of CBC Radio One's Bandwidth

John Valenteyn, MapleBlues Magazine

Mike Bell, Calgary Sun

"SWEET AND SOULFUL...a wonderfully appealing collection that's all the better for its simplicity, restraint and elegance. PERFECT LATE NIGHT OR SUNDAY MORNING LISTENING"
Greg Quill, Toronto Star

"Songs of quiet desperation brood amid tolling inexorable guitar riffs haunted by the blues."
John Shelton Ivany Top 21

Jeff Hurst, Cambridge Times

"Sure to inspire a whole new generation of blues poseurs, this is the real fount from which a raft of new clichés will be inspired by. A special treat for roots fans that want the music without the hype."
Chris Spector, Midwest Record Recap

Richard Bourcier, Jazz

"For those that thought the best duo recording of late was the Leo Kottke collaboration with Mike Gordon I'd recommend making room for this lovely recording in your collection."
Dennis Cook,

"This album is a near perfect production, with perfection being impossible. This reviewer has enjoyed it more with each listening. Kudos to all of you for the vision, skill and artistry to put together this fine example of the state of the acoustic Folk Blues....This is an excellent example of a couple of the best in the acoustic Blues Folk world. It has the interesting instrumentation and deft skill of a David Lindley album, but Manx brings his bluesy Folk soul to work with a partner who senses essence of his music. The album design is also a work of art."
Jason Wesley, BluesWax E-Zine, February 19, 2003


NorthernBlues Music Gets 2 Juno Award Nominatons!   NorthernBlues Music Gets 2 W.C. Handy Award Nominations!

We're extremely proud to get 2 more Juno Award nominations (as we did last year) - this time for Blues Album of the Year (Wise and Otherwise by Harry Manx), and Contemporary Christian/Gospel Album of the Year (Saved! by the NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars). The Junos will be held on April 4-6th and we wish our artists the best of luck!


We're also extremely proud to have received 2 W.C. Handy Award nominations this year(after 5 nominations last year). Otis Taylor's CD, Respect The Dead, was nominated for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and Otis himself was nominated for Acoustic Artist of the Year. The Handy Awards will be held in Memphis on May 22nd, and we wish Otis the best of luck!

David Jacobs-Strain on Borders' Listening Posts

We are pleased to announce that Borders Books has just added David Jacobs-Strain's CD "Stuck On The Way Back" (NorthernBlues, 2002) to the listening stations in their stores across the country.

"One of the most powerful blues releases of the year."

-Gary von Tersch, Sing Out!

"...chilling original tunes that the solo acoustic blues artist takes to the edge with virtuosic slide and finger picking. Besides his fret-busting chops and barrelhouse vocals, Jacobs-Strain's deep knowledge of the past informs his music with an authenticity that is startling for his age."

-Dave Rubin, Guitar One Magazine


David Jacobs-Strain, spring/summer 2003 preliminary tour schedule

  • May 10 Davis, CA Whole Earth Festival
  • Jun 15 Santa Barbara, CA Live Oak Music Festival
  • Jul 5 Montreal, Quebec Montreal International Jazz Festival
  • Jul 6 Ottawa, Ontario Ottawa Blues-Fest
  • Jul 10 Kalamazoo, MI Kalamazoo Blues Festival
  • Jul 24-27 Hillsdale, NY Falcon Ridge Folk Festival
  • Aug 17 Newport, RI Newport Folk Festival

NorthernBlues Music Receives Two Juno Award Nominations

Wise & Otherwise nominated for blues album of the year; Saved! for Gospel Album of the Year.

(Toronto, Ontario) - February 12, 2003
NorthernBlues Music today received two Juno nominations for blues album of the year and gospel album of the year. This makes a total of four Juno nominations in the first two years of operations.

"Wise and Otherwise was the best-selling blues album of Canada in 2002 quite simply because it was the best blues album in Canada last year," said Fred Litwin, President of NorthernBlues Music. "And, I am also proud that a cross-Canada poll, run by Penguin Eggs magazine, of festival artistic directions, media, songwriters and specialty store owners just voted Wise and Otherwise the top album of the year for 2002."

The NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars also received a nomination for Best Gospel Album of the year for Saved! "This is our first nomination outside of the blues category, and that makes me especially proud", said Fred, "Saved! is an amazing album and I know that all the performers are just glowing about this nomination."

The Juno Awards will be held in Ottawa this year on April 6, 2003.

Saved! by the NorthernBlues Gospel Allstars

Late last year, legendary producer Frazier Mohawk called me and started talking about producing a gospel CD. Frazier runs one of the best studios in the country and wanted to do a project with the same approach he used when he worked for Elektra Records back in the '60s - bring together some great musicians, toss in some good food, let the creative juices flow, shake it all together ... and hopefully something great emerges!

Frazier teamed up with Michael Fonfara and each called in the singers and musicians that they believed would bring a unique voice to the project. One artist who was on both their wish lists was John Finley, a former Torontonian who played with Mike back in the sixties in Toronto's Checkmates and then in Los Angeles with Rhinoceros where they first worked with Frazier.

Jon lives in Los Angeles and is very popular on the American Southwest gospel circuit. Danny Brooks is a beacon shining bright on the Toronto blues scene. Hiram Joseph is one of the brightest new stars on the Canadian gospel music scene and you'll know why when you hear "A Place Called Hope", a song written especially for him by Babbie Mason. He and Amoy Levy are two of the phenomenal new voices who have been raising spirits and spreading the Word up in the north country for many years - performing in mass choirs and at tabernacles.

This is our first gospel release, and I love the music on this CD! I want to thank Frazier and Michael for their vision, and all the artists for their incredible talents.

-Fred Litwin, President, NorthernBlues Music


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