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  • Writer's pictureKen Wallis

Ken Wallis Chats With Award-Winning Canadian Bluesman Steve Strongman


Steve Strongman & Harrison Kennedy


Steve Strongman is an award-winning musician who embraces and supports the blues. He’s won numerous awards including a Juno Award for best blues recording of the year for Natural Fact, best Guitarist for the Solo Duo Category at the  International Blues Challenge  in Memphis, and numerous Maple Blues Awards. He recently co-wrote and co-produced the new album by The Fabulous Thunderbirds.



Ken Wallis interviewed Steve Strongman for his show BluesSource Canada.  The following are excerpts from that interview, edited and amended for brevity and clarity.



Steve Strongman


Ken Wallis

There's a very special event coming up May 28th, and to tell us all about it, Steve Strongman is joining us.


Steve Strongman

Hey, Ken, always a pleasure to be on the show. Thanks for having me.

 

Ken Wallis

And Steve, I know there's quite the happening going on May 28th. Tell us all about it.


Steve Strongman

Tuesday, May 28th, it’s the big launch for The Escarpment Blues Society. I am just so excited about this and I have to say how incredible it was to get all these artists to be able to perform with myself and the house band. We've got Harrison Kennedy, Jack de Keyzer, Dawn Tyler Watson, Suzie Vinnick, Steve Mariner and myself, along with an absolutely incredible backing band of Colin Lapsley on bass,  Jesse O'Brien playing piano, Matt Burns on the drums and also in the backing band is the Incredible Roly Platt playing harmonica.  What a lineup!

 

Ken Wallis

It couldn't get any better than that. I was at one point trying to add up how many Junos there are amongst everybody. And it's astounding that you've got such a great lineup.


Steve Strongman

The Escarpment Blues Society and all the people that are going to be there that night are in for a treat. I'm so appreciative and happy to attach my name to both the show and the blues society and be there as an artist representing and helping do the artistic direction for the evening. It should be said that every single one of these artists that I called were all at the top of the list and it was an immediate yes. It's going to be really great.

 

Ken Wallis

And how's the evening going to roll out? Are the artists going to be appearing together on stage or one at a time, or how's that going to work?


Steve Strongman

Each artist is going to be featured along with the backing band, and that's why we've structured it in this way because it's going to make turnovers a little bit easier, rather than having each person with their own band. So there's going to be a flow to the night, but I'm really excited about these little things that might happen with one artist playing with another artist and another artist staying on stage after they've been featured for a couple songs and putting different groups together. So it's going to be over two sets that night.  The evening is going to start at 7:30 pm and we're going to have the first set which is going to be about an hour, then it's going to be about a 20 minute intermission. And then here's going to be another set of about an hour and I'll just say that there's going to be some surprise groupings for that night for sure.

 

Ken Wallis

And where is this event taking place?


Steve Strongman

This is at the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre, which I've been very fortunate to perform at a few times already. It's a state-of-the-art facility that's in Ancaster and they've been very busy doing a lot of local shows and plays, theatre, anything with relation to the arts. They're also sponsoring the event for us, so they've been really good with The Escarpment Blue Society, giving us a great deal to have this go on. We've been really, really lucky to have great local sponsors and to just have an amazing facility to put on such an incredible lineup.

 

Ken Wallis

Also, I understand if you become a member of the Escarpment Blue society, you get a discount on buying future tickets.


Steve Strongman

That's exactly right. The Escarpment Blues Society is offering a discount for members, and there'll be a presence there so you can learn about what the blues society is up to and you can become a member that night. We'll have special deals on lots of merchandise too that night.

 

Ken Wallis

And I understand a couple of weeks after this big event, there's going to be another Escarpment Concert coming up.


Steve Strongman

Yes, there is. We have a Wicked Grin performing, so we're going to announce that from the stage. It's an exciting time for us and everybody that's on the board are just thrilled that we're able to all get together and build something that's bigger than any one component and really do some great shows in our community and beyond.

 

Ken Wallis

And I really think this show was going to be the show of the year. It's an incredible lineup, Steve. You've done an awful lot of work.


Steve Strongman

I really think that everybody involved in this blues society is so thankful that these artists were willing to come and support the Escarpment Blues Society. Everybody has been able to just say let's try and help get something off the ground in the best possible way. And that's exactly what's happening. And a lineup like this, even if you're at a festival in the summertime it's really difficult to get so many artists. All these people are Juno award-winning artists.  It's really a special thing and it's difficult to go to one event and see all these artists. It's a night that is not to be missed.

 

Ken Wallis

Well, Steve I thank you so much for your time.


Steve Strongman

Thanks for having me on, Ken. Always a pleasure.



Escarpment Blues Society

To read our previous articles about The Escarpment Blues Society just scan the QR codes.


For more information go to escarpmentbluessociety.ca you can join the Facebook group by clicking on the link on the website. There is also a link to join a mailing list to get up-to-date music information.


Escarpment Blues Society
Escarpment Blues Society





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