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Ken Wallis Chats With Chuck Jackson About The Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival


By Ken Wallis.



Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle is held annually in Port Credit, Ontario, Canada and this year marks the silver anniversary of 25 years of great music. Over the years, the festival has featured a star-studded line-up of established musicians, while at the same time promoting up and coming youth performers. This year is a celebration of the legacy of the festival and it’s destined to be one of the best yet!


Ken Wallis interviewed Chuck Jackson for the radio show BluesSource Canada. The following are excerpts from that interview, amended and edited for clarity and brevity.



Ken Wallis

September 8th, 9th, and 10th is the 25th anniversary of Tim Horton's Southside Shuffle and joining us to tell us all about it is Chuck Jackson, the founder and artistic director. Chuck, great seeing you again.


Chuck Jackson

Good to see you, my friend.


Ken Wallis

So, tell us a little bit about how did this get started? 25 years ago, time has flown!


Chuck Jackson

You're not kidding. The funny thing, I was playing all over the place with Downchild. I saw what festivals could do for a community. So, I went to the Port Credit BIA and suggested that we do a Blues festival and they went, Blues festival, that's gonna attract motorcycle gangs. [LAUGHTER]. I don't think so. Anyway, it took a little bit of talking and then finally in 1999 they agreed to back it and we started with a pretty small festival. It started at the soccer field at Highway 10 and Lakeshore. It was Downchild and Fathead and about 10 other bands that were playing across the town in the bars. And the festival now has just grown over the 25 years.

Ken Wallis

There’ll be a whole bunch of different stages and a whole bunch of different acts. Walk us through a little bit about what's going on.

Chuck Jackson

We have three stages. The Brightwater main stage, which is a paid stage, then we've got the Queen Bea stage, which is an acoustic stage which is free. And the Pattison Outdoor Advertising stage, which is also free. All three stages are at Memorial Park and then we have of course Saturday afternoon, where we have our Rabba Fine Foods Street Shuffle, where there's 20 bands on the street. You can walk around like it's Mardi Gras and enjoy the bands. And then of course all the restaurants and bars have bands so there's over 100 bands playing on the weekend.

Ken Wallis

Well, that's certainly going to be a lot of fun. Can you give us some of the headliners?


Friday night on the Mainstage it'll be David Wilcox and Juno award-winner Angelique Francis, and then Juno nominee Spencer McKenzie, which is really exciting because Spencer was part of our Junior Jam when he was like 11 and now he's coming back. Saturday night, it’s Matt Andersen And The Big Bottle Of Joy. They’re from the East Coast, a 12-piece band with Matt bellowing it out and that's going to be pretty exciting. We've got My Son The Hurricane, which is a hot new band out of Niagara Falls, everybody's talking about them. And of course, Lance Anderson's Tribute to The Last Waltz will be honoring Robbie Robertson this year and unfortunately all the other members have passed away. I guess there's only Garth Hudson left now. Opening up the Saturday afternoon is Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne. On Sunday, Downchild will be closing the festival on the Brightwater Mainstage for the 25th straight time. We got Jack de Keyser coming back who was there at the very first festival. And Suzie McNeil And The Chain Reaction. Suzie's from Mississauga and she’s been inducted into the Mississauga Music Walk of Fame.


Where can folks find the schedule? Is there an online resource?

Chuck Jackson

Go to southsideshuffle.ca and it'll give you all the lineup for all the stages and what's going on. There’s a great program put together by Chuck Jones that you can collect.


Ken Wallis

And Chuck, where do folks get tickets for the paid stage tickets?

Chuck Jackson

They can be bought by going to our website and can be purchased online or you can get them in Port Credit at Ric’s Recollections. Our Bourbon Street tickets are unfortunately all sold out, but the general admission is still available and they're selling fast.


Ken Wallis

It’s going to be a great weekend Chuck. 25 years, it's an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations to you for all you've done to make this happen.

Chuck Jackson

Well, I've had a lot of help and I never thought it would last 25 years, I'll tell you that Ken. I thought about maybe two years. But I'm very proud of it, very proud of the young entertainers we discovered like Jimmy Bowskill, who's now playing with Blue Rodeo, and Spencer who started in the Junior Jam. It's something that I'm very proud of. Ken thanks for your participation and you know we couldn't do it without the great stations and people that still promote the blues. And I want to dedicate this year to Patrick Monaghan who was a very good friend and as you know a very good advocate of blues throughout Canada.


Ken Wallis

I sure miss him.



Photo Credit: Ken Wallis.



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