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REVIEW: Escarpment Blues Society Big Launch


Escarpment Blues Society

Photo Credits: Ken Wallis.



Oh, what a night of fabulous music! The Escarpment Blues Society took off with all engines roaring in a star-studded evening of blues tunes at the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. The sold-out crowd on May 28th loved every minute of the rousing performances of some of Canada’s finest musicians.


The show featured the incredible talent of the Escarpment Blues Society All Star Band consisting of Colin Lapsley (Steve Strongman) on bass,  Jesse O’Brien( Colin James) on keys, Matt Burns (Spencer MacKenzie) on drums, and solo artist Roly Platt on harmonica.



The evening got off to a spectacular start as Steve Strongman opened the evening with three tunes. He played some of his classic tunes, Love Comin’ Down, Livin’ The Dream, and Tore Down. Strongman’s soaring guitar notes meshed perfectly with the rockin’ harmonica of Roly Platt.



The opening songs set the mood for the rest of the evening and to top it all off, Miss Angel as a surprise, unannounced guest, belted it out to an appreciative audience.


Miss Angel

Then it was time for Suzie Vinnick to flex her vocals and guitar chops. She mesmerized the audience with a trio of songs, Happy As Hell, Let Me Make It Up To You, and Crazy Bout Lovin’ Me. Suzie’s stage presence had the audience wishing for more, but it was time for yet another guest.



Multi-instrumentalist Steve Marriner strode onto the stage and let it all loose. He’s won so many awards and he showed why as he tore through Rollin’ And Tumblin’, Someday After A While, and Automatic. What a great way to end the first set and give the patrons time to re-charge for the next set.



Set two started with Dawn Tyler Watson showcasing her sparkling musical talent.  Few artists can sing up a storm like Dawn as she started off with one of my all-time favourite tunes, Alligator.  That was followed by This and That and Feels Good.  Feels good certainly was what everyone felt.


Dawn Tyler Watson

Then blues icon Jack de Keyzer came out to the forefront and set the place on fire with his blazing guitar work. Jack loves to let his guitar do the talking, and when he plays, you know you’re hearing one of the best in the business.  He laid it all down with On The Money, My Love Has Gone, and the classic Pleasure Is My Business.



Then it was time for the Master. Harrison Kennedy.  When Harrison sings you know you’re witnessing one of the best male vocalists in the world.  His demeanor demonstrates how much he loves music and performing. He started off with High Heeled Shoes. Then he swung into Georgia On My Mind, which garnered a standing ovation. And then to top it all off, he pulled out Give Me Just A Little More Time. Another standing ovation!


The show had come to an end. Well maybe not. The artists gathered on stage and thrilled everyone with an encore jam of Further On Up The Road  that sent everyone home with a smile on their face.


Escarpment Blues Society

When the artists came together to take their bows, you could see how much fun they had.  Artists seldom get to play together with so many of their peers, and you tell they enjoyed it as much as the audience.


Escarpment Blues Society

It was a fantastic night of music and the only way to picture how it went is to just take a peek at this picture of Steve Strongman


Steve Strongman

But this is only the beginning. The Escarpment Blues Society will continue to support artists with more special events. Up next, Wicked Grin, with special guest Larry Kurtz, Sunday afternoon June 9th at Stonewall’s in Hamilton.





Escarpment Blues Society

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