Review: Two Days Spent At The Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle
By Ken Wallis. Headliner Erja Lyytinen - Photo Credit: Hannu Juutilainen.
Why a Partial Review? Because sometimes events change our intentions and BluesSource was not able to attend all of the Shuffle. However, we saw enough to at least be able to give you some insights, although limited, to this fantastic music event. This was the 24th Year of The Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle, in Port Credit, Mississauga, and it lived up to its past celebrations. There was music everywhere!
Friday September 9th
We kicked off Friday evening with the Puslinch House of Blues Band. They got things rolling with some great blues tunes. If you missed them, you can catch some of their performances on YouTube.
We stayed put as one of our favs was coming up next on the same stage. The Erin McCallum Band with Erin, Teddy Leonard on guitar, Gary Kendall on bass and Joe Pace on drums. Joe’s beat kept it going even though we weren’t able to catch a picture of him 😊. Erin demonstrated why she’s labelled Big Voice, Big Sound as she tore her way through some familiar tunes like Complicated Woman and also highlighted some of her new tunes that will be on a forthcoming album. And Teddy Leonard on guitar – oh my what a talent!
Hunger pangs took over and we headed off to our favourite Italian restaurant, Papa Guiseppe’s. We enjoyed our time there so much, we missed catching Garnetta and DaGroovemasters. As we headed back into the park the beauty of the surrounding area at nightfall was evident with the lighthouse the feature attraction.
We then hit the main stage for Zoom with Shawn Kellerman. Zoom is a powerhouse who hails from Detroit and she sure knows how to belt it out. Partnered with guitar whiz Shawn Kellerman from Kitchener, they kept the audience enthralled throughout their performance. Thirsting for more? Get their latest release Chocolate Cake.
We then hotfooted it back to the other stage for Pianorama with Lance Anderson, Jesse O’Brien and Jesse Whitely. It’s not very often you get to hear such a talented trio of pianists playing together. Let’s have more in the future.
Then it was International blues time with European Blues Award-winning guitarist, Erja Lyytinen from Finland. They call her Europe’s Queen of the slide guitar, and she proved she deserves that title. She absolutely rocked the audience with her shredding and backed that up with some haunting vocals.
Saturrday September 10th
Functioning on limited sleep, we dashed back to Port Credit from Hamilton to catch some of the Raba Fine Foods Street Shuffle. And there was plenty to keep you occupied. We caught many a band, but I have to highlight three.
The Swingin’ Black Jacks keep the street audience captivated
While Blue Room asserted that the Blues is alive and thriving.
And then a big thrill for me, it was The Hell Bent Rockers busting out with some great oldies. So why the thrill? The leader and vocalist of the band, Billy T was a student of mine in the television program several hundred years ago at Mohawk College. He’s even got grey hair now! Talk about making a prof feel old. But the big thrill was their performance. They were fantastic and had the audience rockin’ to some of the great songs from the past.
One comment, and not to be negative, I only wish more bands that are on the street shuffle had some kind of banner with the band name on it. Getting a gig is one thing, but more gigs come with recognition.
Then it was time to run from stage to state to catch as many artists as we could.
Riley Michaels from the Niagara area demonstrated why the future of music looks rosy with such talent emerging into the spotlight.
Veteran bluesman Al Lerman pulled out his harmonica and guitar and sang tunes that reminded the audience that blues has a long and storied history.
Dwayne LaForme has been performing for decades and the Dwayne LaForme’s Boogie and Blues brought some fresh new blues to the stage.
Well Bad, featuring Daniel Weba from Hamburg Germany pulled out all the stops with some sizzling guitar and vocals. If you weren’t there you missed a treat. But you can gain a sense of what it’s like with the album Rock Noir Live.
We hopped back to another stage to catch Cheryl Lescom and Chuckee Zehr. What a duo these two are! Cheryl’s soaring vocals mesh so well with Chuckee’s keyboard playing. They are a delight to listen to.
For us, we only had time to catch one more act. Fortunately, that was everyone’s favourite, Wide Mouth Mason. Shaun just mesmerized the audience with his guitar virtuosity. Wish we could’ve stayed longer but we just couldn’t.
As much as we wanted to wrap up on Sunday, we weren’t able to attend, missing such great acts as Jim Dan Dee, the Ghost Town Blues Band, and of course Downchild.
BluesSource is tipping the blues fedora to a job well done to Chuck Jackson, the hard-working board, the sponsors and the many volunteers. Next year is the 25th and you can be sure it will be an anniversary that will shine brightly.
To view more pictures from the Southside Shuffle, go to www.facebook.com/Bluessoutceentertainment