Monday, October 30, 2017

Blues at the Folk Music conference

Here I am arriving at the Folk Music Ontario conference and showcase.  I brought Huma Uster, the new office manager at the Toronto Blues Society and the first person I ran into was Stevie Connor from (that little sock puppet Huma is holding is their mascot). Stevie introduced me to Mike Biggar, who was in town checking out the scene - he just won Blues Artist of the Year at the Music New Brunswick awards and I've just been digging his CD, Go All In, on Busted Flat Records.  Looking forward to hearing him play live.

Arrived at the 2017 Folk Music Ontario conference & Showcase feeling like there will not be very much blues content this year - there's no blues showcase and just a handful of blues artists on the delegate list - but what do you know, the first folks I run into, at the hotel entrance, are blues folks. Stevie Connor from and Mike Biggar who just won Blues Artist of the Year and The Music New Brunswick Awards.  Then I ran into Michael Schatte, who just moved to the country (Coburg) and of course there were the usual suspects, Suzie Vinnick and Ken Whiteley and not too many more blues folks.  Then in the course of the showcases, there were a couple with a bluesy bent but all around I would have to say "The Blues is Hurting" in the folk world.  I joked that I was going to make a sandwich board that says/shouts "BLUES IS FOLK MUSIC" because from what I see folk festivals are presenting less blues, and even blues festivals are presenting less blues. What are you gonna do...