North of the Border – Great Canadian Blues

Canadian MooseOver the years, I have spent considerable time in Canada in places like Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.  Canadians as a rule are great people who love their beer and their hockey.  What I was surprised to find was how many love the electric blues and Jeff Healey in particular.  And in the last several years, there has been a surge of high quality blues rock emanating from our blues brothers and sisters north of the border.I thought I might turn you on to several!

David Gogo

Encouraged by Stevie Ray Vaughan at the age of 16 to pursue the blues, David labored at his craft throughout Canada and Europe as a young guy and put out his first album at the age of 25 (1994).  Fourteen albums later, he has created a master piece with the release of Vicksburg Call. The title cut is just bad ass electric blues..yah gotta listen to it!

David Gogo – Vicksburg Call

Layla Zoe

She has a fantastic voice that caught the attention of no less a bluesman than the great Jeff Healey some years ago.  Her love of the blues started with delving through her father’s record collection as a teenager and ten albums later, she is poised to breakout as an international blues star.  Her new album, Breaking Free, features 10 originals and a great cover of the Rolling Stone’s Wild Horses. My favorite Layla tunes are all lusty blues numbers and she continues the tradition on the new album with Wild One.  (Caution….this song contains strong sexual innuendo)

Layla Zoe – Wild One

Monkeyjunk

With the release of their fifth album, this Ottawa based band caught my attention.  Featuring two guitars and drums, but no bass, MonkeyJunk cranks out an exuberant brand of blues rock. Their latest album, Moon Turn Red, has two cuts I love: Light It Up and Show Me Yours.

MonkeyJunk – Light It Up

The Paul DesLauriers Band

This Montreal based trio cranks out some great blues rock.  Their second album, Relentless, is doing well on the blues charts and I look forward to seeing them if they get down in the Connecticut area.

The Paul DesLauriers Band – Up In the Air

Rootbone

Led by Darren Poole (formerly of the super blues group Fathead), this group’s debut album, The Long Road Home, features a cut, Wrong Way Jack, that I just love.  Darren does the lead vocals, all guitars, and serves as co-songwriter along with Ms. Bobbi Richards on vocals and percussions.  A nice tight band with a great future.

Rootbone – Wrong Way Jack

Colin James

A fixture on the Canadian blues rock and swing scene for over 25 year, Colin’s 15th album, Blues Highways, is due out in a couple of months. I can’t wait.  A talented guitar player, vocalist, and songwriter, no list of current Canadian blues rockers would be complete without him on it.  One of my favorite tunes by Colin is his cover of an old Robert Johnson tune, Walkin’ Blues, that he just aces with a blues rockin’ version.

Colin James – Walkin’ Blues

Hope you enjoyed the article and the tunes….and remember to support your local blues club and artists….help us keep the blues alive and vibrant!  All of these tunes will be featured on my 24 hour stream, Ben Vee Roadhouse Blues.

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