Headlined by the six-time Canadian Aboriginal Music Award-winning Pappy Johns Band (Joshua Arden Miller, Don Powless, Oren Doxtator) and featuring JUNO Award-winners Murray Porter and Harrison Kennedy, this spectacular concert features virtuoso blues musicians as they convey the visceral, cathartic, and deeply emotional and moving history of the blues.
Join us on the dirt road as we travel from the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans to Memphis, Detroit, Chicago, Vancouver, Six Nations, and Hamilton, ending up in St. Catharines. The roots of this multi-style genre are imbedded in African, Native American, and European musical traditions, making it an exemplary kick-off event for Celebration of Nations 2019, which aspires to unite peoples of all cultures.
Opening act features Lakota John, a musician with an old soul and a love for the blues. As a talented Oglala Lakota and Lumbee blues guitarist and vocalist from Southeastern North Carolina, he excels in playing roots, bottleneck slide, and country blues Piedmont-style guitar.
The Pappy John Blues Band
Don Powless on bass guitar and Oren Doxtator on drums are brothers-in-law who supply the Pappy Johns Blues Band with a tight soulful rhythm section. They are credited with working together for 40 years. Their thick backbone serves as the canvas and backdrop for pianist, organist, vocalist virtuoso John Lee and blazing front-man lead guitarist and vocalist Joshua Arden Miller. Their Rockin’ Soulful Blues Style is electric and energizing, stretching genre boundaries while keeping it tightly woven and creating a delicious “jolt of tabasco” for your ears.
The Pappy Johns Blues Band is the 2015 representative of The Grand River Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee and six-time Canadian Aboriginal Award Winners and JUNO Nominees. This incredible band serves to showcase a particularly popular music genre at Six Nations, one that has influenced numerous artists within the community.
Blues Man Murray Porter’s music career has taken him all over the world for the last 40 years. He’s a proud Mohawk from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in southern Ontario, who now lives on Squamish Nation territory in North Vancouver, British Columbia. Murray may have a blues soul to the core, but he also grew up on rock and roll, R & B and country music. His first CD since his 2012 JUNO Award for “Aboriginal Album of the Year” is titled, STAND UP! and reflects those early musical influences.
He strongly feels that this next album is some of his best music to date. His new work features protest songs, love songs, and in classic Murray Porter style, fun songs. Murray is well respected in both the Indigenous and blues music communities. His voice is as smooth as a velvet growl. His new songs, that focus on many issues facing Indigenous peoples today, include: No More (Idle No More movement); Highway 16 (murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls); Don’t Let Go (suicide prevention); The Water (state of the potable water in Indigenous communities); and In the Same Canoe (unity amongst all peoples). Plus, in true Murray Porter fashion, he has some tongue-in-cheek songs and heartfelt songs about love: Please Stay Gone; Some Day I’ll Never Learn; Two Hearts One Soul; Love Will Find a Way.
Whether he is playing in an intimate venue for local blues fans, as a solo, duo, trio, or with his four-piece band, or on a festival stage to thousands of music aficionados, Porter’s love of performing comes across clear and strong. He has been compared to Dr. John, Joe Cocker, and even Elton John! Robbie Robertson has called Porter “a master bluesman.” He captivates audiences wherever he performs and makes new fans, who never leave his shows disappointed.
Electro-Fi Artist Harrison Kennedy was awarded the 2016 “Blues Album of the Year” JUNO for his album “This Is From Here” at the 45th annual JUNO Awards (Canada’s Grammy) in Calgary, Alberta. This was the 6th nomination for the Hamilton, Ontario-based artist.
Harrison grew up in a house filled with music and famous visitors such as Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, and Lonnie Johnson. In 1969 he took a hiatus from college to become a founding member of the million selling Detroit soul super group “The Chairmen of the Board,” with whom he toured the world, as well as appearing on Soul Train, American Bandstand, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Since signing with Electro-Fi Records in 2007, Harrison Kennedy has released 5 internationally acclaimed albums and developed into one of the 21st century’s most insightful and original Blues singers and songwriters.
The JUNO-winning album “This Is From Here” was co-produced by keyboard ace Jesse O’Brien, with roots guitar master Colin Linden guesting on several tracks. It also won the prestigious Academie Charles Cros in France for 2016 Blues Album of the Year. Harrison has also toured Southern Ontario with the dynamic Ruthie Foster, in addition to performing both solo and with his band throughout North America during the summer festival season. Both Harrison and Andrew Galloway of Electro-Fi Records would like to thank the Ontario Media Development Corporation for their support and assistance during the production of this album. www.harrisonkennedy.ca
Lakota John is an old soul with a love for the blues. A talented Native American (Oglala Lakota/Lumbee) Blues guitarist/vocalist who plays Roots, Bottleneck slide and Country Blues Piedmont style guitar from Southeastern North Carolina. He grew up listening to his dad’s music library and got an early start at age 10 learning in the classroom of many blues master’s, John Cephas and Phil Wiggins and in a variety of venues performing with legendary John Dee Holeman and others. In 2009, he joined the Music Maker Relief Foundation as one of their Next Generation Artists. Lakota John blends traditional styles of the Delta and Piedmont acoustic blues with bottleneck slide guitar. He sprinkles it with a bit of harmonica and mixes in part of his Indigenous heritage with sounds of the Native American flute.
Lakota tours nationally, opening up for or sharing the stage with renown Native artist, Pura Fe; Blues icon, Taj Mahal; Native American Blues Rocker, Keith Secola; American Songster, Dom Flemons and many others. He was nominated for Best Blues Recording in 2015 at the Native American Music Awards (NAMA) in Niagara Falls, New York. Lakota John continues to perform at various festivals and events with selected performances at the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Performing Arts Discovery/American Sounds (PADAS) program in Orlando, the Institute of American Indian Art (IAIA) in New Mexico and recently in Los Angeles, CA on the Grand Performances stage. http://www.lakotajohn.com