2009/10 SEASON


To kick off our 5th Season of Blues On The Rideau at The Cove we are bringing back MIKE GOUDREAU and his fine band from Quebec’s Eastern Townships - his 3rd visit to BOTR and second to The Cove. A favourite? Yes! Mike’s strong vocals and tasteful guitar combined with excellent songwriting and arrangements and a solid, talented backline guarantees a great Show every time. I have been a big fan of his since 1994 when I first saw him he and THE BOPPIN’ BLUES BAND playing in the Eastern Townships where we lived at the time. His boppin’, swingin’ joie de vivre style of blues (which he can sing in both official languages) hit my sweet spot then and still does. And he plays jazz and classic rock equally well. Check out some of the MP3unes

on his web site and see if you don’t agree. It’s been great seeing Mike’s career blossom over the past 15 years. Over that time he’s recorded10 CD’s(7 Blues, 2 Jazz and a Christmas album) which have received major airplay across Canada, the U.S. and overseas. Some of his original compositions are now being played on movies and TV Shows in the U.S. (like “Everybody Hates Chris”). 18 of his songs are on a recent 4 box set Jazz compilation album being distributed in Europe and Asia by Sony/BMG. Andhe plays regular club gigs and major Blues & Jazz Festivals (like Montreal and Tremblant) throughout Quebec and eastern Canada every year – the list goes on. For this Show Mike will be featuring songs from his new CD “Blues etcetera” which is getting lots of airplay across the country and beyond. Mike (guitar and lead vocals) is backed for this Show by Gerry Goodsell on bass & vocals, Alain Blanchet on drums, Kaven Jalbert on tenor sax and Nino Fabbi on keyboards. If you’re looking for a fun night of dancin’ blues – don’t miss this one.

"A hearty vocalist and effective guitarist who plays snarling, tightly wound leads...A highly enjoyable set.
Tom Hyslop
, Blues Revue Magazine, USA, Dec/Jan 2008 "Goudreau plays lead guitar with the tone and taste of greats like Otis Rush and Albert King, and writes compelling, original songs". Jeremy Loome, Edmonton Sun, 2007

"Quality Canadian blues...solid and unpretentious...swings with snappy sincerity and crisp energy
Hal Horowitz, Blues Revue Magazine, USA Oct/Nov 2006 Issue

Click here
for the review and the You tube video of the night



Harrison Kennedy is making his first appearance at BOTR @ The Cove – fresh from opening for Keb ‘Mo on his recent eastern Canadian tour - and we are pleased and honoured to have him. A descendant of African slaves who made it to Canada from Mississipi via the Underground Railroad in the 1860’s Harrison has a deep connection to blues and roots music. His long musical career started in 1970 when he interrupted his university studies at Trent University to audition as lead singer for the hot Detroit R&B band “Chairmen

Of The Board” and was accepted. Famous for tunes like “I’m The Chairman Of The Board” and “Gimme Just A Little More Time” the band did the whole U.S. circuit in the early ‘70’s appearing on Johnny Carson, American Bandstand, Soul Train and the famous Apollo Theatre in NYC. They shared the stage with top artists like B.B. King, James Brown, Smokey Robinson and many more. After touring for a number of years Harrison returned to Canada, got a “real job”with Allied Chemical and stayed at that until the mid ‘80’swhen he came back to his music – this time focusing on acoustic roots/blues. He has released 3 albums ALL of which have been nominated for a Juno as Best Blues Album Of The Year - “Sweet Taste” in 2004, “Voice + Story” in 2006 and “High Country Blues” in 2008 (on ElectoFi.com). He has also had numerous Maple Blues Award nominations for Acoustic Act, Male Vocalist and Songwriter Of The Year over the past 5 years. For this Show Harrison brings a full band – drums, bass and keyboards – to support his extraordinarily powerful and emotive vocals, guitar and harmonica. Expect a smorgasbord of everything from ‘70’s R&B, funk & soul to roots/country blues for his Show.

Kennedy is an urban poet, stripped bare, yet comfortable in his own skin and his adrenaline-fueled, emotionally-charged vocals embrace elements of the blues, funk, folk, gospel and R&B all wrapped in a convincing blanket of soulful abandon”. Eric Thom, Exclaim Magazine

A classy mix of Detroit soul, southern gospel, Latin shuffle and worldbeat African roots....good, clean Hamilton rhythm and blues with Kennedy’s powerfully elastic, soaring vocals”. Graham Rockingham, Hamilton Spectator

Click here for the review and the You tube video of the night


December 18 - JOHNNY MAX BAND


If you’re looking for a place to hold your Christmas party and you like Chicago blues, R&B & soul and a lot of fun then book your tickets now for the Johnny Max Band December 18 at The Cove. Johnny is a solid singer with a passionate, soulful voice. He’s also a consummate performer/entertainer /comedian who always gets the crowd up dancing, sweating, laughing and enjoying themselves. Born in Glasgow of Irish parents he was surrounded by music from day one – Irish traditional but also Jazz (his dad was a big fan). When the family moved to Toronto in 1966 he was exposed to soul, R&B,

blues and rock that was blossoming in the city and coming in on the airwaves from the States, especially Wolfman Jack’s Show. A career as a wedding DJ and almost professional kareoke singer got him noticed by one of Toronto’s bluesmen, Kevin Higgins, and he was got invited to help form a band. Johnny’s eclectic background has led to a sound that is unique and fun – think New Orleans, Memphis, Motown/Chicago black crossed with Sean Connery! The Johnny Max Band has been entertaining fans throughout southern Ontario and beyond now for over 16 years. During that time he has released 4 CD’s including “A Lesson I’ve Learned” in 2007 (all original compositions) which garnered him a Juno nomination and 4 Maple Blues Award nominations. His band has changed personnel over time but it has always included some of the crème de la crème of Toronto’s blues musicians and it will be no different for this Show. Get your dancing shoes on and come on down for a great night. “ ...soulful rich vocals. He has some of the best blues musicians in Canada in his band. You mix this talent with Johnny's energy, stir in his voice and a dash of the sparkling lyrics and you have a blend of blues and soul music that tastes just right. And that's a fact”. Brian Tosoff, Voodoohead ProductionsIf I had my own Record Label/Artist Management Company The Johnny Max Band would be one of the very first acts I’d try to sign. Here’s a band that plays the bars in Southern Ontario dispensing blue collar Blues to a rabid following and one can’t help but think aloud “The world needs to hear these guys…”. Only a few artists really understand that it’s all about giving your audience a big present and that present is the Joy Factor. They dispense Blues as a soul-fixin’ remedy and connect with people in a way all bands should. One of the best working Blues bands in Canada right now”. Andy Grigg, Real Blues Magazine

Click here for the review and the You tube video of the night


January 15 & 16- DAVID ROTUNDO


Blues On The Rideau welcomes back David Rotundo and his fine band to The Cove for a second visit - a two night stand. He last played here in January 2008 for two Sold Out Shows and people are still talking about them. A dynamite harmonica player (winner of the 2007 Maple Blues Award for Harp Player Of The Year and nominated multiple times for that Award), excellent singer and high energy, entertaining performer (nominated for the 2008 Maple Blues Award for Electric Act Of The (Year) David Rotundo has

developed a passionately loyal audience in Canada and the U.S., Mexico where he plays a 6 week long engagement every winter) and has even performed in Russia and Cuba. David was inspired to take up the harmonica after seeing James Cotton perform at the El Mocambo in 1991. He then traveled through the States for several years visiting blues hotbeds like New Orleans, Clarksdale, Austin, Memphis and Chicago honing his skills. On his return to Toronto in 1997 he formed David Rotundo & The Blue Canadians and proceeded to rip up the blues circuit. His first CD in 2001 won him Best Blues Album Of The Year by the Canadian Independent Artists Association, a Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist of the Year in 2002 as well as CBC’s Galaxie Rising Star Award. Not a bad start! Since then he has recorded 3 excellent albums (including “Blues Ignited” with the incredible Enrico Crivellaro on guitar), played in bands with blues greats Jack de Keyzer and Ronnie Hawkins and shared the stage with many blues legends. His band supports him beautifully having played together for years with David on vocals & harp, Dan Dufour on lead guitar, Des Brown on guitar, Shane Scott on bass & vocals and Chuck Keeping on drums. If you’ve never seen David Rotundo before don’t miss this Show. The small, intimate atmosphere at The Cove is a a perfect venue to see him up close and personal. You won’t be disappointed. Get ready to have a sweaty, rockin’, partyin’ good time!

“David plays the harp on "Blowin' For Broke" as if madly possessed by the ghosts of Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter and George ‘Harmonica’ Smith”...Blues Beat, Blues Society of Western NY.

"David Rotundo plays the blues the way the blues are supposed to be played" Ronnie Hawkins

Click here for the review and the You tube video of the night




Making his first appearance at BOTR @ The Cove is another one of Canada’s best blues harp players/singer/songwriters. Born and raised in Victoria he started his first band in Ottawa then moved to Toronto where he has lived for the last 20 years. Anyone who has ever seen him perform knows what a charismatic, powerful, emotive artist he is. With that patented belt clip full of harmonicas (and a couple of briefcases full of back ups), gyrating stage movements and soaring vocals he comes on like a Blues gunslinger in the style of Mick Jagger and Jim Morrison. You can’t help but stand and watch transfixed. Over the past 20 years he’s recorded 12 albums (including his most recent ‘Humdinger” - which is!) played and toured with artists as diverse as The Phantoms, Alannah Myles, Dutch Mason, Jeff Healey, Ronnie

Hawkins, Jack de Keyzer, Jimmy Bowskill, Suzie McNeil, Prince, Pinetop IPerkins, James Cotton, the Tragically Hip, Levon Helm, Billy Ray Cyrus and many more, performing on stages across Canada, the U.S., France, Finland, Portugal, Ukraine and Israel.n short – this man has paid his dues and knows his Blues – inside out. Jerome's great band includes Shawn Kellerman (Mel Brown) or Pat Rush (Jeff Healey Band) alternating on guitar with Alec Fraser on bass (multiple Maple Blues Award nominee and winner of the 2008 Bass Player Of The Year) with Al Cross (Big Sugar) on drums. This will be another “must bring dancing shoes” night at The Cove.

" There is a lovely, intimate ambience on this CD (Humdinger) with the feeling that these are four friends who just set up in your rec room to play some new songs for you… a well-sequenced selection of modern electric blues. Jerome is in excellent voice and this is one fine band with Kellerman being especially inventive" John Valenteyn (2007) Toronto Blues Society

"Jerome is a vaudevillian performer for the New Millenium. Besides having good looks, charisma and a fine voice he is one of the best harmonica players in Canada. Humdinger is Jerome Godboo's masterpiece”. Andy ‘Blues Boy” Grigg, Real Blues Magazine

Click here for the review and the You tube video of the night




The King of slide guitar, the Cape Breton Celt, the mighty John Campbelljohn and his Trio are coming back up from Nova Scotia for a weekend stand at BOTR @ The Cove and boy are we glad he is - it’s been too long since his last visit (November 2006). He is better known in Germany and Europe where he tours continuously (they flat out love him over there) that in his own country but darn – we want to help change that. Whether playing slide guitar (acoustic or electric), laptop Dobro or pedal steel JCJ and his power trio lay down some of the best rockin’ blues (with a touch of reggae and country thrown in) you will hear on either side of the Atlantic. He is also a consummate songwriter.Most of the tunes on his CD’s are originals and even the covers he does have a unique Campbelljohn feel to them. And

he has a great voice. Acoustically John combines the influences of such diverse players as Fred McDowell, Ry Cooder and John Hammond while his electric guitar earmarks everyone from Sonny Landreth to Johnny Winter, Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. (You can thank the Allman Brothers for their great rendition of “Statesboro Blues” back in the early ‘70’s for starting John on his path to master the slide guitar). His first album “How Does It Feel?” came out in 1993 and since then he has released 7 more including his most recent “Good To Go” in 2009. I have enjoyed all of them and unabashedly declare that he is one of my favourites. I’m not alone.A quick check under the Awards button on his web site shows that he has been nominated for or won 17 Maple Blues, East Coast Music, Real Blues Magazine and Harvest Jazz & Blues Awards since 1992. The other two members of the band – Andrew Lambert on bass and Neil Robertson on drums – are seasoned musicians who have played with John for years and it shows. What a full, powerful sound from just 3 guys. Don’t miss the opportunity to see one of Canada’s best bluesmen on one of his rare visits to Upper Canada – especially in the cozy confines of The Cove. Book your tickets now before these Shows sell out!

“The John Campbelljohn Trio is burning blues/rock the way Johnny Winter once used to hit it in his prime"
Rolling Stone, Germany "...furious slide guitar and exceptional songwriting." 708 Blues Magazine, Salzburg, Austria

Click here for the review and the You tube video of the night



ElectroFi Recording artist Harmonica Shah makes his way up the 401 to Westport all the way from Detroit, stopping long enough to pick up some of Toronto’s best blues players – including one of the best guitarists in the country (continent? planet?) Jack de Keyzer - to join him. Man are we in for a treat! Shah’s most recent CD “If All You Have Is A Hammer, Everything Looks Like A Nail” (his third on ElectroFi) is classic down and dirty Motor City Blues as good it gets with wailing harp, shout-it-out vocals and lyrics that

make your laugh out loud at times and ache at others. Where does he get some of those lines? I am told the Shah goes into the recording studio with nothing more than a bunch of song titles then takes off on a stream-of-consciousness run of original tunes that you would think had been rehearsed for months. Matching him step for step is 7X Maple Blues Award winner Jack de Keyzer who lays down some of the best guitar I have heard in years, improvising beautifully to match Shah’s improvisation – the two playing off each other like a couple of champion NASCAR drivers swapping the lead. Alec Fraser (2008 Maple Blues Award winner) on bass and Al Cross (Big Sugar) on drums provide a rock solid bottom end. The combination is magical. When I heard the CD I simply had to do what it takes to get these 4 guys to come and play. Each one of them is worth the price of admission alone. Together this is a Show that you simply don’t want to miss. Rumour has it that this night will be recorded by ElectroFi for a possible LIVE album. So if you’ve always wanted to be a star....be there! I would reserve your tickets early for this one. If these two nights don’t sell out early I will be shocked.

"Harmonica Shah is just what the Doctor ordered... or warned you about"
Blues RevueShah’s music has a deep Chicago attitude and honky tonkin' Midwest flavor... a dynamite package." Mark Cole, Big City Blues

"De Keyzer displays the mastery of straight-ahead blues, funk and soul that has earned him a reputation as one of the best musicians in this country."
Cam Hayden, Vue Weekly (Edmonton)

Click here for the review and the You tube video of the night



BLACKBURN exploded on to the scene last year with a wonderful debut CD called “Brotherhood” that has been tearing up the North American blues charts and the festival/club circuit since. The band consists of 3 brothers and a best friend - Duane Blackburn on lead vocals and Hammond B3, Brooke Blackburn on guitar, Cory Blackburn on drums and Mark Ayee on bass.
Their music is rich in the tradition of the blues but mixes soul, funk and R&B influences to create a unique style and very infectious groove – sort of New Orleans meets Toronto. These brothers have deep Blues DNA. The family descends from American black slaves who made it to freedom in Canada via the Underground Railroad in the 1850’s. They brought their wonderful music

with them handing it down from generation to generation. Their father, Bobby Dean Blackburn, is a highly regarded keyboard player who was a seminal figure in Toronto’s abundant Blues and R&B scene in the ‘60’s. (He also just released a new CD recently). BLACKBURN won the 2010 Maple Blues Award for Best New Group Of The Year and is one of several Canadian blues bands heading down to Memphis for the annual International Blues Challenge January 20-23. We wish them good luck to win but even just being nominated for these awards so early in their career is an honour. Don’t miss this smooth, powerful and funky band as they make a rare visit to this part of Ontario.

“A rich, beefy stew of blues slammed into elements of R&B and funk... home-grown talent that channels the best of Detroit, Memphis and Philadelphia seasoned with tough urban flair.... a band to watch” Eric Thom, Exclaim.ca

“There are times when an entire family possesses the musical skill that causes you to lift your jaw up off the floor. That characteristic falls squarely in the lap of the Blackburn family. This soulful record made the trip from Canada to my tiny Indiana studios, and grabbed me in an instant. Brotherhood is a wonderful album..” Fulltimeblues.com


To close out the 09/10 season we have one of Canada’s best know blues personalities – Danny Marks - winner of the Toronto Blues Society’s prestigious Blues With A Feeling Award for lifetime achievement. A talented guitarist with a deep baritone voice and great stage presence Danny will be accompanied by some of Toronto’s best session players including Alec Fraser (2008 Maple Blues Award winner for Bass Player Of The Year, Jeff Healey Band and many more), Al Cross on drums (Big Sugar) and a few others yet to be named. Whoever they are you know they will truly fit the description as

“The Blues All Stars”. Danny’s been playing with them all going back to the years when the Leafs last won a Stanley Cup!Danny had the urge to play since the first day he picked up a guitar in the early ‘60’s. Still in his teens he joined Toronto’s famous Edward Bear Band - “Canada’s Beatles” according to Quentin Tarantino – who had a series of hits on the Canadian and U.S. charts in the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s (You, Me & Mexico, Last Song).After the group broke up Danny continued to hone his skill as a session player and member of Toronto’s famous Albert’s Hall house band through the ‘80’s where he got to play with the elite of Canadian and international blues stars on a regular basis. He also started his career as a radio DJ at the same time with a national Show called “Stormy Monday” and had many acting gigs with frequent appearances on CBC. For the past 6 years he has hosted one of the biggest blues radio Shows in the country - BLUZ FM on JAZZ FM.91 Toronto every Saturday night from 8 pm to midnight (also on Bell Expressvu, Star Choice and Rogers Digital) exposing great Canadian talent to a large, appreciative audience. Guitarist, singer, showman, actor, DJ – Danny does it all and he can play everything from rock ‘n roll, pop, R&B, soul and rockabilly but his original love is for the blues and that’s what we’re going to get for this Show – in spades!

“...butter-smooth guitar-playing with a comedic sense of showmanship” Anthony Reinhart, Globe & Mail

“He succeeds in recapturing the glory days of rock’n roll, rockabilly and everything in-between... Danny’s guitar and voice and brilliant arrangements achieve a casual feel, which is so much harder to pull off than it may seem.” Eric Thom, Exclaim Magazine


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