All styles welcome (as long as it’s blues)
The Campfire Jam found a new home in 2017 and it has been a big hit with the jazz crowd at the Old Mill. We're happy to announce that we'll be back in 2018, still on the "Second Saturdays" of the month. It's a first class venue with an appreciative, listening audience – usually packed to capacity. No wonder when you look at all the stellar musicians who joined me this year: Big thanks to Steve Marriner, Sean Pinchin, Kim Doolittle, Raoul Bhaneja, Manitoba Hal, Bill King, Mike Daley, Geoff Daye, Mark "Bird" Stafford, Jesse O'Brien, Rick Taylor, Roberta Hunt, Carrie Chesnutt, Alison Young, Ken Whiteley, Paul Reddick, Sugar Brown, Jenie Thai, Chris Whiteley, Diana Braithwaite, Don Vickery, Michael Fonfara, George Koller and Michelle Josef.
Jammin around the Campfire
Thanks to all my “Campfire Pals” who’ve dropped in to jam it up at my year-long residency at Highway 61 BBQ and the Gladstone as well as my Tranzac Thursdays a few years back, and Blues Campfires at Folk Conferences, Blues Summits, and Festivals including that most memorable after-hours jam at the Rex where we had jazz giants Antonio Hart, Russell Malone and Roy Hargrove playing 12-bar blues all night long (and loving it!)After a not-so-little break, I was invited to bring the Campfire Jam to the distinguished jazz venue, The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill in Toronto. It’s been an all-star affair with players like Sugar Brown, Michael Fonfara, George Koller, Julian Fauth, Michelle Josef, Bill King, Manitoba Hal, Raoul Bhaneja, Paul Reddick and coming up on May 13 (the day before Mother’s Day) I will be having a bit of Blainettes reunion with Carrie Chesnutt and Alison Young on sax and Roberta Hunt on piano. It’s Brian’s 12th Annual Motherless Day Blues Show and Ladies Night Campfire Jam!
Great memories of those who joined us at Highway 61 BBQ, Wild Wing and the Gladstone Hotel including Joanne Crabtree, Kevin Kenalty, Casey Van Gorkom, Son Roberts & John, Jay the Mystery Man and Tony Burns, Malcolm Gould, Bela Ray, Robert Davis, old timers like Ed Roth and Stan Endersby, and the youngsters Dean Arnold & Dad Jon, River and Charlie “Sir Charles”.
I especially appreciate the folks who came in from out of town, Charlie A’Court from Nova Scotia, Russ Kelley from Ottawa, Douglas Watson and Jazz Williams from Kitchener, Lucia Jenkins from Florida, Rick Taylor from London, Sherman Lee Dillon from Mississippi, Max Cann from the UK, Garry Strand from Tennessee.
And to the pros who took some time out to sit in here and there: Michael Jerome Browne, Toby Walker, David Essig, Walter Parks, Nick Moss, Steve Marriner, Matt Andersen, David Gogo, Joe Mavety (RIP), Lenny Solomon, Murray Porter, Trevor MacKenzie, Gary Kendall, Drew Austin, Big Dave Maclean, Doc McLean and all those lovely ladies who provided some much needed female energy in a hi-testosterone BBQ joint, Roberta Hunt, Robin Banks, Julie Hill, Rita di Ghent, Ruth Jenkins, Paula Shear, Rachel Melas, Mary Simpson, Negrezia and Tree and everybody else who came out to join in our shenanigans: Ric Levenston, Dan Maclean, Mojo Willie, Jake Chisholm, Mark Sepic, Martin Aucoin, Garth Dynes, Hurricane Mike Thompson, John Shortill, Glen Hornblast, David Gillies, Ken Whiteley, Mark “Bird” Stafford, Rick Fines, Danny Marks, Chris, Peggy Voigt, Ken McColm, John Williams, Ben Whiteley, Brian Jantzi, Wendell Ferguson, Sam Turton, Johnny White Dog, Max Brand, Norm Robinson, Olav Svela, Steve Raiken, Anthony Martel, Brian Gladstone, Cole Slatt, Ed Pavey, Wyatt, Chris, Phil, Paul, Ken and Alice with the only banjo that ever made its way to the Blues Campfire.
At the Gladstone we introduced some fine young performers including harp player Liam Ward from the UK and Molly Thomason from Nova Scotia who just won the Canadian Folk Award as Best New Artist.
Those Thursdays at the Tranzac (almost ten years ago) are what started me on a mission to play with every local blues player I admired and it had me jamming with a who’s who of Canadian Blues; Lance Anderson, Eddie Baltimore, Victor Bateman, Raoul Bhaneja, Don Bray, Rodney Brown, Michael Jerome Browne, Joe Burns, Jake Chisholm, “Little Bobby” Chorney, Butch Coulter, Scott Cushnie, Morgan Davis, Daisy DeBolt, Carlos del Junco, Kim Doolittle, Ronnie Douglas, Dr. Nick, Julian Fauth, Brian Gladstone, Eve Goldberg, Michal Hasek, Lorraine Ingle, Tracy K, Gary Kendall, Papa John King, Barry Mack, Doc McLean, Rod Phillips, Michael Pickett, Tony Quarrington, Paul Reddick, Donne Robert, Norm Robinson, David Rotundo, Mark Sepic, Madagascar Slim, Tannis Slimmon, Adam Solomon, Marg Stowe, Brent Titcomb, Suzie Vinnick, Dylan Wickens, Terry Wilkins, Howard Willett, “Mr. Rick” Zolkower and many more