Every year Blues For The Red Door is honoured to have some of the very best musicians give their time and talents to our cause.
This year is no different.
Born out of a love for southern soul, roots rock and blues, and a passion to create a powerful, moving experience for listeners, Bywater Call was formed by singer Meghan Parnell and guitar player Dave Barnes in 2017. The 7-piece outfit is completed by Bruce McCarthy on drums, Mike Meusel on Bass, Alan Zemaitis on Keys, Stephen Dyte on Trumpet and Julian Nalli on Tenor Sax.
With elements of jam band, traditional blues, soul and rock and roll, with touches of New
Orleans, Alabama and small town Ontario, with influences from The Band, Duane Allman,
Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Black Crowes and the Tedeschi Trucks Band, with solid
musicianship based in jazz, and with gritty, raw and emotional vocals, Bywater Call seeks to
strike to the core of all who listen.
"Some bands take a few years and several albums to find their true voice. Others seem to
appear, apparently out of nowhere, with a fully realized sound and vision from their first
release. And the particular joy of such bands is their ability to combine – seemingly
effortlessly – the freshness and enthusiasm of youth with the mature sounds of experience.
Bywater Call is just such a band and their self-titled debut album is one of those releases
that makes one really sit up and take notice... The only thing stopping this album from being
included in any list of the best releases of 2020 is that it debuted at the tail-end end of
... Predicting anything will always be an exercise fraught with danger, but there is something
special about this band. It will be fascinating to see what they do next."
- Rhys Williams, Blues Blast Magazine , Mar 12, 2020
Juno nominee slide-guitar-hero Sean Pinchin is back with eight-song blues tour-de-force: Bad Things.
His 2016 breakthrough album Monkey Brain nabbed him a 2017 Juno Nomination for Blues Album of the Year and cemented his reputation as a guitar player’s guitar player. The album took his singing to a new level and turned heads his with his best songs yet. One reviewer's description summed up many people's reaction to Sean's killer brand of modern blues: "track after track built from masterfully infectious riffs with lyrics as smart as one might hear from a top-notch pop songsmith … power, drive and gobs of style.” (Duane Verh, Roots Music Report)
Bad Things is Sean’s 3rd recorded with Juno-winning producer Rob Szabo, who also co-wrote the originals on the album and played various other instruments. The overwhelmingly positive reaction to Monkey Brain(2016) and Sean’s increasingly compelling live show saw him graduate to many larger theatre and festival stages in the years since he released Rustbucket(2013). Sean has spent the last several summers performing at Nationally and Internationally renowned Festivals including: Montreal Jazz Festival, Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival, Trois Rivières En Blues, Orangeville Blues Festival, Donnaconna Blues Festival and Kitchener Blues Festival as well as supporting Juno-Winner Steve Strongman at multiple theatre shows in Ontario.
RICK TAYLOR made his first major appearance as a singer, songwriter and guitarist at the famed Mariposa Folk Festival in 1971 and went on to become a regular at many Canadian festivals and clubs. Blues, jazz, country, rock, roots, world, and contemporary music all influenced Rick's early years on the club and festival circuits and he established himself firmly in the 1970’s southern Ontario roots music scene.
Rick's dynamism on guitar has led to session and sideman work with Willie P. Bennett (guitarist on “Hobos Taunt” album), Stan Rogers, Doug MacArthur, and a highly acclaimed tour with Colleen Peterson, which culminated in a nine evening engagement as opening act for Gordon Lightfoot at Massey Hall in Toronto. He also fronted his own band The Torpedoes with legendary brother Steve Taylor on drums in Southern Ontario, as well as the Rick Taylor Band which featured some of the finest blues and jazz musicians in Vancouver, and a 3 year run with Vancouver’s HARD 8; a roots-acoustic trio featuring guitar virtuoso Paul Pigat and harmonica legend Monte. Rick Taylor is well know for his high energy live performances, rich, expressive baritone voice, and his quirky and novel song writing styles such as the cult classics "Black Leather Diaper" and "Drunkards Lullaby", as well as his delicately, haunting, well crafted ballads, and unforgettable "guitarnastics". Rick's early chart hit classics "Letters From Jane" and "Soldier in the Rain", released internationally in 1989 on Volunteer Records, remained in "gold rotation" on many radio stations around the world for several years.
Rick is a recipient of The Jimmy Lewis "Life Time of the Blues Award", 3X winner of The Great Lakes Blues Society "Road To Memphis" award, and the 2020 winner of The Forest City London Music Award for Blues. According to Rick; "I also won $8 at Bingo one night in Muskoka!
ALFIE SMITH AND NICOLE CHRISTIAN are old-style slide guitarists, multi-instrumentalists and a blues duo not to be missed. Featuring Alfie's belting baritone vocals mixed with Nicole's sass and jazz flute, they bring you blues, roots and originals in a way you have never seen before.
Alfie is a prolific songwriter who has recorded 6 albums over his 20 year career. Known best for his resophonic guitars, brazen slide licks and uncompromising vocals, Alfie is endorsed by several luthiers including Goodman Guitars (who have recently named a guitar model after him) and Goldtone Banjos. He has been nominated for a dozen Hamilton music awards including Best Male Vocalist and Best Guitarist, and has represented Toronto in the Memphis International Blues Challenge. He performs constantly, and has been a featured performer at Mariposa, Festival of Friends, Home County, Eaglewood, Mill Race, Red Rock, Orangeville Blues & Jazz festival, to name a few.
Nicole is a little roots, a little country and a whole lot bottle-neck blues.
A multi-instrumentalist who specializes in flute, piano and resophonic guitar, Nicole
released two solo albums before heading to the studio to record her most recent,
Run Rabbit Run, which was voted The Best Debut Roots and Blues Album of 2010.
In 2011 Nicole was selected as a finalist for the Toronto Blues Society's Talent Search
and was nominated for two Hamilton Music Awards, Best Female Vocalist and Best
Blues Album. She appeared on an episode of Toronto Talent and won a Hamilton
Arts Award for Performance in 2012. Nicole performs regularly throughout Southern
Ontario, and whether solo or as a duo with Alfie Smith she's sure to get your feet tapping.
Veteran soul group LMT Connection has been turning music fans into full-blown funkateers for more than a quarter century, playing over 6500 shows, helmed by a front man on the cusp of his 73rd birthday. True masters of their craft, they’ve toured internationally and released six self-produced albums independently, without the support of a record company.
Born in Atlanta and raised in Detroit, singer/guitarist Leroy Emmanuel was not only an active member of Motown’s thriving music community at its height, supporting the likes of Marvin Gaye, Bohannon, and Bettye Lavette, but an influential artist in his own right, earning a significant cult following with his group The Fabulous Counts (Westbound Records). Not long after a serendipitous relocation to Niagara Falls, Canada, Emmanuel founded LMT Connection with drummer Mark Rogers and bassist John Irvine. The year was 1989 and the newly formed trio hit the ground running.
RAOUL AND THE BIG TIME is one of the most highly regarded and awarded young blues acts in Canada having garned a Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist in 1999 and NOW Magazine's Best Toronto Blues Artist in 2007.
Since forming in the summer of 1998 they have released four records to critical acclaim, have performed on the mainstages of many major festivals across Canada and performed or recorded with the likes of Bettye Lavette, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Downchild Blues Band, Junior Watson, Big Dave Mclean, Rick Holmstrom, Kirk Fletcher, Fred Kaplan, Curtis Salgado, Richard Innes, Rusty Zinn, Mark Hummel, Big Joe Maher and many more.