The Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival is proud to present

this group of stellar musicians as part of our 15th Anniversary Edition

The Canal Bank Shuffle Blues Festival runs Oct. 13-16, 2016

TICKETS $30 at the Door.
One price gets you into any or all shows!!
If you purchased online, go to Main Stage Holy Rosary Hall – to redeem for wristband


Thursday MC Pat Porter Giant FM 91.7

Weekend MC Anita West 97 Rock Buffalo




See Schedule Here


Alligator recording star Toronzo Cannon

Alligator recording star Toronzo Cannon

The Shuffle is excited to introduce Alligator Records artist Toronzo Cannon to our stage for the first time this October. An up and coming Chicago born-and-raised blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter, this innovative musical heavyweight was hailed by The Chicago Sun-Times as “One of Chicago’s new greats,” and by The Chicago Tribune with delivering “razor-sharp guitar and compelling, forceful singing.”

As a child, Cannon would stand on the sidewalk outside Theresa’s Lounge, one of Chicago’s most famous South side blues clubs, soaking up the live blues pouring out while trying to sneak a glance inside at greats like Buddy Guy and Junior Wells.

His songwriting is inspired by his deep, homegrown Chicago roots, with years observing the public while working as a city bus driver on the West side, and his own battles and triumphs. After headlining in June, 2015, at the world-renowned Chicago Blues Festival, Cannon’s riveting performance instantly earned him tens of thousands of new fans.

Get Ready to Rock Radio Review 2016 had this to stay recently about this stellar performer’s newest CD, entitled, The Chicago Way.  “Toronzo Cannon is a valuable addition to the Alligator catalogue, in as much as he’s a contemporary blues man with old school values who has the ability to communicate outside of the realm of cliche. A conversation with blues never sounded so fresh and honest.”

And according to Elmore Magazine 2016, “The word ‘electrifying’ characterizes every single tune in both his incendiary guitar soloing and heartfelt vocals.”


Grammy Nominated John Primer

Grammy Nominated John Primer

Before picking up his first actual guitar at age eight, this Mississippi-born blues man played a homemade guitar built on the wall of the house with a broom wire two nails and two rocks to make it tight. According to John’s mother, “he came out singing” and made his musical debut at the local Baptist Church. At 18, he migrated to Chicago and quickly found work rocking West side clubs with his old Harmony guitar, invited to play with Lonnie Brooks, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy and the legendary Muddy Waters, before joining Willie Dixon’s band, The Chicago All Stars.

After Muddy’s death in 1983, John signed on with Magic Slim & The Teardrops, touring and bringing tight, house rocking sounds to every corner of the planet for 14 years. They were voted the best blues band in the world year after year, and are still thought of as the inventors of “the lump,” Chicago blues sound.

In 1995, the veteran blues man released his major label debut, The Real Deal, on Atlantic Records, followed by 12 solo albums. after forming his own independent record label, Blues House Productions, in 2008, his two debut CDs were nominated multiple times by the National Blues Foundation, Chicago’s Blues Blast Awards, and Living Blues Critics Polls. Primer has also been given the Lifetime Achievement Award several times and nominated for a Grammy.

The Shuffle Committee is delighted to present this living legend, backed by his Real Deal Blues Band.


Muddy Waters Guitarist, Bob Margolin

Muddy Waters Guitarist, Bob Margolin

Long-time Muddy Waters blues guitarist ‘Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin is set to wow our Shuffle audience for the second time, and we have no doubt fans will give him another standing ovation. A multi-Grammy- and W. C. Handy Blues Award-winning guitarist, singer and songwriter, Margolin is also renowned for producing such successful artists as Muddy’s son—Big Bill Morganfield, Pinetop Perkins and the late Candye Kane, among others.

According to Blues Blast magazine, Margolin is “long rightly cited as one of (if not the) greatest exponents of Muddy Waters-style slide guitar, his control over the subtle microtones available to bottleneck players is magnificent.”

A Boston native inspired by Chuck Berry, he started playing guitar at age 15 and immediately performed in local rock and blues bands before touring the world with the late, great Muddy Waters in 1973.

In 1980, he left Muddy’s band to form his own band, opening for Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Thorogood, and Jonny Winters. In 1993, he signed with Alligator Records and the following year, went on a national tour with B.B. King, Dr. John, and Little Feat.

Margolin himself describe his newest album, My Road, as his “ride through modern challenges, the ironies and lessons of aging, achieving true love, mourning, my band’s distinctive signature sound, a childhood epiphany, my seven years on Muddy Waters’ band and exploring the darkest sides of life with friends who have been there.”



International Blues Challenge 2016 second place – Canada’s Paul Deslauriers Band

After clinching second place at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this year, the Paul DesLauriers Band will makes its debut at our fall Shuffle. All three members of this talented trio—featuring Paul DesLauriers on guitar and vocals, Greg Morency on bass and Sam Harrisson on drums—are regular nominees and winners at the Maple Blue Awards and Quebec Lys Blues Awards.
Hailing from Montreal, the band won the Best in Festival award after their performance at the Tremblant International Blues Festival in 2013.
The Blues Underground Network describes their music as “jaw-dropping” and their album, PDB, as “an absolute winner, showcasing the cream of the crop of Canadian blues/blues rock talent. It is an album that just kicks butt and will certainly be considered by many, including myself, as one of the best of 2014.
Their recent (2016) release, Relentless, is a blues/rock escapade featuring 10 original new songs encompassing their most powerful work to date.
Paul’s acoustic duo discs—recorded with Dawn Tyler Watson—brought him wider recognition and more awards.
According to Maple Blues Magazine, the band is characterized by “extraordinarily inventive guitar playing, powerful vocals and a fantastic rhythm section.”





Unfortunately, Eddie Shaw has taken ill and will not be able to perform at the Shuffle this year.

We are thrilled to announce that Paul DesLauriers has agreed to stay and fill the spot vacated by the Wolfgang.  It will be an amazing show!


Canada's Legend - Jack de Keyzer

Canada’s Legend – Jack de Keyzer

The Shuffle simply wouldn’t be the Shuffle without crowd favourite Jack de Keyzer.
It’s our 15th anniversary, and no other artist has earned the distinction of having appeared at every single Shuffle except this two-time Juno Award recipient and seven-time Maple Blues Award winner, who commands every stage and makes performing seem effortless.
No one manages to summon more dancers to the dance floor than de Keyzer, and in 15 years, he has never once disappointed.
One of Canada’s premier blues guitarists, singers and songwriters, de Keyzer and his top-notch band play high-energy rhythm and blues, funk and rock, with a level of musicianship that keeps him constantly in demand in theatres and concert halls across the continent.
Growing up in England during the early 1960s, de Keyzer was inspired by Cliff Richard and the Shadows, who at the time were extremely famous. Shadows lead guitarist Hank Marvin—who is also cited by other guitar greats like Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck—launched de Keyzer’s love affair with the electric guitar, and when he moved to Hamilton, Ontario in 1965 at the age of 10, he was given a “cheapo electric guitar.”
Despite the worldwide fan base of the Beatles, de Keyzer’s fondness was for the rocking blues sound cast by Cream and made further fashionable by the Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix.
Since turning pro at 17, “Blues is the backbone of everything I do,” de Keyzer says, though his versatile style encompasses everything from country to rockabilly.
After playing alongside beloved Hamilton harpist King Biscuit Boy, de Keyzer toured with the famed Ronnie Hawkins from 1973 to 1977, followed by the Bobcats, eventually leaving to lead his own band in 1985, where he’s enjoyed tremendous success ever since.


Multi-award winning Monkey Junk


The Ottawa-based band MonkeyJunk took their name from Son House, who once said, “I’m talking about the blues, I ain’t talking ’bout no monkeyjunk,” explains UK reporter Bob Boncey, of Blues Matters magazine. “But I am going to talk about MonkeyJunk – they are brilliant and have produced one of the best albums I have heard in a long time…; And as Son House would have said if he had seen these boys: ‘I’m talking ’bout the blues, I’m talking about MonkeyJunk!’”
Straight out of the gate, MonkeyJunk quickly became one of the most popular new bands at festivals and packed venues across the country, amassing a large audience of devoted fans, affectionately known as “MonkeyJunkies.”
As one of Canada’s heaviest bands since Big Sugar, a coup for the band was having Gordie Johnson from Big Sugar and Grady fame lend his talents to their latest album, Moon Turn Red. The trio’s refreshing blend of swamp-rock roots and blues have won a collective 20 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, a Blues Music Award (USA), and they’ve been nominated twice for a JUNO Award, taking home the title in 2012.
Steve Marriner, the band’s vocalist, baritone guitarist, harmonica and organ player, is well-known as a producer, sideman and session player who has performed alongside Harry Manx, and joined such artists in concert as Randy Bachman, Colin James and Big Sugar. At age 19, lead guitarist Tony D performed for three nights in Buddy Guy’s band. In 1982, he opened for Stevie Ray Vaughn, leading to a long career with his own popular project, The Tony D Band. He’s also toured with the late Dutch Mason. A former studio musician, MonkeyJunk, drummer and percussionist Matt Sobb has backed up Kim Wilson (Fabulous Thunderbirds), Jeff Healey and Tom Wilson (Blackie & The Rodeo Kings, Junkhouse, and Lee Harvey Osmond), among many others.



Head Sinner – David Michael Miller

Miller and The Other Sinners is a nationally touring Southern soul band from Buffalo, NY, bringing a blend of gut bucket delta grit, Memphis soul, gospel spirit and funky rhythm and blues.  This is an astounding group of musicians!

David is accompanied by a killer core of “Other Sinners,” including Jay Moynihan on sax and guitar (Buddy Guy’s former sax player for nearly 10 years), often members of the world-renowned Campbell Brothers and several other talented WNY musicians rounding out the band, depending on the show.

Since August, 2015, they’ve performed more than 130 shows across 15 states, from house parties to festivals. They feature an unforgettable show, filled with infectious grooves and tremendous musicianship, all supporting well- written songs that really connect.  

David Michael Miller, founder, lead vocalist, guitarist and songwriter for Miller and The Other Sinners, is a well-established musician in the Western New York music scene, for six years fronting the band, Dive House Union (DHU) which recorded two live albums, one in the prestigious Kleinhan’s Music Hall in Buffalo, NY and one in the historic Aurora Theatre, in East Aurora, NY.  David has shared the stage with artists like theTedeschi Trucks Band, Steve Miller Band, Joe Bonamassa, Jonny Lang, Gary Clark Jr., Bobby Blue Bland, Jimmie Vaughan, Shemekia Copeland, and many others.  He represented the WNY Blues Society in 2013 and 2014 at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis in both the Band and Solo/Duo categories.




For the first time, the Shuffle is pleased to present this talented R & B band from Pittsburgh that earned a prestigious third-place finish at the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

And if you liked the Ghost Town Blues Band, you won’t want to miss Billy The Kid. It was these two dynamo bands going head to head at that 2014 Blues Challenge with Ghost Town edging out the boys from Pittsburgh for second place in one of the most entertaining afternoons in IBC history!

An entertaining force to be reckoned with, their main ingredient is soul, balanced with a fun funky sound that continues to wow and win fans at the countless clubs and festivals they play.

Lead singer Billy Evanochko has become widely-known for his impassioned lyrics, seductive vocals and stinging guitar riffs, and along with the Regulators, deliver a steady diet of high-powered performances.

They’ve appeared with and opened for such stars as Koko Taylor, Ana Popovic, James Cotton, Jimmie Vaughan, Savoy Brown, and a host of other big-name musicians.

According to blues great Tinsley Ellis, “Billy the Kid & The Regulators are the best band I’ve had as an opening act this year, period.”


And now for something completely different, the Toronto-based trio named ‘Distillery’ will make their Shuffle debut, bringing their own unique brand of blues. At times, they can “appear to be deceptively mellow,” but are known “to bring out the sabre-tooth tiger when you least expect it.”

The brainchild of Neil Hendry and Jordan Safer over beer and tea, together with original vocalist Myrrhine Faller, the band’s release of What You Told Me became the winner of the 2012 Toronto Independent Music Awards for Best Blues. They were also chosen as a finalist in the 2012 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search, and have been touring Canada and the U.S.

DC Rock Live credits them with “excellent female vocals and one of the best acoustic guitarists you will likely see in a while, as he has incredible speed and touch… and the third member, who rotates between playing piano, (lap steel guitar) and outstanding harmonica. They combine great style and substance, and know how to work off of each other.”

See them appear with their new singer Chloe Watkinson, as the band enjoys playing live and drinking scotch with their audience.


Incomparable Cecile Doo-Kingue

Incomparable Cecile Doo-Kingue

Also making her second Shuffle appearance is the unique and ultra-talented Cecile Doo-Kingue, who blends blues, afro-roots and soul to create an exceptional sound and stage presence. Born and raised in NYC, first generation from Cameroon, she has lived in the U.S., France, and is now an adopted Montrealer.

An electrifying, versatile guitarist and rich vocalist, she has shared a stage and/or recorded with—among many others— the Blind Boys of Alabama and opened for icons like Canned Heat and John Prine. Cecile’s sharp and genuine banter create an intimate communion with her audience.

In 2010, she released her debut solo album, Freedom Calling, to critical acclaim, sparking the CBC to commission her to write Home, a song about immigration, the following year. Gris, released in 2012, was praised by press and music-lovers alike, earning her an Award for Excellence in Francophone Songwriting.

Showcasing her powerful songwriting in its rawest form and soulful singing, her third solo album, Anybody Listening Part. 1:  Monologues, earned multiple Maple Blues Award nominations, while Part 2, released this past January, features fiery licks, surrounded by a stellar cast of Montreal’s finest musicians to form an eclectic collection of contemporary blues.

These first two chapters of the musical trilogy have generated international praise from blues and roots media, as well as engagements, spanning more than 150 tour dates across Canada.

Blues fans looking for a distinctly non-traditional show won’t want to miss Cecile.    



Shuffle Favourite – Johnny Max is Back!!

What can we say about Johnny Max that hasn’t been said?

A natural performer and perennial Shuffle favourite, devoted fans flock to hear the unique song stylings, highlighted by hilarious comedic timing, of the eclectic Johnny Max.

Johnny’s true gift is in engaging the audience. He has a solid reputation for forging a real connection, and seldom do you see an audience member who isn’t smiling.

While his first three CDs established him in the blues idiom, it was on his fourth—the Juno-nominated A Lesson I’ve Learned—that veered him toward southern soul.

His follow-up, It’s A Long Road, was described as “a heavy dosage of gumbo R & B, nods to rock’em sock’em soul, and hints of all-out boogie workouts and Tom Waits styled tonalities,”

When not touring and delighting audiences, Johnny somehow finds time to host a radio show, Sunday Morning Soul, on The Haze FM, Canada’s only commercial web radio station twice a week. He also co-programs the CND Bandshell BluesFest, and is tireless when it comes to supporting live music, especially his passion for the blues.





Local legend - Brant Parker

Local legend – Brant Parker

Thorold’s most masterful musician, Brant Parker is talented enough to play in the biggest of the blues leagues.

His constantly growing legion of fans adore his smoky, smouldering, heartfelt singing voice and absolute prowess on guitar, which he consistently plays with genuine passion and real emotion.

Nominated for a Maple Blues Award, his CD, River of Broken Dreams, is outstanding, and twice he’s earned the Best Blues Guitarist Award at the Niagara Music Awards. In addition, last year Brant was named Best Blues Guitarist by the Hamilton Blues Society at the Hammer Blues Awards.

He’s shared the stage with such iconic stars as Johnny Winter, Jeff Healey, Tony Bennett and Phish, among others. Here, in his hometown, he generously does his part to keep the blues alive by hosting weekly shows at Donnelly’s Pub featuring musical award-winning guests.

Brant is the leading reason Thorold has become a world destination for the Blues!







Pappy Johns leader Josh Miller

Making their third appearance at the Shuffle, hailing from Fort Erie, The Pappy Johns Band is no stranger to blues fans in Niagara. Members pride themselves on having “the blues in their blood” and bringing “Bad-ass blues for our bad-ass fans.”

Performing complex musical arrangements that often strike an emotional response from their audience, these experienced musicians have a captivating stage presence. Each band member has lived a large part of his life in the musical spotlight,  sharing their unique brand of “Tabasco sauce for your ears.”

Don Powless on bass guitar and brother-in-law Oren Donator on drums supply a tight soulful rhythm section, accredited with working together for more than 30 years. Their sturdy backbone serves as the canvas and backdrop for pianist, organist, vocalist virtuoso John Lee and frontman/lead guitarist and vocalist Josh Miller.

Their rocking soulful blues style is energizing and at times hints at the sweetness of jazz, stretching genre boundaries while keeping it tightly woven, creating a delicious jolt of electric blues.





Juno Winner – Harrison Kennedy

The pride of Hamilton, Ontario, Harrison Kennedy was blessed to grow up in a house full of love and blues music. He spent his boyhood singing in the Stewart Memorial Church Choir. Summer travels to visit relatives in the hills of Tennessee and the streets of Detroit expanded his love of music.

Interviewed about growing up in Steeltown, during the making of his 2016 Juno-winning Blues Album of the year, This is From Here, Harrison stated, “This is what you hear in my voice.”

The album has been described as “Past meets future in a present day work of soulful beauty and unrelenting blues grooves.”

Harrison’s talent has twice lifted him to international acclaim—once in the 1970s as a member of Holland-Dozier-Holland’s million-selling soul supergroup, The Chairmen of the Board, and now again in the 21st Century as an innovative and original multiple JUNO Award and Blues Music Award nominated blues man.

Harrison formerly represented The Shuffle at the International Blues Challenge where he made Canada proud with his second place finish! He tours extensively in Canada, and in November will be headlining a month-long tour of Europe. But first, we’re lucky to have him once again stopping in—as he has many times—to appear at the Canal Bank Shuffle.


Next Blues Superstar - Spencer Mackenzie

Next Blues Superstar – Spencer Mackenzie

Without question, the hottest blues act in Ontario this year has been Spencer MacKenzie. The teenage Fort Erie native who appeared at the Shuffle last year has turned in an amazing year. The Shuffle sent him to Memphis where he took part in the youth showcase at the International Blues Challenge. Then he took home the Kitchener Blues Festival Youth Legacy Showcase before winning the Toronto Blues Society talent search – a major accomplishment against tough competition.

There are few festivals out there who haven’t extended an invitation to Spencer this year. He’s appeared with Ronnie Baker Brooks, Jack de Keyzer, and Chuck Jackson to name a few – not to mention his mentor and friend, Brant Parker.

He has quickly garnered a loyal following with his guitar work, vocals and original compositions. With so many great guitarists out there, Shuffle fans know, all three are key to success in the blues world – Spencer is three dimensional in a very real way and no doubt he has the total live presentation package fans crave. The fan base is also backed up by some impressive media coverage and positive reviews. On the heels of his first CD – Infected with the Blues, Spencer is poised to become  Canada’s answer to Jonny Lang.




Wicked Grin

Wicked Grin – 2014 Best New Group

Murray Kinsley & Wicked Grin are an Ottawa based original roots rock/blues band. 

They definitely bring a new, different, and exciting twist to the blues. Great musicianship, strong vocals and unique material make them a welcome and fresh addition to the Shuffle.

The band received the 2014 Maple Blues Award for Best New Group. Shame On Me was named Best Canadian Blues-Rock Album of 2014 and 2015 by The Blues Underground Network.   Bassist Leigh-Anne Stanton received the 2015 Maple Blues Award for Bassist of the Year.

Building on the success of Shame On Me, Wicked Grin released “Stormy Water” in November 2015. Featuring 11 road-tested tracks, 10 of which were written by Kinsley, this tight group of experienced musicians have stepped up their game. “Stormy Water” features spirited upbeat, danceable numbers while expanding on the heavier and grittier sound the band has been developing over the past few years. “Stormy Water” was named Best Canadian Blues Rock Album of 2015 by the Blues Underground Network. John the Rock Doctor said, ““Third time out for this Ottawa based blues outfit.  As the title might seem to suggest, this is one hellaciously rockin’ set of get-up-off-your-ass-and-dance blues.”

“Murray Kinsley and his band Wicked Grin have been steadily building up a fan base worldwide and right here at home with a brand of musicianship that stays clear of the hang-dog clichés that often take blues music and its noble power and renders it toothless.” – Rod Nicholson, Scene Magazine.




Maria Aurigema

The Hard Driving Maria Aurigema

Hailing from Buffalo New York this music teacher started playing guitar at the age of 13, and discovered Led Zeppelin and late night blues on WBFO Buffalo.

She is no stranger to the Shuffle. First appearing here in 2004, she quickly became a fan favourite and a great ambassador for Buffalo and the Western New York Blues Society. She opened the door to a partnership that has introduced many more outstanding acts from WNY.

Maria is well versed is jazz and fusion, but soon discovered her burning love of the Blues and inspiration from guitarist’s like  Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck.  

She has performed with national blue’s artists Tommy Castro, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Tab Benoit, Elvin Bishop, Popa Chubby, Kelley Hunt, Jeff Healey, Debbie Davies and Jimmy Thackery to name a few. Additionally, she has opened for Foreigner, Blue Oyster Cult, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Little Feat, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Foghat, Steppenwolf and Sammy Hagar.




Joel Johnson

Joel Johnson IBC contender

The Joel Johnson Band provides hard hitting blues fronted by his wailing guitar and solid vocals. He is an award winning blues man from Six Nations Ontario Canada. A Maple Blues Awards nominee in 2015 for Best New Artist or Group, Canada’s national blues awards program. The Joel Johnson Band competed in the International Blues Challenge in 2015 and 2013 representing the Grand River Blues Society.

Joel is also no stranger to the Shuffle having appeared here first in 2013 before taking the main stage on a return visit in 2014.

He has shared the staged with some of the best in the blues world such as Bob Margolin from the Legendary Muddy Waters Band, Jack De Keyzer, Members from the Legendary Downchild Blues Band, Anthony Gomes, the late great Mel Brown, Jim McCardy of the Yardbirds along with many more. Joel plays a wide variety of high energetic style blues from swing, funk, rock and slide guitar blues.

His awards include:

Winner for the 2015 Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album along with two nominations for Best Blues Song and Best Instrumental for his latest album Blues Joose Volume 2.

Emerging Artist of the Year for the 2015 Hammer Blues Awards for the Hamilton Blues Society.

2014 and 2011 Native American Music Awards nominee for Best Blues Recording.

2014 and 2012 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards nominee for Best Blues CD.



From Georgia, The Sweet & Salty Blues Band

From Georgia, The Sweet & Salty Blues Band


All the way from Atlanta Georgia, The Sweet and Salty Blues Band joins together the smoldering soulful vocals of Hurricane Red and the gospel inflected preaching style of Dr. Poppa to bring the blues straight to you in deep harmonies that run deep. Add the gritty sax of the good doctor rooted in a half century of playing the blues and your hearts gonna sing and your feet are gonna move.

With decades of successful performances in their own right, Hurricane Red and Dr. Poppa come together to offer up some deep fried southern hospitality to their Canadian friends. 

You do not want to miss the rich southern stylings of Willie C. on guitar, along with Papa Chaz (aka John Tilbrook of Dunn) on bass and The Shuffle Queen Maureen Brown on drums. Loose and rootsy with shades of funk, gospel, and down-home jamming, Sweet and Salty is a rich jambalaya for your soul.






Festival Closer – Dunn

This is one of the bands that has put Niagara on the map for blues fans everywhere. They have become the”encore band” of the Shuffle as they’ve gained a reputation as festival closers. They announced that 2016 would be their last year performing together. So if you haven’t seen them yet, here’s your chance.

They help keep the blues alive all year long and thrill Shuffle goers throughout. Donnelly’s is the premiere blues destination in Thorold and Dunn is one of the bands they host repeatedly. This reputation has earned them a return to the Shuffle.

Every year they prove that local bands can not only stand up with the international acts, they can shine!

Dee Flat sent along a personal message this year. “We are winding down Dunn on Dec. 30, 2016, so this will be our last Canal Bank. Also of course that the great Gary Luciani will be with us on this last Canal Bank show.”


They have become popular favourites in Niagara and at the Shuffle. For the third year in a row Dunn will be closing out the Shuffle  with a matinee performance at Donnellys.







Recharged David Owen

David Owen, a gifted acoustic blues musician who accompanies himself on guitar and harmonica, also hails from Ottawa and will be making his Shuffle debut this fall.

In Owen’s own words, I learned to sing the blues as a baby crying for milk.”

Prior to his self-imposed hiatus in 2007, Owen’s career had been building in Ottawa, Toronto and other parts of Canada since the ‘80s.  In addition to headlining his own shows, the singer-guitarist-songwriter opened for Bobby “Blue” Bland, Big Bill Morganfield, Sue Foley and others.

The performer’s eight-year sabbatical was spent with his family and songwriting, and new songs evolved as Owen honed and perfected his craft, leading to his triumphant 2015 release, Livin’ Life. Downchild`s Gary Kendall, on board since Owen’s previous album, 4 On The Floor, returned as producer, as did veteran bassist Alec Fraser on bottom end and percussion; and the talented, multi-instrumentalist Jimmy Bowskill rounding out the studio group, providing violin, viola, mandolin, pedal steel and electric guitar. The result is an original and unique set of rough-and-ready blues and roots music, which, according to Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records, “is a well-done, good sounding and tasteful album. I`m really enjoying it.  Thanks for sharing the good music.”



Acoustic virtuoso Alfie Smith

The festival happily welcomes back this prolific songwriter, accomplished performer and talented mutli-instrumentalist, who never fails to wow crowds and win new fans every time he plays the Shuffle.

Known best for his resophonic guitars, brazen side licks and uncompromising vocals, Alfie is endorsed by several luthiers, including Goodman Guitars—a company that has recently named a guitar model after him—and Goldtone Banjos.

Skilled in slide guitar and called “about as unpretentious as they come” by Jason Schneider for Nightlife, “Smith’s powerfully soulful voice and muscular playing never betray its roots in the Mississippi Delta but at the same time, could only come from someone with a tough, working-class background.”

In addition to earning a dozen Hamilton Music Award nominations (Best Male Vocalist and Best Guitarist, among them), Alfie has also represented Toronto at the annual Memphis International Blues Challenge (IBC) Awards.

Currently signed with Busted Flat Records, this feature performer at festivals from Sudbury to New Orleans has been thus described by Robert Reid of The Record: “He purrs like a kitten slumbering in a blanket or roars like a lion defending a carcass.”

According to the late great Mel Brown, “Alfie Smith is one bad Mother @%* er,”



Chuckee Zee

Chuckee and the Crawdaddies have been delighting audiences at blues venues and festivals throughout Ontario since forming in 2006. The band features award-winning singer and songwriter, Charlene “Chuckee” Zehr, on Vocals and Keyboards, Dave Sloane on Guitar, Chris Riding on Bass and Paul Goossens on drums.

With influences including Bessy Smith, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Koko Taylor, Irma Thomas, Joe Tex, Dave Bartholomew, Dr John. Prof Longhair, The Meters, and the Neville Bros, the band delivers a powerful fusion of R&B, Soul and Funk with roots that stretch back to the Louisiana deltas of the 1930s, mixing original material and rarely-heard covers in a show you will never forget! “REVERBNATION







LMT Connection – a Niagara treasure

One of Niagara’s greatest treasures, the LMT Connection makes a return to the Shuffle.
This incredibly talented band has been constantly recording and touring the world and has become such aShuffle favourite, the crowd doesn’t
mind at all when they blur the genre lines and slip effortlessly out of the Blues and into some Motown, Funk, and Soul. They are so busy touring Europe we’re lucky they were in Niagara during Shuffle season.

Led by vocalist and guitarist Leroy Emmanuel, he has appeared with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Star, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, AI Green, Sonny Boy Williamson, Funk Brothers, Dionne Warwick, James Brown Band, and The Counts.
Drummer Mark Rogers was already on his way at age 18 when he was recognized by the Canadian Jazz

Festival as the top drummer in the country for his age group.
Rounding out the trio is John Irvine who is an electrifying bass player with a style and skill all his own.
Having played professionally since the age of twelve, his credits include working for Capitol and RCA Records
with such diverse artists as Ronnie Hawkins and Liberty Silver.


Jake Chisholm – Premiere performance at Shuffle


New to the Shuffle is Jake Chisholm but he’s not new to Canadian Blues audiences. He brings a unique style to the Shuffle that’s sure to appeal to everyone including the younger crowds as his original material invokes a sound reminiscent of the Black Keys.

His biography is bang on when it proclaims: “There is a sincerity in Jake Chisholm’s music that is immediately identifiable. Whether his compelling vocal, his memorable guitar hooks, or his thoughtful lyrics; he excels in all areas, providing the listener with the feelings of both familiarity and being privy to something cutting edge; both at once. Inspired by classic blues, soul and rock ‘n roll, Chisholm’s tasteful yet intricate guitar work and songwriting evokes vivid and shameless tales of love, lust, and lessons learned.”

He has worked with other great Canadian blues artists including: Julian Fauth, Paul Reddick, Raoul and the Big Time, and Jerome Godboo.




Max Hillier Trio – Perennial favourite

If you’re looking for a more refined, intimate atmosphere combining a great blues group and fabulous gourmet food, then you’ll want to catch the Max Hillier Trio at Karma Kameleon on Saturday night. The trio is no stranger to the Shuffle having appeared many times as a quartet under the name Gatorbait. The trio format focuses on pure, emotional, raw and sincere music. In fact Max Hillier Trio is all about the music ….. roots, Americana, pop and original songs tastefully delivered ….. Come and listen soon! Max Hillier Band, includes Max on harp and vocals, Maeve Davis on vocals and John Kott on guitar.