The Shuffle is happy to welcome back this Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Grammy nominated, and four-time Blues Music Award winner, who’s now celebrating a career that exceeds half a century. For the first time he’ll be bringing along his entire band!
Born on Christmas Day, 1949 in San Francisco. he took up the guitar at age 14, and two short years later, was a known quantity on the Bay Area music scene, playing blues with an occasional foray into psychedelic rock. He roomed with Mike Bloomfield, who introduced him to Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead, and Walker made a brief pilgrimage to check out the Chicago blues scene.
A true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter, he’s toured and recorded extensively, performing at the world’s most renowned festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans.
NPR Music has called Walker “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues,” and within the blues world, he’s referred to as a living legend.
Dawn Tyler and Ben Racine  DAWN TYLER WATSON with BEN RACINE
It’s a Canal Bank Shuffle tradition to feature the annual 2nd place winner of the International Blues Challenge (IBCs) held in Memphis, and this year, we’re happy to have this year’s first-place winner as well! Dawn Tyler Watson is arguably “Montreal’s Queen of the Blues” with a career spreading over two decades, four continents, four albums and countless national and international awards.
In addition to teaming up with Ben Racine to  take home first prize at the 2017 IBCs, where her dynamic performance topped more than 260 acts, the accomplished singer/songwriter has also won three Canadian Maple Blues Awards, nine Quebec Lys Awards, the Screaming Jay Hawkins Award for Best Live Performance, a Trophées France Blues Award for Female International Artist of the Year and a Canadian Folk Music Award nomination for Best Vocalist.
She’s shared the stage with Jeff Healey, Koko Taylor, Susan Tedeschi and Cyndi Lauper.
“Dawn’s voice is a supple, sultry, sexy marvel, a scintillating instrument of seductive allure and she infuses every line with an equal measure of smarts and sass,” adds Blues on Stage.

Second place finishers at the International Blues Challenge 2017, the Souliz Band Is rapidly building and gaining a reputation as one of the hottest blues, R&B, southern soul, funk, pop and classic rock-n-roll bands in the Tampa/St. Petersburg Bay area. They combine a truly unique blend of musical styles and have a full, tight sound and broad repertoire.
Packed with seven lifetimes of musical experience, they’re a great example of well-rehearsed professionalism, combined with the true love for what they do.
Although an excellent band in its own right, The Souliz Band’s biggest attractions are its two featured female lead vocalists: Myra Glover (Sugar) and Velma Glover (Spice), two sisters with deep musical roots, both of whom are natural performers.
They’re backed by band manager/bassist and vocalist Tony Fullwood, a bass player since age 11; guitarist Mike Cripe, a veteran western New York musician who has opened shows for Bob Dylan, B.B. King, and Johnny Winter; Larry Wasserberger on sax, a graduate from the University of Tampa with a Bachelor of Music Education degree; percussionist Nate King, and keyboard player/vocalist Julian Christin

“Slick” Nick Schnebelen has blues in his blood. He is another former winner of the International Blues Challenge, both with his band and as Albert King award for best guitar in the challenge. His parents, Lisa Swedlund and Robert Schnebelen, played full-time in the Kansas City blues scene, and their house often became a jam space for their group, Little Eva and the Works.
As founding member of the award-winning popular family band, Trampled Under Foot (TUF), Nick has travelled the world playing festivals, building a reputation as a killer lead guitarist and impassioned vocalist.
In 2008, TUF won the International Blues Challenge as Best Band and Nick picked up the Albert King Award for Best Guitarist. Shortly afterward, Nick and his family band TUF recorded two great releases with producer Tony Braunagel (Taj Mahal, Robert Cray). Badlands debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts and won Best Contemporary Blues Album at the Blues Music Awards in 2014. TUF also won the Blues Music Award for Band of the Year that same year.
We’re thrilled he’s making his Shuffle debut!


Listen to Interview with Paul Nelson conducted by Pat Porter of 91.7 Giant FM

A Grammy winner, Paul Nelson is recognized as one of music’s top guitarist/songwriter/producers, he has toured the world, performing live with and/or on recordings alongside countless legends, including Johnny Winter. Nelson spent the last few years of Winter’s life touring with the Texas legend as his guitarist. But he’s also appeared with Eric Clapton, Billy Gibbons, Robben Ford, Joe Perry, Mark Knofler, Brian Setzer, Dr. John, Slash, Vince Gill, Los Lobos, Elvin Bishop, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Walsh, James Cotton, Edgar Winter, and Pat Travers, plus many, many others.
Paul has been featured in every major guitar magazine and news publication, and has had the distinction of appearing as both guitarist and songwriter on rock/blues legend Johnny Winter’s Grammy-nominated release of I’m A Bluesman, as well as producer/performer on his Grammy-winning Step Back release. While promoting these CDs, he appeared as a musical guest with Johnny Winter on the Late Night with David Letterman Show and on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Born in Mississippi, Johnny acquired an early love for music listening to his grandfather play blues guitar, and began playing professionally while still in high school, with such stars as ZZ Hill, Little Johnny Taylor, Joe Tex and the Sweet Inspirations.
In the mid-70s, he became O.V. Wright’s band director, then led Little Johnny Taylor’s band. In 1985, he started touring as a solo artist and since then this multi-talented musician has done everything from produce, sing, write songs and play rhythm, lead and bass guitars, as well as keyboards. He even started his own record company, Deep South Soul, in 2002.
Rawls has been nominated four times for the prestigious W.C. Handy Award and in 2006, won R&B Male Vocalist of the Year from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist and Best Soul Blues Album by the Blues Foundation. He won the Critic’s Award for Best Album of the Year by Living Blues Magazine. Rawls has won several more awards and shares the honour of being named on a blues trail marker plaque at the original site of the Hi Hat Club in Hattiesburg, Mississippi with soul blues legends Tyrone Davis and Little Milton.

In November, 1976, The Band performed what they called their “Last Waltz” in San Francisco, inviting many musical friends to join in the celebration.
Following in that tradition, Juno and Maple Blues Award-winning producer/pianist Lance Anderson pulled together a group of all-star Canadian musicians to perform a “A Musical Celebration of The Band – Live!”
Audience members become so emotional hearing those nostalgic tunes they were brought to tears, spurring Anderson and his friends to launch The Last Waltz—A Musical Celebration of The Band Live. Featuring front man Chuck Jackson—famous singer from Downchild Blues Band along with many other talented Shuffle veterans—the act has been touring to sold-out theatres all across Ontario ever since.
Marked by stellar musicianship and harmony, this high-energy tribute is packed with fan favourites from The Band that broke up in 1977, played in a similar style rather than a note-for-note impersonation.

Returning to the absolute delight of Shuffle fans who were completely floored by his last appearance, Jeremiah Johnson blends the voice of Mississippi River blues with the struggles of everyday life. He strummed his first guitar at age six, inspired by his rich St. Louis blues heritage and legendary guitarists like Alvin Lee and Eric Clapton.
Johnson moved to Houston in 1999 and finished in first place for three consecutive years at the Houston Regional Blues Challenges, returning to St. Louis in 2009 to merge Texas style with STL blues and create his own unique style of music.
In 2011, Johnson won the St. Louis Blues Society International Blues Challenge and went on to the semifinals to represent St. Louis in Memphis. A year later, Sirius XM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville picked up the Jeremiah Johnson Band, where they can be heard nationwide, as well as on Touch Tunes Jukeboxes in bars and clubs and radio stations across the country.Grind, Johnson’s fifth CD, was produced by Devon Allman and has been featured on SiriusXM’s B.B. King’s Bluesville, and on the international radio show Confessing the Blues, broadcasting on 50 stations in 10 countries worldwide. Grind reached #8 on the Billboard Blues Charts in 2015.

The explosive and passionate Toronto singer/songwriter/guitarist Anthony Gomes moved to Chicago in the late 1990s to learn from the blues masters, playing briefly with Magic Slim and the Tear Drops before forming his own group, which won the first annual Buddy Guy Legends Best Unsigned Blues Band award in 1998.
According to Blues Rock Review, Gomes is “Hendrix on crank guitar phrasing, all the soul of Otis Redding, and swagger of Steven Tyler.”
Having shared stages with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, Joe Bonamassa, and Heart, among others, he’s devoted to propelling blues rock into contemporary music culture, by reinventing the genre in relevant, fresh ways.
“The blues is old, but not tired,” Gomes says. “It speaks as truthful today, and for this generation, as it ever has.”

Every loyal Shuffle fan knows it wouldn’t be a Shuffle without Jack de Keyzer.
The two-time Juno Award winner and seven-time Maple Blues Award winner is the only artist to appear at all 15 Canal Bank Shuffles, and our fans adore him.
Jeff Healey called de Keyzer “The finest blues guitarist in Canada,” and the incendiary live performer keeps crowds dancing from the Arctic Circle to Athens, Greece, and countless places in between.
Jack has played on hundreds of recordings and live sessions with artists ranging from Etta James to Ronnie Hawkins to Bo Diddley to Blue Rodeo.
This virtuoso guitarist, soulful vocalist and world class songwriter has been nominated for the Juno (Best Blues Album of the Year Award) five times and won it twice, along with seven Maple Blues Awards, as well as first place in the International Songwriting Competition. Jack also captured the CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award from a poll of radio listeners.

Hot on the heels of another tour in Europe, we’re fortunate to have one of Niagara’s greatest musical treasures grace the Shuffle stage again. And this year, they’re bringing Thorold’s keyboardist extraordinaire, Joel Parisienne, as their special guest!
For decades. LMT has toured the Niagara area in between playing gigs all over the world, bringing a fabulous mixture of Motown, blues, funk and soul to their many devoted fans.
Led by the ultra-talented Leroy Emmanuel’s smooth soulful vocals and effortless guitar riffs, the group also features the “Hard-hitting” Mark Rogers on percussion and “Big Bad” John Irvine on bass, each an accomplished professional veteran musician in their own right.
Their musicianship is instantly recognized as incredibly high-caliber, and together they play like a musical, well-oiled machine, thrilling and engaging audiences everywhere they go. Virtuoso Joel Parisienne adds more incredible dimensions to this already dynamic and exciting band with his piano and voice.

Southern soul: a sweet blend of blues/gospel/Americana and R&B with a splash of cayenne pepper. That’s what David Michael Miller and his band brings to the Shuffle stage. They are part of the Western New York blues showcase, 2017.
His last studio album, Same Soil, ended at #34 of the top Blues Albums played on radio worldwide, according to the Roots Music Report, with more than three months in the top 15.
Same Soil is a tribute to the fertile blues/roots tradition influencing David’s unique style, following the heels of his break-out album, Poisons Sipped. Co-produced, mixed and engineered by Grammy-nominated producer, Mike Brown, at Temperamental Studios (featured on American Pickers), more than half of this album was tracked with pre-WWII instruments and using old mic’ing techniques and vintage equipment. David brought in a host of veteran players, including keyboardist Jim Ehinger (Bonnie, Raitt, Albert Collins), saxophonist Jason Moynihan (Buddy Guy) and drummer Carlton Campbell (of The Campbell Brothers).

Tommy Z is a guitar-driven electric blues-based stylist onstage, who also composes a variety of music in the studio. Experienced and studied in traditional blues, jazz and rock, Tommy pours that soulful blues feeling into all the different styles he plays.
His numerous awards include Top Blues Vocalist in Western New York in 2003, 2004 and 2006, Top Blues Guitarist in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2004, 2005, and 2006. His band won the Top Blues/Crossover Blues Band categories in 1994, 2005, 2006, and the prestigious Muddy Waters Award for Artist of the Year from the Blues Society of WNY in 2004.
In 2007, Tommy was inducted into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame, and he’s performed with/or co-billed with some of the world’s top blues and rock artists, including: B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Jeff Healey, Colin James, Tinsley Ellis, Blues Traveler, Derek Trucks, Joe Bonamassa, John Mayall, Lynyrd Skynyrd and many more. On tour, he backed up Grammy-winning blues legend Pinetop Perkins (Muddy Waters Band).
Tommy contributed guitar tracks to Deep Purple legend Ian Gillan’s CD called Gillan’s Inn, on the track When A Blind Man Cries, which also featured Jeff Healey and Deep Purple’s Jon Lord.

Born in Buffalo, New York, Jony was raised in Chicago, which was full of Blues, Motown and Soul influences. B.B. King, Albert King, Otis Rush, Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy and Jimi Hendrix, were among those influences and are evident in his playing.
By the age of 17, Jony was playing Blues Clubs on the south side of Chicago, with local Blues legends such as Eddie Taylor, Willie Williams and J B Hutto, among others. After touring with Hutto and chasing Hendrix to Europe, Jony settled in Canada, playing with the Native American “Roadhouse Band from Six Nations” and finally the Matt Minglewood Band from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
He is a favourite in the blues-saavy Western New York. He combines soulful voice and guitar with great original tunes earning him that stature.
Long sought-after by the Shuffle, we are thrilled he is finally coming to Thorold!

Another Western New York favourite among their astute blues fans is Mick Hayes who began his career at age seven. When he was given his first guitar by his parents, who were both accomplished musicians in their own right. Largely self taught by accompanying his families diverse record collection Mick developed a love for the blues and began crafting his unique style.
Mick joined the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame group Only Humen when he was 20. It was with this band where he began to learn his trademark showmanship and a four-gig-per week work ethic. As a member of Only Humen, he opened for Marshall Tucker and Molly Hatchet, and contributed on four songs of Only Humen’s release, Slightly Twisted Fiction. After three years with Only Humen,Mick decided to form The Mick Hayes Band in 2003. Acclaim arrived quickly in the Trio’s first year, with Mick earning a People’s Choice Award for Best Blues Guitarist, and placing 10th in the USA International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

patti parks  PATTI PARKS BAND
Patti Parks has a reputation of being a riveting live performer, who’s earned acclaim as the Best Female Blues Vocalist, awarded by Night Life Magazine Blues Music Awards. According to Buffalo News Music Critic Jeff Miers, “Her soulful and sensual voice cranks out an uplifting, ebullient blend of Chicago Blues, Memphis Soul; Blues Funk.”  Patti rounds out the Western New York showcase lineup.
Having opened for George Thorogood, Jimmy Thackery, Mark Farner and The Grand Funk Railroad, Patti has played many major festivals, including the Wellsville Creative Art Center, the Kalamazoo Music Festival, Crystal Beach Concert Series, Buffalo Canal Fest, and the Niagara University Concert Series, among many others.
Patti has performed at such famous venues as the Time Out Pub, BB Kings and Rum Boogie as a guest of Tas Cru.
The Shuffle warmly welcomes Patti and her band as they make their Thorold debut.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jenie Thai kicked off the Blues in the Battlefield festival with attitude this summer, making her successful Thorold debut and instantly gaining fans and getting immediate invitations to appear at local Blues mecca, Donnelly’s Pub as well as the 2017 Shuffle.
Classically trained in piano at age six, Thai hails from Edmonton but moved to Toronto last year and is a Maple Blues nominee for Best New Blues Artist of the Year. Gaining recognition for her dynamic and talented stage presence, she packs a double whammy: belting out the blues while playing outstanding piano.
Dazzling the crowd with powerful vocals and boogie-woogie piano, Thai admits her music is not hard-core blues, but more a mixture of the many eclectic styles she embraces, quoting Aretha Franklin and Bonnie Raitt as mentoring her vocal style; Oscar Peterson as one of her pianist idols.
After playing “a ton of festivals” this summer and her first Canal Bank Shuffle, Thai will be featured in a Women’s Blues Revue at Massey Hall in November and plans to release a CD early next year.

It’s going to be hard not to see Brant Parker at this festival. In addition to hosting the All-Star Jam, his band is playing at Donnelly’s Saturday afternoon and then they are backing Angela Seeger on Sunday afternoon.
There’s a reason his is called “the best house band in the land.”
Thorold’s favourite blues band has hosted every artist you can think of while drawing appreciative crowds as Donnelly’s Irish Pub’s house band. This year, they’ll be based at the Thorold Legion, backing up anyone and everyone from this year’s talented Shuffle lineup for incredible after-party fun. Brant Parker is no ordinary musician, and while masterful as a guitarist/singer, he also possesses the innate ability to blend effortlessly with every other musician, making him a perfect host for this year’s late night Legion all-star jam sessions.
Having shared the stage with Johnny Winter, Jeff Healey and Tony Bennett, among others, Brant’s many fans come back week after week, mesmerized by his authentic, smoky voice, perfectly matched with passionate guitar playing that comes straight from his soul.

When harp virtuoso Max Hillier and his dynamite new band hit the stage, it’s like magic. They were smash hits at Blues on the Battlefield in Thorold this past July.
Veteran band leader Hillier has been called “one of the best harmonica players in Canada” and his new lineup boasts the incredible John Kott on guitar, high-energy Al Saracino on percussion, and features the powerhouse vocal harmonies of Maeve Davis and Laura Kott (who also doubles as the band’s bassist). Their eclectic song styles range from sad, soulful ballads to deep, bassy blues standards to rowdy fun country/pop tunes that guarantee audiences have a good time. The bandmates’ chemistry is contagious, and when they’re all swinging in sync, it’s a truly beautiful thing to behold.
They wowed music-lovers at this summer’s Blues in the Battlefield in Thorold and we’re excited to have them return to the fall Shuffle stage.

Spencer Mackenzie is a local favourite poised to explode onto the much bigger world of blues. He is hotter than hot appearing at nearly ever major Festival in Ontario and Quebec 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. And his very talented young band provides proof that the future of the blues is very bright.
The Shuffle is proud and very pleased to have him back this year. Catch him before he belongs to the world!

The Focklers, based out of the GTA and London, sound like something you haven’t heard in a while, and immediately want more of: a refreshing blues sound, with an uncanny ability to put a smile on your face.The Focklers’ front man, Patrick Fockler, is the driving force behind the band. His influences and relentless study of his craft can be seen firsthand at all the band’s performances. His charisma and passion for the blues is rooted deep, and this honesty is what keeps people coming back for more.Opening for the likes of Blues legends David Wilcox and The Edgar Winter Group this past year in London, has made the band motivated more than ever to continue pursuing their passion for music. With the recent resurgence of blues and soul music, the timing feels right, and they are eager for people to hear their unique take on the genre.

Since joining the top eight finalists at the Memphis IBCs in 2015, Michael Schatte has emerged as one of the most compelling guitarists and singer/songwriters on the North American roots music scene, winning new fans and a reputation for world-class musicianship with more than 200 concerts in Canada and the U.S.
Though Schatte loves the blues—and does it exceedingly well—it’s just one ingredient in what he calls “eclectic electric roots music,” a brew of original rock, blues, Celtic, bluegrass, country and rockabilly he’s been writing, recording, and performing throughout his career.
A respected and fiery guitarist, Schatte has developed the habit of leaving audience jaws agape with his high-octane delivery. He’s been compared to world-class players decades his senior, and counts Peter Green, Danny Gatton, Albert Lee, Mark Knopfler, and Richard Thompson as major influences on both his electric and acoustic finger-style playing.
The Beat Magazine described Schatte as “One of Canada’s best-kept secrets and certainly one of its most skilled rock performers,” citing his “masterful manipulation of the guitar,” and a vocal style “as polished as his picking.”

with special guest Johnny Max
After more than 10 years of playing together, this well-known Niagara group has just released its first album, Duck Soup, featuring the talents of nine guest vocalists.

Johnny Max

Members include Gary Kendall, who’s won multiple awards as a bassist, guitarist Dave Curry, keyboardist Canada Dave Torosian and Fenwick drummer Jim Casson, who has his own recording studio.
Special guest is the Juno nominated 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. He is a Shuffle favourite and a tremendous ambassador for the blues.

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.

We welcome the frontman, lead guitarist and vocalist of the Pappy Johns Band from Fort Erie, but this time he’ll be sharing the Shuffle stage with Thorold’s own beloved Brant Parker Blues Band.
Popular on both sides of the border, the Pappy Johns Band takes pride in having “the blues in their blood,” and “bringing bad-ass blues for our bad-ass fans,” and Miller—like his bandmates—knows how to captivate audiences with his stage presence.
Characterized by a rocking soulful blues style that’s energizing and sometimes hints at jazz, Miller has been known to stretch genre boundaries while creating a jolt of electric blues, forming a unique sound that he and his band label “Tabasco sauce for your ears.”


In 2011, Suzie Vinnick sent a copy of her first solo acoustic blues album, Me ‘n Mabel (Mabel being her guitar) to blues icon Bill Wax, and the album ended up charting for seven weeks on B.B. King’s Bluesville “Picks to Click,” reaching number three.
This gave her wider exposure and very positive feedback from fans, and during a 2011 U.S. tour, Suzie and Mabel spent a few hours recording at the Sirius XM Radio Station with Bill and his team. Suzie felt so good about the recording session that she wanted to share it with her fans.
Me ‘n Mabel received a 2012 Juno nomination and opened many doors for her around the world.
Vinnick now has 10 Maple Blues Awards to her credit and three Juno nominations, and was a finalist in the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. She claimed the 2012 CBC Saturday Night Blues Great Canadian Blues Award and the 2012 Sirius XM Blues Artist of the Year.
We’re happy to welcome the return of Suzie—with Mabel—as she blends her beautiful voice with acoustic magic in the intimate Biscotti Café, a new venue for this year’s Shuffle.