By some standards, NorthernBlues Music, formed in 2000 is a relative newcomer to the scene. The Canadian label under the direction of blues-lover, Fred Litwin, has proved its worth. Four of their nine artists have been nominated for major awards including the W.C.Handy and Canadian Juno honors.
When good musicians are backed by dedicated management, great things happen. Such is the case with the release of a sampler CD titled "Blues of the Future." The sampler should be available at your favorite music store this month at less than five dollars. If you can’t find it, check the label’s website for a link to a shop online.
I’ve been happy to review several NorthernBlues releases during the past year and the sampler introduced me to some of the upcoming releases for later this year. I’m excited about the pending Brian Blain CD featuring pianist Scott Cushnie. Cushnie is a boogie-woogie player with few equals. Another anticipated recording is from the JW-Jones Blues Band. This young group is a "Let’s burn the house down" type of band that never lets up. Good stuff!
Otis Taylor appears on tracks from his latest "Respect The Dead" CD and his "White African" disk which is nominated for a W.C.Handy Award. Paul Reddick and the Sidemen are also nominated for a "Handy" with their "Rattlebag" album. The band will release another CD late this year with guest guitarist Joe Louis Walker.
Harry Manx is a truly inventive artist and performs in an international style incorporating eastern elements. Manx is also nominated for several awards.
Canada’s Princess of the Blues
, Rita Chiarelli, is represented on this sampler with "Woman In Blue", a rocking barn-burner from her "Breakfast At Midnight" album. Rita anxiously awaits the Juno Awards in mid-April.
This sampler offers great music without denting your wallet.