The Juno Awards got underway in Winnipeg, Manitoba this weekend, honoring the best in Canadian music.
The nominations in the Blues Album of the Year category were:
Downchild Blues Band, Can You Hear The Music
James Buddy Rogers, My Guitar’s My Only Friend
MonkeyJunk, All Frequencies
David Gogo, Come On Down
Harrison Kennedy, Soulscape
The winner of this year’s Juno went to Downchild Blues Band, Can You Hear The Music. This is the first Juno win for the band.
“Just thrilled to hear we won the Juno Award this year,” says downchild’s Donnie Walsh. “I’d like to send out a big thanks to CARAS, Geoff Kulawick and everyone at Linus Entertainment, all the blues DJs across Canada that have supported Downchild over the years and keep the music alive, Art Theberge, L Stu Young, Todd Littlefield at Diesel Management, our electric blues fans from coast to coast and most importantly, my amazing band, Chuck, Pat, Fonf, Gary, Fitz and Peter Jeffery.”
Can You Hear the Music starts the way all things Downchild should; with the jump blues sound that makes you want to get up and dance. Forty-five years on, Downchild remains a blues force, true to itself and without equal internationally.
The band has also earned CBC’s Great Canadian Blues Award and four Maple Blues Awards. The powerhouse lineup is led by the one and only Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh on harmonica, who’s a Canadian Blues Hall of Fame Inductee & Blues With a Feeling Award winner , honoring a distinguished career. Vocalist/harmonica player Chuck Jackson is a two-time Maple Blues Award & Blues With a Feeling Award winner. Bassist Gary Kendall was an eight-time Maple Blues Bass Player Award as well as Blues With a Feeling Award winner. Sax player Pat Carey is a seven-time Maple Blues Horn Player Award. Pianist/organist Michael Fonfara is a four-time Maple Blues Keyboardist Award, and drummer Mike Fitzpatrick has won the Maple Blues Drummer Award twice.
They recently celebrated their 40th Anniversary in style, selling out Massey Hall in Toronto and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, while their popular documentary, Flip Flop & Fly: 40 Years Of The Downchild Blues Band was a major hit nationally, airing continuously on HBO Canada and TMN for over two years. Can You Hear The Music, Downchild’s 17th album, features classic Downchild sounds such as “Don’t Wait Up for Me”, “Fasten Your Seatbelt” and the title track “Can You Hear the Music”. “One In A Million” has a hypnotic, Southern gospel feel, while “I Need A Woman” is steeped in New Orleans vibe. Chuck Jackson’s “My Mississippi Queen” takes us on a steamy road trip through the deep south and with “Worn In”, Gary Kendall makes his debut song writing contribution to a Downchild album.