TBS Presents the Harrison Kennedy Band January 23, 2013Posted by David W. King in Uncategorized.
The Harrison Kennedy Band (Hamilton, Ontario)
Saturday, February 2, @ George’s Roadhouse
Tickets $12 in adv. (call 536 9000) and $15 at the door
Special student price at the door only (ID required): $8
Hamilton, Ontario, may seem an unlikely blues enclave, but Harrison Kennedy has always made the locale work for him. No less then B.B. King has hailed Kennedy as Canada’s premier blues performer. Based for decades in this port and industrial centre on Lake Ontario, the 60 something vocalist-guitarist is moving south of the border with a distinctive new album,”ONE DOG BARKIN” Blues (Electro-Fi)
He also benefitted from having well-placed family. Kennedy’s singing and acoustic guitar playing on ONE DOG BARKIN embodies a personal recognition of the blues he heard in Tennessee and the Delta when visiting relatives. “CRY FOR MOTHER AFRICA” has the feel of deep southern blues and African chant with its one-key groove.
A lot of entertainers like Billie Holiday and John Lee Hooker would come to town and end up at my house or my aunt’s place” Kennedy said. “I heard this music and I thought everybody sounded like that. I thought that was the way you had to sound.” By age 15, Kennedy sang in a church and in a blues band. “Blues was breakfast, dinner and supper,” he said.
As a college freshman, Kennedy received a phone call that countless aspiring singers only dreamt about. Motown songwriter-producer Eddie Holland asked him to travel to Detroit and audition for a spot in a vocal super group that Holland, his brother Brian and friend Lamont Dozier were forming their post-Motown record label, Invictus. Kennedy wound up singing lead and harmony with The Chairmen of the Board for the quartet’s three year run as an international soul sensation. Still he remained loyal to his first musical allegiance.
“My thing in the Chairmen was always the blues, going back to the last tune, ‘Weary Traveler,’ on our first album, Bittersweet,” he said. “Because it was pop it sounds like rock, but even the word rock comes from the blues.”
After the Chairmen busted up, Kennedy went home to Hamilton and split his time between working in a chemical factory and playing blues in clubs. His enthusiasm for 12-bar music never flagged. “I decided five years ago to really start writing, and now I have more then 100 songs,” he said, with no small amount of pride. “The first blues album I ever put out, Sweet Taste, got nominated for a Juno Award as the best blues album in Canada. Then came HIgh Country Blues which was also nominated for the Junos, as is latest release. Maybe Harrison will be third time lucky; he deserves it.
For more on Harrison, please visit: http://www.harrisonkennedy.ca
For our Winter lineup, please visit: http://www.mta.ca/tbs/TBS/Schedule.html
Please join us in thanking and supporting our wonderful sponsors without whom the music would not be possible:
The Town of Sackville, George’s Roadhouse, The Sackville SaveEasy, Rod Allen Used Cars, Sackville Tribune Post, Ove Samuelson Law Office, CHMA and The Argosy.