Black Hen Music is pleased to present this special musical revue, featuring some of the Canada’s leading roots musicians who've come together to deliver an amazing night of classic blues, done the way it used to be. Helmed by Black Hen label head and virtuoso string player Steve Dawson, the Roadshow also stars multi Juno Award winner and Canada’s 2013 Blues Vocalist of the Year, Jim Byrnes, plus Winnipeg’s consummate road warrior, Big Dave McLean. With first call bassists Jeremy Holmes holding down the bottom, Byrnes, Dawson and McLean will take the stage en masse for a great night of soulful blues belting, virtuosic guitar picking and tales tall and true.
The seasoned musical heavyweights are celebrating their three new albums, all of which are coming out on the Black Hen imprint this year. Steve Dawson’s Rattlesnake Cage is a virtuosic tour de force that has been garnering rave reviews from critics everywhere since its release in February. Jim Byrnes' St. Louis Times hit the streets in May and is already being hailed as his finest album to date, as he pays homage to his home town and some of the legendary artists who came from there. And Big Dave McLean is just completing his latest gem, with Dawson handling the production duties from his newly opened studio in Nashville Tennessee. Playing songs from these three albums, as well as the best selections from their vast personal repertoires, The Black Hen Travelling Roadshow Revue is sure to be a one of the most memorable nights of entertainment you will experience this year.
Jim Byrnes was born in St. Louis, Missouri – that’s blues country. He grew up on the city’s north side. One of the neighbourhood bars had Ike and Tina Turner as the house band. As a teenager going to music clubs, he and his buddy were often the only white people in the place. “We never had any problems. We were too naïve, and had too much respect for the music and culture – they knew it, they could tell.” By age thirteen, Jim was singing and playing blues guitar. His first professional gig was in 1964. Over the years, he has had the great good fortune to appear with a virtual who’s who of the blues. From Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker to Taj Mahal and Robert Cray, Jim has been on the blues highway for 45 years. Byrnes moved to Vancouver, BC in the mid-70s after years […]
Big Dave McLean is finally getting his recognition, at an age when the rest of us are getting around to contemplating retirement. Only in the last decade or so has there been significant inroads into recording this definitive Canadian bluesman. A masterful guitarist and top notch harpist, McLean’s raw and gravelly vocals bespeak of a life lived to the fullest, and a career spent performing in and around those countless small towns that dot the Canadian prairies. When it comes to the blues, however, McLean’s heart firmly beats to the ghosts of the delta greats–especially the incomparable Muddy Waters, with whom he toured over two decades ago. Just how important the Mojo Man was to the development of Big Dave can be gleaned in an 11-minute tribute, aptly titled ‘Muddy Waters for President’. Actually written for the dean of Chicago bluesmen, Muddy died before getting around to recording it. McLean’s […]