GushMac Blues Productions … “Bringing You That Devil’s Music Live!”

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Featuring The Legendary

Downchild Blues Band

Can You Hear The Music starts the way all things Downchild should: with the jump–blues sound that makes you want to jump up and dance. And, as band leader Donnie Walsh will tell you himself, that’s the sound Downchild audiences all over the world want to hear. Forty–four years on, Downchild remains a blues force, true to itself and without equal. For just about every waking moment since he formed the Downchild Blues Band — Canada's best known and best loved blues outfit — Walsh has been living the dream that changed his life back in the mid–1960s, when someone dropped a Jimmy Reed album onto the turntable at his girlfriend’s 16th birthday party in suburban North Toronto. Singer Chuck Jackson, tenor sax player Pat Carey, drummer Mike Fitzpatrick, bassist Gary Kendall, and pianist/organist Michael Fonfara — Walsh's compadres in Downchild for the past decade and a half, and, he says, the "best musicians I've ever played with" — were soaking up the blues in their teenage years as well, in different parts of the country. The AWBF is excited to present mastery of The Legendary Downchild Blues Band as Canada’s most iconic Blues band who have racked up 23 Maple Blues Awards and 4 JUNO Awards over four decades of performing. We encourage you to get up and dance in the isles for what truly will be a memorable experience for all of us.

With Special Guest

the Spencer MacKenzie Band

If you close your eyes and listen to 16-year-old blues sensation Spencer MacKenzie, there’s no denying he’s damn good.  His guitar prowess and vocals are strong and are continuing to build with every performance. Spencer is not a phenomenon because he’s young, he’s outstanding despite his age and since the Blues chose him. His debut album released this year is earning rave reviews, hitting the top of many charts and getting major airplay. He has drawn favorable comparisons to other modern blues artists like Jonny Lang and Joe Bonamassa because they overcame the imaginary stigma of youth to scale the heights of the art form called the blues. In 2016 Spencer won the Toronto Blues Society Talent Search competition and will be heading to Memphis to represent the TBS at the 2017 International Blues Competition, and he has just been nominated for the TBS Maple Blues Awards 'New Artist of the Year'. We are excited to have the Spencer MacKenzie band as the opening act for The Legendary Downchild Blues Band … a passing of the torch sort of from The Masters to the Newcomer. We invite everyone who loves music, and especially the blues, to follow him and enjoy the ride!


Sue Foley

Ottawa’s Sue Foley is a (record-holding) seventeen-time Maple Blues Award-Winner, as well as the winner of a JUNO, three Trophees de Blues de France and a multiple nominee for the International Blues Music Award. By twenty-one, she was living in Austin and recording for Antone’s, the label and historic nightclub, and she has since worked and shared the stage with BB King, Buddy Guy, Joe Cocker, Tom Petty, ZZ Top and many others. We are thrilled to have Sue come back to Canada to grace the lineup of the AWBF. Her command of the stage along with her amazing talents on electric and acoustic guitar, coupled with her beautiful vocals and original compositions always ensures a memorable show! This will be a special night for Sue as she shares the stage with her long time, and good friend Suzie Vinnick.

Suzie Vinnick

Suzie Vinnick is a ten-time Maple Blues Award Winner and a three-time JUNO nominee. She’s released five solo albums as well as recorded with the Marigolds and with Rick Fines, and has toured extensively across the US and Canada as well as performing for Canadian peacekeepers in Bosnia and the Persian Gulf. Suzie has been a dedicated advocate of the Blues in Canada and sits on the musician advisory council of the Toronto Blues Society which is a big supporter of Blues in the Schools. As a fan favorite, we have been promising to have Suzie in the lineup of the AWBF for a number of years,  and our “Lady Plays Guitar” show is the perfect gig to showcase her wonderful talents – a special thank you to Suzie for assisting on the programming of the show – you won’t want to miss the finale with Suzie, Sue and Cecile raising the roof as they jam on the guitar!!!

Cécile Doo-Kingué

Considered one of Canada’s most electrifying and versatile guitarists, Cécile Doo-Kingué is quickly earning a stellar reputation and a place alongside Canada’s current roster of great guitarists. Powerful and raw, Cécile Doo-Kingué’s guitar prowess, lyrics, and sound make for enthralling and intimate communion. We were first introduced to Cecile about 4 years ago at a jam session at the TBS Blues Summit and her killer solo acoustic guitar playing and riveting voice made quite the impression. She has since graced the stage at the TBS Women’s Blues Revue and the TBS Maple Blues Awards. To see her mastery on the electric guitar along with the amazing live show with her band, which is one of tightest rhythm sections going, is something else. Get ready to get down and groove!