Tuesday, February 19, 2008


A Toronto 'Lucky Blue' release with Mansa Sissoko, plus news of the film of our trip to Mali, West Africa!!

Hello, friends!

As the subject of this message indicates, there are alot of exciting things to tell you, but in a nutshell....I'm releasing my very lucky new album in Toronto just before the long-awaited film about our trip to Mali is broadcast on TV. Mansa Sissoko, the star of that film is coming to celebrate with us, so we're doing a double bill. It's going to be a blast! I'm including the press release so that you have all the information. Feel free to pass it on to anyone who you think might be interested. And many thanks for your precious time! Cheers!


P.S. I'm attaching a picture of one of my favourite characters I met as we arrived in Mansa's village.

Press Release

In celebration of the release of LUCKY BLUE, the second album by prairie-born, Guelph-based, roots singer-songwriter Tannis Slimmon and the up-coming Bravo Channel broadcast of "Road To Baleya", starring Malian griot Mansa Sissoko:

What: Musical double bill concert with Tannis Slimmon & Mansa Sissoko

When: Sunday, March 2nd, 2008. Showtime is 8:00 pm

Where: Hugh's Room, 2261 Dundas St. W., Toronto, ON

How Much: $18 advance, $20 at the door

Tickets: Available at the door or by calling Hugh's Room (416) 531-0664

For dinner reservations or concert tickets, please call Hugh's Room or visit:


Tannis Slimmon, a long-time participant in Guelph's active independent music scene, is doing the Toronto launch of her second album, Lucky Blue, at Hugh's Room on Sunday, March 2, in conjunction with Mansa Sissoko, a new generation singer-songwriter from Mali, West Africa. A griot by birth, Mansa weaves his music around the soul of tradition, singing and accompanying himself on the 21 strings of his kora.

"Road to Baleya" is a feature documentary film in which Canadian and Malian musicians come together on an extraordinary journey of musical collaboration and friendship. Produced by award-winning Canadian filmmaker Bay Weyman ("Spirits of Havana"), it follows the interactions between Malian griot Mansa Sissoko and Canadian musicians Lewis Melville, Dave Clark, Dale Morningstar and Tannis Slimmon as they travel to Mansa's home village of Baleya.

The film explores themes of music as a path to social and economic development and intersects with the very personal toll exacted by malaria in one of the poorest countries in the world. Both Tannis and Mansa will be joined by the wonderfully talented Lewis Melville (guitars), Dave Clark (drums/percussion), Michael Herring (acoustic bass), Michael Johnston (keys/accordian) and Jason Kenemy (organ), Jude Vadala and Katherine Wheatley (vocals), plus other very special guests.

At intermission, Bay Weyman (producer/filmmaker) will introduce and play a short segment of the film on full screen. The actual broadcast of the 48-minute version will occur on Bravo! Channel on March 11th at 9:00 pm. The full-length feature (90-minute) version will be broadcast at a later date.

Mansa Sissoko:

For the past fifteen years Mansa has been performing across Mali in villages and major centers like Tombuktou, Segou, and Bamako. He has performed on national television, for ambassadors from around the world, and always for friends who visit at his house. For five years he played with one of the Malian greats, Habib Koité. He has previously been invited to play in Senegal, Burkina Faso, France, and Canada. For 2007, while busy settling into his new home in Quebéc City with his family, he has been playing gigs at the Ottawa Folk Festival, the Alizé in Montréal, working with Jayme Stone, performing with The Woodchoppers at Nuit Blanche in Toronto, and even building new koras with the friendship of Ken Easton.

Here is a concert recorded by CBC radio at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre during the recent Small World Festival featuring Mansa and a number of other world music artists.

Tannis Slimmon and Lucky Blue:

Slimmon is well known on the Canadian music scene for years as a member of the critically acclaimed Bird Sisters; she has also lent her soulful, lyrical voice to some of this country's best-known bands (The SkyDiggers and The Rheostatics), as well as to the recordings of some of Canada's finest songwriters (Willie P. Bennett, James Gordon, Gwen Swick). Her solo career was launched in 2001 with the release of Oak Lake, and she has appeared on more than 65 albums over the years.

Lucky Blue is already making waves with a 2008 Independent Music Award for Best Song for the opening track, "Ernest, Charlie & Allan", and a nomination for Best Album. Producer Lewis Melville was nominated for Canadian Folk Music Award's 2007 Producer of the Year.

Rounding out Tannis's pure vocal tones and quintessential harmonies on Lucky Blue are the multi-instrumentalisms of her musical partner & producer Lewis Melville, soulful slide guitars of Ken Whiteley and Dan Walsh, the African kora of Malian griot Mansa Sissoko, the low-down bass of George Koller, duet vocals of David Francey, harmonies of Stephen Fearing, Scott Merritt, Shelley Marshall & Keri Latimer (from Winnipeg's Nathan), Jude Vadala, Katherine Wheatley and the Dust Poets, and so much more, including the crows of a Bhutanese rooster!

Ten original tunes and two Melville covers pay tribute to Canada's past in "Underground Railroad", reveal the gut-wrenchingly human side of war in "Edmonton", and blow wind through your hair on an attitude-changing ride in "My Bike". The album package is a visual feast of artwork by many talented artists from Tannis's community of Guelph and beyond, including a portrait by Mendelson Joe.

Tannis's website is at www.tannis.ca.

For info on "Road To Baleya", please contact Bay Weyman at (416) 588-7482 or bayweyman@sympatico.ca

(Bay thanks CIDA for its key financial support and the Documentary Channel for support of the feature length version.)

[Message forwarded by Dennis Gaumond]


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