Saturday, March 15, 2008


Press release for Bluesaganzafest [March 2007]

Walk into any record store looking for a Big Joe Turner album and you just might find it anywhere. Joe has been called the "Boss of the Blues" and the "World's Greatest Blues Shouter," but he is also considered a major part of early Rock 'n' Roll. Kansas City's Jazz sound was more closely related to Blues than the Jazz sounds of other cities. It had those 8 and 12 bar Blues elements. It was uptempo and usually had a swing beat. It was easy to dance to and this added to its popularity. In many ways, this was what early Rock 'n' Roll sounded like — but Rock 'n' Roll wouldn't happen for another 25 years! Joe was still a teenager when he became a bartender at the Sunset Cafe. Young stride and boogie woogie master Pete Johnson played piano there. Joe served drinks and sang along while Pete played. The crowd loved Joe's singing and Pete invited Joe to join him up front, and a musical bond was formed. Joe encouraged Pete to play uptempo, and the results were very well received. Joe sang uptempo Blues over the boogie-woogie sounds of Pete's piano.

Today this tradition lives on. Rock’n’Roll remains king as the most accessible, constantly evolving and beloved musical genre. On March 22nd, from 3-7 pm, Fat Tony’s Pizzeria (Capone’s Nightclub) in St. Catherines, ON, pays tribute to these two great founding fathers of Rock’n’Roll - Big Joe Turner and Pete Johnson. We call it Bluesaganzafest.

This performance will feature Juno and Maple Blues Award-winning West Coast stride and boogie woogie piano master, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne ( in concert with 4 alumni of Canada’s most beloved jump Blues combo, Downchild Blues Band.

Chuck Jackson ( is the current holder of the Maple Blues Award for “Male Vocalist of the Year”. Chuck is a blues shouter in the style of Big Joe. He, along with bandmate and 6 time winner & current holder of the Maple Blues Award for “Horn Player of the Year”, Pat Carey (, will provide us with all the elements needed to recreate that wonderful moment in time when Rock’n’Roll was born! This unique performance represents a one-of-a-kind opportunity to hear these masters of early Rock’n’Roll perform together on the same stage.

Remember, it could be Rockabilly, Zydeco or Country Swing, Rhythm and Blues, Jazz and Soul, I dig that thing, Reggae, Latino or the Memphis Sound, get hip to it all and boogie on down to Fat Tony's for Bluesaganzafest with Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne in concert with alumni of DCBB on March 22nd. Tickets are available in limited quantities only through Fat Tony’s Pizzeria, located at 131 King Street, St. Catharines, ON, L2R 3J2, and are selling for $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Please reserve yours now @ 905.988.3663.

Mojo Willie

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