January 17, 2015


By: Peter Goddard Visual Arts, Published on Fri Jan 16 2015


Blues music has been called all sorts of things from soulful to misogynist. But a business? A viable business at that?  Some time before, during or after the Maple Blues Awards Monday Jan. 19 at Koerner Hall “Stormy Monday” will be sung, with the lyric’s famous line about “the eagle flies on Friday.” This means payday. Once was that was about all the business a blues star might worry about.


Not any more. The awards, the 18th to be hosted by guitarist and raconteur Danny Marks, is the party-time face of the sober-minded Toronto Blues Society (TBS), which has personnel — how about an “office manager?” — not hitherto associated with the blues. TBS celebrates its 30th anniversary this year mostly by having convinced government bureaucrats — TBS gets some $100,000 in grant money — that blues business also meant good business.  “We started as an entity to protect the music,” says TBS board chair Derek Andrews, part of the founding...

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