Downchild Blues Band - 50th Anniversary
Time: 7:30 pm
Vic Juba Community Theatre
Dr. H.A McDonald Season
All Seats: $50.00
"There would be no Blues Brothers if it weren't for Downchild!" – Dan Aykroyd
DOWNCHILD are celebrating 50 years of the blues – and taking the party across North America. Hot on the heels of their JUNO-nominated 2017 album Something I've Done, THE LEGENDARY DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND have announced their 50th Anniversary Tour, bringing their iconic sound and timeless hits to theatres and festivals in Canada and the U.S.
It's hard to believe it's been half a century since, bandleader, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh and his brother, the late Richard "Hock" Walsh, formed The Legendary DOWNCHILD Blues Band in Toronto in June 1969.
Named after a Sonny Boy Williamson II song, DOWNCHILD's story begins when Donnie “Mr. Downchild” Walsh was a mere teenager and got his first taste of Blues at a sweet 16 birthday party for his girlfriend. “I was absolutely amazed by the music and, like most people who heard blues, started looking for more,” says Donnie, who soon discovered artists like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Read, John Lee Hooker and B.B. King.
Inspired by those classic sounds, DOWNCHILD launched an unstoppable career that has included 18 albums, countless awards and sold-out shows around the globe. The band's 1971 debut Bootleg, one of the first independent albums in Canada, was recorded in a makeshift studio in parking garage at Rochdale College. Soon after, they scored their first smash hit with a jumping version of Big Joe Turner’s classic “Flip Flop & Fly.”
"I was pretty lucky to get a hit record just a few years after starting the band. As I like to say, if you have a hit record, the rest is geography. You just get in the van and go, and that's what we did. For the longest time, we played 250 to 300 dates a year," says Donnie.
DOWNCHILD came to international prominence as the inspiration for Hollywood stars Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi’s hit film The Blues Brothers. In fact, two Downchild songs, “Shotgun Blues” and “(I Got Everything I Need) Almost” were even covered on The Blues Brothers’ 1978 multi-platinum album Briefcase Full of Blues.
The current lineup of DOWNCHILD features some of the most well-respected musicians in the country, who have performed together for over 25 years: Lead singer and harmonica player CHUCK JACKSON, PAT CAREY on tenor sax, MIKE FITZPATRICK on drums, GARY KENDALL on bass, and former American super-group rocker MICHAEL FONFARA (of Rhinoceros/Lou Reed fame) on keyboards.
QUOTES FROM THE MEDIA:
“Canadian blues legends”, “one of the greatest blues bands in the world. Period”, “A Tribute to Canadian Music” – Toronto Star
“Downchild has a virtual lock on Canadian blues hierarchy."- Blues Revue
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