A Great Bluesman
and his large blues band
May 17, 2017

***    Given the exceptional situation in the Ottawa - Gatineau region and elsewhere as well these days, which directly or indirectly affects our valued patrons and our guests from Montreal as well, our event, planned for Wednesday May 10 is postponed to Wednesday May 17, still around 8h00 p.m. and always at Bar Le Petit Chicago.  Thanks for helping us spread the news. ***

    If you’re one to like your Blues instilled with raw sounding brass, with a bouncing rhythm section and with a star guitarist who also features a powerful and expressive voice, don’t look any further!   With an impressive 6 piece band, our next guest has gathered more than 30 awards and nominations (Maple Blues Awards, Lys Blues, Galaxy CBC/Radio-Canada awards) since 1998.   The Blues, the R&B and Rock ‘N ’Roll of the ’40s and of the ’60s will be featured on Viree Blues Moosehead with The Kevin Mark Blues Band together with one of the master of the Boogie Woogie style piano in Canada, Lewis Dave!

    Kevin Mark got his first musical instrument in 1982 ... a clarinet!   After a few months, he switched to the tenor sax and joined the Jazz ensemble of his high school brass band.   While learning to play the sax, he got acquainted with the drums, even taking lessons from one of Montreal’s great percussionists, Aldo Mazza.   Just a few years later, he shifted again, to the bass this time and that’s when he got really hooked on the Blues.   Ironically, while renown as a virtuoso guitarist and great Blues singer, he never got any real training for playing the guitar nor singing.   He learned those fully by himself, listening to Blues masters like B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, Luther Allison, Albert King, Freddie King and Albert Collins to name just a few.   That’s how Kevin Mark got to the virtuoso level that he’s reknown for!

     The Kevin Mark Blues Band was put together in 1998.   That year, he won a local talent search and a second, less than a year later.   Awards and nominations came one after the other ‘till 2001, when the band won the Toronto Blues Society’s National Talent Search.   Right on first hearing his powerful voice, his guitar playing, the solid rhythm section and the band’s blasting brass section fully tell why the band was awarded the "Show of the Year / Spectacle de l’annee" at the Lys Blues Awards ... and, which is more, FOUR times, a Mapple Blues Award and a Galaxy Award from CBC/Radio-Canada.   Soon chosen to perform opening shows for distinguished stars such as Lonnie Brooks, Bryan Lee, Toni Lynn Washington, Junior Watson, Jack de Keyzer, Big Jack Johnson, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials and Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater, and were, not surprisingly, invited to perform on Eastern Canada’s major festivals, among which three Montreal International Jazz Festival performances.

    Combining a very active stage presence with frenzied rhythms, and with influences by top Blues, R&B as well as Rock‘N’Roll stars from the ’40s to the ’60s, The Kevin Mark Blues Band is retro-shaded classical sounds in original compositions sure to become tomorrow's classics.   Their albums: “Rolling The Dice”,  Album of the Year at the 2005 Lys Blues Awards, featuring pianist  Michael Fonfara (Downchild Blues Band) as guest for the occasion in this Canadian Blues Legend Jack de Keyzer’s 2004 production and “Cuttin' Loose” a 2007  Jerry Hall’s (Little Charlie & The Nightcats, James Harman, Junior Watson and Kid Ramos) production, which, for two months in a row, reached the top on France’s Blues Radio charts, are still regularly played and received rave reviews throughout the world.

    In 2008, Kevin joined forces with Montreal composer Dale Boyle and became the Kitchen Shakers, a mix of Blues, folk, country and rockabilly band.   In 2009, the “Deep Fried & Countrified” album gets launched.   It’s to be noted that Kevin Mark and many members of his band performed and/or are still performing with The Grande Dame of the Blues, Dawn Tyler Watson, as well as with The Ben Racine Blues Band and with The Lewis Dave Band. Kevin Mark also performs on albums and, on occasions, on stage with many Blues artists such as Lewis Dave: "Boogie Woogie On The Rocks” (2010),  Nicky Estor:  “Blues And Friends” (2011),  The Ben Racine Band: “One Of A Kind” (2012), the late Rick L. Blues: “Good Luck On My Side” (2012),  Richard Carr: “Tell Everybody” (2012)  and Nico Wayne Toussaint: “Lonely Number” (2012).

    Be ready to be compelled to snap your fingers and stomp your feet as all is out to keep to the usual « traditional Blues party».   With an all new album in the making, Kevin Mark, lyrics and guitar with his old friends, standards and old-hands on the Blues scene and even founding members of The Kevin Mark Blues Band, with the amazing Lewis Dave, lyrics and piano, Kaven Jalbert on tenor sax, Patrice Luneau on baritone sax, Francois “Dutch” Dube on bass and Laurent Roberge on drums.   The Kevin Mark Blues Band at the Viree Blues Moosehead, now on Wednesday May the 17th, around  8h00 p.m. at the famous Bar Le Petit Chicago, 50 Promenade du Portage, in Old Hull.  A reviving half-time three set break in the middle of the work week!   Tickets are already on sale at: www.vireeblues.ca and will be available at the door, always for only 20$.   You can also take advantage of our profitable, practical and pleasant diner & show package at Outaouais’ #1 restaurant according to TripAdvisor, Chez Fatima (www.chezfatima.ca), with it’s excellent and generous Moroccan cuisine, one block away from Le Petit Chicago, which will also reserve assigned places at the show, by making reservations at (819)771-7568.   In the meantime, you can get some information on our featured guests by visiting: www.kevinmark.ca .  And you should visit our own site where you’ll find the complete line-up of the 24th edition of Viree Blues Moosehead, as well as links to the sites of all our guests and lots of other interesting information at: www.vireeblues.ca .   For inquiries, please do reach us at: info@vireeblues.ca .   And make absolutely sure to get all the latest communications on that show by taking part in it’s facebook event at: www.facebook.com/events/427706384230196/ .   Also make sure to join and like us on our facebook page at: www.facebook.com/vireeblues .