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Paul Nelson Headlining 16th Annual Canal Bank Shuffle

Paul Nelson Headlining 16th Annual Canal Bank Shuffle

Guitar protégé Paul Nelson was hand-picked by legendary rock/blues guitarist Johnny Winter to be his producer and band mate.

The multi-Grammy nominated Nelson has performed and recorded alongside such top artists as Eric Clapton and Vince Gill, his music reaching millions with appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel Live.
And soon, he’s coming to Thorold.

Nelson said that fans can expect “A full blown night of rock and blues” from his performance at the 16th annual Canal Bank Shuffle.

“We’ll be playing some music I did with Johnny and music from my new album, Bad Ass Generation. I guarantee everyone will have a great time.”

Nearly 30 renowned blues acts will fill every café, pub and hall in Thorold from Oct. 12 to 15.
Among them is Toronto singer/songwriter/guitarist Anthony Gomes, who’s shared stages with B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Robert Plant, and Heart, and whose band won the first annual Buddy Guy Legends Best Unsigned Blues Band award in 1998.

According to Blues Rock Review, Gomes is “Hendrix on crank guitar phrasing, all the soul of Otis Redding, and swagger of Steven Tyler.”

It’s a Canal Bank Shuffle tradition to feature the annual second-place winner of the International Blues Challenge (IBCs) held in Memphis, and this year’s Shuffle features the first-place winner as well. Dawn Tyler Watson, AKA “Montreal’s Queen of the Blues,” was so dynamic at the 2017 IBCs, she won first prize, competing against more than 260 acts.

The accomplished singer/songwriter has also won three Canadian Maple Blues Awards, the Screaming Jay Hawkins Award for Best Live Performance, and several more international awards.
Also appearing is “Slick” Nick Schnebelen, who captured the Albert King Award for Best Guitarist In 2008 at the IBCs. Schnebelen is the founding member of the popular family band, Trampled Under Foot, which won the Best Band Award that same year.

Returning to delight Shuffle fans who fell in love with his last performance is Jeremiah Johnson, whose fifth CD was produced by Devon Allman. Johnson sings and plays his heart out, blending the voice of Mississippi River blues with the struggles of everyday life.

Juno and Maple Blues Award-winning producer/pianist Lance Armstrong assembled a group of all-star musicians to perform a tribute to The Band’s legendary roots rock music in 2010.

Audience members became so emotional hearing those nostalgic tunes they were brought to tears, spurring Anderson and his friends to launch The Last Waltz — A Musical Celebration of The Band Live. Featuring front man Chuck Jackson — famous Downchild Blues Band vocalist, along with many other talented Shuffle veterans — the act has been touring to sold-out theatres across Ontario ever since.

They’ll also appear at the Shuffle, along with The Souliz Band — one of the hottest blues, R&B, southern soul, funk, pop and classic rock-n-roll bands in the Tampa/St. Petersburg Bay area.
Johnny Rawls, a Mississippi blues man, played for many bands before he began touring as a solo artist in 1985, and since then this multi-talented musician has done everything from produce, sing, write songs and play rhythm, lead and bass guitars, as well as keyboards.

Rawls has been nominated four times for the prestigious W.C. Handy Award and in 2006, won R&B Male Vocalist of the Year from the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame. In 2008, he was nominated for Best Male Soul Blues Artist and Best Soul Blues Album by the Blues Foundation, along with several more awards. He’ll also make his Shuffle debut.

Along with the skilled showmanship of Mick Hayes, the Patti Parks Band, Jony James, and Miller and the Other Sinners , Tommy Z will round out this year’s Western New York Shuffle showcase.

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Back by popular demand is Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, Joe Louis Walker, a powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter, who’s referred to as a living legend within the blues world.

Twenty-eight-year-old Jenie Thai of Edmonton, and Niagara’s Max Hillier Band, both of whom wowed the crowd at Thorold’s first Blues in the Battlefield event two months ago, will return, along with the multi-award-winning acoustic guitarist and singer, Alfie Smith.

Other featured acts include the powerhouse vocals of Suzie Vinnick—appearing with her trusty guitar, Mabel; teen blues sensation Spencer Mackenzie—who just captured the Best Blues award at the Niagara Music Awards; high-energy entertainer Michael Schatte; the refreshing sound of the young Focklers band; local favourites the Mighty Duck Blues Band paired with the charismatic Johnny Max; and Niagara’s best-known soul group, the LMT Connection, appearing this year with Thorold’s pianist extraordinaire, Joel Parisienne.

Last but not least, loyal Shuffle fans know it wouldn’t be a Shuffle without Jack deKeyzer.

The two-time Juno Award winner and seven-time Maple Blues Award winner is the only artist to appear at all 15 Canal Bank Shuffles, and the incendiary live performer never fails to keep his many faithful fans dancing.

The talented Josh Miller from Fort Erie will join Thorold’s favourite blues institution, The Brant Parker Blues Band, as they host a late night all-star jam at the Thorold Legion.

Tickets for the Shuffle cost $25 in advance, $30 at the door, and are available at the Pen Centre Customer Service Desk, Donnelly’s Pub, 54 Front Street, Thorold; Trillium Industrial Safety, 526 Queenston Street and online at

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