Dear Regina Mid-Winter Blues Festival fans:
Please be advised that we will not be proceeding with a February 2021 Mid-Winter Blues Festival. This news probably does not surprise you given the increasing Covid-19 numbers in the province. While the organizing board did consider a live stream or prerecorded event, we have ultimately made the decision to cancel the 2021 Mid-Winter Blues Festival.
We are not canceling the entire year of 2021 outright however. There remains a possibility, for example, to host a weekend blues event later in 2021 should Covid-19 improve and the notion of gathering people together for exciting events like live blues music are safe and acceptable.
Thank you all for your past support, we will keep you updated as we move into 2021, and like you, we all hope for a much safer year where we can get back to normal.
The Regina Blues Association
Tickets for all three nights are available from the Casino Regina Box Office !
Thursday February 27, 2020 – 7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45)
The Exchange, Tickets $25 +tax/$3 tix fee, All Ages Show, Rush Seating
Mill Street Blues Band
In 2019 Mill Street Blues is celebrating its twentieth year together. Members of the band have come and gone but the core of the group keyboardist Otis Young and guitar player Dale Sauer have been with it from its early years. Pat Kelly and Terri Hamilton bring the heat forming the drums and bass backbone.
Otis Young (keys and vocals) has been playing in bands for 37 years. Starting in the Jelly-Men, he has played blues gigs with Gotham City Blues Band, Kathi McDonald, Carey Bell, Carlos Johnson and is proud to be playing original blues now with Mill Street Blues. Dale Sauer (lead/acoustic guitars, vocals) has a musical history spanning 50 years. His style is reminiscent of “á la Clapton”. His love for the blues runs deep, he is a consummate musician and one of the finest guitarists in the province. Pat Kelly (drums) started out with Otis in the Jelly-Men. In his early years he played with various bands touring Canada and now enjoys time working in his studio. Terri Hamilton (bass and vocals) has been playing for 30 years most notably with Casey Stone in her rock band Eve Gold.
Dan Silljer Band
Regina’s Dan Silljer Band returns to the 2020 Mid-Winter Blues Festival. Staying busy musically in the Regina area, Silljer’s band brings its blues funkabilty to the 2020 festival. Silljer has performed in countless events in his musical journey and he is one of the most tenured musicians in the local music community.
Hanging out with local musicians was a sure-fire way for the left-handed guitarist to secure his place in Regina’s flourishing music scene. A musician’s musician, Silljer’s versatile and ambling playing style has kept him busy as one of Regina’s best kept musical secrets.
Call Me Mildy
Regina’s Call Me Mildy has been busy since its five year inception. Releasing two albums (2016, 2019) of original material written by founder Greg Mildenberger (Mildy), the 2019 release ‘It’s About Time’ was supported with a music video and had Mildy’s song Runnin’ featured on an international blues release from the UK’s Ramshaw Records. With a Chicago-based music publishing contract also under its wing, Call Me Mildy continues to receive local and international radio play while getting attention inside the province and beyond.
Call Me Mildy features singer/songwriter Greg Mildenberger (Mildy), lead guitar Dale Thomas, bassist Phil Nordin, and joining the fun will be drummer Andy Silljer and keys/vocals Jaecy Bells. Call Me Mildy has performed its high-energy harmonica blues rock reggae show in festivals and events around the province, including opening for Big Sugar at the 2018 Mid-Winter Blues Festival finale.
School of Rock
School of Rock Regina opened its doors in late 2017, and was quickly embraced by the Regina and area community. It’s House Band represents some of the best young musicians in the province. The band will provide some exciting moments as the Mid-Winter Blues Festival as they hit the stage as the festival’s official Tweener act on opening night.
The Stillhouse Poets kick off the 2020 festival mainstage with their 4th appearance at the festival! The Stillhouse Poets are a blues n’ roots duo from Regina whose influences are drawn deep from the musical well-waters of the Mississippi Delta and Appalachian mountains.
Brent Nielsen (guitar, harmonica, loop pedal, harmony vocal) and Kirk Hextall (lead vocal, light percussion) are the men behind the music. They co-write their original material, and have two albums under their collective belts. Both albums are given a stripped down treatment; there’s no lipstick or rouge, just foot stompin’ grit with backwoods harmony and a kick drum heart.
Friday February 28, 2020 – 7:30pm (Doors open at 6:45)
Royal Sask Museum Theatre, Tickets $40 +tax/$3 tix fee, All Ages Show, Rush Seating
Harpoonist & Axe Murderer
Combining Rock & Roll swagger and decades-deep blues style, The Harpoonist and Axe Murderer are widely known for their amazing live shows and commanding stage presence. They have received several nominations for Maple Blues Awards and a Juno award and won the Sirius XM Indie award for Blues Artist of the Year (2013) and West Coast Music Awards for BreakOut Artist of the Year (2017).
Armed with an arsenal of harmonicas, a mess of foot percussion, and a road-worn Telecaster, Shawn ‘The Harpoonist’ Hall and Matthew ‘The Axe Murderer’ Rogers kick out raw and primal blues in the tradition of a ‘decades-deep blues style’ while infusing the genre with a jolt of renewed energy.
Eve Hell & The Razors
A monstrously fun, surf-influenced roots combo with a love of horror, country and rockabilly music, Eve Hell and The Razors are led by singer/upright bass player Eve Hell’s desperate, yet sweet n’ smoky vocals. She’s supported by the rock solid reverb and twang of Mike Hell’s guitar and the boom-crash of Richie Ranchero’s drums.
The band started in the genre Psychobilly and has now expanded into something more rootsy and earthy…and more than 3 chords. Eve Hell & The Razors unleash their high energy show and will rain down their love of rockabilly on Regina’s appreciative festival audience.
It’s a blues world and Sugar Brown is living in it and “calling all blues” with real grace and style. The Toronto-based vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist found his full creative voice on It’s A Blues World (Calling All Blues!), his third album released in 2018.
Brown’s brand of dark, sweet, and inconsolable blues has caught the attention of the Canadian music scene, winning the 2013 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search. He learned to play from Chicago’s famed West Side blues raconteur and singer, Taildragger as well as from other blues legends such as Dave Myers and Willie “Big Eyes” Smith. Brown’s songs are passionate, singular, and soulful, constantly resisting generic, mainstream formulations. Sugar Brown is offering us an open-hearted welcome to his blues world. It would be foolish to resist.
Saturday February 29, 2020 – 7:30 pm (Doors open at 6:45)
Casino Regina Show Lounge, Tickets $65 +tax/$3 tix fee, 19+, Ticketed Seating
Energetic blues has been the calling card of the UK’s Savoy Brown since Kim Simmonds formed the band in 1965. “Blues rock” became the catch-all phrase in the late 1960s to describe the band’s music along with that of contemporaries such as Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Jimi Hendrix.
Simmonds has been the group’s guiding hand from the first singles released in 1966 through to the band’s newest effort, their fortieth album, City Night, released June 7th, 2019. The album features Kim Simmonds on vocals and searing lead guitar complemented with Pat DeSalvo on bass and Garnet Grimm on drums.
Savoy Brown and Kim Simmonds have a body of work that is matched by only a small portion of musical artists. As they continue to tour the world, young and old find inspiration in their timeless music, classic style and ageless performances.
American blues chanteuse Shemekia Copeland never holds back. Her instantly recognizable voice – capable of being sultry, assertive and roaring – delivers every song with unparalleled honesty and passion. Her wide-open vision of contemporary Americana roots and soul music showcases the evolution of a passionate artist with an up-to-the-minute musical and lyrical approach. Her intensely empowering, American music is as insightful as it is fun.
Her new album, America’s Child, received two Blues Music Awards: Album of the Year and Contemporary Blues Album of the Year. It is Copeland’s most compelling work yet, with music swelling beyond Blues and into spirited Americana, with elements of rock, soul and country. Shemekia sings with passion and insight about the chaos and uncertainty in the world while still finding joy all around her.
Jeff Beck calls her “amazing”. Santana says, “She’s incandescent…a diamond.”
“When Shemekia Copeland opens her mouth, everybody pays attention. She pierces your soul. This is how you do it, and nobody does it better than Shemekia Copeland” – No Depression.
Jack Semple Band
Regina’s Jack Semple has reached an international audience for his song writing, recordings and performances as a vocalist and flamenco-technique, groove-loving guitarist. Juno recipient, two-time winner of the Western Canadian Blues Album of the Year, Grammy ballot nomination for “Contemporary Blues Album” in 2018 and 2019 and two-time Gemini nominee, what Jack enjoys most is jamming live!
Semple’s mesmerizing guitar ability and his tight band return to the Mid-Winter Blues Festival and kick off the festival finale with what promises to be a tremendous night of entertainment!
This year’s 2020 Festival Free Events Includes:
SATURDAY, Feb. 22/20 (KICK – OFF) – THE LANCASTER TAPHOUSE – 19+
9:00 – 11:30 Code Blue
MONDAY, Feb. 24/20 – BUSHWAKKER – 19+
8:00 – Shane & Ethan Reoch
TUESDAY, Feb. 25/20 – CHOP STEAKHOUSE- 19+
8:00 – Terraplane
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26/20 – THE BUSHWAKKER – 19+
8:00 – Az Paris Band
WEDNESDAY, Feb. 26/20 – THE CURE KITCHEN & BAR – 19+
8:00 – Brent Neilsen, Billy Hughes Band
SATURDAY, Feb. 29/20 – THE CHOP STEAKHOUSE – All Ages
1:30 – Billy & Jeff
2:30 – Sufficient Condition
3:30 – Az Paris
SATURDAY, Feb. 29/20- BUSHWAKKER – 19+
1:30 – The Treefellers
3:00 – Billy Hughes & The Instigators
SATURDAY, Feb. 29/20 – LANCASTER TAPHOUSE – All Ages
1:30 – Matt Meaghan
2:30 – School of Rock
4:00 – Alley 14