Tantramarsh Blues Society

small is beautiful

Dedicated to bringing world-class blues performances in an intimate setting to Sackville and its environs

New Winter/Spring lineup coming soon...

Just to let you know that we are working hard on what we hope you will think is an excellent lineup for the Winter/spring. Details will be out no later than mid-Jan...but we can tell you that we have confirmed B. B. King Entertainer of the Year (2013) Curtis Salgado for March 4....the other thing we will say is that our other performer also won the BB King Entertainer of the Year award (details once everything is confirmed)!

TBS Presents Ray Bonneville, Saturday Nov. 19th at Ducky's (Sackville)

TBS Presents

RAY BONNEVILLE SOLO (Montreal and Texas)


Tickets $15 in advance and $20 at the door

Special Student price (at the door only, ID required): $10

Ray was the first artist TBS ever presented over 15 years ago, and we are very pleased to have him back. Every now and then, you run across someone with a library’s worth of stories to tell. But unlike the raconteurs who regale friends with well-embellished versions of their exploits, these storytellers have lived so much, they reveal chapters of their hard-won wisdom slowly, carefully, like layers peeled from an onion.

Ray Bonneville didn’t even open his storybook until his early 40s, some 20 years after he started performing. But with a style that sometimes draws comparisons to JJ Cale and Daniel Lanois, this blues-influenced, New Orleans-inspired “song and groove man,” as he’s been so aptly described, luckily found his rightful calling.

On his fourth Red House Records album, Easy Gone, Bonneville delivers 10 reasons why patience pays off. In each, his guitarwork shimmers like stars emerging at dusk. His voice carries the rich, natural timbre of time, though underneath that pearl-like smoothness, one hears its gritty core. His harmonica rhythms add even more texture to his sound.

Produced by Bonneville and Justin Douglas, Easy Gone wears the faded denim of a man who knew when he “said I do to a highway,” as he sings in “Who Do Call the Shots,” that it wasn’t going to be an easy marriage. But he also knew divorce was not an option, and affirms his vows in soulful lyrics that balance thoughtful observation, impassioned emotion and the restless soul of a wanderer.

For more on Ray, please visit his website here. Please note that since this is an intimate show at Ducky's, tickets are limited and will be available two weeks prior to the show.


Town of Sackville and TBS Present Mike Zito and the Wheel (Texas)

Town of Sackville and TBS Present

Multiple Blues Award Winning Mike Zito and the Wheel (Texas)

(w/ opening act The Ray Olliver Band)

Saturday, September 17, 9 PM

Free Fall Fair Tent in Downtown Sackville


The natural habitat of the true musician is not the gleaming studio, a glitzy showbiz party or a five-star hotel. It’s the road. And if multiple Blues Music Award winner Mike Zito had a dollar for every mile of tarmac he’s burnt since his breakout in the early-’90s, they’d be piled up to his chin. “There’s just something in me,” considers the solo bandleader and Royal Southern Brotherhood co-founder (with Devon Allman and Cyril Neville), “It’s there in all musicians. You gotta love the road to be a part of this world. You’re right there, looking in people’s eyes, swapping stories, shaking hands…”

            There’s an undeniable romance about a life in motion – and an enduring magic about the moment when the house lights go down, the roar of the crowd goes up and the shadows take the stage. For Mike, who began touring the Midwest circuit at the age of eighteen, and has since crossed twenty-plus countries as guitarist with the Brotherhood, this is when things get serious. “In my band, The Wheel, if you’re not already with us, you’d better get on board,” he grins. “Because otherwise we’re gonna knock you down!”

Listening to Zito is like listening to a jukebox loaded with sweet southern Americana: he plays hard, slide-driven blues, sweet rocking country and soulful r&b. It is no wonder his live shows are enjoyed by such a wide range of audiences across the world. 

Here is proof:


Here is the country-flavoured "Early in the Morning"

even some country style blues!

Zito and Wheel captured live by a fan...playing some rockin' contemporary blues

Bordertown and TBS Present the Johnny Max Band (Toronto)


Bordertown Festival and TBS Present

The Johnny Max Blues Band (Toronto)

Friday, April 29, 9 PM, George’s Roadhouse

Tickets are $15 in advance (at Ducky’s), $20 at the door

Special student price (at the door only, ID required): $10

To listen to Johnny Max tell it, and to watch Johnny Max present it, you understand very quickly that there’s more to creating great music than simply performing a first-rate piece of music well. It’s much more all encompassing than that.

Max’s take includes engaging the audience, making his show accessible. He wants to more than simply feed off the audience, he looks to make them part of the experience. And he does so with his good natured wit.

Using humour to get your point across is always risky because there’s a fine line between entertaining and being the comic. To his credit Johnny Max knows how to tread that line because the music always comes first.

Max’s music doesn’t always follow conventional Blues lines. Rather than be confined to the traditional 12 bar influenced forms, this veteran of the musical wars favours substance rather than convention.

While his first three releases firmly established Max in the Blues idiom, it was on his fourth, the Juno nominated A Lesson I’ve Learned, that Johnny added to his Blues sensibilities, and found his groove. And that groove had more to do with Southern Soul than straight up Blues. Of note, check the title track whose chorus might have been lifted from the Dan Penn songbook.

Max’s new disc, It’s A Long Road, picks up where “Lesson” left off – with a wallop! Partnering with a brand new band, Johnny lays down a dozen tracks with a heavy dosage of Gumbo R&B, nods to Rock’em Sock’em Soul, and hints of all-out Boogie work-outs and Tom Waits styled tonalities. Along the way, Johnny relates his most deeply personal stories to date.

You would think that all of the above would be enough to keep anyone busy but Max also finds time to host a radio show: (“Sunday Morning Soul” on The HAZE FM, www.thehazefm.ca, Canada’s only commercial web radio station Sunday mornings at 11AM and Wednesdays at 10PM.), and co-program the CNE Bandshell BluesFest, (with Rico Ferrara), among other ventures.

It’s all in days work for Max, and we hope that you will come and take in what is our last show of the year. For more on Johnny, please visit: http://www.johnnymaxband.com/ and our website at: www.tbsblues.com

The show is part of the Bordertown Festival now in its second year. For the great lineup of music, food and other fine activities, please visit: http://sackville.com/bordertown/

We are grateful to all our partners and sponsors without whom our shows would not be possible: George’s Roadhouse, Marshlands Inn, The Argosy, CHMA, The Town of Sackville, Rod Allen Used Cars and Rose’s Independent Grocer.



TBS Presents the Delta Generators (Boston)

TBS Presents

The Delta Generators (Boston)
Fri., March 11, George’s Roadhouse, 9 PM

Tickets are $15 in advance (at Ducky’s 536-1344) & $20 at the door

Special Student Price (at the door, ID required): $10

In the last couple of years, the Delta Generators have shared the stage with such acts as Robert Cray, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Three Dog Night, James Cotton, Jimmie Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winter, Walter Trout, Popa Chubby, Bonerama, Candye Kane, Michael Burks, John Lee Hooker Jr. and Sonny Landreth among many others.

There is a real buzz around the fourth album from the Delta Generators which should be out soon, which isn't surprising. Every album they have released so far has been getting increasing attention with the last one winning the Blues album of the year from the Independent Music Awards. The new album, which has already met its Pledgemusic fundraising goal, is tightly written and produced should hopefully get them the international attention they deserve; you can get a taste here. Some of their older music can be found here, and I would particularly recommend ‘Hard River to Row (video below)'

We are really pleased to be back at George’s for this show, despite the fact that we had a lot of fun at Ducky’s which we will continue to use from time to time. As you know, a lot of work has gone into keeping George’s operational and we are committed to investing some TLC this time before the show to make sure that we have a pleasant evening in there…we hope therefore to see lots of you at the show…we can’t do it without you!

The last show of the lineup is:

The Johnny Max Band (Toronto) Friday, April29, George’s Roadhouse, 9 PM (part of the Bordertown Festival)

Touring on the back of his 7th album (2 of which have been nominated for Junos), Johnny will be bringing his original brand of roadhouse soul to our very own Roadhouse. Johnny plays more than the usual 12 bar blues, borrowing heavily from R&B and soul in his delivery so that you can expect a foot-stompin’, shoulder-shaking evening from a veteran Canadian band. For more on Johnny, please go here.

TBS Winter Lineup





Keith Hallett has come a long way since we first saw him open a show for us and then again touring with Garrett Mason a couple of years ago. He has been working hard, honing his sound in the only honest way there is in the blues: on the road. As a result, he has a developed a tough, old time sound that is his own. There is something real going on folks, and you can listen to his new album here, and see some recent video here and here. This show will be held at Ducky’s and seating is limited so get your tickets early for this one.
The Delta Generators (Boston), Friday, March 11, time and location TBA
There is a real buzz around the fourth album from the Delta Generators which should be out in March, which isn't surprising. Every album they have released so far has been getting increasing attention with the last one winning the Blues album of the year from the Independent Music Awards. The new album, which has already met its Pledgemusic fundraising goal, is tightly written and produced should hopefully get them the international attention they deserve; you can get a taste here.
The Johnny Max Band (Toronto) Friday, April29, George’s Roadhouse, 9 PM (part of the Bordertown Festival)
Touring on the back of his 7th album (2 of which have been nominated for Junos), Johnny will be bringing his particular brand of roadhouse soul to our very own Roadhouse. Johnny plays more than the usual 12 bar blues, borrowing heavily from R&B and soul in his delivery so that you can expect a foot-stompin’, shoulder-shaking evening from a veteran Canadian band. For more on Johnny, please go here.

TBS Presents Watermelon Slim, Big Dave McLean and Joe Murphy

We have a wonderful ensemble show lined up for you this Fall. On Nov. 7, we present a band featuring the multiple Blues award winning Watermelon Slim, the Juno award winning Big Dave McLean and the Maritime stalwart Joe Murphy. Harp magazine says of Slim “"From sizzling slide guitar...to nitty-gritty harp blowing...to a gruff, resonating Okie twang, Slim delivers acutely personal workingman blues with both hands on the wheel of life, a bottle of hooch in his pocket, and the Bible on the passenger seat.” With 30 years and 7 albums, Dave McLean is a Canadian legend who has crisscrossed Canada on tour many a time…we are very pleased that he could stop in and play for us with Slim and Joe (who is giving up his legendary Saturday gig at the Moustache in Halifax to play for us). 

We will not be presenting a Fall Fair show this year, mainly because we felt it was time for other music genres to take centrestage on Saturday night. To this end, we are happy to say that the Town of Sackville will be presenting the award winning alt-county band The Divorcees on Sep. 19 at 9.30 pm. You can find more details on the Fall Fair schedule here.

The red hot 24th Street Wailers are coming to town as part of annual Rotary fundraiser

The Rotary Club of Sackville and TBS Present

The Juno-nominated 24th Street Wailers (Ontario)

Friday, May 22, @ the Sackville Curling Club


Wine & Beer Tasting 7-9 PM Music 9 PM

Tickets $40 for both, available from members or at sackvillerotary.ca

Limited Dance-Only Tickets $20 available at Ducky’s


Experienced, road-tested and tougher than a two by four, The 24th Street Wailers are five musicians who originally met in music school. Their major influence? The sounds from the freewheeling period in the ‘40s and ‘50s when the Blues gave birth to Rock and Roll in black communities in major American cities. When showmanship mattered. When the sax player, not the guitarist, got the girls.

The just released‘Where Evil Grows’ has already received strong notices. Blues in the Northwest says: “Here’s a super fun album of vintage r&b, blues and rock ‘n’ roll from the Canadian-based outfit, The 24th Street Wailers – made up of Canadian and American musicians, namely Mike Archer (bass), Lindsay Beaver (vocals and drums), Elliot Sowell (guitar), Jesse Whiteley (piano) and Jon Wong (saxophone) – together they make a joyous,  retro 40s and 50s sound!” 

2012’s Unshakeable reached Top 10 on the Roots Music Report  and carried the band even further — Dan Aykroyd’s House of Blues radio show called it “raw and authentically funky.” And Bill Wax’s syndicated B.B. King Radio Show on SiriusXM confirmed the band’s widespread national and international radio play. The Wailers have put the icing on the cake with a 2nd studio album, released early this year. Wicked is the CD’s title, and the adjective perfectly describes the music. Recorded in Austin Texas and produced by Billy Horton, producer and bassist for Texas rocker Nick Curran and who is also currently Jimmie Vaughan’s bass player, Wicked is a collection of 11 songs by Lindsay and Emily, with two covers, both of them considerable departures from the originals. Horton’s worked produced a who’s-who of Texas bands, and he helped put The Wailers’ drive and energy into the record’s grooves. The band’s put their autographs on a number of milestones along the road to success. They’ve been the only non-Quebec band to win both the Reléve en Blues and the Air Transat/Blues sur Seine competitions at Festiblues International de Montreal, which sent them to France to perform at The Blues sur Seine Festival. The Wailers were nominated for major Maple Blues Awards two years in a row, and for Blues Group/Duo of the Year at the Sirius XM Indie Awards. In February 2012, the band were semi-finalists in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tennessee, cementing their place among their musical peers.

Booking their own dates — which they continue to do — The Wailers have played in some 35 major cities in Canada. The band’s played major U.S. tours, and in 2014  played more than 200 shows across North America.

The band’s touring this year includes more than a dozen-two- and three–day blues, jazz and folk events from one side of the continent to the other. A highlight was Jimmie Vaughan grinning for a set while sitting side stage at one of their club dates this year and slinging guitar with them that night.  Said the artistic director of one important Ontario festival last year: “(This band) is a worthy representative for the new face of the blues.”

“New face of the blues”? Yes, the band likes that. “We’re just trying to restore faith in what the Blues and Rock and Roll were meant to be,” they’ll tell you. But just don’t call the Wailers a “young” band, okay?

Instead of pissing them off, call The 24th Street Wailers exactly what they are: one of the hottest groups of blues rockers you can find, and one that always makes the crowd drink, dance and cheer. Tell them that and they might buy you a drink.

The Buzz

“The 24th Street Wailers continue to step it up! It’s been a joy watching the band grow as musicians who have found their own sound. I love the band’s energy and deep understanding of blues, classic R&B and roots music.”

-Holger Petersen, Stony Plain Records, CBC Radio, SiriusXM 169 and CKUA

“Beyond the 12 bar blues bands and weekend warriors, it is amazing to see the 24th Street Wailers among a new breed of young acts creating fresh material and proving there is such a thing as Canadian blues that is as valid as Chicago, delta, West Coast, British or any other kind of blues out there.”

-Chris Martin, CBC Music Blues Community Producer

“this is just great, gritty, fun, live stuff!”

-Elwood Blues (Dan Aykroyd), Host of the House of Blues Radio Hour

“Unshakeable is raw and authentically funky…these young players have the natural rhythm and looseness of studied musicians, which is a breath of fresh air.”


“a worthy representative of the new face of the blues”

-Richard Knechtel, GBFS/Summerfolk Artistic Director


Bordertown and TBS Present the JW Jones Band (Ottawa)

Bordertown and TBS Present 

The JW Jones Band (Ottawa)

Friday, May 1, 9 PM @George’s Roadhouse

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door

JW is riding a wave right now on the back of his 8th release: nominated for a Juno, getting strong critical notices, playing over a hundred shows a year, JW is one of the finest Canadian blues guitarists out there.  The new album, Belmont Boulevard, is his first Blind Pig release and was produced in Nashville by Grammy-winning producer Tom Hambridge, who’s helmed projects for Buddy Guy, George Thorogood, and Susan Tedeschi.

 JW chose Hambridge to produce because “This CD is all about getting out of my comfort zone musically and lyrically, working with a big producer and creating a high-energy experience that matches our live show, and I knew Tom was the man to make that happen.” Its not wonder that the  the Globe and Mail, referred to this Maple Blues Award winner as “one of this country’s top blues guitar stars.” Billboard called JW part of “a new wave of young talent moving onto Canada’s blues stage.”

If his recent shows are anything to go by, this will be a performance that will showcase JW’s blazing fat guitar sound backed by a band that has perfected its chops on countless stages across the world. Not to be missed folks…

We are very pleased that this show is part of the new Bordertown festival in Sackville, and we hope that many of our patrons will also partake in these additional festivities, which include a Bill Stevenson trio performance for Catbird Jazz, a Sappy evening with Rich Aucoin, and additional performances by Ray LegereRon Hynes, our very own Kenny James. In addition, the Sackville Festival of Early Music will present David Greenberg and Chris Norman, and local art galleries (The Fog Forest, the Owens Art Gallery and STRUTS) will have special events as will Live Bait Theatre (a pdf with a schedule can be downloaded here). Quite an amazing lineup for a little town!

We hope to see you at the shows.

George's Roadhouse Fundraiser, Saturday March 28 between 2 pm and midnight

Many friends of George's Roadhouse are coming together to raise funding for critical building repairs. The Argosy has a fine article on the history of George's, plus a sense of what is at stake here.

 Musicians and Bands include The Streamliners, RA and Cookin', Chris Meaney, Patrick Melanson, Janet Crawford, Richard Borque and The Mark Green Band.

Tickets are $15 ($12 for students with ID) at the door.

For more details please contact Richard.Bourque@bellaliant.net

TBS Presents Sugar Ray and Bluetones on Saturday, March 7 at George's Roadhouse

TBS Presents

Sugar Ray and the Bluetones (Boston)

9 PM, Saturday, March 7 @ George’s Roadhouse

Tickets: $15 in advance $20 at the door

The Special Student Price (the door only, ID required): $10


Singer and harp man Sugar Ray Norcia’s career kicked into high gear in 1979 when he formed the original Sugar Ray and the Bluetones with guitar giant Ronnie Earl, and it has stayed there ever since.

Norcia has appeared on over 50 albums including discs with The Bluetones, Ronnie Earl, Roomful of Blues, Big Walter Horton, Otis Grand, Ann Peebles, Michelle Willson, Jimmy Rogers, Pinetop Perkins, J. Geils, Maurizio Pugno, Sax Gordon, Duke Robillard, and his 1999 “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy nominated collaboration with fellow harmonica virtuosos James Cotton, Charlie Musselwhite and Billy Branch called Superharps-that also includes fellow Bluetones Mudcat Ward and Anthony Geraci.

In the ‘90s Norcia spent seven high-profile years with the legendary Roomful of Blues. He cut five albums with the group including 1996’s Turn It On,Turn IT Up, which also received a “Best Traditional Blues” Grammy nod.

Today Norcia’s elan and robust tone makes his voice one of the most distinctive, well-defined and recognizable instruments in modern blues.

He continues to tour the world with his durable Bluetones and make acclaimed albums like his forth Severn release 2007’s My Life, My Friends, My Music – which drew Blues Music Award nominations for “Album of the Year,” Instrumentalist – Harmonica,” Instrumentalist – Bass” and “Song of the Year” (for “Last Words of a Fool”.)

The band consists of musicians’ musicians like Monster Mike Welch, one of Boston’s finest guitarists (who has 6 albums of his own), and Anthony Geraci who has backed them up-B.B. King, Otis Rush, Big Mama Thorton, Chuck Berry, Big Walter Horton and countless others.

Sugar Ray’s  recording titled  Evening was nominated for Five 2012 Blues Music Awards including “Album of the Year”, “Band of the Year”, “Traditional Blues Album”, “Instrumentalist – Harmonica” and “Instrumentalist – Bass”. In 2012 Ray was also inducted into Rhode Island’s Music Hall of Fame, as well as the Canadian South Hall of Fame.

Sugar Ray Norcia was nominated for a 2014 Grammy Award for his contribution on an album entitled remembering Little Walter on Blind Pig Records.This was his third Grammy nomination. It featured Sugar Ray Norcia, Mark Hummel, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold and James Harman. This same recording won two 2014 Blues Music Awards for “Album of the Year” and “Traditional Blues Album”.

Sugar Ray and the Bluetones have a new Record  entitled Living Tear To Tear  on Severn Records that was released on August 19, 2014. It has debuted #1 on The Living Blues Radio Charts and has been nominated for 7 Blues Awards including album of the year, and song of the year (the complete version of which is available here).

Web Links

The band’s wesbite: http://www.sugarrayandthebluetones.com

Audio and video on the band can be found at our website: http://www.tbsblues.com/schedule/








Damon Fowler show for Sackville Winterfest still on tomorrow night, weather permitting...

Just a quick reminder that the Damon Fowler Band (Florida) will be playing the Sackville Winterfest show for us tomorrow (January 31) night, weather permitting. Tickets are $15 in advance (at Ducky’s) and $20 at the door. The special student price (at the door only, ID required) is $10. We have made available 3 tracks from Damon’s excellent new album on our website here, in case you want a taste of what he is up to currently. We have the band’s bio for you and some video as well. Our updated schedule is available here, and we will be adding a surprise show in the Spring, details TBA.


The band is already in the Maritimes and will play for our friends in Pictou County tonight. We are doing are best to make arrangements to get them here safely for the show tomorrow. The forecast suggests that snow may not be an issue tomorrow night, though blowing snow may. If the weather forces a cancellation (and we very much hope it will not) we will let you know no later than 6 pm, and probably sooner. All tickets bought in advance will be refundable. We very much look forward to seeing you at the show tomorrow (provided you can make it out safely), so that we can collectively stick it to the winter blues!