Blues at the Bow

A Slice of Blues Heaven on the Canadian Prairie

Blues at the Bow is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to bringing top-tier live blues music and blues musicians to Southern Alberta.

Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials
Feb
3
8:00 PM20:00

Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials

Warming up your winter with Chicago blues slide guitarist extraordinaire- Lil' Ed and the Blues Imperials!

In Chicago, a city overflowing with unrivaled blues talent, world-renowned Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials have been standing tall for almost 30 years. The band’s big sound, fueled by Lil’ Ed’s gloriously rollicking slide work and deep blues string bending, along with his rough-edged, soulful vocals, is as real and hard-hitting as Chicago blues gets. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials are the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.”

Lil’ Ed Williams comes to the blues naturally. His uncle, Chicago slide guitar king and master songwriter J.B. Hutto, taught him how to feel, not just play the blues. Nine albums and thousands of performances later, Lil’ Ed is now universally hailed as a giant of the genre. Lil' Ed and The Blues Imperials—bassist (and Ed’s half-brother) James “Pookie” Young, guitarist Mike Garrett and drummer Kelly Littleton—have remained together for nearly 30 years (an extraordinary feat for any group), the band fueling Ed’s songs with their rock-solid, road-tested, telepathic musicianship.

The Big Sound Of Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials is the musically electrifying, emotionally intense and downright fun new album from the band Guitar Player calls “a snarling boogie-blues machine...they blow down the walls.” The CD features Lil’ Ed’s incendiary playing and playful, passionate singing, with the ragged-but-right Blues Imperials cooking like mad alongside him. Produced by Williams and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, it is a tour-de-force of authentic, deeply rooted Chicago blues. Williams wrote or co-wrote all but two of album’s 14 songs, the other gems written by Uncle J.B. The Chicago Reader says the band’s music “is a soundtrack for dancing and celebration infused with a sense of hard-won survival.  Williams attacks his lyrics like he attacks his guitar: with bare-bones intensity that makes each word sound like a matter of life or death.”

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Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy
Mar
24
8:00 PM20:00

Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy

We welcome back Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy. One of the Blues greats!

Diunna Greenleaf, the leader of Blue Mercy, is a native Texan (Houston) who has a background steeped in gospel music. Influenced by Koko Taylor, Aretha Franklin, Rosetta Thorpe, Sam Cooke, Charles Brown and her own parents Ben & Mary Ella Greenleaf (Gospel). She has developed "Diunna's style of Blues" in the same tradition as so many other great Texas blues men and women. She combines intricate patches of jazz, gospel and heartfelt soul to create a kind of blues that takes one on an emotional roller coaster ride.

Diunna and her band Blue Mercy have performed throughout the United States and Internationally. She has performed all over Europe, Australia, Canada, Brazil and The Caribbean. She will tell you she travels and plays the Blues anywhere she is invited with a beneficial contract.

Performing with Bob Margolin, Keb Mo, Willie “Pinetop” Perkins, Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, James Cotton, Carrie Bell, Big Bill Morganfield, Smoking Joe Kubek and B’Nois King, Anson Funderburge, Sam Meyers and the Rockets, Bernard Allison, Odetta, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, I.J. Gosey, Sherman Robertson, Kenny Neal, the late great Teddy “Cry Cry” Reynolds, Mud Morganfield and numerous others has truly been an honor in her career.

Her commitment to Blues goes well beyond performing on stage. She served for three years as President of the Houston Blues Society, making history as the first woman ever elected to this position. During her presidency she used her professional guidance and grant writing skills to produce the Willie Mae "Big Momma" Thornton Blues Festival, bringing in the talents of “The Queen Of Blues” Mrs. Koko Taylor, Mr. Bernard Allison, Texas Johnny Brown, I.J. Gosey, Diane Price, Mel Waiters, Betty Lewis, Gary Clark, Jr., Jeremy And The Hotboys, along with many others. Diunna started the annual Houston Blues Society Founders Day and actively continued the Blues In Schools Program throughout the state, as well as many of the countries where she and her band perform. She also played an integral in founding Friends of Blues of Montgomery County.

  • Winner of "Best New Artist Debut" at the 2008 Blues Music Awards  
  • Winner of the "Koko Taylor Award-Traditional Blues Female" in 2014 and 2017.  
  • Her latest CD "Trying To Hold On" reached #1 on XM/Sirius Radio Bluesville Chart, #1 on French Blues charts, #1 on Living Blues charts for the month of December 2012, and reached the top of Blues charts in UK, Australia and USA.

In addition to being an accomplished performer, Diunna is also a very talented song writer making the semi-finals and finals of the International Songwriting competition.

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