Rick Keene Music Scene – The 2020 Maple Blues Awards Winners

One week it is a detergent, the next week – another product.

Awards can be fickle. Some artists love them, while others despise them. Good for a career? Or bad? For most – if the award is chosen fairly and honestly through contemporaries or fans – it is nice to be acknowledged.

The Maple Blues Awards are The Blues’ version of The Junos. Canada’s trophies for the roots of all music. Monday night in Toronto – it was the 23rd edition of the event. A few surprises and a couple of Montrealers took home awards.

The Paul DesLauriers Band

Tow local musicians extraordinaire – Paul DesLauriers and Alec McElcheran, took home guitar player of the year and bass player of the year respectively. A real shout out to band-mates and veterans of the Quebec Blues scene.

Dawn Tyler Watson

Montreal’s Dawn Tyler Watson – or Queen of The Blues as she is known in Quebec – took home Songwriter of the year and Recording / Producer of the Year. Winning the female vocalist of the year is nice (as Dawn can attest) but most artists will say; the songwriting award is a real slap on the back.

The entire list of winners.


Entertainer of the Year: Downchild Blues Band

Electric Act of the Year: Colin James

Acoustic Act of the Year: Matt Andersen

Male Vocalist of the Year: Matt Andersen

Female Vocalist of the Year: Miss Emily

New Artist of the Year: Miss Emily

Recording/Producer of the Year: Dawn Tyler Watson

B.B. King International Artist of the Year: Buddy Guy

Songwriter of the Year: Dawn Tyler Watson

Blues with a Feeling Award (Lifetime Achievement Award): Michael Jerome Browne

Guitarist of the Year: Paul Deslauriers

Harmonica Player of the Year: Harpdog Brown and Steve Marriner

Piano/Keyboard of the Year: Kenny (Blues Boss) Wayne

Horn Player of the Year: Chris Whiteley and Mat Mousseau

Drummer of the Year: Tom Bona

Bassist of the Year: Alec McElcheran

Blues Booster of the Year: Brian Blain

Rick Keene Music Scene – Carvin Jones Bringing His Electrifying Guitar Work to Montreal !

You have never seen anything like him.

Carvin Jones is among the ‘top fifty Blues guitarists’ in the world according to Guitar Magazine. He has received accolades from Eric Clapton, Albert King and Buddy Guy.

His live performances are legendary and now he’s coming to Montreal and Canada !

Please listen below to my chat with Carvin Jones and hear about ‘The Ultimate Guitar Experience of the Year !’

Carvin? What’s Up?

Visit Carvin Here !



Listen to Rick Keene Music Scene Every Thursday 7 – 10PM on

Rock – FM.ca

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Justin Saladino is Brilliant with Latest Album ‘A Fool’s Heart’

Justin Saladino is smart.

Too often, Blues guitarists remain true to the Blues and it confines them. Pigeon holes their talent and next thing you know, twenty years have passed and another whisky shot comes there way at four in the morning.

Few (over the years) have come to the realization that Blues may be the necessary classroom but diversity is the only way out of high school and into University.

James St Laurent Photography

Please listen below to my chat with Justin Saladino – a guy who will graduate with flying colors.

Justin? What’s Up?

Visit Justin Here !

Listen to Rick Keene Music Scene Every Thursday 7 – 10PM on

Rock – FM.ca

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Rick Keene Music Scene – Steve Hill Is ‘Live’ and Well !

The prodigal son has returned home. Sorta …

Trois Rivieres native and guitar player extraordinaire Steve Hill is a busy guy. Following a very successful jaunt to Europe – Hill is home for a little bit before heading off to England and Germany once more.

It was while he was ‘home’ and doing a gig in the province of Quebec that Steve finally recorded a long awaited live album. 

“The One-Man Blues Rock Band” is the name of the album and it was a project that Hill wanted to get right. Hence the nine studio album delay. A live album can be a tricky thing when work dictates reality and time is short.


Please listen below to my chat with Steve about the live album, master classes and his upcoming gig opening up for ZZ Top in Quebec City in August.

Steve? What’s Up?



Visit Steve Here !


Listen to Rick Keene Music Scene Every Thursday 7 – 10PM on

Rock – FM.ca




Maple Blues Award Winner for Best New Group; Wicked Grin !

One album with the current line-up. One album; several awards including New Group of The Year at the Maple Blues Awards held on Monday, January 19th in Toronto ….

Not too shabby ….



Schooled in the Blues and carrying on that tradition  with their own ‘spin’ on things; Wicked Grin, out of Ottawa, Ontario are -well on their way.

Please listen below as Murray speaks of the awards, his band , the writing process and how important it is for everyone to buy and not steal all types of music. Great chat with the lead singer of one of Canada’s best up-and -coming bands …

Murray? Wicked Grin? Take it away fellas ( and lady) …


Please Visit Wicked Grin Right Here


Click Here for Great Deals !





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Ladies and Gentlemen … The Best Guitar Player in Canada; Mr. Steve Hill

Fourteen years ago,  Steve Hill, originally of Trois Rivieres, Qc –  opened up for B.B King at Montreal’s Bell Center. 

For most, a feather in the proverbial Blues’ cap.


Realistically, such a feat requires constant work and it does not necessarily mean a swimming pool in Beverly Hills. Discover why Steve Hill decided to embark on a solo career and how, by chance – he is more popular now then any point in his career.



Visit Steve Right Here!


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Angel Forrest; Female Vocalist of the Year … !

It’s been a long journey from Bishop Street in downtown Montreal during the 80’s to the Maple Blues Awards in Toronto in 2015 ..


Angel Forrest, originally from Dorval, Qc – has earned every accolade thrown her way.  The ‘once-upon-a-time’ Janis Joplin clone, is without a doubt – Montreal’s ( and now Canada’s ) premiere female vocalist.

Please listen as Angel dicusses her voice, her life, the future and – a couple of awards she won on Monday, January 19th in Toronto.



Visit Angel Right Here!











Juno Award Winner Steve Strongman ‘Proves it To Us’ ….

It is a ‘Natural Fact’. Steve Strongman’s 2013 was a tremendous success!

One Juno and three Maple Blues Awards later; Strongman passed ‘hump-day in his musical career . Natural Fact was Steve’s fourth album and an acoustic goldmine of Blues’ tunes.

Fast forward to May 13th 2014. ‘Let Me Prove It To You’ now becomes his latest album and not the follow up most of his fans urged him to do.

Please listen as  Steve explains everything! And more …





Please Visit Steve Here!


May 28th CD Launch at Bistro a Jo Jo

May 31st L’Astral Concert






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‘Angel’ in our Hearts …

Angel has come a long way. Literally and figuratively.

This Dorval, Qc.  lady – born with the voice of a non-angel, has learned many things in her life. Finally – she gets it. The accolades do as well.

Female artist of the year in 2014 at The Maple Blues Awards may not be a Grammy yet for Angel; it may as well be. A Blues-bred upbringing was pushed to the side for too many years. In 2013 -14, the Blues resurfaced to give Angel success and peace.

A little ‘peace’ of her heart maybe …?


Please visit Angel Right Here!

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