Toronzo Cannon and the Cannonball Express plus a pre-show Question & Answer with Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records (Toronzo is signed to Alligator) at The Edinburgh Blues Club/The Voodoo Rooms was a double coup for the club tonight. Not only was there the opportunity to meet and talk to the founder of what is now one of the most respected indie labels around, but also the opportunity to hear Toronzo Cannon bring his authentic Chicago Blues to the UK for the first time.
Toronzo Cannon is a man steeped in the history of the Blues of his hometown and more than aware of the giants of the blues in whose footsteps he is now treading and starting to leave his own footprints with his own music and songs. In a highly competitive local market where only the best get a chance to get to headline events like The Chicago Blues Festival, Toronzo has not only made it there, but somehow done it while still working for Chicago Transit Authority bus by day and performing by night. Working four ten-hour shifts a week and using every time off and holiday available to him to play and tour, Toronzo is a man of not only enormous talent but energy.
Like the Blues greats that have gone before him, Toronzo writes about what he sees around him and his own experiences. This is traditional Blues based on facts, not some fantasy of driving down some lonesome highway, and songs including “Midlife Crisis”, “Bad Contract”, “Walk it Off” and “Fine Seasoned Woman” from the new album “The Chicago Way” are fine examples of Toronzo’s ability to write new music in classic Blues style while at the same time bringing something new to the stage.
As well though as his music and songs, Toronzo brings to the stage that always hard to define “like factor”. There is a gentle humour to this big man, and an instant connection with his audience. I don’t know how long Toronzo can keep driving that bus if his music career keeps developing at this current pace. One thing is for sure though, Toronzo is going to be around for a long time and in years to come those lucky enough to be at the packed show tonight will be able to say “I saw him in the UK first”.
For more information visit https://www.toronzocannon.com/
Opening the show tonight were “Redfish” – a new blues band featuring some very talented Scottish and Cumbrian musicians. The band are currently about to record their first album of their own material, but tonight decided to stick to classic blues over the years, and some cover songs from Robert Cray, Tom Waits, Sonny Boy Williamson and Don Stark in the set.
A few stand outs here, a great version of Sonny Boy’s “Help Me”, and a special dedication of Mose Allison’s “Everybody’s Cryin’ Merccy” to today’s USA Presidential inauguration ceremony.A good solid and tight opening set of classic songs to set everyone in the room up for Toronzo Cannon.
Visit https://www.facebook.com/Redfish-822277034533771/ for more information on the band.
For more information on The Edinburgh Blues Club visit