Judy Brown to join Orangeville Blues and Jazz – Blues Cruise

May 24, 2019   ·   0 Comments


“I consider myself a re-emerging artist,” Judy Brown declared in a telephone interview from her home in British Columbia. “I was living in Toronto in the mid 80’s with a solid career and then I dropped out of the scene. I got married and had my children. I continued to write music and did my debut album last year. 

“I moved to B.C. to be closer to my sister and my father. He passed a few years ago. We were originally from Alberta but I had my family in Toronto. My kids – they’re adults. 

“Nelson has been a really good move for me. I sing with a band here and in Toronto. I sing duo with Teddy Leonard. We first played when I first moved to Toronto and, when it came time for me to record my album, I asked him to come and play for it. I’m coming to play for the Blues Cruise on the Friday night at the Orangeville Blues and Jazz Festival. 

“I used to play at the Muddy Waters Tavern in Beeton,” she reminisced, “We were a four piece all female band. We played that area. Our bass player was from there. We were the Wilmas. We disbanded about three years ago. 

“I went back to B.C. just three years ago. My kids seem okay with it. I’ve come to visit them; they come to a nice place here to visit. We still keep in touch all the time. We talk on the phone a lot. I had to do what I needed to do for myself.” 

Still, “My feeling about Toronto, I love visiting family, friends kids; my sister and brother live there. 

But, “It’s been really beneficial for my writing. I wrote ‘Free Range Man’ almost as soon as I got here. 

“Their father just passed away a couple of weeks ago. We split up a few years ago. My daughter is a singer too – she sang on my album. That was really nice. Say It is the name of the album, produced by Gary Kendall and Ted Leonard. I put it out on CD and digital. Ted’s on guitar.” 

Then, the band is Michael Fonfara on piano and organ; Jim Casson on drums and percussion, and Gary Kendall plays the bass. The special guests on the album are Colin Linden, Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar, Jeff Baker and Emily Ekelund (her daughter) and Bessie Wapp. 

She went on to say, “All the guys that I do play are pretty much the same guys as on the album. 

“It’s really going to be nice for me to play Orangeville. I know there’s lots of great acts there over the weekend. I have another gig in Toronto at a private art opening for a friend of mine. And then, on Tuesday night, June 4, I play in Hamilton at the Mississippi Queens Food and, then, the band plays with me at the Cadillac Lounge in Toronto on Friday, June 7.” 

Ms. Brown admitted, “I love living in Nelson, B.C. My plans are: I’m doing it – writing songs, playing across the country. In 2021, a tour Europe. I’ve only been to Sweden. 

I was at the Blues Summit, in Toronto. I met lots of people there, including Larry [Kurtz]. I’m not in it because of the money,” and she seemed to shrug over the telephone. “Unless you’re a big name and touring all the time, then, that’s a great thing. 

There’s no club scene now; almost no live gigs -I don’t understand why. Nothing’s ever the same as going to the show. To get a gig that actually covers enough to pay for more than your expenses is unusual. We keep doing it for the music and the passion of playing.” 

Orangeville’s 16th annual Blues and Jazz Festival is on from Friday, May 31, through to Sunday, June 2. For all the information about the fabulous acts and activities, check the website: 

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