Music takes off at Bud’s

Live music at Bud's Bar an Lounge continues throughout March

Bud’s Bar and Lounge will be alive in the month of March with some unique styles of music.

On March 22, Bud’s will host a harmonica world champion on stage when Carlos Del Junco launches the Mongrel Mash tour.

At first, world champion jazz/blues harmonica player Del Junco thought a live album would be a fitting follow-up to his Juno-nominated 2010 release Steady Movin’ but, after growing frustrated with sound quality issues, the two-time Juno nominee decided instead to make a “live album in the studio,” capturing all the rawness, energy and diversity of Del Junco’s live show with the crystal clarity of a studio set.

The result is Mongrel Mash, a collection of the old, new, borrowed, and blue, showcasing Del Junco’s mad skills on harp and long-time collaborator Kevin Breit’s singularly quirky musical accompaniment – plus the rock solid backing of the rest of the Blues Mongrels: Henry Heillig on bass, Jorn Andersen on drums and percussion and Denis Keldie on organ.

Through a mix of classic covers and some original work Del Junco has created a sound all of his own.  Just like any great live set, the album is punctuated with rip-roaring extended solos and plenty of raw, impassioned playing.

Del Junco is one of only a handful of musicians in the world adept at using the overblow technique on diatonic harmonica.  The extremely difficult technique, taught to him by jazz virtuoso Howard Levy, allows him to play chromatically on an instrument that is normally meant to be played in one key centre – and it is in many ways more expressive and communicative than the mechanized tone produced by the chromatic harmonica.  Del Junco’s sound ranges from sensitive and soulful Stan Getz-like riffs to raw, rockin’ and raunchy solos that prompted one reviewer to call him the Jimi Hendrix of the harmonica.

The Cuban-born, Toronto-raised Del Junco has been named Harmonica Player of the Year seven times in the Maple Blues Awards’ 14 year history.  He’s earned the Best Blues title from Now magazine, and he’s received Jazz Report magazine’s Blues Musician of the Year Award.  His albums Big Boy and Steady Movin’ were both nominated for Junos.

Del Junco will be followed up with Maria in the Shower making a return visit to Bud’s on March 31 with the show starting at 8:30.

A folk cabaret within a 4-piece band create a style of music that is intoxicated with passion which is able to hit any mood or kick off moments of infectious dancing.

The group combines many influences to create their own unique style of music along with a live show that one has to see to truly understand.