Home Uncut Magazine THE LEGENDARY DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND 50TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY

THE LEGENDARY DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND 50TH ANNIVERSARY PARTY

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Featuring Very Special Guests Dan Aykroyd, Paul Shaffer, David Wilcox, Kenny Neal, Gene Taylor and More!

Saturday 22nd June  – 9:00 pm

TORONTO INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL – TD MAIN STAGE (FREE SHOW)

“Canadian blues legends”, “one of the greatest blues bands in the world. Period”, “A Tribute to Canadian Music” – Toronto Star

“There would be no Blues Brothers if it weren’t for Downchild!” – Dan Aykroyd

TORONTO, ON – May 14, 2019 – THE LEGENDARY DOWNCHILD BLUES BAND are throwing a hometown party in Toronto to celebrate their 50th Anniversary – and you’re all invited! The NOT TO BE MISSED performance on the TD Main Stage on Bloor Street is part of the Toronto International Jazz Festival on Saturday, June 22, 2019, at 9:00 pm and the best part is it’s FREE!!

image for downchild blues band 50th anniversary tour

Downchild will be joined on stage by HOLLYWOOD STAR, the one and only, Mr DAN AYKROYD of Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters fame! PAUL SHAFFER, perhaps best known as the musical director and band leader for the David Letterman show and The Blues Brothers live band, will also hit the stage with Downchild, alongside, Canadian blues-rock icon, David Wilcox and former Downchild alumni, American bluesman and 2019 Blues Music Award winner, Kenny Neal from Louisiana and Austin, Texas-based piano player Gene Taylor (Fabulous Thunderbirds). More surprise guests to be announced!

Watch a live performance of Downchild performing “Soulman’ with Dan Aykroyd for their 40th Anniversary at Massey Hall at –

It’s hard to believe it’s been half a century since, bandleader, songwriter, guitarist and harmonica player Donnie “Mr Downchild” Walsh and his brother, the late Richard “Hock” Walsh, formed The Legendary DOWNCHILD Blues Band in Toronto, ON in June 1969.

From humble beginnings, DOWNCHILD performed their first gig at Grossman’s Tavern in Toronto. Fittingly, the band will return to the infamous juke joint for a rare, intimate club performance, to kick off their year-long 50th Anniversary Tour, with a SOLD-OUT show on June 19, 2019, that will no doubt go down in history.

Named after a Sonny Boy Williamson II song, DOWNCHILD’s story begins when Donnie “Mr Downchild” Walsh was a mere teenager and got his first taste of Blues at a sweet 16 birthday party for his girlfriend. “I was absolutely amazed by the music and, like most people who heard blues, started looking for more,” says Donnie, who soon discovered artists like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy and B.B. King.

Inspired by those classic sounds, DOWNCHILD launched an unstoppable career that has included 18 albums, countless awards and sold-out shows around the globe. The band’s 1971 debut Bootleg, one of the first independent albums in Canada, was recorded in a makeshift studio in a parking garage at Rochdale College. Soon after, they scored their first smash hit with a jumping version of Big Joe Turner’s classic “Flip Flop & Fly.”

“I was pretty lucky to get a hit record just a few years after starting the band. As I like to say, if you have a hit record, the rest is geography. You just get in the van and go, and that’s what we did. For the longest time, we played 250 to 300 dates a year,” says Donnie.

image of dan aykroyd with downchild blues band
Dan Aykroyd with Downchild Blues Band

DOWNCHILD came to international prominence as the inspiration for Hollywood stars Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi’s smash film The Blues Brothers. In fact, two Downchild songs, “Shotgun Blues” and “(I Got Everything I Need) Almost” were even covered on The Blues Brothers’ 1978 multi-platinum album Briefcase Full of Blues.

A documentary on the band, “Flip Flop & Fly – 40 Years of the Downchild Blues Band” was featured repeatedly on HBO Canada for two years, as one of their most popular documentaries ever. Watch the trailer at –

The current lineup of DOWNCHILD features some of the most well-respected musicians in the country, who have performed together for over 25 years: Lead singer and harmonica player CHUCK JACKSON, PAT CAREY on tenor sax, MIKE FITZPATRICK on drums, GARY KENDALL on bass, and former American super-group rocker MICHAEL FONFARA (of Rhinoceros/Lou Reed fame) on keyboards.

For More Info – www.downchild.com

50th ANNIVERSARY TOUR DATES

19/06/19              Grossman’s Tavern (SOLD OUT)              Toronto, ON

21/06/19              Rochester International Jazz Festival         Rochester, NY**

22/06/19              Toronto International Jazz Festival             Toronto, ON*

20/07/19              Porquis Rock N Blues Festival                   Porquis Junction, ON

17/08/19              Chenango Blues Festival                            Norwich, NY

29/08/19              Charles W. Stockey Centre                         Parry Sound, ON

28/09/19              Regent Theatre                                            Oshawa, ON

18/10/19              McPherson Playhouse                                 Victoria, BC

19/10/19              Sid Williams Theatre                                   Courtenay, BC

20/10/19              The Port Theatre                                         Nanaimo, BC

22/10/19              Tidemark Theatre                                        Campbell River, BC

24/10/19              Kelowna Community Theatre                     Kelowna, BC

25/10/19              Charles Bailey Theatre                                Trail, BC

26/10/19              Key City Theatre                                        Cranbrook, BC

30/10/19              Memorial Centre Theatre                            Red Deer, AB

01/11/19              Festival Place                                              Sherwood Park, AB

05/11/19              Vic Juba Theatre                                         Lloydminster, AB

08/11/19              Bella Concert Hall                                      Calgary, AB

09/11/19              Esplanade Theatre                                       Medicine Hat, AB***

12/11/19              Lyric Theatre                                               Swift Current, SK

16/11/19              E.A. Rawlinson Centre                               Prince Albert, SK

21/11/19              FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre          St. Catharines, ON

22/11/19              Showplace Performance Centre                  Peterborough, ON

23/11/19              Orillia Opera House                                    Orillia, ON

29/11/19              National Arts Centre                                   Ottawa, ON**

27/03/20              River Run Centre                                        Guelph, ON

23/04/20              Capitol Theatre                                           Moncton, NB

07/05/20              Richmond Hill Performing Arts Centre      Richmond Hill, ON

* Featuring Dan Aykroyd, Paul Shaffer, David Wilcox, Kenny Neal, Gene Taylor

** Featuring Dan Aykroyd

*** Featuring Colin James


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