Kathy Kennedy has a deep-seated love for the blues, and a special place in her heart for the blues in Winnipeg.
A fourth concert in the Women in Blues series will draw some of Manitoba’s best into the premier blues room in the city.
The fourth installment of the WIB series will take place at the Windsor Hotel, and will feature Manitoba’s own Angel Calnek, Tracy K, newcomer Claire Still, and of course Kennedy herself.
The show will be recorded live, and is in part sponsored by renowned blues fanatic Dan Aykroyd.
Kennedy created the series when she moved back to Winnipeg from Ottawa in 2005, and has organized and promoted all the shows.
Kennedy wanted to bring opportunity to local women of blues in a concert setting and highlight the genre and the women who love it.
“I just wanted to make the concert to get myself into the blues scene immediately and so I promoted it and it seemed to grab. It’s something that really promotes itself,” said Kennedy.
The three previous show have included talented locals Shelley Lynne Hardinge and Debra Lyn Neufeld.
“I just did it when I could, you know, working between day jobs, gigs and three different bands. There’s not many musicians who want to do this kind of thing because it takes all your time,” she said.
But for Kennedy it’s a labour of love.
Along with three previous concerts she has also released a Women in Blues CD that was recorded live in October 2008 and released in February 2009.
The CD, which featured Shelley Lynne Hardinge, Angel Calnek and Kennedy, was recorded at the Windsor Hotel.
It’s since received a lot of national and international attention, including a permanent place in John Einarson’s Manitoba Music Experience.
“The reason I chose to have it at the Windsor (was) because I wanted to prove the worth of the Windsor – people really do love it,” Kennedy said.
“Lots of good people come in to these concerts – you get all types of personalities and all walks of life and that’s what the blues is about.
“No matter which room you go into across the country and all over the world, if you go into a blues room you’re going to see all types sitting down to enjoy the same music,” she continued.
“Every woman on this lineup has a story to tell. It’s a very interesting lineup and it comes across in the show, the material they write – they’re very sincere about it.”
Fans of the series can expect a CD release in the near future, as well as a possible outdoor show in June 2011.
Kennedy says she would really like to make the Women in Blues series into a festival with headliners like Sue Foley, Rita Chiarelli or Roxanne Potvin.
Published in Volume 65, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 14, 2010)