Ace Canadian Blues-Rockers MonkeyJunk Celebrate 10 Years With Thrilling #MJ10 Tour The trio, whose career-best fifth album Time To Roll recently netted their second Juno Award, prepares to travel from east to west this spring and summer, visiting key venues and festivals in between…
By almost any ordinary metric, like a marriage or a job, 10 years is a respectable milestone. For a hard-touring and recording band, however, a decade is a sweat-soaked, anecdote-amassing feat. Appropriately, the corresponding anniversary gift is way better something made of tin.
Winner of 2018’s Blues Album of the Year Juno Award (their second overall), the latest and fifth release from singer/guitarist and harp player Steve Marriner, drummer Matt Sobb, and guitarist Tony D is precisely the kind of corker you’d expect from a trio of musical veterans who, between them, have boosted luminaries from Fabulous Thunderbird Kim Wilson to Buddy Guy, the late Jeff Healey to the lamented Stevie Ray Vaughan.
“What an amazing journey we’ve enjoyed together,” Marriner enthuses. “This little band that could has travelled the world and brought our music to a dozen countries. It’s hard to believe 10 years has passed already. What fun! We’ve had the privilege to visit nearly every corner of Canada and perform our tunes for so many amazing people. It’s been an honour to share this adventure with two of my best friends.”
Launched in Ottawa in 2008, MonkeyJunk —handle inspired by delta blues great Son House, who once intoned, “I’m talking about the blues, I ain’t talking ’bout no monkeyjunk!” — have consistently updated contemporary blues with a blistering mix of chops, soul, grit, humour and harmony.
In addition to the above-mentioned pair of Juno Award wins (out of three nominations), MonkeyJunk has also netted an impressive 21 Maple Blues Awards, two Canadian Independent Music Awards, and a Blues Music Award (USA) for Best New Artist, for 2009’s sizzling Tiger In Your Tank. And while that recognition is swell, all band members agree that the real thrill of playing in MonkeyJunk is just that — playing, especially live, where the music’s ecstatic sway on crowds is right there to behold.
Eric Alper – ThatEricAlper.com