To continue to celebrate their JUNO-Award win for their Something I've Done and their latest Live At The Toronto Jazz Festival albums, The Legendary Downchild Blues Band (web link) have announced The Longest 50th Anniversary Tour Ever, bringing their iconic sound and timeless hits to theatres and festivals in Canada and the U.S.

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 in 1969. Named after a Sonny Boy Williamson II song, Downchild's story begins when Donnie 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 Read, John Lee Hooker 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 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.” Downchild came to international prominence as the inspiration for Hollywood stars Dan Aykroyd and the late John Belushi’s hit 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.

Downchild include some of the most well-respected musicians in the country, who have performed together for over 25 years. Guitarist, harmonica player, leader and co-founder of the band, DONNIE "Mr. Downchild" WALSH, lead singer and harmonica player CHUCK JACKSON, PAT CAREY on tenor sax, MIKE FITZPATRICK on drums, GARY KENDALL on bass, and TYLER YAREMA on keyboards.

Downchild's 50th Anniversary Live At The Toronto Jazz Festival release is getting rave reviews from Australia to Holland, the UK., Canada and the U.S., where the album made its debut at # 11 on the respected Living Blues Charts in August.

The Longest 50th Anniversary Tour is dedicated to the band's long-time keyboard player, Michael Fonfara (Lou Reed), who pass away earlier this year.

Downchild released their acclaimed 50th Anniversary Live At The Toronto Jazz Festival album, featuring special guests Dan Aykroyd, Paul Shaffer, David Wilcox, Kenny Neal, Gene Taylor and Erja Lyytinen including their first vinyl release in over 30 years.

Downchild is a Canadian blues institution with an international reputation. They have shared the stage with blues icons B.B. King, Buddy Guy and John Lee Hooker to name a few and have performed around the world, leaving fans thoroughly entertained wherever they go.

Their performance in Kingston is scheduled for 7:30 pm on November 10 at Kingston Grand Theatre, presented by Grand OnStage. web link

In Kingston, they'll be joined by Cape Breton's Grammy-winning fiddler, Natalie MacMaster, as well as Ottawa's Jeff Rogers who'll be celebrating the release of his new album, Dream Job. Posted: Nov 1, 2023