Thursday, April 15, 2004

Press Release forwarded onto me by my friend Bob:

Major Blues on Tour concerts set
for Toronto and London cancelled
along with all tour dates in the U.S.

Blues On Tour, a concert featuring more than a dozen of the best blues artists performing today, and set for the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto on April 29 and the RBC Theatre at John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario on April 28 , was cancelled today (April 14).
Unfortunately ticket sales were very soft in all of the markets on the tour, and it was decided earlier today to cancel the entire tour. The tour was to have featured Ruth Brown, Ike Turner, Chris Thomas King, Bobby Rush, Howard Tate and the Muddy Waters Blues band with Duke Robillard, among many others.
Rob Bennett, v.p. of House of Blues Concerts, presenter of the two Canadian dates, said he regretted that a wonderfully conceived showcase of the blues as an historic musical art form just never found its audience.
Refunds may be obtained at the original point of purchase.

I find this really sad, especially considering how amazing Tate's live show would be (further proof can be found here). What annoys me more than anything is not that the show was cancelled, but that Tate attached himself to a tour dubbed as Blues On Tour. It just seems like a bad idea on his part, especially since he is one of the great soul singers of the 60s and 70s, but lack of sales and record label woes prevented him from becoming more popular.
Tate being on this tour reminded me of the fact that a local record store put Solomon Burke's album Don't Give Up On Me in the blues section, which also annoyed me. These artists have more of a deep soul or southern soul sound, but somehow fall under the blues tag? That's just laziness.
Tate's album Rediscovered has finally come out in the UK with bonus tracks ("Are You Lonely For Me Baby" and "I’m The Man" for those who are interested), and I'm hopeful that the British press will give Tate all of the attention he deserves. If his publicists or management put him up to this blues tour, it's high time he consider replacing them. Soul music from the classic artists may not be a huge draw, but considering the success (on critics' lists, at least) that Al Green's I Can't Stop received last year (along with more reissues due out this year), I'm sure that Green, Burke and Tate could fill a large number of venues all over the US and in Canada without ever having to use the word blues.

posted by Jonathan


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