Enjoy the Music…Help The Less Fortunate This Christmas
Matchstick Mike (CSAB Royaltones) and Travis Furlong (Galmour Puss Blues Band) will be traveling the Maritimes sharing their music and stories and gathering donations to provide to local food banks over the holiday season. Blues for Food, the brainchild of Matchstick Mike who was looking to make a difference this holiday season, found an ally in Travis Furlong, who was up for the challenge. The tour includes 17 shows over 16 days across the Maritimes. The public has been encouraged to come out and enjoy the music, as well as, to provide a donation at the show, which will go directly to support the food banks in the local area. The tour will go from November 24th until December 10th, 2017.
“As an artist we have a social responsibility to give back to the community. It is important as an artist to give support to the community that supports my music and career. It the least that I can do. The poverty levels are disheartening in the Maritimes…I wanted to do something to help out. I hope that people get out to support our initiative.”
Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival CBC Galaxie Rising Star ‘06 and Toronto Blues Society’s ‘06 Best New Blues Artist Runner Up, Matchstick Mike Bidlake has developed a sound all his own from the years of searching and honing his craft. Matchstick has been both writing and performing regularly in the region, as well as performing across Canada and Europe. He has been quite busy, with 119 performances scheduled in 2017 alone. Mike has lead his blues band, The Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys for 13 years and most recently Mike has joined forces with 2 other veteran Maritime players to form a pure Rockabilly band, the Royaltones. Mike’s Sophomore record,“ Forever and a Day ” is receiving regular airplay with blues stations across the country, Europe and Brazil.
Travis Furlong is a well known name on the Canadian Blues circuit. After 10 years playing blues around the local New Brunswick scene he met four other musicians and would form Glamour Puss Blues Band. For the next 13 years, Travis and Glamour Puss recorded 5 full length Cd’s, toured Canada 15 times coast to coast, and performed at various other venues internationally. For the past 10 years, Travis has played a small amount of gigs with Glamour Puss. But mostly keeps busy playing solo or in his duo Furlong & Smith.
Poverty rates in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and PEI rank below the national average and are among the lowest in Canada. One in five children in New Brunswick lives in poverty. This translates to 28,510 or approximately 21% of children in the province. Child and single mother poverty is particularly pervasive. The city of Saint John is host to the highest child poverty rate of Canada’s larger urban area. (http://www.cwp-csp.ca/resources/resources/new-brunswick-poverty-progress-profile-2016).
Saint John’s Market Square Atrium will host the tour launch on November 24, 2017, at noon and will continue to provide shows around the Maritimes. They will be appearing at Grimross Brewery in Fredericton on Tuesday, November 28th. The duo encourage the public to participate by donating non-perishable food items, mitts/hats or toys.
Find out more about the event on their Facebook Events Page: https://www.facebook.com/events/209717082902675/
More About The Musicians
Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival CBC Galaxie Rising Star ‘06 and Toronto Blues Society’s ‘06 Best New Blues Artist Runner Up, Matchstick Mike Bidlake has developed a sound all his own from the years of searching and honing his craft into a show that can be as quiet as a church mouse one minute to having the whole crowd energetically dancing the next. Having been compared to a genetic freak meld of Jimmie Vaughn and Freddy King, Mike’s traditional Texas Blues style is infused with a pile of energy and will leave you with warm memories and sore dancing feet the morning after a show.
Having been playing roots-based music for 41 years, since the age of 7 when his father introduced him to the mandolin, Bluegrass, country, along with early rock and roll were staples in the family household. Guitar and popular music were soon to follow for several years until the early 90’s when Mike discovered traditional Delta Blues as interpreted by Poor Charlie Robertson. “Having met Charlie and his wife Beverly, was such a wonderful experience …… hearing Charlie connected a few missing dots, stylistically for me. It was those dots that I had been looking for, the ones that gave me chills, man!”. Upon hearing of Charlie’s relationship with Son House, and how he learned the blues completely altered the path of Mike’s life. “I instantly knew what I was supposed to be doing “. That was in 1993, and since then Mike has immersed himself in the genre.
Red House by Got Blues with Matchstick Mike Bidlake
Matchstick has been working his craft both writing and performing regularly in the region, as well as performing across Canada and Europe bringing his own brand of upbeat, dance-inspiring music with 119 performances scheduled in 2017 alone. Mike has lead his blues band, The Chain Smokin’ Alter Boys for 13 years and most recently Mike has joined forces with 2 other veteran Maritime players to form a pure Rockabilly band, the Royaltones. Mike’s Sophomore record,“ Forever and a Day ” is receiving regular airplay with blues stations across the country, Europe and Brazil.
Since returning from a Canadian Forces Show Tour which took Matchstick to Afghanistan to play for our UN troops, Mike has had several trips to Southern Ontario building a substantial following and is booking an Ontario Tour in early 2018 to accompany the release of his 4th collection of work entitled “ I Don’t Get Bit by the Same Dog Twice “ which is currently in production. Mike will be also fronting the Royaltones on a Cross Canada Tour starting in June, 2018 and also anticipates that in 2018, he will be back in Europe, to support the new record.
Over the years, Matchstick Mike has had the opportunity to open or jam with the likes of “Steady Rollin” Bob Margolin (Muddy Water’s Band), Room Full of Blues, North Mississippi All-Stars, Zack Harmon, Toni-Lynn Washington, Matt Guitar Murphy, Candye Kane, Doc MacLean, Big Dave McLean, Keith Hallett, Jack Dekeyser, Sam Moon, Joe Murphy, Carter Chaplin, Brad Conrad, Shirley Jackson, John Campbell-John, Carson Downy, Brant Parkins, Bill Dowey and the Blues Devils, Ronnie Burk and Little Voodoo as well as numerous rock and country acts such as Dr. Hook, Wide Mouth Mason and the Cruzeros.
On March 12, 1984 two things happened to 17 year old Travis Furlong. He quit school and heard the blues for the first time by artists’ BB King and Stevie Ray Vaughan. His path was forever changed. He would begin a never-ending pursuit of blues music and the uncompromising life of a blues musician.
After 10 years playing blues around the local New Brunswick scene he met 4 other musicians that he would form Glamour Puss Blues Band with. For the next 13 years Travis and Glamour Puss recorded 5 full length Cd’s, toured Canada 15 times coast to coast, as well as Vancouver Island, Gabriola Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories. Also 3 European tours of France, Belgium, Holland and St Pierre et Miquelon. And also various U.S dates such as; N.Y City at the Met Life Building, Various venues on Beal Street in Memphis, and a weekly outdoor festival in Souderton, Pennsylvania that had an audience of over 4000. Although the biggest audience they ever had was 1.3 million as they accepted their first East Coast Music Award in 1998 when it was televised coast to coast. Glamour Puss went on to win a total of 4 ECMA awards over the years. Glamour Puss still holds the record for a band with the most ECMA Blues Artist Of The Year awards. And were nominated for many Maple Blues Awards by the Toronto Blues Society. Travis was also Real Blues magazine’s Slide Guitarist Of The Year in 2000.
Travis Furlong – “Pride and Joy”
Over the years on the road Travis got to jam with and glean blues wisdom from some of the greats of blues history such as; Honey Boy Edwards, Little Milton, Sean Costello, Lonnie Brooks and sons Ronnie and Wayne, Johnnie Johnson, Floyd Dixon, Shemekia Copeland, Taj Mahall, John Hammond Jr, George Thorogood, Susan Tedeschi, Anna Popovic, The Holmes Brothers, Larry Taylor of Canned Heat, Robert Belfour, Donnie Walsh (Mr Downchild), Jeff Healey, Colin James, Big Dave MacLean, Breen Laboeuf, David Gogo, Dawn Tyler Watson, Jack De Keyzer, Bob Walsh, Steve Hill, John Campbeljohn, Matt Minglewood, Garret Mason, Keith Hallett, Brent ” Buck’ Tingley, The Prime Minister of the Blues, Mr. Dutchie Mason and the King of the Blues Mr. BB King. Travis has also had the opportunity to play with few jazz artists such as Les Paul and John Scofield.
For the past 10 years Travis has played a small amount of gigs with Glamour Puss. But mostly keeps busy playing solo or in his duo Furlong & Smith. Their acoustic Cd was nominated for Blues Recording of The Year in 2017. Travis also has had a passion for teaching guitar for over 26 years and continues to spread the gospel of the blues to as many people in as many places as possible.
Participating Food Banks
|Food Bank||Contact||Phone No.||Address|
|Food Basket||David McCready||506.652.2707||235 Union St. Saint John, NB|
|KV Food Basket||506.847.5854||346 Hampton Rd. Quispamsis, NB|
|St. Andrew’s Open Door||506.921.0280||St. Andrew’s, NB|
|Salvation Army||506.433.3302||Sussex, NB|
|Greener Village||Alex Boydfirstname.lastname@example.org||Fredericton, NB|
|Miramichi Food Bank||Jean Matchett||506.622.1838||163 Henry Street, New Castle|
|Volunteers Centre||Michel Godin||506.549.5955||Bathurst, NB|
|Valley Food Bank||Sandra Olmstead||506.328.4417||884 Main St. Woodstock, NB|
|Sackville Food Bank||506.536.4164||Sackville, NB|
|Amherst Food Bank||Charlotte Ross||902.667.2415||5 King St. Amherst, NS|
|Moncton Harvest House||506.855.0626||182 High St. Moncton, NB|
|Halifax Feed Nova Scotia||902.457.1776||Halifax, NS|
|St. John’s Anglican Church||902.634.4994||Lunenburg, NS|
|Colchester Food Bank||902.893.4566||Truro, NS|
|Summerside Food Bank||902.888.3870||Summerside, PE|
|Charlottetown Food Bank||902.892.2281||Charlottetown, PE|