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Back from Tour: Tony D

Blues ambassador Tony D talks about his tour and why it’s good to be back teaching.

Ottawa’s own Tony D has just gotten back from a whirlwind tour of Canada.

“It’s really amazing, all of this came from a weekly gig at Irene’s Pub on Sunday night.”  Tony is talking about the Cinderella story that is MonkeyJunk, an Ottawa based blues band that started less than 3 years ago and is making a huge splash in the blues world.

Of course, Cinderella didn’t have super-seasoned-stage-veterans Steven Marriner and Matt Sobb.  These two, along with Tony form the power house trio that caught the attention of judges along the way to the International Blues Challenge held in Memphis Tennessee where the band took third prize in 2009.

The real prize has been their first album ‘Tiger in your Tank.’  Not only is the band working off of their third pressing of this fast selling disc, but it has caught a number of awards along the way including:

  • 5 Maple Blues Awards: Entertainer of the Year, Electric Act of the Year, Guitarist of the Year (Tony D), Male Vocalist of the Year (Steve Marriner), and Harmonica Player of the Year (Steve Marriner),
  • Memphis Blues Award (Formerly the WC Handy awards): 2010 Best New Artist
  • Canadian Independent Music: Best Blues Band (Beating Colin James!)

Can we expect more from Monkeyjunk this year?  “Most certainly,” answered Tony.

Speaking of new Albums, expect an all instrumental recording from Tony D sometime in 2011.  Word on the street is that it will feature collaborations with a lot of other Ottawa based musicians including fellow OFC sax teacher Zeek Gross.

When asked about the recent purple patch he quipped, “It only took me 30 years to become a (best) new artist.  It’s nice though, to be back teaching.  I learn a lot from my students; teaching totally helps my live playing.  [The students] force me to learn new things and a lot of it winds up on stage with me.”

Tony D teaches at the Ottawa Folklore Centre School of Music and still has a few spots open in his schedule.

Monkey Junk

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