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John Rutherford, blues guitarist & singer/songwriter

23 Aug Posted by in Schedule | Comments
John Rutherford, blues guitarist & singer/songwriter

Growing up in Toronto during the 1960’s and 70’s John Rutherford first laid hands on a guitar at age 10, lessons began a few years later and at 16 he told his guitar teacher he wanted to learn to play some of the popular rock songs of the day. Rutherford was told “if you want to play rock ’n’ roll you’ll have to learn the blues”. Lessons were spent digging into classic blues guitar recordings, studying various styles and approaches to blues guitar as well as the form and feel of the music. Rutherford took his homework seriously frequenting Sam the Record Man on Yonge Street to purchase whatever blues album they had been working on. This process spawned a passion for both the sound of the blues, but also a sprawling record collection. Rutherford’s blues library and his earliest influences began with works by Buddy Guy, Taj Mahal, Johnny Winter, Hubert Sumlin, T-Bone Walker, Otis Rush, Freddie, Albert and BB King. Rutherford never learned those rock songs of the day, he stuck with the blues. Based in Calgary since the early 80’s John Rutherford has become an integral part of the city’s music community. Finding his way onto the scene during the hey-day of the King Edward Hotel’s blues era, It was there Rutherford further learned the music while in the midst of some of the very same blues heros he studied as a teenager.

Now an accomplished guitarist and a seminal figure on the Canadian blues scene Rutherford continues to explore, examine, discover and create. His recent recording Midnight Microphone (released April 2023) recalls some of the seminal influences and impressions that have shaped his sound and songwriting. Produced by Tim Williams the recording has captured the ears of the blues world and has been riding blues and roots radio charts for several months including reaching #1 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Canada Album Chart.

The concert will highlight original material from John Rutherford’s new recording Midnight Microphone and songs from his 2010 release Echo Broadcast. With mythical and historical blues references woven within his stories, songs and award winning guitar sound Rutherford creates a powerful and poetic homage to the blues.