The Maple Blues Band is back, and groovier than ever as they get set to drop another bluesy classic with their newest single, “Savona Shuffle” with the music video produced directed by 30-year Canadian Blues legend and recent Maple Blues Drummer of the Year winner, Jim Casson featuring all band members making cameo appearances.
Led by musical director and bassist, Gary Kendall, and joined by an all-star cast of proud Canadian musicians – Savona Shuffle is featured on their newly released debut album, “Let’s Go,” a 10-track instrumental record that will be sure to get listeners tapping their feet and nodding their heads throughout the album’s playlist.
Kendall describes the band’s celebration of their newly released record by saying: “The 10 tracks on our Cordova Bay Records release, Let’s Go are a group effort. The song writing credits are spread over 24 years and include past and present band members.” He then pays homage to his nine other band members who helped create the album. “The men and women I chose to surround myself within The Maple Blues Band are part of the enormous southern Ontario pool of Blues talent. Each one of them is a star and when I’m in their presence they take me to a very comfortable and extremely high level of musicianship.”
Savona Shuffle is a lively instrumental piece that embodies the musical core of The Maple Blues Band. The track begins with a driving drumbeat by 30-year Canadian Blues legend and recent Maple Blues winner, Jim Casson, and a funky bass line that immediately sets a groovy tone for the rest of the song. You can then hear lead guitarist and Maple Blues Guitarist of The Year Award winner Teddy Leonard, deliver a catchy riff to the upbeat tone of the piece.
Each instrument takes a turn to shine throughout the track, with the tenor sax, harmonica, trombone and organ, combining lively solos that add a unique creative element to the song.
The 8-time Maple Blues Award winner for Bassist of the Year and band leader, Gary Kendall, dives further into the journey of making Savona Shuffle and how it took on a new life after going back to the project years later. “Al Lerman and former band member Chris Whiteley became my co-writers for the song. At the time Al lived on Savona Ave. in the Etobicoke neighbourhood of Toronto. We pulled Savona Shuffle together there and named it after the street that house was on and it debuted at the 2007 Maple Blues Awards.”
At that time and in Kendall’s own words, he said that the song never caught fire and it fell into the back shelf of their music library and was only used again on just one occasion.
Kendall concludes with the origins of the re-birth of Savona Shuffle by saying: “In 2021 while preparing our set of instrumentals for The Calgary Blues Festival, I went back to it and realized that with a new arrangement, it could be a better song. I took my idea to Pat Carey, our tenor saxophonist and horn section arranger, gave him my thoughts for a rework and that was all it took.”