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Wednesday
Mar012017

Southern Supper with Danny Marks- May, 18 2017

Danny Marks will be my musical guest, for this Southern Supper, and many of you already know, his unforgettable voice, as your host, on BLUZ.FM, on Saturday nights, from 8:00-12:00, on JAZZ.FM91.  If you have not listened to his show, then, here is the link, so you can listen to him, live:    http://www.jazz.fm 

Danny is an iconic rocker, and a pillar in the local, Toronto blues/music scene.  In 2006, he received the 'Blues with a Feeling Award', for lifetime achievment in music and broadcast.  

It will be a treat, to have him, here, for Southern Supper.  If you haven't caught one of his shows, you are in for a real treat.  Danny always has stories to tell, and never disappoints, as an entertainer.   

Bio:  'This iconic rocker's roots go back to the sixties as a founding member of Capitol Records' group, Edward Bear. After a span as a journey man session musician throughout the seventies, Danny settled in to the club scene, establishing a cult following as a genre bender in music and humor.

A house band gig at Toronto's famed Albert's Hall led him to host his own nation-wide TV show, Stormy Monday. Through the eighties, Danny starred in CBC radio's hit series the Hum Line.

Most recently, Danny Marks recorded two original music albums, Guitarchaeology and True, before paying tribute to Toronto's R&B roots with Big Town Boy in 2005.

Danny's in his thirteenth year as the radio host of JAZZ.FM91's Saturday night blues show, bluz.fm.

As a child, young Danny would lock himself in his room with a stack of 45's, an old Seabreeze record player, and a fantasy of having his own radio show. More than a few years later this pre-pubescent propensity paid off.

Danny Marks in the 60s with Edward Bear

The complete story of The Bear has been told many times, and we won’t go into it in detail here, suffice to say, by the time they were signed by Capitol Records A&R boss Paul White, there were three Bears left, and the boys became a favorite band in Canada topping the charts with hit singles like "You Me and Mexico" and breaking sales records with their best -selling debut album "Bearings".

By the age of 21 Danny had reached the heights of rock in Canada, but he was once again a man in search of a band. There weren't many opportunities at that level in the his native land, so he flew to California, Hollywood to be exact, where fellow ex-Canuk Neil Merryweather had a band also on Capitol records. The group was "Mama Lion." After a brief spin with them, Danny returned home where he was courted by Rick James. Rick really wanted me in his new band, he already had a great guitarist in Danny Weiss but I guess he wanted to really show off and have both of us. Anyway, Ricky was playing me a tape of his tunes and at the end of it there was another band and I just said "Wow, what’s that ?" It turned out to be the demo tape of Jericho, a band made up of the cream of Toronto musicians, managed by Albert Grossman. A few phone calls later, Danny was a member of that band, and there he stayed for the next year or so, toughing it out in the bars and on the road, no longer at the top of the charts, more like in the back of the van. It’s what musicians call paying your dues. "By that time all the personnel had moved on and eventually so did I. Ricky James was only too happy to take me in and so I went with him. We all know he’s a supremely talented guy, but you know those evil stories about him? They're all true!" Danny fled the enclave of James and throughout the mid-seventies played all kinds of music in all kinds of bands, learning about the music biz from the bottom up to.....well, just above the bottom. Eventually though Danny began to rise again, and went out on tour as a "hired gun", a sideman to famed Canadian songwriters like Ken Tobias and Bill Amesbury, eventually winding up with talented singer songwriter Malcolm Tomlinson, recording two great albums on A&M records and touring with the Average White Band. Being a star sideman was very big in the seventies, and Danny went on to back up some of the best: Ronnie Hawkins and Rita Coolidge, Bo Diddley, Stephen Stills, Craig Russel , even Tiny Tim. As a new decade was dawning, a a new attitude was coming over music, dinosaur bands were out, punk minimalism was in, short hair was cool, retro was hot, and Danny Marks was ready to make the move out of the shadows and into the light.

Maybe it was the old drama school training kicking in, or maybe it was just that more people noticed the singer, but as the seventies faded, Danny became more comfortable on the microphone, and began hosting the Saturday afternoon jams at Toronto’s famed Hotel Isabella. There were no other open stages in town, and the Saturday afternoon showcase garnered Danny his first press since the Bear days. Thanks to rock impresario Joe Fried, Danny also hosted his first cable TV program, truly a harbinger of shows to come. After a decade spent on the road in Canada and the U.S. Danny was happy to stay close to home and work all the local bars in the booming 80’s.

And work he did, soon becoming the leader of the number one bar band on the hometown circuit. When you're working 53 weeks a year a decade can pass in no time, and that’s just what happened, until one day bassist, Alec Fraser, pointed out that nobody gets anywhere being a bar band, except maybe more bar gigs, and a chance for a liver transplant. With these sobering words, Danny set his sights on other goals, and as fate would have it, he was about to meet his mentor.

One day, I guess it was in ’87, I got a phone call from a man who said his name was David Malahoff ,and he'd like to talk to me about being a guest on CBC Radio’s Basic Black. Just the sound of that name and I knew something very special was about to happen. One appearance on the show led to more, and soon I had my own radio series, Under the Covers, and Duets, and began hosting specials and guesting on other shows on the network, Radio Noon, Ben Merghui Live, and others. It was David who conceived of the Humline and many of Basic Black’s finest creative moments, he’s a deep thinker.

Around that same time I met David Bailey, then a producer at Rogers Cable TV, we became good friends and together we came up with the idea for "Stormy Monday."

Stormy Monday ran for seven years across Canada, in 2003, the Hum Line entered its seventh season on CBC radio nationally.

"If not for the legal complications we'd still be on cable. It’s time we took the show to real TV. And we will" says Danny. 

Danny Marks in the 90s

By the Nineties, Danny is just hitting his stride as a guitarist, vocalist and host, as a triple threat he’s formidable, if you haven't seen his sense of humor in a live situation you'll never know what it’s like to see a man who can pull on your heart strings one moment, and slay you with a one liner the next. And he is deadly on the mic. Danny's not one to be type cast. "Mostly, for now I've backed off on the bar work. Sure I miss the social life but, I need to concentrate on other things."

Some of those other things include radio and TV jingles, where Danny’s voice and guitar are in big demand, and, a new album needs to be written , recorded, and released. Guitarchaeology spent one whole year on the Top Ten on Sam the Record Man’s Indie chart. With the next album, Danny takes aim at the mainstream, and why not, in the pre millennium, it’s all alternative. See you later. 

Our special menu for this evening will be....

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes with Gravy

Green Beans cooked with smokey bacon and red potatoes

Buttermilk Biscuits

Pecan Pie

Sweet Iced Tea

Cafe du Monde Chicory & Coffee

(I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION, AT THE TIME OF THIS POSTING, ON MARCH 1ST, THAT MISSISSIPPI QUEEN FOODS IS NOT YET LICENSED.  HOWEVER, THE LIQUOR LICENSE APPLICATION HAS BEEN SUBMITTED, AND IS IN PROCESS.  IT IS VERY LIKELY, WE WILL BE LICENSED, IN TIME FOR THIS SHOW.  PLEASE NOTE REBEL'S ROCK IRISH PUB IS OFFERING 15% OFF DRINKS, EITHER BEFORE, OR AFTER EACH SOUTHERN SUPPER, AT MISSISSIPPI QUEEN FOODS).

Item:  DANNY

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