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MonkeyJunk returns to Blues at the Bow

Posted on August 17, 2023 by Ryan Dahlman

By Anna Smith
Commentator/Courier

An unusual Friday night show for the Bow Theatre, award-winning blues band MonkeyJunk promises an unforgettable experience on August 25th.
“Since 2008, the name MonkeyJunk has been synonymous with the emergence of a new kind of blues on the Canadian and international scenes,” said Jason Riddell, president of Blues at the Bow (BATBOW). “Continually pushing boundaries and blurring genre lines, the Ottawa-based trio has added an edge to their music by incorporating swampy blues & rock with thoughtful and intelligent lyrics.”

MonkeyJunk consists of Tony D on lead guitar, Steve Marriner on lead vocals, baritone guitar, and harmonica, and Matt Sobb on drums. The band has released 5 full length albums and are poised to release new music in 2023; just in time to celebrate 15 years as a band, explained Riddell.

“As one of the hardest working bands on the scene today, these Canadian ambassadors of blues/rock are constantly working to up their game in terms of songwriting and musicianship, on record and especially live,” said Riddell. “They’ve taken home 23 Maple Blues Awards, 2 Indy Awards, 1 USA Blues Music Award, and 2 Juno Awards.”

This isn’t the first time that MonkeyJunk has graced the BATBOW stage, and the committee is excited to have them back.

“This will be the 4th time MonkeyJunk has played the Bow. Coincidentally, it is their 15th anniversary tour. BATBOW has been part of their entire career and they always leave

the audience wanting more,” said Riddell. 

“We knew that we wanted MonkeyJunk back for our 30th season when we started

planning in 2021,” said Riddell. “The only hard part was finding a date that worked for everyone involved. All the members of the band work with other artists making them a busy bunch of dudes. It just worked out that they are in the province playing the Edmonton

International Blues Fest so we were able to grab them. That’s why this is a non typical

Friday night show.”

Over the years, BATBOW has become a destination for blues bands to perform at when in the province, and the committee is proud to consider MonkeyJunk friends after all this time. They’re thrilled to have them back for their 30th season.

With the first show of the season come and gone, and less than two weeks out from this one, this season has been going great, said Riddell, who added that music enthusiasts should save October 28th for Jack Semple, and Dec 2nd for the final show of the year before the 2024 portion begins.

Riddell adds that MonkeyJunk is a great choice for anyone looking to dip their toes into the blues genre for the first time.

“MonkeyJunk is a very modern and upbeat Blues-rock band,” said Riddell. “I personally plan on burning a few hundred calories on the dance floor.”

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