The Slidewinder Blues Band (Featuring Mike McKenna)
The Slidewinder Blues Band is a group of experienced and passionate blues musicians who are currently hosting regular events playing the music of McKenna – Mendelson Mainline featuring songs from Mainline and the classic STINK album. They are also featuring well known Toronto artists as guests at these events such as George Olliver, Steven Ambrose and Cathy Young to name a few. The band also plays blues classics from great bluesmen like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, as well as many of Mike’s original songs, and songs from the original Slidewinder band and Diamondback .
Mike Mckenna is an iconic and legendary blues guitarist who began playing professionally in the early 1960s in Yorkville where he formed the group Luke and The Apostles. A newspaper ad put Mike in touch with Joe Mendelson, leading to the formation of McKenna Mendelson Mainline. (later known as Mainline) The Mainline album Stink (recorded in 1969 in the UK) has become a Canadian classic. Mike has also played with The Ugly Ducklings, the Downchild Blues Band, Diamondback, the original Slidewinder band and is still playing and performing occasionally with Luke and the Apostles. In October of 2013 Mike was honored to be inducted into the prestigious Canada South Blues Society’s Hall of Fame.
Tom is a multi-talented blues guitarist/vocalist and harmonica player who grew up influenced by Albert King, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and a multitude of other blues greats. Tom started his musical career playing with the Dutch Mason Blues Band where he honed his skills. He has played with various blues bands throughout the years and is currently playing and hosting blues events with other great players.
Hap is an extraordinarily versatile bass player with roots in the blues, jazz and funk and is a veteran of bands like Rough Trade, Audiomaster, Flying Debris, Zombo Zombo, the Son Roberts Band, Luke and Jesse, Gamma Gamma, and many more. He has worked with Larry Harvey, Mark Sepic, Chris Hall, Leanne Haze, Robert Priest, Wayne St. John, Rebecca Jenkins, Paul Saunders, Doc Maclean, Neil Chapman, Ron Hedland, Terry Logan, and Amanda Marshall.
Rob is the rock solid drummer behind the Slidewinder Blues Band. Rob started performing in Yorkville in the mid 60’s playing the popular rock songs of that era but grew more and more involved with the blues as his career progressed. He has been part of the rhythm section of several excellent blues bands over the years, including the St. Petersburg Blues Band and more recently played with Luke and the Apostles for 2 years and participated in celebrating the band’s landmark 50th Anniversary. Rob also backed up Mike when he was inducted into the Canada South Blues Society for the main performance of that event.