Juno-nominated Canadian blues legend Big Dave McLean had been at the Edmonton Blues Festival twice (2000 and 2012) …We are stoked to have him as our “Artist at Large” for the 20 th anniversary edition of the festival hot on the heels of his Maple Blues Award as “Acoustic Artist of the Year” this past January.
McLean is often viewed as an unsung hero of Canadian blues and an inspiration to younger generations of musicians such as Colin James and Wide Mouth Mason. Ever since getting his start with an impromptu guitar lesson from John Hammond at the 1969 Mariposa Folk Festival, this Yorkton-born, Winnipeg-based artist has been devoted to his craft, touring relentlessly through Canada’s blues bars, folk clubs and folk and blues festivals.
Along the way, there have been career highs: opening for, and hanging with, his idol, Muddy Waters; earning two WCMAs, a Prairie Music Award, a Whisky Award and countless Maple Blues honours – including the Blues with Feeling (lifetime achievement) Award; sharing a Juno for his contribution to CBC’s Saturday Night Blues Vol. 1 album; and, most recently, garnering his 3 rd and 4th career Juno nod for his last 2 albums, “Faded but not Gone” and “Better The Devil You Know”. Billboard’s Larry LeBlanc once wrote that Dave “has done more to shape western Canada’s blues scene than perhaps any other artist.”
Keep your eyes peeled festival weekend, you never know where Dave may be!