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Steve Strongman and local guests rock holiday show

The Juno award-winning Hamilton musician is a founding board member of the newly formed Escarpment Blues Society that will promote and support local blues and roots music.

What an evening of great music Steve Strongman delivered at his 12th annual holiday party. The Dec. 2 show, a great kickoff to the festive season, was held at the beautifully renovated Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre, featuring some of the best acoustic treatments you’ll find anywhere.

The show kicked off with Hamilton native Tomi Swick taking the stage. This veteran musician has garnered multiple awards including a Juno and his opening set showed why he’s won so many awards.

Tomi Swick opened the Steve Strongman holiday show. All photos: Ken Wallis

Then it was time for the Steve Strongman Band to get it going. The Juno award-winning Strongman was absolutely on fire and had the audience rockin’ with the blues. He reached back in time to pull out some of his great tunes that have become his trademark. The song “Honey” got the joint jumpin’.

Strongman jumped off the stage and walked through the crowd playing his guitar.   

Steve Strongman rocked the Ancaster Memorial Arts Centre. All photos: Ken Wallis

Then the party really got started. Strongman called up the iconic Harrison Kennedy. If there was ever a reflection of Hamilton, Kennedy is IT!  He’s the real deal. After several songs, Strongman asked Kennedy to sing “Georgia On My Mind” and Kennedy’s rousing rendition had the audience enthralled. 

Hamilton blues icon Harrison Kennedy enthralled the audience.

Then the audience buckled up as Dave Rave mesmerized the audience with his high-octane performance. It was like a ruckus ride in a time machine back to the days when Teenage Head rocked the city.

Dave Rave delivered a high-octane performance.

For the finale, all the musicians stepped forward to jam together with high energy music. It was virtually historic as Kennedy let loose with “Give Me Just A Little More Time.” The audience was thrilled!

The Steve Strongman Band and guests concluded a memorable show.

Just before the finale, Strongman thanked the audience for being there and then unveiled the beginning of a brand-new music incentive, the Escarpment Blues Society.

The goal of the Escarpment Blues Society is to strengthen awareness and appreciation of blues and roots music while at the same time putting the emphasis on growth. 

The Escarpment Blues Society’s mission is to:

  • Promote blues & roots music through multiple avenues including live performances, artist support, education with blues in the schools programs and highlighting recordings;  
  • Support local, national and international blues and roots artists for the advancement of their craft in the Niagara Escarpment area. This applies to established blues and roots artists as well as new artists;  
  • Support local venues that feature blues and roots music; 
  • Engage in activities that will garner funds for operational needs;
  • Raise community awareness for blues and roots music, through through social media, mainstream media, digital and print media; 
  • Become an affiliate of the Blues Foundation and help raise funds for artists to participate in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

The society features a solid board membership of local music fans who have been involved in the music scene for many years in the Hamilton area. Strongman is just one of the esteemed board members.

"I’m thrilled to have played a role in the development of the Escarpment Blues Society,” he said.

“Over the years I have formed deep relationships with so many wonderful music lovers that share a passion for supporting and promoting blues and roots music, and the people that create it. It was a very organic process for all of us to get together with the same goals in mind. I see great things happening in the region and beyond for the Escarpment Blues Society, and it’s a true pleasure to be a part of it."

The society intends to promote activities in the area of the Escarpment and the surrounding locales. The official launch will take place May 28, featuring the Escarpment Blues All Star Band and a large lineup of guest stars.  

Membership prices have been reduced prior to the launch and are available through the website at and you can join the Facebook group by clicking on the link on the webpage.  There is also a link to join a mailing list to get up-to-date music information.

The future of music has arrived!