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Blues for Food 2022 at the Water Tower Inn Pub

Blues for Food 2022 at the Water Tower Inn Pub

Was a success

SAULT STE MARIE, ONTARIO ~~~~   December 15, 20222 (LSNews)  This year , 2022 felt awesome being able to successfully organize and execute 2 fantastic evenings of great local musicians at the Water Tower Inn Pub who once again were great in paying for the house bands while the Sault Blues Society paid the extra guests. We had a small virtual Blues for Food in December of 2020 with the help of 705 Live and Mike Blair. We had a few donations online but nothing compared to this year’s extremely successful event!! Many thanks to the Water Tower Inn for covering the costs of the house bands.

In previous years when Rusty McCarthy lived in the Soo he planned and organized Blues for Food for 10 years with support from the Sault Blues Society. Rusty chose the bands, musicians and was the band leader, and picked the charitable organizations to donate to, either the Soup Kitchen or St. Vincent Place. This year the Sault Blues Society decided to continue with those 2 worthy causes and split the donations 50/50 between them.

There was almost a full house each night in the Water Tower Inn Pub which is about 160 over the course of each evening’s performances. That helped the Sault Blues Society collect $2,050.00 in cash both at the door and via e-transfers and approximately $5,000.00 worth of non-perishable food items for the Soup Kitchen and St. Vincent Place which are definitely in need of support, especially at this time of year and with the current economic times. There were several groups, including one of 16 blues fans that came at 6pm for dinner and stayed until closing thoroughly enjoying the entire evening!!

Friday night’s band leader was Jay Case who was responsible for lining up the house band and all the guest musicians. Jay had Frank Deresti and Chris Johns join the house band (sax player Josh Norling who was scheduled to play was unable to attend with a pinched nerve in his neck). Friday night’s guest musicians were Val Powley, Brandon Ruch, Catherine Taddo, Bill Priddle, Shirley Kominos and Liam Seymore.

Saturday night’s band leader was Paul DellaVedova who was responsible for lining up the house band and all the great musicians. Paul had Gerry Busa and Ric Datson join the house band. Saturday night’s guest musicians were Al Davis, Colin Nelson, Mike Yurich, Mike McDonald, Keith Hill, Steve Francis, Mark Mitzi and Rick DellaVedova.

In my opinion the musicians although paid they put in many more hours than just the time you see them on stage to entertain those in attendance at any live music presentation. When we do any fundraiser the venue in this case the Water Tower Inn paid the house bands while the Sault Blues Society paid for the musical guests with all donations collected going to whatever charitable organization we are supporting.

The Sault Blues Society was founded in March 2010 by Jim Traveson (first President) and Rusty McCarthy (first Vice President). At that time the local band 5ive Below Zero comprised of members Al Davis, Pete Cooper, Ty Souliere and Brien Proulx volunteered to do a show for the Sault Blues Society with all the proceeds going directly to the Sault Blues Society establishing our bank account. Since that time, we have presented 31 shows of award-winning acts, both Canadian and International.

During COVID the Sault Blues Society produced and present a virtual miniseries of 5 blues shows with the help of Shaw Spotlight and Joe DellaSavia of Joe’s Garage back in January of 2021. Those shows are available on our YouTube channel Sault Blues Society also presented a fine group of 12 local musicians at the Rock Star Bar on April 2nd where we raised almost $5,000.00 at Blues for the Ukraine through the Canadian Red Cross. The Sault Blues Society also present Friday Night Blues on Stage 2 as part of Rotaryfest 2022 where we presented 4 local bands. Our future plans include presenting a show as part of Bon Soo 2023 in February with details hopefully available by the end of December 2022. There are also a couple of other possibilities in 2023, but with the increased costs involved with travel, accommodations, food etc. there are increased costs to bring those award-winning acts to the Soo, especially if they are not routing through the Soo to a destination either east, west, or south of us.

Blues for Food 2022
In photo on left left wearing the toque is Nat Cicchelli. Executive Director of St. Vincent Place.

The one on the right is Ron Sim, General Manager of the Soup Kitchen Community Centre.
You can help support the Sault Blues Society by purchasing the yearly $25.00 membership which helps us with operating costs and the ability to continue presenting award winning acts as we have successfully done over the past 12 years. Members are notified of upcoming acts before the general public. They are also first in line to reserve VIP tables at shows and have the opportunity to meet and socialize with other like-minded blues fans. More info at

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