BENTROOTS was a project born out of a Blue Monday Revue at the legendary Chick ‘N Deli in Toronto, where it became the house band hosting weekly guest performers, such as Chuck Jackson of Downchild Blues Band, Al Lerman of Fathead, bluesman Johnny Wright and the soulful Errol Fisher, to name a few.
BENTROOTS has evolved into a permanent band of impassioned and pedigreed musicians (see line-up below), whose sole purpose is to play every song as though it was their last, challenging each other to higher heights, and exploring familiar and unknown realms. The result is a mix of swampy bluesy funky jazzy musical magic.
Stoked by the chemistry of some of his favourite players and a burning desire to record some of his own original songs (of which there are hundreds), singer/songwriter/guitarist Nicholas Balkou took it to the next level producing the first BENTROOTS cd, Tales Of A Swamp King in 2009 – a collection of N’Awlins flavoured tunes guar-an-teed to put a smile on your face, get your hips a movin’ and toes a tappin’.
Fresh Smoke, the 2nd independent cd release of BENTROOTS, dropped in May, 2012 and is an eclectic blend of soulful, blues and jazz-inspired ballads and playful romps.
The 3rd independent CD release of BENTROOTS? Welcome To Club Bluenote, was released on May 7, 2013 is an homage to the club which came to be known as Toronto’s “Home of Rhythm and Blues”?
BENTROOTS can be found every Monday night at Toronto bar Relish, where they play their brand of hip-shakin’ Louisiana-style music for an enthusiastic multi-generational crowd.
Nicholas Balkou - Vocals, Guitar, Songwriting
Robert Newman - Bass
Michael Fonfara - Piano, organ, keyboard
Ed Roth - keyboard, Accordion
Duncan McBain - Drums
Debut album released 2009: Tales of a Swamp King.
2nd CD release 2012: Fresh Smoke.
3rd CD Release May 2013: Welcome To Club Bluenote
Don't Wake It Up can be heard on Galaxie Radio Blues Channel
Regular Feature on my Show
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Since the release of the Bent Roots’ CD, Tales of the Swamp King, it has become a regular feature on...Since the release of the Bent Roots’ CD, Tales of the Swamp King, it has become a regular feature on my show. The songs are distinctive with excellent structured, coloured with insightful and sometime humourous lyrics. The musicianship is strong, tight and professional, without fault. This album is guaranteed to get you and your partner out of your seats and shufflin’ across the dance floor.
...Bruce E Smith (aka M R Blues) Host of BluesDrive, CKDU 88.1FM Halifax NS
Endured the Hard Road
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“Nicholas Balkou has clearly endured the hard road of a broken heart, and travelled over it to pull ...“Nicholas Balkou has clearly endured the hard road of a broken heart, and travelled over it to pull the pieces together again and again. His music finds a way to heal all wounds - and that is the essential heart of his blues.”
All N'Awlin style originals plus selection of covers.
There are no upcoming dates at this time.