Jimmy Bowskill
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Jimmy Bowskill

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"Nelson To Feel The Blues"

He’s been compared to Stevie Ray Vaughan, was discovered by the late Jeff Healey, has three well-respected, award-winning blues albums under his belt already, has knocked their socks off on stages from Japan to the Netherlands to the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival and is barely passed the ripe old age of 17.

Last year, Jimmy Bowskill and his band descended on Nelson for one of the hottest evenings of the season. This month, Jimmy returns for two hot concerts in the West Kootenay.

On Friday, April 18, the Civic Theatre in Nelson will turn off the projector and turn on the amps as Jimmy takes to the stage with his band.

Tickets for this all-ages event are available only at Eddy Music. Then on Saturday, April 19, the band moves up to the Silverton Memorial Hall on the shores of Slocan Lake for a special performance that threatens to blow the walls off this aging hall.

Tickets for this show are available at the Apple Tree in New Denver, Silverton Building Supplies, Mountain Valley Station in Slocan and at the Winlaw Mini Mart. Sorry, no minors at this performance.

Both shows are being opened by local favorites Holly & Jon.

In the years since Jimmy was discovered at the tender age of 11, he has been nominated for a Juno, awarded the Maple Blues Award for Best New Blues Talent and won the Canadian Indie Award for Best Blues Talent —twice.

He’s shared the stage with an ever-increasing circle of blues superstars, including Dickey Betts, ZZ Top, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Johnny Winters, Colin James and many more.

Jimmy was inspired by the great Robert Johnson, teaching himself to play and sing in his own natural style. He’s an amazingly gifted guitar player, harmonica player and, as Colin James said, “Jimmy is the best natural singer I’ve ever heard.”

To find out more about this amazing performer, visit his website at www.jimmybowskill.com - Black Press

"Jimmy Bowskill"

Virtuosity is never so revered and respected as it is when displayed by the young. We even reserve a special word – “prodigy” – for this precocious manifestation of talent. If Canadian music ever had a true blues prodigy, his name is Jimmy Bowskill.

In Bowskill’s case, there may be an additional element of fate at work. Born in 1990 on the same day (September 16) as B. B. King, Bowskill shares King’s generosity and humility of spirit as well as an overriding homage to the music that has directed his life.

Self taught, Bowskill skirted the usual electric guitar gods like Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan who have influenced so many other youthful blues aspirants and chose instead the genre’s greatest legend, Robert Johnson as his inspirational beacon.

Bowskill’s voice hadn’t yet broken when at eleven the Peterborough native was discovered busking outside of Jeff Healey’s club in Toronto and invited inside to perform on stage with Healey himself. Within a year, Bowskill was in the studio having a blast with the elite of Toronto’s blues community recording his first CD, the deliberately low-tech Old Soul. Soap Bars and Dog Ears followed bringing with it a Juno Award nomination for Blues Album of the Year, a Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist and two consecutive (2004 and 2005) Canadian Indie Awards for Favourite Blues Artist.

Needless to say, Bowskill’s life became a whirlwind of activity with performances at major festivals in France, the Ukraine, Japan and Mexico. He has appeared frequently on Canadian national television and Stuart McLean signed him up for a twenty city tour with CBC’s Vinyl Café.

To Bowskill’s supreme credit he is still maturing and evolving as a guitarist, singer and song writer – he is after all only seventeen! On his third CD, a self-titled opus that has just been released, Bowskill has plugged in and simply let rip on eleven tracks on which he plays his heart out.

Whatever you do, don’t miss this astounding and enthralling young blues man that as authoritative a commentator as Colin James has describes as “the best natural singer I’ve ever heard.”


Ken Wright - Thunder Bay Blues Festival

"Canadian Boy Wonder Comes To The Yale"

VANCOUVER, BC – Canada’s youngest blues star Jimmy Bowskill
brings his self-taught talent to the Yale on Sunday, May 4.
Inspired by the late Robert Johnson, Bowskill
(www.jimmybowskill.com) shared his first on stage appearance with
Jeff Healey at the tender age of 11, establishing himself as an
international enigma. The musical protégé’s latest 2007 self-titled
release is produced by Bowskill and Peter Prilesnik (Big Sugar, Ashley
McIsaac, Sarah Harmer) and features ten blues/rock originals and a
reinterpretation of Peter Green’s “Rattle Snake Shake.”
Bowskill has received international recognition including a 2005 Juno
BLUES ARTIST at the 2004/2005 Canadian Indie Awards, BEST
NEW ARTIST at the 2004 Canadian Maple Blues Awards, GALAXY RISING STAR at the 2004
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Awards and CHILDREN FOR PEACE LEADERSHIP at the
2004 DareArts Awards.
The musical genius that is impacting audiences worldwide has been showcased at prestigious
festivals and events such as The Montreal International Jazz Festival, The Mont Tremblant Blues
Festival, Toronto’s Downtown Jazz Festival, France’s Blues Sur Seine, Ukraine’s Koktebel
Festival and the World Exposition in Japan. His rise to blues stardom has been profiled as a
success story on CTV National News with Sandie Renaldo and CTV’s Canada AM. He has shared
the limelight with such legends as Dickey Betts, ZZ Top, Garth Hudson, and Deep Purple.
Tickets to see the Jimmy Bowskill Band are $13 in advance or $15 at the door. Advance ticket
sales are available by contacting The Yale at 604.681.9253 or online at www.theyale.ca. Tickets
are also available through Tickets Tonight by phone at 604-631-2872 or at the Tickets Tonight
booth located inside the Tourist InfoCentre at 200 Burrard Street. Doors open at 5pm. Show time
begins at 6pm. The Yale is conveniently located at 1300 Granville Street in downtown Vancouver.
“Jimmy is the best natural singer I've ever heard.” Colin James
Media Contact
Stella Panagiotidis, Marketing Manager
The Yale Hotel
Tel: 604-681-9253, ext #3
Fax: 604-681-9353
E-mail: stella@theyale.ca
Web: www.theyale.ca - The Yale Hotel

"CD review"

Hot off the presses, sixteen-year-old Jimmy's new self-titled album was dropped off to me the other day.

The opener, "Diamond Ring," brings to mind Gordie "Grady" Johnson and Big Sugar, although Jimmy's guitar tones aren't quite as monsterous as Gordie's (but whose are?). It's a great opener that sets the tone for the rest of the record.

"Rattle Snake Shake" is Jimmy's take on legendary Peter Green's (Fleetwood Mac) blues rock anthem. The lead break is a thing of beauty and I love Wayne DeAdder's baseline just hanging out in the back.

I was introduced to "Nine" at one of Jimmy's shows in fall 2006 (at that time called "Nine String Thing"). This is Jimmy on one of the mad scientist guitars he builds in his workshop, a flat top accoustic with three extra strings shoehorned onto it. "Nine" is a hybrid bluegrass, folk, blues, with drones a la Indian classical music. The Tabla accompaniment further ads to the Indian feel. I dug it last fall and I really dig it now!

"Drifting Haze" isn't necessarily my cup of tea. At a length of 6:04 it's Zepplin-meets-Stonerrock that goes on for a few more minutes more than I would have liked. If I recall correctly, the lead breaks are performed on an electric twelve string which in itself is pretty cool. If you're into moody Zepplinesque jams then this may be your cup of tea.

In "Far From Reality," Jimmy definately has a Page/Plant vibe going on. I also had flashes of early Aerosmith. I like this song and its tastey single note riffing, chord inversions, and the always dissonant 7#9 chord. The guitar tone is stellar on this as well. Sounds like a little 'Class A' sleeper cranked until it is begging for mercy.

"Black Sea Star" a is shining four and a half minutes. I love the way Jimmy used the ambient room sound of the guitar and drums to create an intimate lo-fi reggae sound. I feel like I'm right in the room, and sipping a tropical drink.

Hmmm, was "The Kara-Dag" co-written with the drummer? The two minute drum solo at 00:50 may have tipped me to that. Just call me Sherlock.

"Loser" is from the same ballpark as "Drifting Haze", but with some moody and fitting slide lines. Jimmy's vocals also take the wheel and we get to hear his chops now that his voice has changed.

A great groove from the get-go is what "Mortisha" offers. Fun lyrics too.

The album's only ballad is "Falling." This is a beautiful song hindered only by the heavy-handed drumming which seems to come from left field.

Rounding out Jimmy's effort is the masterpiece "The Truth," A minor blues which is just pumped full of emotions, from the heartfelt vocal to the lead breaks which squeeze a story from a recurring four or so notes and a wha pedal.

With this self titled disc, Jimmy has moved away from the more traditional blues found on his two previous recordings. Overall the album has a classic stadium rock vibe. Earth shaking drums and big guitars are found throughout. This is an evolution I for one am happy to witness. Will this alienate some of the more conservative fans? Probably. Will this bring new fans into the fold. For sure! - Club Kingsnake

"Jimmy Bowskill - Jimmy Bowskill 2007"

Rooted in the blues, this album has a classic stadium rock vibe with earth shaking drums and big guitars.tracks

1 Diamond Ring2 Rattle Snake Shake3 Nine4 Drifting Haze5 Far From Reality6 Black Sea Star7 The Kara-Dag8 Loser9 Mortisha10 Falling11 The Truthtry this
albums you will love
genres you will love
Rock: Roots Rock
Blues: Rockin' Blues
Featuring Guitar
By Location
CANADA - Ontario
Recommended if you like ...
Led Zeppelin
ZZ Top
Big Sugar
He has travelled the world, played in hundreds of venues, recorded two CD’s — he’s just released a third— and hob-knobbed with some pretty big names in the music industry. Blues-rock guitarist Jimmy Bowskill is only 16.

Indeed, the musician, singer, songwriter has impressed the best of the best.

Colin James calls him “the best natural singer I’ve ever heard.” On tour with his band at the age of 14, Bowskill got rave reviews for his guitar technique and strong vocals at Ukraine’s Koktebel Jazz and Blues Festival.

“For my show I do a little bit of everything and cover all the genres. Right now, I’m still rooted in the blues-rock genre but that could change with time. My latest album is a rock album,” he said.

Bowskill was “discovered” at age 11, playing his guitar on the street outside Jeff Healey’s Club in Toronto. He remembers that day well.
“I was busking outside and Jeff invited me on stage to play. It was just awesome. Since then I’ve been all over the world, I’ve played Europe, Ukraine, France, Japan, Mexico, all over. I have this favourite place in Puerto Escondido, Mexico, a little surf town, that I love to play in. I’m going back there again this year.”

Even though he has a white-hot career going for himself right now, Bowskill is keeping up with his Grade 11 school studies. “My teachers help me out. They give me work to do on the road,” he said. “They’re very supportive and give me a break on my assignments so I can catch up later. Really, they’ve been just great.”

Jimmy has actually kept an 82% average, putting him on the honor roll, while recording and touring his latest album.

After he performed on stage with Healey, the music world opened up to him. Recording his first CD was an effort supported by the Toronto blues community. Since then, he’s opened for and shared the stage with Dickey Betts, Garth Hudson, ZZ Top, Deep Purple and The Sam Roberts Band. In 2005, he received a Juno nomination for Best Blues Album of the Year and a Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Blues Artist. His third, self-titled album has 11 tracks on it with the first single, Diamond Ring rising on the Canadian Rock Radio Charts!

One of the most spectacular performances (at Ukraine’s Koktebel Jazz & Blues Festival) was by the 14-year-old Canadian boy wonder Jimmy Bowskill and his band. The opening chords showed that the boy is not simply a wunderkind but an exceptionally brilliant phenomenon in the world of Blues and Rock. His incredible guitar technique and his strong free-flowing vocal skills, along with his volcanic temperament, blew the audience away. -The Koktebel Resistance, UKRAINE

You did your country proud!!! – Rene Leblanc, Canadian Pavilion, World Exposition, JAPAN

"Jimmy Bowskill was on the right side of the stage and Healey was in the middle. It was kind of like seeing Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe getting to play on the same line at once" - The Night Scrawler, The Toronto Sun

“This boy has everything it takes. Oh Lord, no kidding, the voice he’s got and the way he plays, he’s already there. I’ve never seen a kid like this sing like this before. That’s the truth!” – Hubert Sumlin

“Jimmy and his band are a powerfully cohesive unit that would be a tough act to follow on any festival stage and one that would have them swinging from the rafters in any blues club down south” – Al Kirkaldy, The Peterborough Examiner - CD Baby

"Interview with Jimmy Bowskill"

Where to begin…Juno nominee, two time Canadian Indie Award winner, Maple Blues award winner and Galaxie Rising Star Award winner. He has two highly-acclaimed albums under his belt, another in the works, and has brought his music to stages around the world. An impressive list of accomplishments, even for a life-long music career, but for Jimmy Bowskill, all this, and more, was accomplished before the age of 18. We are pleased to feature the very talented, Jimmy Bowskill.

CB: Hi Jimmy. Thanks for taking some time to speak with us. Among your influences is Robert Johnson. Why is his music a source of inspiration for you?

JB: Robert Johnson is a major influence to me because of the soul in his singing and playing. Those recordings are some of the most powerful music out there because of that. They really are haunting, and mesmerizing. His songwriting was also very ahead of its time.

CB: Who are some of your other influences?

JB: Some of my other influences are ZZ Top, Peter Green, Louis Jordan, Charlie Parker, the Sadies, the Stanley Brothers, Buddy Guy to name a few. I listen to a lot of different styles of music that influences my own style.

CB: You have performed all over the world at major festivals, which ones stand out for you as extra-special?

JB: I think the most memorable one would be the festival in Koktebel in the Ukraine. The stage was set up right beside the Black Sea. In the middle of our set, it started to storm and pour rain. Not one person left. They just kept dancing in the rain. And on top of that, there was lightning over the sea that was really incredible. I’d never seen anything like that before, and it all happened while we were playing. The mayor of the town told me the day before we left, that if it storms like that while you’re playing you will have success throughout your life. It was a very amazing night.

CB: You’ve also appeared on many national and regional television programs. Tell us about those experiences and which of these appearances stand out for you?

JB: Well, Television is always an interesting thing to do. It’s a lot more structured and strict than one of my regular live shows, but always a neat experience. We have had a lot of help from almost every T.V. station in Canada, but none has helped us more than CBC. They have for sure done a lot for us. We’ve performed at the Easter Seals Telethon now for three years in a row, and it always feels really great to be a kid helping other kids. It is always fun to do that.

CB: Do you work with a booking agent or manager to oversee your schedule?

JB: My parents handle all of the booking and management side of things. And for our shows in Europe, we work with Igor Sazonov. It is great because my parents have always supported my sister and I in everything we’ve done, and now they’ve taken on management, which is not an easy job. Not only are they now professional managers, but my dad is a professional concert promoter as well. So he handles all of our promo and shows that we put on ourselves.

CB: Does your debut CD “Old Soul”, represent your current sound?

JB: Old Soul is more of a point in time. All things progress with time. My sound now is completely different from both records. Old Soul was more of a traditional blues album. Now I have more of a rock sound that is influenced by traditional blues. I also recorded Old Soul when I was 11, so my voice has changed a lot since then.

CB: How does your follow-up CD, “Soap Bars & Dog Ears”, compare to “Old Soul”?

JB: Soap Bars is a lot heavier and rock influenced than Old Soul. We were just getting used to the heavier feel, so it is still a bit traditional but experimental as well. I would have to say that it is quite a bit more diverse as well. We are definitely exploring a lot more than on Old Soul.

CB: “Soap Bars & Dog Ears” received a Canadian JUNO Award nomination. How has the nomination impacted on your career?

JB: The Juno nomination has impacted our career greatly. We have had many more opportunities from that and a lot of recognition all over Canada. It took us to the next level I guess. It was really an honor to receive that nomination and to be recognized in the industry.

CB: You have opened for and shared the stage with music legends such as Dickey Betts, ZZ Top, and Jeff Healey to name a few. If you could sit in and play with any artist, who would it be and why?
JB: If I could sit in with any artist, it would probably have to be Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. He has been one of my biggest influences and to meet him and find out that he is an amazing person too made him more of a hero to me.

CB: I’ve read that you are a multi-instrumentalist who in addition to playing guitar, plays harmonica, bass, banjo and piano. Do you incorporate any of these instruments into your recordings or live performances?

JB: I use my knowledge of other instruments all the time. For example: a while ago, my friend asked me to come up with a song for his television commercial, so I decided to make him a demo. On this demo I played Guitar, bass, drums and trumpet. So it really comes in handy for recording. If I’m doing demos for my own album, I can play all the instruments myself and not have to use midi instruments. I can also back up my friends and help them record. So it really comes in handy. I mainly stick to guitar for live shows though.

CB: What is your favourite live guitar and amp set-up?

JB: My favorite guitar and amp set up right now would have to be my cherryburst Les Paul standard through my Vox ac-30. I really love the midrange of the Les Paul and the way the Vox compliments it. I actually picked up a limited edition Vox called the Brian May signature. So what’s unique about this amp is that it’s hand wired, and it only has one volume knob. No tone knobs or effects or anything - just a volume knob. And it surprisingly sounds better than most ac-30s I’ve heard - with any guitar, too. The Les Paul has been my main guitar for about two years now, and no matter what guitar I play, I always go back to that one.

CB: Jimmy, many notable artists, people like Colin James and Hubert Sumlin have sung your praises. How does it feel to have artists praise your work?

JB: It is really an honor because these are people that I look up to. It feels really great to know that they have heard and like my music, because I have loved theirs before I even started playing. It’s a really cool thing.

CB: The media has placed a lot of attention on your age. What role do you think your age has had on your quick rise to success?

JB: Well, I don’t think there are too many artists my age that are as diverse as I am, and not many young people start with the blues. By blues I mean early piedmont style guitar, bluegrass and old country. I guess people just realize that I know my roots, and they appreciate that because not many people my age have gone very far into their music’s past and found inspiration from that too.

CB: Such success often comes with the old show business trend with “hangers on” suddenly appearing and wanting to be part of an artists’ career after it has gained momentum. Have you experienced anything like this? How do ensure that you surround yourself with genuine people who truly support your career?

JB: At this point I decide whom I would like to work with. So there haven’t really been too many examples of people like that. But my career is still very young. I’m sure I will experience that as I pursue my goals in the future.

CB: What’s next for you? What can we expect from the next Jimmy Bowskill release?

JB: You can expect a very diverse, but soulful album. All the songs so far are original. So you will be hearing just the band. Plain and simple are key words to this album.

Plain and simple. The way the blues are meant to be. We look very forward to hearing your new album, Jimmy. Thanks for taking the time. Find out more about this fine blues musician here: www.jimmybowskill.com - Crossroads Blues

"Jimmy Bowskill in BC, 2006"

Jimmy Bowskill just seems to fit the script of a modern day artist destined to play the blues. He burst onto the scene on BB King’s birthday of all times ... Sept. 16, 1990. Inspired by the late, great Robert Johnson, Jimmy taught himself to play and sing by interpreting by sight and sound but in his own natural style. At the tender age of 11, Jimmy was invited to join Jeff Healey onstage. A star was born, and the rest is history.

Jimmy’s CDs are among the top selling recordings for Festival Distribution, and he's receiving airplay worldwide.

Here's just some of the awards that Jimmy has picked up. A 2005 Juno Nomination for Blues Album of the Year; 2005 Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Blues Artist; 2004 Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Blues Artist; 2004 Canadian Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist; 2004 CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award and the 2004 DareArts Children For Peace Leadership Award.

Jimmy Bowskill may not see himself as a child prodigy, but when you are under the age of 18 a child you still are. However it is immediately abundantly clear after witnessing his live appearances that somehow an old soul thrives in this captivating young man’s body. His savvy style commands your attention but his genuine true self engulfs you as he makes friends with his audience. He has confidence and stage presence way beyond his tender years and it seems an old bluesman’s lifetime of performing skills in his bag of tools.

True to the timeless Delta Bluesmen of the past there is a deliberate low-tech aspect of Jimmy’s sound. His inner voice must be of an old-field song on a dusty, scratched 78 recording. You wonder while cast under his spell where someone so young can feel the blues so deep. His soul is not mimicked as he reels back, squints and grimaces as his voice covers the dynamic range of a blues holler back to a gentled vibrato whisper all in a moment so effortlessly. The boy has a genuine mojo soul going on deep inside that is just begging to escape.

Jimmy is a very advanced and relaxed traditional acoustic blues guitar player. He has had stellar teachers along his way including sought after professionals such as Rick Fines and more recently Juno award winner, Jack de Keyzer. Not a stranger to other instruments, Jimmy also plays harmonica, penny whistle and has even tackled a Hammond B3 organ while on stage.

Jimmy's third recording continues chronicling his development, and sees him developing a harder blues-rock sound. The self-titled CD was produced in Toronto at Metal Works Studios and The Cantebury Music Company by Jimmy and well known producer Peter Prilesnik (Big Sugar, Sarah Harmer, Ashley McIsaac). It is Jimmy’s first self titled release and contains 10 original tracks and one cover - Peter Green’s Rattle Snake Shake. This blues rock release is a different sound for Jimmy. The record reflects his diversity as an artist and expresses his youthful energy. These are songs that reflect his musical journey over the past few years and showcase this brilliant young artist’s true talent.

Jimmy Bowskill’s future is bright with intense shades of blue.

What People Are Saying

"This boy has everything it takes. Oh Lord, no kidding, the voice he’s got and the way he plays, he’s already there. I’ve never seen a kid like this sing like this before. That’s the truth!" - Legendary blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin.
"The opening chords showed that the boy is not simply a wunderkind, but an exceptionally brilliant phenomenon in the world of blues and rock. His incredible guitar technique and his strong free-flowing vocal skills, along with his volcanic temperament, blew the audience away." - The Koktebel Resistance, Ukraine.

"Jimmy Bowskill is life-changingly good. He has the grace and spirit to match his exceptional talent, and I feel he's got the potential to make a huge contribution to the world with his music. It's extremely heartening to meet such a gifted and focused young musician." - Colin Linden - Musician / Producer.

"What struck me immediately (and it's something that I've only seen perhaps three or four times in my life) is a young player who has "THE" feel. This has nothing to do with acquired skill, either instrumental or vocal, and certainly nothing to do with the ability to make money or even become famous. It's that absolutely rare quality called 'genius'. I think the kid has it." - Rick Fielding, CIUT's Acoustic Workshop.

"Curtis Salgado once told me that there are probably tens of thousands of high school kids that can sing like Jonny Lang, but just give him one that can sing like Bobby Blue Bland. Curtis, meet Jimmy Bowskill - and he's not anywhere near high school age! I wasn't prepared for the blast of Soul I heard coming out of this diminutive dynamo." - Al Kirkcaldy, CFFF's Blue In The Face.

Vancouver Province Profile

The afternoon I track down Jimmy Bowskill on his cel, he's up to one of his favourite activities, hanging around downtown Toronto, shopping for guitars.

He's 15 now and like a lot of guys his age, he's obsessive. His drilled focus happens to be guitars -- electric, acoustic, new, old, doesn't matter.

He'll play a bit of soccer here and there, maybe get into a little pickup game of hockey, but mostly it's guitars and the music they can make. He's crazy for 'em and even if he has more than a dozen already, here he is, looking around again, checking a couple more out.

Bowskill had just turned 11 the night he pulled the coup that launched his career in Toronto and, shortly after, the rest of the country. He'd been playing since he was 10, all blues, when he found himself plugged in and wailing away, busking outside Jeff Healey's club in Toronto.

It was a Thursday, open jam night, and all the players coming in kept telling Healey about this hot-shot guitar-player kid out front wearing a fedora and blowing everybody away. He was out there for a couple of hours before Healey sent word to get the kid in here.

"And I'd always wanted to meet him," says Bowskill, "so he invited me in to do a tune later on. I got to play with him and meet him -- it was really cool. It was my first night on stage, too, a really great night. It was such a rush, man. And I made lots of money busking, 'cause I was out there for so long."

The first album was rushed out to surprising acclaim. The kid factor certainly made for great initial copy and he got plenty of curious attention but when people scratched beneath the surface they found Jimmy Bowskill could actually deliver, that he really had the chops.

Which comes from having a great ear. Which comes from figuring a lot of this stuff out on your own. His dad taught him his first chords, and he had the odd lesson here and there, but Bowskill is mostly self-taught, the product of countless hours of woodshedding.

That magical night at Jeff Healey's club started Bowskill on a road that's already led him through Europe, Japan and Mexico. He did a CBC thing in New Orleans once but the rest of the U.S.A. remains on the to-do list.

Meanwhile, Bowskill is working on his third album, which will reflect the harder, more rocking direction he's taken. He figures he's well on his way to losing his "kid-image thing" and will soon be recognized solely for the music. Heck, it's already started, considering at some shows "people think I'm 19."

He's covered off his math credits for this year at the arts/performing school he attends so there'll be more time for gigs come winter. Ask him how he gets to the gigs and he becomes a little rueful admitting that, yeah, his parents still have to drive him. But soon he'll have his licence.

"I'm thinking of getting a motorbike," says Bowskill, dreamily. "Yeah. Maybe a chopper. I don't know, maybe someone else can drive the gear and I can just bike up. Big Harley. That'd be really cool."

- John P. McLaughlin, The Province, Vancouver - August 2006.

- Festival Distribution Inc.

"Koktebel Cultural Resistance"

Today you don’t have to travel to Montreux to hear jazz. Dmytro Kyseliov had the brilliant idea of organizing a jazz festival in Koktebel; this is the third time his idea has come to fruition on the lilac- covered shores of Karadag. In some mystical way the high jazz wave united the creators of the Silver Age with the broken rhythms of the 21st century. It was a definite yes to genuine and honest art, and a definite no to hopeless mediocrity and vulgarity. The lost time connection, swinging chimerically, was back in place near the Maksymilian Voloshyn building, against a backdrop of sea surf and thundering jazz music.

This festival’s watchword is cultural resistance. Its organizers — Promo UA — declare, “Like you, we’ve been poisoned by tasteless and meaningless cultural products; by products stinking of stale TV channels, newspapers, radio stations, and shows staged on city squares. In the absence of a consumer rights protection association in the cultural domain, we have decided to boycott sales of mass culture goods from both folk and established professional suppliers, because these products are not fresh, to put it mildly. This is how the festival of life came about — a place where no one is a stranger.”

The ceremonious opening by Anatoliy Kinakh of the newly restored Voloshyn House Museum was the first landmark event of the cultural resistance movement. In fact, this festival goes beyond the format of a regular art project, because its ideology is actively supported by Viche Ukrainy (Inna Bohoslovska), the Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, and the Koktebel Plant, who believe it’s better not to wait but to act and improvise.

“Never be indifferent. Act or burn your bridges.” This is the translation of the name of the world renowned Japanese free jazz orchestra Shibusashirazu, which raged on the concert square for the first two days of the festival and literally overwhelmed everyone. The Japanese put on a multifaceted show: a counterpoint musical development that leads to crazy jazz culminations. It was a theatrical spectacle combining archaic Japanese plasticity with the distorted, airy techniques of Buto dancing, with nearly naked bodies and unusual costumes. The combination of active and destructive music with the static plasticity of Buto artists produced an overwhelming impression on the audience.

The international lineup of musicians was represented by 130 participants from eight countries. The jazz bands presented a unique blend of professionalism and unity of spirit, regardless of the country being represented. The international Valentine Quartet, founded by Kyiv’s talented bass guitarist Andriy Arnautov, performed with the legendary US trumpeter Lou Soloff. Moscow’s JVL Big Band, with its unique jazz stars and excellent singers, performed sophisticated compositions, with guest star Lou Soloff.

Soloff deserves special mention because of his sparkling virtuosity, strong crystal-clear sound and at times heartwarmingly touching overtones. This is what has made him unmatched among the world’s jazz trumpeters for many decades. He looked delighted to play his solo numbers and later improvised with other musicians.

As usual, Ukraine’s Mansound Sextet captivated the audience. The a cappella group’s spectacular professionalism and stage presence left the audience bursting with unforgettable impressions and regret that their concert appearances in Ukraine are so infrequent.

Continuing with the Ukrainian theme, the festival featured a surprise performance by the Skhid-Side jazz group, in an interesting combination with Tanok na maidani Kongo and the Kyiv Art Ensemble led by the festival’s honorary director V. Solianyk, who organized a special jam session with the spectacular Lou Soloff, the one and only Enver Izmailov, and other musicians.

The Russians brought the St. Petersburg’s group Big Blues Revival, which performed in the blues tradition, and Moscow’s melancholy VFSIX.

The compositions performed by sparkling virtuoso Leonid Ptashka combined originality and the musical traditions of his teacher, Ihor Bryl.

The German group De Phazz, with its enchanting vocalists, featured various jazz styles, a light, sensual Latin component, and artistic improvisational transformability. What makes this group stand out is that each musician, especially the vocalists, appears to present his inner perception of jazz thinking.

One of the most spectacular performances was by the 14-year-old Canadian boy wonder Jimmy Bowskill and his band. The opening chords showed that the boy is not simply a wunderkind but an exceptionally brilliant phenomenon in the world of jazz. His incredible guitar technique and his strong free-flowing vocal skills, along with his volcanic temperament, blew the audience away.

The final day of the festival featured a performance by Wolfgang Haffner, the drummer from the German group Zooming, who demonstrated his superb skills and the fantastic capabilities of Yamaha electronic equipment.

And, of course, there was the incredible Enver Izmailov with his Minaret Band, which is a separate jazz trend all on its own. This star jazzman and unique guitarist, who is wildly popular all over the world, is a regular and highly regarded participant in the Koktebel jazz festivals. Even though he has pupils, it is hard to believe that anyone will ever approach his mastery and popularity. His performances are a blend of unique musical thinking, the avant-garde, Crimean Tatar folk musical traditions, an overwhelming artistic temperament, and sophisticated performance.

A number of other interesting jazz-related art projects, including visual performances by young people, were launched into the festival orbit. Special thanks are due to Showcase, uniting talented groups of enthusiasts from Cherkasy, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhia, in whose programs Andriy Arnautov, bass guitarist and trumpeter, one of the festival’s brilliant musicians, took an active part.

Karadag’s wild and enchanting shores have once again produced a cultural shock, unforgettable moments of happiness, a sense of a true and eventful life— and, for all those who have yet to be initiated, the discovery that Koktebel is not just the land of cognacs, but also a cultural space of high art.

#26, Tuesday, 6 September 2005 - Day, Kiev, UA

"CD review - Soap Bars And Dog Ears"

Jimmy Bowskill Band
Soap Bars And Dog Ears
self released

I can't resist quoting the late, great McKinley Morganfield, but since last year's release of his debut CD, Old Soul, this 14-year-old "mannish boy's done grown". Speaking of bluesmasters, boogie-boss John Lee Hooker's "Hug You" and Willie Dixon's "Little Baby" are given great tributes on this disc.
Dedicated to Jimmy's grandfather, "Ace Playne" and taking its cue from the utilization of vintage technical gear, this 2nd CD proves he's not just part of some "starmaker machinery" at work. Working collaboratively with a small group of core players, he takes an active and educational role in his genetic aspiration to impart the good times and bad times of blues music.

Jimmy's voice has naturally changed since last year, but just enough to take the "nag" out of it. He seems much more relaxed now, although he can still "belt it out". Having developed a better sense of vocal dynamics, he uses his God-given talent to actually please his listeners rather than just impressing them.
Being still very young, he still relies on his father and others in respect to composing the mostly original tracks. That being said, he has two self-penned songs of his own: "Bailieboro", a lazily sweet jazz guitar tribute to his hometown near Peterborough, Ontario; and "Jivin' Blues", no doubt influenced by Jack de Keyzer's style. The kid's got stuff!

One particularly great roots-blues collaboration with Steve Bowskill is "Sad Song, Happy Tune", where Mississippi John's "down and blue but his feet didn't get the news", epitomizing the spirit of playing the blues.

Jimmy's vocal dexterity comes to the fore on "It's So Fine" (Carlo/Gordy/Green), a rumba that weirdly reminded me of Brenda Lee - great choice of a cover!

Soap Bars and Dog Ears is a musical equivalent of a page-turning best-selling novel, immediately introduced with a wailing Texas blues guitar, sandwiching some gospel, a Chuck Berry-influenced rockin' blues co-written with input from producer Alec Fraser, a heavy-funk band jam, and ending with a bewitching slide guitar-harmonica duet with Jerome Godboo, called "Duelin' Bowlers" in reference to their signature-mark haberdashery. Unlike the best of novels, this CD is one that will be 'read' over and over. - SouthWest Blues


Jimmy Bowskill – 2007, Jimmy Bowskill

Soap Bars & Dog Ears – 2004, Jimmy Bowskill

Old Soul – 2003, Jimmy Bowskill



Jimmy Bowskill
(Sept. 16, 1990)
Guitarist / Singer / Songwriter

2005 JUNO nominee for Best Blues Album
2005 & 2004 Canadian Indie Award for Favourite Blues Artist
2004 Maple Blues Award for Best New Artist
2004 CBC Rising Star Award

Jimmy was discovered playing guitar in front of Jeff Healey's Club in Toronto at the age of 11, and was invited to the stage that night for the first time by Healey.

He went on to record his 1st CD shortly after, strongly supported by the Toronto Blues community. His second release a year later got the nod for a Juno nomination. The third one was just recently released. It was produced by Jimmy himself and well known producer Peter Prilesnik (Big Sugar, Sara Harmer, Ashley Mc Isaak, Great Big Sea, etc.).

Jimmy has had the privilege of opening and sharing the stage with such legends as Jeff Healey, Johnny Winter, Garth Hudson, Tommy Castro, Dickey Betts, ZZ Top, Deep Purple, April Wine to name just a few. ZZ’s Billy Gibbons took special interest and invited Jimmy to join him for lunch after catching his performance… an honour Jimmy will never forget.
He has performed as a headliner at many major festivals worldwide such as The Montreal International Jazz Festival, The Mont Tremblant Blues Festival, Toronto's Downtown Jazz Festival, France's Blues Sur Seine Festival, Ukraine's Koktebel International Jazz Festival, Mexico's Puerto Escondido Blues festival, The World EXPO in Japan, and many others.

So, how does he sound?

- "And what Jimmy Bowskill , a 17- year old young guitarist, delivered was sensational.

At the beginning the crowd simply was shaking their heads in disbelief, looking at him with their jaws dropped .
During the concert it became pretty clear that here was someone who acted emotionally and dynamically already well over the level for example
the Bonamassa or Katon operated.

After the concert everyone knew that they have experienced something completely special.
Much good fortune, Jimmy, and thank you! We will meet you again very gladly!" - Live in Reitwine, GERMANY. Nov 18/07

- One of the most spectacular performances (at Ukraine’s Koktebel Jazz & Blues Festival) was by the 14-year-old Canadian boy wonder Jimmy Bowskill and his band. The opening chords showed that the boy is not simply a wunderkind but an exceptionally brilliant phenomenon in the world of Blues and Rock. His incredible guitar technique and his strong free-flowing vocal skills, along with his volcanic temperament, blew the audience away. - The Koktebel International Jazz Festival, UKRAINE

- You did your country proud!!! – Rene Leblanc, Canadian Pavilion, World Exposition, JAPAN

- "Jimmy Bowskill was on the right side of the stage and Healey was in the middle. It was kind of like seeing Wayne Gretzky and Gordie Howe getting to play on the same line at once" - The Night Scrawler, The Toronto Sun

- “Jimmy and his band are a powerfully cohesive unit that would be a tough act to follow on any festival stage and one that would have them swinging from the rafters in any blues club down south” - Al Kirkaldy, The Peterborough Examiner

- “Jimmy is the best natural singer I've ever heard" -Colin James.