Steve Paul Simms delivers some Blues For Back Alley John with his latest single and video — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The song serves as a celebration for one of Ottawa and Calgary’s finest bluesmen: The late, great Back Alley John Wilson. “I conjured up a little of Back Alley John’s harmonica magic and philosophical musings for this one,” Simms explains. “There’s also some vintage Byward Market scenery for good measure.”
The song features the swirling keyboards of Ed Michael Roth and the biting guitar work of Bob Cohen, and is the latest single from Simms’ fourth album Ingrid And The Messenger Boy. Released in December, the 12-track LP offers a fine introduction to the Toronto troubadour, whose signature brand of storytelling covers everything from cabarets to cityscapes and dreams to memories.
Ingrid And The Messenger Boy is the culmination of Simms’ genre-spanning talents; while Back Alley John is a blues cut, the veteran of the creative arts scene spans pop, jazz, ragtime, rock, soul, country, world, and Broadway tunes in his expansive repertoire.
In addition to Back Alley John Wilson, Ingrid And The Messenger Boy pays tribute to the likes of a screen legend in Anything with Ingrid, a classic 1960s songwriter in Goodbye Ellie and more.“ A one-man doo-wop group laments the life of a legal Messenger Boy, and Te Quiero celebrates young love without borders,” Simms shares. “‘Karma Makes a Comeback is a song about consequences, and Rolling captures the lure of the open road. No Money Comin’ In chronicles one of life’s most familiar struggles and Anytime is a declaration of love and friendship.”