The Maple Blues Band Take Their Savona Shuffle On Down The Road

The Canadian supergroup put the hammer down on their latest instrumental single.

The Maple Blues Band cut to the chase with the high-speed video for their noirish new single Savona Shuffle — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The second single from their recently released debut album Let’s Go, Savona Shuffle is a lively instrumental that embodies the musical core of The Maple Blues Band. The track begins with a driving drumbeat by veteran player and recent Maple Blues Award winner Jim Casson, and a funky bassline that immediately sets a groovy tone for the rest of the song. You can then hear lead guitarist and Maple Blues Award Guitarist of The Year winner Teddy Leonard deliver a catchy riff to the upbeat tone of the piece. Each instrument takes a turn to shine throughout the track, with the tenor sax, harmonica, trombone and organ, combining lively solos that add a unique creative element to the song.

Band leader and eight-time Maple Blues Award winner for Bassist of the Year Gary Kendalls says the track has been around for years, but took on a new life recently. “Al Lerman and former band member Chris Whiteley became my co-writers for the song. At the time Al lived on Savona Ave. in the Etobicoke neighbourhood of Toronto. We pulled Savona Shuffle together there and named it after the street that house was on and it debuted at the 2007 Maple Blues Awards.”

Photo by Jen Squires.

At that time, Kendal says the the song never caught fire, fell onto the back shelf of their music library and was only used again on just one occasion until it was rediscovered. “In 2021 while preparing our set of instrumentals for the Calgary Blues Festival, I went back to it and realized that with a new arrangement, it could be a better song,” Kendall says. “I took my idea to Pat Carey, our tenor saxophonist and horn section arranger, gave him my thoughts for a rework and that was all it took.”

That’s in keeping with the collaborative spirit of the band. “The 10 tracks on our Cordova Bay Records release Let’s Go are a group effort,” Kendall says. “The songwriting credits are spread over 24 years and include past and present band members. The men and women I chose to surround myself within The Maple Blues Band are part of the enormous southern Ontario pool of blues talent. Each one of them is a star, and when I’m in their presence they take me to a very comfortable and extremely high level of musicianship.”

Check out the video for Savona Shuffle above, listen to Let’s Go below, and cruise over to The Maple Blues Band’s website.


Photo by Jen Squires.