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Ann Vriend Cobalt Prize

Big Win for Ann Vriend! Following on the heels of her powerful and well-received Blues Summit Eight showcase with Rooster Davis Group (also her backing band), Ann Vriend is more than thrilled that she has won the Toronto Blues Society’s COBALT PRIZE at last night’s Maple Blues Awards. The event took place at Toronto’s Koerner Hall where Vriend was handed the award for Contemporary Blues Composition/Songwriting for her song “All That I Can” (Aporia Records), a soulful gospel tune. For more information please visit: /

The Toronto Blues Society’s annual Cobalt Prize is judged on a song’s ability to creatively utilize blues traditions within the broad contemporary musical landscape. With a focus on melody, song structure, lyric etc. they also choose the song that “will refresh and enrich blues as an art form.”

The Cobalt Prize judges decided that Edmonton-based Ann Vriend’s “All That I Can” achieved just that, and selected it as first place winner among 75 entries from across Canada. Shocked and ecstatic from the win, Vriend gave a speech noting the inspiration from the African-American community, reminding the audience that they were all there because of a music that came out of great hardship, slavery, and abuse of the African-American people – and yet blues music has had the most profound influence on almost all genres of music world-wide than any other genre.

“All That I Can” is a new track from AV’s upcoming EP release via Aporia Records. It will also be released in Australia next month, alongside four other original tracks, in an EP entitled Anybody’s Different, licensed by David Hand Productions from Aporia Records. With the vocals recorded in primarily one take, the song has a live-off-the-floor feeling and falls into the category of gospel blues with its 6/8 time signature. The music is very traditional gospel, but the lyrics are secular. The Hammond organ combined with upright piano and AV’s soul vocals are reminiscent of early gospel and soul recordings in the era of Sam Cooke. However, there is also a contemporary twist in the sound too – since the drums used on this track are sampled in the style of retro hip hop, and eq’ed to give the song a rough low-fi edge, in contrast with Vriend’s smooth and sweet (though powerful) vocals.

The lyrics of the song are an earnest promise to a lover to do “all that I can” if the lover is willing to “take me just as I am” – a plea to be a true friend and companion in a world where “sometimes I think they wanna break me, just to see if they can.” Though Vriend points out: “but they mistake me as a weak and silly woman,” which could be taken as a slight jab at the misogyny that is sadly, still so prevalent in the world.

Following this very fruitful weekend in Toronto, is a showcase tonight at Aporia Record Label, 714 Gerrard Street East, Toronto, at 6:30 pm. Then Vriend will tour Australia with the Rooster Davis Group next month for a five-week tour, to support the Anybody’s Different EP followed by a European Tour from May 13-29, 2017.

More on “All That I Can”

Composer: Ann Vriend
Producer: Tino Zolfo
Mixing engineer: Brandon Unis, Cylinder Sound
Film mastering engineer: Peter Letros, Wreckhouse Mastering
Label: Aporia Records 


Vocals and Piano: Ann Vriend
Organ: Rooster Davis (David Aide)
Programming: Tino Zolfo

Upcoming Dates

February 9 – March 12 – Australia EP Release Tour

Artist Links





Twitter: #WillYouBeThere #AllThatICan



For more information, photos, mp3s, WAV files, interviews, please contact:


Beverly Kreller, Publicist | SPEAK Music | 416-922-3620
Twitter: @SPEAKMusicPR



Dalannah BOWEN BLUES BENEFIT: How You Can Help

Dalannah Bowen Blues Benefit

Tues., April 5, 2016
The Fairview Pub
898 West Broadway
Vancouver, BC
V5Z 1J8

7:00pm to 1:30am / Doors open at 6:00pm
Donation at the Door (minimum $15)

March 14, 2016

[Vancouver, BC]  Shortly after the 30th Annual Blues For Christmas Benefit, organizer and performer Dalannah Gail Bowen was hospitalized with a stroke; and experienced a second stroke this February.  Her mobility and speech has been heavily affected and rehabilitation will take an extended period of time.  For musicians, taking away our ability to perform not only stifles our hearts and creativity but greatly tightens our pocket books as  well, leaving us with the inability to provide for ourselves.

Dalannah Gail Bowen is a much-loved and acclaimed singer/songwriter, delighting audiences throughout the Lower Mainland for over thirty years. A devoted community activist, particularly on the Downtown East Side, Dalannah works tirelessly as a performer, producer and organizer for local charities. ( There are many faces and many personalities to this Vancouver-based blues singer. All of those personalities have something in common – a spark, joy, determination and a fire inside.

In recent years, with her singing career rekindled, Dalannah was described as “a surprise hit at the Vancouver Folk Festival”; gave “can’t miss performances” for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival; was described as “…one of Vancouver’s finest talents” by the Vancouver Sun and was named one of Vancouver’s Thirty Inspiring Women. Her latest CD, Been Around A While, received outstanding reviews around the globe. Her vocals, alongside a simple rhythm of bass tracks supplied by Owen Owen, was the sound that won over The Memphis Blues folks and put her in the Blues Hall of Fame just last year.

The  Fairview  Pub and the Vancouver  Music  Community  are  banding  together  to give back to Dalannah so she can concentrate on recovery without financial worry.

ThPerformerareJim  Byrnes, Murray  Porter, Kenny  “Blues  Boss”  Wayne, Candus Churchill, Catherine Bowers, Cecile Larochelle, Billy Dixon, Wes MacKey, Damian Azriel, Jason Buie, Jayleen Stonehouse, Jessi  Nicholson, Jim Foster, Joani Bye, Keith Bennett, Steve Sainas, and Taylor James.

The Stellar Musicians are: Billy Mendoza, Brock Miller, Cameron Hood, Chris Nordquist, Dave Say, Don Hardy,  Johnny Ferreira, Leonard Saidman, Lindsay Mitchell, Malcolm Aiken, Marko Ibarra, Michael Creber, Olaf de Shield, Owen Owen Owen, Ray Ayotte, Ross Langbell, Shawn Soucy, and Steve Daily.

Concert goers will also be able to support Dalannah Gail Bowen by purchasing 50/50 tickets.  The general public will be able to participate in an online auction for items including a One Week Luxury Stay in Mexico, valued at $4200, purchase music downloads donated by local musicians or donate directly to an online donations site.

Please join us for this wonderful evening, purchase items from the online auction at from March 13 to April 13 or donate directly  Collectively giving a bit translates into a whole lot!