Howlin’ Wolf inspired Colin Linden’s lifelong musical journey
Black Fly Jam proudly brings the Grammy and Juno award winning songwriter, artist and producer to The Loft
Colin Linden’s biography is legendary.
According to his official biography, Linden’s musical history began when an 11-year-old boy met his musical idol, Howlin’ Wolf, at a matinee show in his hometown of Toronto.
The 11-year-old and the blues’ elder statesman had a nearly two-hour chat before the gig.
The story goes that during this conversation, Wolf said to young Linden, “I’m an old man now and I won’t be around much longer… It’s up to you to carry it on.”
Linden took those words to heart and has been performing non-stop since he was twelve years old.
As a singer/guitarist he has accompanied everyone from Bruce Cockburn to Bob Dylan, Greg Allman and John Prine.
He has provided guitar work for films such as O Brother Where Art Thou and Inside Llewyn Davis.
He has established himself as an incredible solo artist and has been a member of supergroups such as Blackie and the Rodeo Kings.
Linden has also been nominated for twenty-five Juno Awards and has nine wins.
Colin Linden was brought to the region almost twenty years ago by Black Fly Jam to perform at the former Buttermilk Salzbergerhof.
“Colin was here with the incredible musician Richard Bell…yes, that Richard Bell from The Band,” says Robin MacIntyre, who along with her husband Enn Poldmaa have been active organizers of the music event group since its inception.
“This show was performed at the beautiful lodge at the local ski hill.”
Prior to the pandemic, Linden also performed as a member of Blackie and The Rodeo Kings for Black Fly Jam at the Pavilion at Algoma’s Watertower Inn.
“Linden exudes happiness and joy in everything he does,” says MacIntyre.
“He’s such a pleasant performer who engages and connects with the audience. I love his style and his sensitivity to the type of blues roots music he writes.”
MacIntyre notes that Linden’s style is influenced by his time playing and learning from some of the older Deep South blues players, a sound we don’t often hear on the Canadian stage.
“Plus, he’s so connected to the top players, both here and in the States.”
Indeed, Linden’s songwriting, guitar playing and songwriting is highly respected. He is in demand as a musician, songwriter, producer and bandleader.
“His ability to be so adept in so many areas of the business; Performing, writing, producing for studio or TV, leading bands, arranging and sharing his expertise with others make him a true “Renaissance man” in the music business. It’s fun to see it all come together in one person. It’s very entertaining.”
Linden will perform solo at The Loft on Sunday, March 19th at 7:30pm for the special intimate performance.
In addition to the performance, Linden will return the next day to conduct an educational workshop for audio engineers, music producers, students and songwriters.
“We’re really excited about it,” says MacIntyre.
“It has always been part of our concert events to include added value for both the audience and the performers.”
In the past, Black Fly Jam has offered afternoon concerts and workshops at local schools when appropriate.
“I knew if he had the extra day Colin would be intrigued and enjoy adding that.”
MacIntyre notes that Linden has taught similar seminars at venues such as the Banff School of Fine Arts and Fanshaw College, among others.
Monday’s education session also supports the mandate of the Algoma Conservatory of Music, which houses The Loft.
“It has the capacity to fully support and advance the music education programs at Algoma University and the Conservatory of Music. A few years ago we participated in a workshop called the Music City Initiative, designed by Greig Nori, the current engineer at The Loft, and Rory Ring. This sought to explore the idea of Sault Ste. Marie has a solid reputation as a cultural hub for music production and enjoyment. This event supports that and the education to build a strong base.”
MacIntyre notes that there are many talented people in the music business in the community involved in everything from production to playing who could benefit from Linden’s expertise.
“We spoke to several people we know who were very excited and positive about attending a workshop of this caliber. We then brought the idea of this additional workshop to the attention of Greig and The Loft and they jumped at the opportunity to host it.”
Colin Linden performs at The Loft on Sunday 19th March 2023. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. The show starts earlier than usual as it is Sunday evening. Doors open at 6:30pm. There will be a fully licensed bar at the event. (Note: If you require reserved seating to assist you with mobility issues, please contact the venue in advance).
Tickets cost $40 and are available at https://algomaconservatory.com/.
Colin Linden will be the keynote speaker at a production and recording seminar for audio engineers, music producers, students and songwriters.
This event will take place on Monday, March 20th from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at The Loft. Tickets for this event cost $50 and are presented by Black Fly Jam, the Algoma Conservatory of Music and Algoma University.
For more information about Colin Linden and his latest solo album bLOW, visit his website here.
Find out more about Black Fly Jam and the events they organize on their Facebook page.