The Carson Downey Band


The Carson Downey Band may appear to many as a "overnight sensation," but this superb Blues trio has been performing in the Halifax region for many years. They've gone by the names the Little City Blues Band and the Big City Blues Band before settling on "The Carson Downey Band." Their precise performances are a tribute to the time they've spent together perfecting their art. The fact that "All the Way" is their debut album is the biggest surprise.

At first sight, the Carson Downey band's 1997 discovery appears to be an instant success story. The boss of a record label chance to overhear the band performing via an open door. He looked in, impressed by the Canadian band's mix of blues and rock, and was taken aback by the sight of the guitarist playing the guitar with his teeth. The music executive immediately approached the band about a record deal.

While the narrative is correct, success did not happen overnight. The band had been together for over two decades and had developed a loyal fanbase in the region. Big City Blues Band and Little City Blues Band were their first names.

The Canadian band, which started in North Preston, near Halifax, had a fortuitous break when it was invited to perform at a showcase around the same time as the East Coast Music Awards (ECMA). They were heard by Andrew McCain, the head of Loggerhead Records. Loggerhead's debut album, All the Way, was recorded in 1999 and was released not long after.

The band's fast-paced mix of blues and rock gained a lot of attention and earned them several awards, including the Fender East Coast Guitarist of the Year in 2000. The band was named Best Blues Group and Best New Artist at the 2001 ECMA Awards. It won Drummer of the Year in the same year.The Maple Blues Awards named it Drummer of the Year and Best New Artist, while the African Nova Scotian Music Awards named it Artist of the Year and Album of the Year.

Following that came a half-dozen Real Blues Awards, including Best Live Act and Best Debut CD. The band was also presented with The Dutch Mason Award. They've played for troops all around the world, including in Afghanistan, Honolulu, Guam, Marshall Islands, China, and Tokyo, to mention a few. Carson Downey, guitarist and main vocalist, Marlowe Smith, bassist, and Murray Downey, drummer, are the members of the band.