"Brian Blain has probably never toiled behind a mule or been mistreated by Mister Charlie, but he has paid his blues dues. His computer is underpowered ("Hi-Tech Blues") and his line of work is being threatened ("Blues Is Hurting," "One More Weasel"), so he takes out his frustrations musically a la middle-class white boy Mose Allison. This Toronto-based Quebec native, a longtime fixture on the Canadian acoustic blues scene, writes ironic, biting lyrics that are equally funny and insightful. His instrumentation might include his own acoustic guitar plus a lead player, bassist or harpist, but even his percussionists are in the background on "Overqualified for the Blues," a triumph of minimalism."

- ChicagoSun-Times

"A personable singer and a good accompanying guitarist, Brian Blain is a superior songwriter who writes lyrics about everyday life. His delivery is friendly, his words are insightful, and there is plenty of variety in the subject matter throughout this mostly joyful set, not just dealing with the usual love relationships. The backup musicians are excellent, but Brian Blain is in the spotlight throughout and performs a definitive set of his material. This set is particularly recommended to fans of upbeat folk music."

- Allmusic.com

"A brilliant writer incorporating everyday experiences and situations into his lighthearted blues songs...Brian Blain could put a smile on a gargoyle."

- jazzreview.com

"Overqualified for the Blues" available online at







How do you take your Brian? 

Brian Blain (solo or duo)

Brian Blain is a popular mainstay of the Toronto music scene both as a player and behind the scenes. Originally from the hills of rural Quebec, he has been performing his unique brand of slow-cooked, contemporary country blues for more than 40 years - soulful, thoughtful, always entertaining. It’s blues-based original music with humour, interesting stories and a "relentless groove" (Blues Scene Quarterly). Brian's NorthernBlues CD features four tracks with Michael Jerome Browne and guest appearances by Harry Manx, Paul Reddick, members of Downchild and many other Toronto blues luminaries.

Colorblind Brian & the New Blainettes

A full blown blues revue with a six-piece band featuring stars of the Toronto Blues Society's  Women's Blues Review. Now accepting dates for 2008 festivals. Click here to view a mini-montage from last year's Toronto Jazz Festival appearance featuring Carrie Chesnutt, Colleen Allen, Lily Sazz and Henry Heillig.

The Bluzgrass Buzzards

An all-acoustic, mostly instrumental project for occasions which require lively background music.  Typically three or four players with Brian calling upon some of the best and brightest  players on the Toronto bluegrass scene. Brian is pictured at right with Burke Carroll and Drew Jurecka of the Bebop Cowboys playing on the Subway at a Toronto "Live with Culture" event.

Colorblind Brian's Blues Campfire

An old-fashioned song-swap/guitar-pull  that has been very popular with blues musicians at the Blues Summit and the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Conference and for six months running at Toronto's Highway 61 BBQ every Tuesday night.  Pictured above are  Ken Whiteley, Mark "Bird" Stafford, Mr. Rick, Rick Fines and Danny Marks with Brian at the 2007 Blues Summit. This event will be repeated at Hugh's Room on Sunday, January 20th, 2008 as part of the Maple Blues Award week-end activities The Campfire provides a great vehicle for Blues societies and event producers to offer an entertaining evening with interaction between visiting artists with local talent and your friendly host/ facilitator/bass player.

Blues in the Schools

Brian Blain has been a popular Blues In The Schools artist  in programmes sponsored by the Toronto Blues Society, The Orangeville Blues & Jazz Festival and Stellula Music (Barrie/Midland). Brian's lesson plan consists of a geographical, historical and musical tour through the Southern United States starting with work songs from the slaves in the Mississippi cotton fields, following the development of blues in New Orleans where it became more sophisticated with the addition of new instruments, Memphis (where black artists were able to record for the first time), St Louis (where W.C. Handy was able to write down a blues song in musical notation for the first time and have it published across the USA, and ultimately to Chicago where "the blues had a baby and they called it Rock 'n Roll."  Brian also facilitates a blues songwriting session (2 periods required) where students get to write and perform their own blues song.

Click HERE for booking inquiries