Gary Kendall

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Gary Kendall is an award-winning Canadian bassist, vocalist and band leader, best known for his longstanding association with the Downchild Blues Band.


Gary Kendall, originally from Thunder Bay, Ontario, has been a working musician since the late 1960s, in addition to being involved with music as a record producer and booking agent. He is a multiple Maple Blues Award[2] winner as bassist of the year, where, since 1999, he has acted as the musical director of the awards program.[3] His distinguished musical career was so honoured by the Maple Blues Awards as early as 1993.

Kendall played with the Downchild Blues Band during the 1979-1983 period. With fellow Downchild alumnus Cash Wall, Kendall subsequently formed the Kendall Wall Blues Band, which was well known in Toronto and area during the 1980s and early 1990s. As the house band at Toronto's Black Swan Tavern, the Kendall Wall Blues Band played with such blues legends as A.C. Reed, Pinetop Perkins, Eddy Clearwater, Tinsley Ellis, Little Willie Littlefield, Chubby Carrier, Bernard Allison, Eddie C. Campbell, Lefty Dizz, Eddie "Clean Head" Vinson, Eddie Shaw, Carey Bell and Fenton Robinson.[3]

Kendall has also performed with such artists as Snooky Pryor, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Big Jay McNeeley, Bob Margolin, Big Dave MacLean, Duke Robillard, Morgan Davis, Zora Young and Phil Guy. He has recorded with Chris Murphy, Little Bobby & The Jumpstarts, Peter Schmidt and Shane Scott, Brian Blain and Maria Aurigema.[4]

From 1994-2010, Kendall was the booking agent for the The Silver Dollar Room, one of Toronto's best known blues bars, which has operated continuously, in various formats, since 1958.[5]

Kendall rejoined Downchild in 1995 and has continued to play and record with the band since that time, in addition to contributing to the work of other musicians and leading his own band, The Gary Kendall Band.[6] His association as musical director of the Maple Blues Awards resulted in the formation of the Maple Blues Revue, with which Kendall continues to be associated and to tour.[7]


  • 1993 Blues With a Feeling Award, Toronto Blues Society, honouring distinguished career
  • 1997 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 1999 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2000 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2002 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2002 Thunder Blues Award, City of Thunder Bay[4]
  • 2002 Keeping The Blues Alive Award, Thunder Bay Blues Society
  • 2005 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2007 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2012 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2013 Maple Blues Award, Bassist of The Year
  • 2014 Juno Award Winner, Downchild Blues Band, Blues Album of the Year


With The Downchild Blues Band[edit]

  • 1979 We Deliver(Attic)
  • 1980 Road Fever (Attic)
  • 1980 Double Header (Attic) (double album reissue of Straight Up and We Deliver)
  • 1981 Blood Run Hot (with Spencer Davis) (Attic)
  • 1982 But I'm On The Guest List (Attic)
  • 1988 We Deliver/Straight Up [double album re-issue] (Attic)
  • 1997 Lucky 13 (Downchild Music)
  • 1998 A Case Of The Blues - The Best Of Downchild (Attic)
  • 2000 A Matter Of Time - The Downchild Collection (Blue Wave - US)
  • 2003 Body Of Work - The Downchild Collection Volume 2 (Blue Wave - US)
  • 2004 But I'm On The Guest List [re-issue] (Unidisc)
  • 2004 Blood Run Hot [re-issue] (Unidisc)
  • 2004 We Deliver [re-issue] (Unidisc)
  • 2004 Come On In (Downchild Music)
  • 2007 Live At The Palais Royale (Downchild Music)
  • 2009 I Need A Hat (Linus)
  • 2013 Can You Hear The Music (Linus)

The Kendall Wall Band[edit]

The Way We Was 2013 (reissue of the almost lost studio recordings from 1988–89)


  • 2004 Dusty and Pearl (47 Records)

Gary Kendall Band[edit]

  • 2008 Feels Real Strong (47 Records)[8]

Maple Blues Revue[edit]

  • 2008 Live At Twisted Pines (Preservation Music)


  • 1999 Chris Murphy, Blowin' The Horn (Speakeasy; also co-producer, with Michael Fonfara)
  • 2001 Little Bobby and The Jumpstarts, Tickets in the Glove Box (Green Bullet)
  • 2003 Peter Schmidt and Shane Scott, Blues Approved (Stone Pillar)
  • 2004 Chris Murphy, I'm A Happy Guy
  • 2004 Maria Aurigema, Take Me
  • 2005 Brian Blain,Overqualified for the Blues (Northern Blues)
  • 2012 David Vest East Meets Vest (Ark-O-Matic) co-producer
  • 2014 David Vest Roadhouse Revelation" (Cordova Bay) co-producer
  • 2014 Tobin Spring Collective Blues Agreement indie


  1. ^ Primarily from
  2. ^ The Maple Blues Awards are Canada's equivalent of The Blues Music Awards (formerly the W.C. Handy Awards) that take place yearly in Memphis.
  3. ^ a b Biography of Gary Kendall; See also Profile of Gary Kendall, February 24. 2009;
  4. ^ a b Portrait of Gary Kendall;
  5. ^ History of The Silver Dollar Room;
  6. ^ Downchild Biography;
  7. ^ See; see also Portrait of The Maple Blues Band;
  8. ^ According to reviewer John Taylor, "Kendall's responsible for all but one of the tunes here, and while the forms may be familiar there's nothing formulaic in his compositions. He writes from the heart, and his laconic delivery is both thoroughly convincing and downright personable. ...Feels Real Strong is a compelling collection that borrows from and builds upon the blues while refusing to be confined by convention." John Taylor, Review of Feels Real Strong. "Blues On Stage", January, 2009;
  9. ^ Primarily from

External links[edit]