Information about

Mark (West Coast) Comerford

Born 1955 in Victoria BC

  • grew up in a musical family and became influenced by the blues, folk and rock music that his older siblings were playing in the 1960’s
  • After high school formed a band with a schoolmate (actor Marcus Hondro)
  • as an obsession with the blues grew they made trips to Chicago to soak in thehuge and authentic blues scene. A highlight was a personal tour of several of themore famous South Side bars including Teresa’s by blues drummer Clifton James.
  • in 1979 they moved to Toronto where they met local musicians and formed theBluesgrinders. They toured around Southern Ontario for a year, -moved back to the Vancouver Island and fortuitously met Hank Leonhardtthrough an add for blues musicans and together they formed Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band.
  • after being a regional success for several years they disbanded in 1981.
  • Formed a band called the Rockin Devils and played all over Vancouver Island for many years in a blues and rockabilly style.
  • Fronted and was influenced by famous blues guitarist Hubert Sumlin, who he flew out from Chicago to tour with him on two occasions.
  • performed and composed vintage style R&B songs for five years in Soul Station,a band fronted by Joyce “The Voice” Allensen
  • Performed with the revived Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues band to perform in many of the most prominent blues clubs and music festivals in Western Canada, until 2018.
  • formed the Blue Hearts with Hank Leonhardt to compete in the International Blues Challenge in 2017 and 2019. After winning locally they competed in Memphis with some success (semi-final) and gained inspiration from the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans areas. They also performed at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival in 2018, trading songs with Harp Dog Brown and Little Jimmy Reed among others.
  • currently performing in a country blues style, solo or with the Blue Hearts and “Lazy” Mike Mallon.
  • formed the Blue Hearts with Hank Leonhardt to compete in the International Blues Challenge in 2017 and 2019. After winning locally they competed in Memphis with some success (semi-final) and gained inspiration from the Mississippi Delta and New Orleans areas. They also performed at the Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival in 2018, trading songs with Harp Dog Brown and Little Jimmy Reed among others.
  • currently performing in a country blues style, solo or with the Blue Hearts and “Lazy” Mike Mallon.
  • continues to be a prolific songwriter and poet in the blues idiom, bringing originality to every project he is involved in. Upcoming releases include albums of songs inspired by the Cowichan Valley and a Christmas album.

News

I started out 2019 with a bang performing at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The Blue Hearts played their hearts out!

We were very satisfied with our performance but as we failed to meet our goal of performing in the big final at the Orpheum theatre, we took solace from the fact that we saw many talented and inspirational people who were in the same boat.

We also met some great performers and saw many feature shows at the Rum Boogie like Bobby Brown.

Mark and Erin Harpe

The Blue Hearts in Memphis

I made a side trip to Chicago on the way to Memphis and braved the cold to go see the Chess records building. It is kept in original condition and is a wonderful tribute to all the great music that was recorded there. You can stand on the same spot that Chuck Berry was when he recorded one of his big hits, like “Rock And roll Music.” So many blues classics by the likes of Muddy waters and Little Walter where laid down there as well.

From the loading dock I walked up the same narrow stairs that the Rolling stones hauled their equipment up back in 1964 to record 5X5.

In Memphis I went back to Sun Records studio, the other iconic building of blues legend. It also is kept as a museum and is full of wonderful memorabilia.

Media

Family man

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Contact

Email me at comerford@shaw.ca
Facebook @ MarkComerfordmusic