Durst gets down and dirty

Blues rocker Bill Durst, who’s been nominated for a Maple Blues Award for his “electric live act,” feels like a hated man.

Blues rocker Bill Durst, who’s been nominated for a Maple Blues Award for his “electric live act,” feels like a hated man.

“Blues purists hate rock ’cause they consider it the bastard son of the blues,” said Durst, who performs on Friday, Dec. 6, at The Vat.

It follows then, that Durst believes his hybrid music is reviled by many blues sticklers. “They say it’s too heavy,” added the musician, putting a sarcastic stress on the last word.

Well, take this purists: Durst has purposely called his new album Hard and Heavy. “What I’m doing is pushing it in their face,” he admitted with a subversive chuckle. “It’s like saying I am the bastard son of rock and I’ve come back to play the blues!”

Regardless of the divisions that exist in blues music, somebody obviously likes Durst enough to have nominated him for a Maple Blues Award. The London, Ont., native feels his nomination was put forward by promoters and people who appreciate his live shows.

“I’m delighted” with this first national accolade, said Durst, who thinks he actually has a crack at winning, as the award will be decided by a public vote at www.mapleblues.ca. (The deadline is Dec. 7.)

Durst is even optimistic enough to hope his new album might blow open his chances for a Juno nomination. (Blame those darned blues purists for squeezing blues-rockers out of previous contention, he said. “They have not the slightest idea what to do with me. …”)

The singer/songwriter and guitarist admitted that his music is “no Poison, Mötley Crüe or Bon Jovi.” But he’s no Chicago blues artist either.

In fact, he writes off “three-chord” Chicago blues as being “one of the most boring art forms on Earth.”

His sound is more inspired by British blues rockers, such as The Yardbirds, Eric Clapton and Cream. Durst also sings the praises of the debut Led Zeppelin 1 release that was described as shockingly loud for its marriage of blues and metal.

On Hard and Heavy, Durst has co-written most songs with Joe DeAngels, his fellow band member from the former 1970s group Thundermug, which was perhaps best known for producing the single Africa and touring with the Stampeders and April Wine.

Some of his favourite tunes on the new CD are Heartless Man, about the kind of guy who walks over other people, and Blue Rain, about getting through tough times (the latter song sends Durst on an anti-Prime Minister Stephen Harper tirade that includes the terms “malevolent government” and “unbelievable sycophants.”)

One of the most touching tunes on the release is Angels Fly, which was inspired by a TV interview Durst once heard. The woman was talking about one of her grandma’s sayings: “Angels fly because they take themselves lightly.”

“When I sing that one alone with my guitar, we tend to get a moderate amount of tears” from the crowd, he admitted.

For more information about the show, call 403-346-5636.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lyn Radford, 2019 Canada Winter Games board chair, was named 2020 Sport Event Volunteer of the Year at the Prestige Awards. (File photo by Advocate staff)
WATCH: Lyn Radford wins award for volunteer efforts

The board chair of the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Red Deer dips below 300 active COVID-19 cases

The number of active COVID-19 cases in Red Deer continued to drop… Continue reading

A candlelight vigil will be held in Red Deer on Thursday to honour the 350-plus people killed in the Easter bombing attack in Sri Lanka. Contributed photo
Candlelight vigil planned for deaths linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak

A candlelight vigil is being planned for those who died due to… Continue reading

Red Deer Rebels forward Jaxsen Wiebe battles Calgary Hitmen forward Cael Zimmerman for a loose puck when the two teams squared off in February last season. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Calgary Hitmen shutout Red Deer Rebels

Rebels name centre Jayden Grubbe team captain ahead of Friday’s game

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Funeral for Walter Gretzky to be held Saturday in home town of Brantford, Ont.

The funeral for hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s father Walter will take place… Continue reading

A sign for the Canadian Security Intelligence Service building is shown in Ottawa on May 14, 2013. A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the judicial warrant process at Canada's spy agency — an issue that made headlines last summer — stretch back at least nine years. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Spy warrant shortcomings stretch back almost a decade, newly released audit shows

OTTAWA — A newly released audit report shows that difficulties with the… Continue reading

In this file photo, a lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018. (By THE CANADIAN PRESS)
No winning ticket for Friday night’s Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the estimated $29 million… Continue reading

A trial countdown sign marks the days at George Floyd Square, March 4, 2021, in Minneapolis. Ten months after police officers brushed off George Floyd's moans for help on the street outside a south Minneapolis grocery, the square remains a makeshift memorial for Floyd who died at the hand of police making an arrest. The trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin will begin with jury selection on March 8. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
Officer’s trial could reopen intersection where Floyd died

MINNEAPOLIS — During a group’s recent meeting at the now-vacant Speedway gas… Continue reading

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Police Chief Chuck Lovell calls for an end to violence in the city during a news conference a day after a demonstrator was shot and killed in downtown Portland. Amid protests following the police killing of George Floyd last year Portland dissolved a special police unit designed to focus on gun violence. Critics say the squad unfairly targeted Black people, but gun violence and homicides have since spiked in Oregon's largest city, and some say disbanding the 35-officer unit was a mistake. (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, File)
As violence surges, some question Portland axing police unit

PORTLAND, Ore. — Elmer Yarborough got a terrifying call from his sister:… Continue reading

Harley Hay
Harley Hay: Just don’t call it cod liver oil

Many people swear that a daily dose of various vitamins is an… Continue reading

Email editor@auburn-reporter.com
Letter: Preserving green spaces in Red Deer

The Advocate published an article Feb. 11 about Sunnybrook residents concerned about… Continue reading

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Former Toronto Argonauts lineman Chris Schultz remembered as a gentle giant

Most Read