Dan McKinnon

June 3, 2018 @ 1:30 pm
Royal LePage - Main Stage

dan mckinnon

Mixing equal parts musical scholar and tattooed rock n’ roll rebel, Toronto-based guitarist Dan McKinnon is not your average blues rocker. While the foundation of his music is rooted in the sounds of Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Guy, and the three Kings, McKinnon also incorporates jazz, hip-hop, and fuzzed-out rock to create a sound that’s uniquely his own.After his first release, the 2013 full-length album As Sharp As Possible, McKinnon received extensive critical acclaim and airplay across North America, Europe, and Australia. In addition to being named as the Canadian Blues Debut of the Year by the Blues Underground Network, the album solidified McKinnon as a Canadian blues voice on the rise. Fast-forward to 2017 where Dan has taken yet another step forward. After spending the previous years establishing himself as a fixture in the Toronto blues scene through his ongoing residency at the Kensington Market venue Poetry Jazz Café, McKinnon released Jook Joint, a live video EP that features his reinterpretations of traditional blues standards. The momentum from this project caught the attention of the Toronto Blues Society, who selected McKinnon as their 2017 Talent Search Winner after competing in a showcase held at the TD Jazz Festival. Only months later, Dan’s success continued as he was awarded the Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship, an artist development prize given by one of the longest running music venues in Toronto, Grossman’s Tavern. The future ahead is only looking brighter, which includes a follow-up album planned for an early-2018 release and more shows in Ontario and the surrounding provinces.

Blues Rock Review once wrote, “With one great lick, a genre can don a new face, a new energy and excitement. Enter Toronto native Dan McKinnon…from the slow and soulful to the edgy solos that really bite, the road ahead knows no limits.” After hearing his music or seeing him live, you will see why this is the case.


-2017 Toronto Blues Society Talent Search Winner

-2017 Amy Louie Grossman’s Music Scholarship Winner

-2013 Canadian Blues Debut of the Year and Third Best Canadian Blues/Rock Release (Blues Underground Network)

“Dan McKinnon’s As Sharp As Possible is a superb album that brings a very modern and fresh approach to raucous blues…A.S.A.P. is clearly a project with a mission to make a lasting statement. It’s aggressive, fast and exciting.” – Rust Zine

“This thirty-something musician is a hot commodity on the local music scene in Ontario….If you like your blues rocking, you will certainly find something you like on this gentleman’s debut album!” – Blues Blast Magazine

“This is the blues with muscle and attitude, the kind of music that sounds better the louder it is played….Four Stars+.” – Gonzo Online

“A rockin’ blues riot…McKinnon uses his lead work as a flame thrower through hot dry timbers.” – Bman’s Blues Report