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Spencer MacKenzie

With his fluid phrasing, resonant tone, and expressive performances, one could believe Spencer Mackenzie was born on Beale Street. They, however, would be wrong. The lauded JUNO-nominated blues-rock artist hails from Southern Ontario and has steadily earned accolades, and the attention of blues aficionados worldwide, since his first studio album in 2016. Leaving nothing behind when he steps to the stage, Mackenzie offers showgoers a powerhouse performance, commanding his guitar with sophistication and prowess beyond his years.

For nearly a decade, Spencer Mackenzie has been writing and recording true blues, showcasing the raw emotion and honesty the genre demands. There’s a familiarity and ease with which he approaches the music, almost as though it flows through rather than from him. In song, he connects with the storied past of blues music, lyrically navigating through his pain to find purpose and the promise of tomorrow. The energy of his work is infectious, permeating through the listener until they, too, feel the heartbeat of the blues.

Upon the release of his third studio album, 2022’s Preach To My Soul (Gypsy Soul Records), Spencer hit the highway for a string of successful shows throughout Canada. Striking, confident, and compelling in its maturity, his third effort was produced/engineered and mixed by Emmy award-winning producer Ross Hayes-Citrullo at RHC Music in Toronto. Joined by some of Canada’s top talents, including JUNO winner Steve Strongman, Preach To My Soul tears from the speakers with grit and gusto. After countless hours studying the bends and bellows of B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Buddy Guy, Spencer wears his influences on his sleeve, channelling his reverence for the bluesmen who came before him into the title track. Over the album’s ten songs, Mackenzie offers listeners a transportive experience, sonically guiding them from the smoky juke joints of the Deep South to the rowdy roadhouses of rural America.

Playing with an undeniable joy and passion that is heard and seen Mackenzie showcases mastery over his instrument. Though many before him have wielded six strings, few can make them sing. Pairing a crisp, clean tone with throaty, rich vocals, Spencer channels the spirit of the Delta, conjuring emotive performances with hair-raising effect. Punchy riffs strike driving rhythms, supported by soaring organ and pulsing bass, making for a lively listen. With crossover into roots and soul, the songwriter and Maple Blues award winner will find appreciation from fans of Joe Bonamassa, Gary Clark Jr., and Marcus King.

In 2023 with numerous Canadian, European, and US shows performed, and stepping into 2024  with some incredible tour dates, and a new album set to release the end of this year, the left-handed guitar slinger shows no signs of slowing down. In his short career, he has proven he can captivate audiences and hold the stage like a seasoned veteran. There’s no denying “this feels like the beginning of something big, maybe even huge” (Gonzo Okanagan). Lending vibrant, youthful energy to the genre, Spencer Mackenzie is putting his stamp on the blues, sure to inspire the next generation of blues rockers with his signature, seemingly effortless style along the way.