Mel Brown and Tony Flaim
The Kendall Wall Band backed a couple of great blues talents at The Beaches Blues and Jazz Festival including the late Tony Flaim and the late Mel Brown.
Tony Flaim was among the original voices of the blues in Canada. He sang vocals on six (6) Downchild Blues Band recordings during 15 on-again, off-again years as lead singer of the seminal Canadian blues band. As well Tony sang with the Cameo Blues Band ... the legendary house-band at the Cameo Lounge of Toronto's Hotel Isabella. He formed Tony Flaim and The Dukes which sang out of Toronto's Jarvis House Tavern as well Tony was the original lead singer of the multi award winning blues band Fathead.
Tony died of a heart attack on March 10, 2000 at the age of 52 ... less than three months after Hock Walsh who he succeeded as singer for The Downchild Blues Band.
Mel Brown was an American born blues singer/guitarist from Jackson, Mississippi who in 1990 during a 4 day gig at Kitchener Ontario' Pop the Gator decided to stay and make Canada his home. The Canadian blues community greeted Mel with open arms.
Mel was featured on a number of recordings with him as a solo artist and eventually with his backing band The Home Wreckers. As well Mel played guitar and piano as a sideman on a number of recordings by legendary masters of blues: B.B. King, Albert Collins, James Cotton, John Lee Hooker, Bobby Blue Bland and T-Bone Walker to name a few.
Mel died of complications of emphysema on March 20, 2009 at the age of 69.