2023 JUNO Nominee
- Blues Album Of The Year
2023 Independent Blues Awards Nominations
-Best New Artist CD
-Best Modern Roots Song
2019 Independent Blues Awards Nominations
-Independant Blues Rock CD
-Best New Artist
-Best Contemporary Blues Song
2017 Blues Artist Of The Year
-Niagara Music Awards
2016 New Artist Of The Year
-Maple Blues Awards
International Songwriting Competition 2016
-3rd Place Winner Blues Category
2016 Toronto Blues Society
-Talent Search Winner
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.
Stepping into 2023 with numerous Canadian, European, and US dates booked, 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.
'This is music will make you feel something, maybe even grab you and shove you up against the wall.....This feels like the beginning of something big, maybe even huge.' - Gonzo Okanagan (Canada)
'His rich vocals and crisp attack on guitar should garner even more attention with this commanding mix of original blues-infused soul and blues-rock.' - Chicago Blues Guide (US)
“His guitar playing is crisp and clean even as it delivers some down- to-the bone licks…He’s got the blues power in his soul...”
- Blues Blast Magazine (US)
‘Spencer Mackenzie has a few things that older blues veterans can’t speak to and those are his strengths at this point–his youthful hope with an eye toward the future… and he’ll be the one taking the blues there with him. Believe it!’ - Tom O’Connor, Rock and Blues Muse (US)
'Preach To My Soul, could well be the major international breakthrough of Spencer MacKenzie.'- Concert Monkey (Belguim)
'Spencer's songwriting, vocals and guitar playing all display continued growth and maturity - which has lead to the creation of an album that can stand with the best of contemporary blues releases' - Toronto Blues Society (Canada)
Spencer Mackenzie sets the bar high with an album of great maturity, one of those works that we would swear out of the discography of an old veteran who has spent many years on the chitlin 'circuit to get so much mastery.’ - Fred Delforge, ZicaZic (FR)
‘The proof, as someone once said, is in the pudding, and Mackenzie is not only a mean guitarist with a throaty and surprisingly mature voice, but he has an obvious innate feel for the blues that some players spend a lifetime not connecting to.’ - Shane Pinnagar, 100 Percent Rock Magazine (US)
'His guitar playing, both on Gibson and Fender is equally astonishing. Now that’s so many greats in the genre have already passed away it is very refreshing to hear that such a youngster continues the tradition so richly and passionately' -OOR Magazine (Netherlands)
‘Virtuoso pulls out all the stops in his new album!’ - Concert Monkey (Belgium)
‘Mackenzie puts his artistry on full display with his seasoned melodic phrasing and creative tone-crafting to fit whatever moods he pursues.’ – JAZZ.FM91 (Canada)
'As is often claimed in such cases, Spencer Mackenzie turns out to be something of an old soul transported into a young body. How to explain if not that at barely 22 years old, his guitar playing expresses so much the still vivid memory of heroes of yesteryear?'- Paris Move (France)
'Niagara Blues master Spencer Mackenzie has been topping himself with every release and his latest phenomenal album, Preach to My Soul, is no different. This Gypsy Soul Records release (distributed by Warner Canada) is a massive step forward.'- Blues Lovers Hamilton (Canada)
'Spencer Mackenzie has since developed his own sound, a vintage sound, a style that resonates and has the phrasing of a seasoned musician. And this despite his young age. Good looking!'- Keys and Chords (Belgium)
“His strength is his natural aptitude for the blues…” “Spencer Mackenzie’s new album, 'Preach to My Soul' will surely fascinate the true blues crowd, while crossing the barriers inspiring soul and roots fans…” ESC for Rootstime (Belgium)
‘Working with producer Dean Malton and on one track none other than Eddie Kramer, he has moved into the big leagues.’ – John Valenteyn, Toronto Blues Society (CA)
‘Goodbye Lucille is the best musical tribute to BB King I've ever heard.’ - Blues Matters Magazine (UK)
‘On Cold November, he aims to warm people’s hearts instead of their libidos. He’d give crooner Sam Smith some stiff competition if the two ever performed together.’ - Rainey Wetnight, Blues Blast Magazine (US)