I am thrilled to announce that I have placed 3rd in the Blues Category in the 2016 International Songwriting Competition! Big shout out to my co-writer Rich Mackenzie (aka Dad!), my producer Dean Malton at Groundloop Studio, Phase One Studio, Brant Parker and my studio musicians and to my band. Congratulations to all the winners and finalist! https://www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners
“There is no question that musicians should be judged by ability and not by age, and that is certainly the case with 17 year-old blues guitarist Spencer MacKenzie…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 (USA)
BLUES AND ROOTS RADIO:
Very honoured to be featured as the 'Album of the Week' on Blues and Roots Radio. June 10th 2016:
Spencer MacKenzie's debut recording confirms that blues music has a future and that young people all over "get it" regardless of yet having some of the life
experiences that the genre so often detail and that the blues is a feeling, one that can't be denied or suppressed.
As MacKenzie puts it "I got the blues running through my veins, people say I'm too young, oh that's a shame.
MIDWEST RECORD REVIEW:
SPENCER MACKENZIE/Infected With the Blues: Feel like saying ‘no way’? Here’s a white boy with the blues---but get this, he’s 16, looks half of that, can shred like a badass and writes stuff deeper than ‘I got the blues, I paid my dues…’. And this white boy is from Canada. An award winner since 2013, he’s got the smarts and knowledge to mix Dylan with Memphis Minnie next to his originals. This is one tyro that you’ll want to applaud instead of slap across the face. He’s on to something here, check it out.
HAMILTON BLUES LOVERS:
Fort Erie Spencer Mackenzie Unleashes Energetic Blues Album
Fort Erie teenage Blues sensation Spencer Mackenzie has been astounding everyone with his wild, powerful guitar skills for quite a while. Now he's bottled up that energy and unleashed it on his debut CD, Infected with the Blues.
Featuring 8 covers and 3 originals co-written by the young performer, the album displays Spencer's explosive, hard rockin, style. His voice and guitar playing show more soul and character than some players three times his age.
The songs have a full sound thanks to some incredible backup: Brant Parker, David "The Groove Doctor" McMorrow, Alan Duffy, Sean O'Grady, Ryan Baker, Bill Holinaty, Mike Polci, Max Hillier, Sharon Riley, Rochelle Harrison, Camille Harrison and Dean Malton, who also produces.
So hurry to one of his unforgettable live shows to pick up the CD or order it through his online shop. You can also download it using cdbaby.
KEYS AND CHORDS REVIEW (translated)
Canadian Spencer MacKenzie is a 16-year-old prodigy who makes speak for themselves his guitar. He is the beard in the throat not really outgrown, but his voice sounds more miraculous than adult. Since its fifth he is a gifted guitarist and in 2013 won Spencer Niagara Music Awards Rising Star Award, was selected to Perform on Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis and received a scholarship from Fernando Jones to his Blues Foundation Blues Camp this summer in Chicago. There we met quite by accident Spencer, and the young guy told us when excited and rightly proud of his debut for the future. Well, here it is. Spencer MacKenzie's debut album 'Infected With The Blues "contains three original songs and five covers pretty fearless. The title track 'Infected Wih The Blues' was inspired by the comments he received from some individuals. Who felt he was too young to interpret to blues. Spencer explains in song how he was infected by the blues sound and the music just flows through his veins. Spencer did not opt for the blues, the blues chose him. 'Devil Under Her Skin', deals with well-known themes and give cautionary advice note on relationship's datings and the temptations associated with this. The track "Goodbye Lucille" is a tribute to one of his greatest mentors B. B. King. Spencer was inspired here by Kings death. The album has been modernized and we are finally some youthful versions of blues classics, including the fantastic "Mess Around," "Kissing In The Dark ', originally from Memphis Minnie, the great boogie' Jumpin 'From Six To Six', the ballad "Sinner's Prayers Lowell Fulson and Hendrix classic version 'All Along the Watchtower," which actually originally flowed from the pen of Bob Dylan. Spencer is a guitar virtuoso who found backing for his release in an all-star blues band. Teen Spencer MacKenzie represents a budding music career and confirms that blues music does have a future.
Spencer MacKenzie is a young blues sensation from Canada. The singer / guitarist's only sixteen, but everyone in Canada predicts this boy a golden future. In 2013, Spencer won the Niagara Music Rising Award and this year he was selected to perform at the 2016 Youth Showcase at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He also received a scholarship from the Blues Foundation so he this summer to Fernando Jones Blues Camp is in Chicago. He brings with 'Infected With The Blues' debut album. There are eight tracks on which Spencer myself wrote three, the other five are covers. The album was recorded at the Phase One Recording Studio in Toronto and Dean Malton is the producer and also was responsible for mixing and mastering of the album.
Young handsome guy opens with the title song 'Infected With The Blues'. This own written song has a beautiful rhythm and the young man proves that he knows how to play the guitar well. His voice is quite strong for his age. Keyboardist David 'Groove Doctor' McMorrow makes the keys with some colorful riffs for crisp sound. The tempo goes up considerably in 'Mess Around', which we know from Ray Charles. The song is supported by many instruments, but his keyboardist David McMorrow, saxophonist Bil Holinaty and guitarist Spencer provided the number of spicy short solos. The young guy has a flair for writing clever blues songs we heard in the opener, but "Devil Under Her Skin 'is really a gem. The only downside here is maybe Spencer has not yet lived the raw voice that has this blues song needed, but for the rest 'Devil Under Her Skin "a great number. Everything about this song is finished and I am also thinking of the fantastic backing vocals by Sharon Riley, Rochelle Harrison, Camille Harrison and Dean Malton, but also the blues harp Max Hiller can really appeal to me. The latest release of Memphis Minnie's in 1953 came with "Kissing In The Dark ', now more than sixty years later, the young Spencer MacKenzie picks this number back and make it a modern version. Both the vocals, the guitar solo as the entire number which remains too clean for me.
The third and final private number is the blues ballad "Goodbye Lucille," Spencer tells his big blues idol BB King. Hammond sounds carry this very beautiful ballad sung by the young boy with a lot of feeling. David McMorrow is again very explicitly present on the keyboard and Spencer late again hear snatches of his strong guitar work. Lovely piano work and many wind we get in the swinging 'Jumpin' From Six To Six. Spencer needs a big fan of Ray Charles because after 'Mess Around' we also get the soulful ballad "Sinner's Prayer" which was written by Lowell Fulson. This kind of music fits much better with the possibilities of Spencer then 'Kissing In The Dark' and 'previous' Jumpin' From Six To Six. Here Spencer MacKenzie could be much better put in his soul and that you hear once in the result. The valve is 'All Along The Wathtower' Bob Dylan, but in the Jimi Hendrix version. This may not be the best version of this song, but you can not expect someone of sixteen. So many great artists have covered this song and I think that Spencer MacKenzie is not bad at all from bringing.
'Infected With The Blues "is a very enjoyable album, which definitely own written songs are among the highlights. Spencer MacKenzie is a name to keep an eye on. His concert calendar is well filled, so he will gain a lot of experience in a short time. I'm already looking forward to the sequel to the 'Infected With The Blues'
ROOTSVILLE BLUES JAZZ AND ROOTS INFO:
Spencer Mackenzie is one of the most promising youngsters in Canada in the case of the blues. Barely 16 and after listening to his 'Infected With The Blues' certainly for the big and better work. When I started to read the appendix of this album, I knew in advance what to expect and when you see comparisons of Joe Bonamassa to BB King you do not know it once more because we are talking about almost the entire spectrum of this music.
Sixteen and at age 13 he already won "The Niagara Music Rising Star 'award to the extent that at all may mean something. After this CD to have a listen first we have to apologize all careful because this youngster has it all.
Inside the cover, he thanked legends as Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, SRV, BB King, Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters to infect the blues with him and unfortunately only Buddy Guy can read this yet, the rest is all pleite. My first impression when viewing the cover was one of a young guitarist who comes here once give equally impressive solos but I must admit that he is here on this eight-track album just impressive blues is at best provide.
Even more impressive, there are three songs that he wrote with one R.MacKenzie and because the annex speaks of a 'familair thing' we suppose, but it's dad. Title track 'Infected With The Blues',' Devil Under Her Skin "and" Goodbye Lucille these songs of his own, and especially in "Goodbye Lucille" he knows how to touch a chord with me because this wonderful bluesje is dedicated to BB King .
'Devil Under Her Skin' is intended not to go fast for love but this is pure musical gem. Agreement you still hear his youthful voice, but that will change and then, this Spencer totally because must still little change in coming to his guitar playing. That is already there.
Five covers and then we hear the first Ray Charles' "Mess Around," a song that was written at the time by the President and founder of Atlantic Records, Ahmet Ertegun aka A.Ertegun. A song where the Spencer immediately MacKenzie also shows his versatility. Furthermore, we get 'Kissing in the Dark "and the West Coast ' Jumpin 'From Six to Six.
After "Sinner's Prayer" by Lowell Fulson we saw then Robert Zimmerman 'All Along The Watchtower' stand and so we were instantly curious how this 16-year-old would crawl into the skin of Jimi Hendrix. The result? More than satisfactory with a different arrangement than we would expect, and thus is no doubt that this Spencer MacKenzie in blues may predict a bright future.
BILLYBOP CD REVIEW:
Sixteen-year-old Spencer MacKenzie plays the blues like any well seasoned blues artist. While some might say he is to young to have the life experiences that normally comes with the blues Spencer let his guitar do the talking to convince everyone who thinks that way. Or as he sings, “I got the blues running through my veins, people say I’m to young, that’s a shame.” His voice is quite solid and his guitar work is extremely well done. In the extraordinary “Devil Under Her Skin” Mackenzie sings about familiar themes like dating, temptation and relationships. “Goodbye Lucille” is inspired by B.B. King but next to his own compositions, “Infected with the blues” also does have some modernized versions of blues classics like “Sinner’s Prayer”, “Kissing in the dark” and All along the watchtower amongst others. Spencer Mackenzie’s “Infected with the blues” might not be the biggest blues album out there; it certainly is a showcase of something big to come. Check it out if you like the blues.
Niagara Music Awards 2013: Rising Star Award
So honoured to have won the Niagara Music Awards Rising Star category. Also very pleased to have been nominated for the "Music Video of the Year".