Sometimes we just know who we must have at the Hornby Island Blues Workshop. That usually happens when the stars line up and a story gets told. Gary Kendall’s blues journey began in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the northern end of Highway 61, while scanning the radio dial for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon Sunnyland Slim and Elvis, he discovered the blues. At age sixteen, six months after acquiring his first pawn shop electric guitar; Gary jumped at the chance to join a band called The Countdowns and play bass. A decade and several hundred gigs later, he was sitting in with Muddy Waters and beginning his long association with Downchild. There are likely hundreds of stories within this story but with that kind of pedigree, we had to invite Gary to be our bass player at our Workshop and he has been back many times. What we get with Gary in the engine room is an exceptionally gifted bassist with enough road dust experience to make anything he does with blues music very real. Today Gary continues his work as a band leader, producer, singer/songwriter and bassist extraordinaire. His discography is miles long, and his recognition includes several industry career awards and eight Maple Blues awards that give him a kind of arcing energy in his innovative teaching style. No matter what level of bass player you are, whether just working it out in your living room or gigging down at the local bar, Gary’s great love of the bass and his long-term knowledge of playing and performing will only make you better. Isn’t it time to become inspired by a real pro with a love of the instrument and the genre?