Bluesman AL LERMAN is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter. He was founder and leader of the 2X Juno Award winning band FATHEAD, and along the way built a solid career touring as an acoustic solo act, accompanying himself on guitar and rack harmonica. An engaging and skilled artist, his shows often feature humorous anecdotes interspersed between great blues songs. He is regarded among the top harmonica players in the country and his prowess on the instrument has earned him no less than ten Maple Blues Award nominations in that instrument category. He has been heard on countless recordings and live sessions with some of the best in the blues. In 2016 his standout “Slow Burn” disc made the esteemed world-wide list of Top 100 Blues Albums Of The Year. That same year he also garnered a Maple Blues Award nomination for “Acoustic Act Of The Year”. In 2017 he received a Recognition Award for “Leadership In Arts & Culture” from the County of Peterborough.
Side projects include the MAPLE BLUES BAND, the house band for the annual Maple Blues Awards show. They have backed guest performers such as Colin James, Shakura S’Aida, Paul Reddick, Duke Robillard and many more. GENIUS + SOUL, led by pianist Lance Anderson, celebrates the music of Ray Charles. Ray’s soulful repertoire gives Al’s big, Texas-style tenor sax a chance to shine. Through the years, Al has also been active in sharing his harmonica skills, conducting harmonica workshops in schools, music camps and festivals.
Very early on, Al was taken to hear SONNY TERRY & BROWNIE McGHEE at Toronto’s famed Riverboat coffeehouse. His interest in blues immediately sky-rocketed, and over the years he saw the duo no less than forty times. Moving into his twenties while playing in local Toronto blues bands, Al sought out many of his musical heroes, seeking both advice and inspiration. He considers himself fortunate to have sat in with blues giants such as MUDDY WATERS, WILLIE DIXON, SUNNYLAND SLIM and more. He became fast friends with Chicago harmonica player CAREY BELL who mentored him on the instrument. Hearing him now, there’s no doubt he learned his lessons well.
A full-time musician for over forty years with an impressive catalogue of well crafted songs, Al casts a magical spell on his audience wherever he goes.