Toronzo Cannon

“I want my songs to be heard and experienced, not just listened to,” says Chicago bluesman Toronzo Cannon. Known for his original songs, inventive guitar work, and impassioned vocals, Cannon stands out in today’s contemporary blues scene. His music draws inspiration from blues legends like Muddy Waters and Jimi Hendrix.

On his third Alligator Records album, Shut Up And Play!, Cannon delivers 11 emotionally charged originals. Co-produced by Cannon and Alligator president Bruce Iglauer, the album features tracks like the anthemic “I Hate Love,” the reflective “Guilty,” and the personal “Message To My Daughter.” The opener, “Can’t Fix The World,” and the title track reflect his views on societal issues and personal frustrations.

Cannon, a former Chicago Transit Authority bus driver, began his blues journey inspired by the sounds of Chicago’s South Side clubs. Despite initially playing reggae, his true calling was the blues, influenced by greats such as Buddy Guy and Albert King. Cannon has released several acclaimed albums, earning numerous Blues Music Award nominations and international recognition. His powerful live performances have captivated audiences worldwide, solidifying his status as a modern blues master. “You don’t choose the blues,” he says. “The blues chooses you.”