Toronto-based Chris Antonik was nominated for Best New Artist in 2011 at Canada’s Maple Blues Awards after the release of his debut album, and has since become one of Canada’s fastest-rising blues artists. Blending innovative, thoughtful songwriting with stunning blues guitar work, some music critics have drawn comparisons to Eric Clapton.
In its 2010 year-end review, Chris was named the “future of the blues” by Canada’s Blues Underground Network. In 2013, Chris’ sophomore album Better for You was hailed by critics as “a masterpiece,” “the best Canadian blues-rock album of 2013,” and “the sound of someone taking the blues to a new place.”
The album spent three weeks at #1 on DAWG FM (Canada’s only all blues FM station), attained significant airplay across Canada, the US and Europe, including on Sirius XM Bluesville, and was nominated for Best Blues Album by the German Record Critics’ Association. Oregon’s Cascade Blues Association called it “one of the finest releases from the Great White North in many a year.”
Guests on Better For You included two-time Grammy award-winner Mike Mattison (The Derek Trucks Band, The Tedeschi-Trucks Band), Blues Music award-nominee Shakura S’Aida, and Steve Marriner (MonkeyJunk).
Chris has performed at major blues festivals across Canada, and has toured the US extensively, including performances at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago (for the 2015 Buddy Guy’s Legends Blues Festival), and Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco. In 2016, Chris returned to Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago, and also undertook his first UK tour. Chris released his third studio record “Monarch” in April 2017, which was nominated fro Recording of the Year (and Chris as producer) at the 2018 Maple Blues Awards. Chris was also nominated for Songwriter of the Year.
In 2018, Chris undertook his second successful UK tour, which included a sold-out appearance at the O2 Academy in Sheffield. Chris also performed on stage with Buddy Guy at his club in Chicago.