5 Questions: Musician Toronzo Cannon

Toronzo_Cannon_Photo_credit:_Chris_Monaghan Toronzo Cannon Photo credit: Chris Monaghan

We recently read the news that Toronzo Cannon has retired from this job as a bus driver for the Chicago Transit Authority. In celebration of this news, we’re re-running this interview from 2018.

“Since the 2016 release of his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way, contemporary blues guitarist/vocalist/songwriter(and Chicago Transit Authority bus driver)Toronzo Cannon has burst onto the international stage as one of Chicago’s–and the world’s –most acclaimed next-generation bluesmen. He’s earned his fame through the overwhelming response to his album, the sheer force of his music, his original songs, and his live charisma. Since the CD’s release, he’s played major cities all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe, delivering one hard-rocking performance after another.

Cannon’s unofficial launch from local hero to national star took place on June 13, 2015, at the world-renowned Chicago Blues Festival, where he performed as a festival headliner for the massive crowd. After announcing that he had just signed with Alligator Records, he delivered a riveting set, instantly earning tens of thousands of new fans.”
~ Alligator Records

1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
It might sound strange but life has been keeping me up at night. I’m burning candles at both ends like my grandmother says. I’m a city bus driver during the day and a Bluesman traveling the nation and world on the weekend. I’m trying to write now for the new CD this year and I still have time to take my 15 year old daughter to the hair dresser and sit 2 hours and “reluctantly” pay.

Toronzo Cannon  | Photo credit: Dragan Tasic

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
I saw the Hemingway House recently. I didn’t know I would be as interested in a man that had that many problems and and achievements in his life but it was cool. I also visited the Prince house in Minneapolis. It was humbling and sad.

3. What’s the most exciting thing you¹re working on right now?
Songs for my new CD and an ever-changing pedalboard.

4. If you could add anyone alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
Eddie Kramer, Doyle Bramhall II, Questlove and Joe Bonamassa.

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
I guess I would call it “Toronzo’s Revenge” because there’s a lot of people out there that think I don’t deserve the good things and successes in this business. It’ll probably be a zombie movie. Their hate made them zombies and my music and guitar “might” cure them if they apologize but first I’ll have to do a Thriller dance with them. 🙂

Toronzo Cannon  | Photo credit: Marilyn Stringer