MONTREAL: Robert "Bob" Armand Walsh, a celebrated veteran Québec City-born blues singer, guitarist and harp player, died Tuesday, Nov. 15, in Montréal, from a cardiac arrest. He was 68.
After more than 40 years playing the blues across the province with various ensembles that included mainstay Guy Bélanger, Jean Fernand Girard, Jean Cyr, Bernard Deslauriers and Christian Martin, Walsh had released his 11th album just last month, entitled After the Storm.
Premiere Philippe Couillard offered his condolences, tweeting on his account that "Québec blues today lost one of its mythical figures," and Montréal Mayor Denis Coderre called for the City Hall flags to be flown at half-mast to honour "one of our greatest Québec blues players."
Over the years, Walsh had worked with various configurations in clubs and theatres, including an all-harmonica quartet, and recorded a varied body of work, mostly for Bros Records, that sold in significant numbers. His 2004 album, A Canadian Blues Rendezvous, is perhaps his best known outside of his home province. The album brought in a variety of guest artists that included David Gogo, Jack de Keyzer, Dawn Tyler Watson, and Moncton zydeco blues rock band Glamour Puss.
Acknowledgements included earning the Blues with a Feeling Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the Toronto Blues Society in 2013, Québec's Lys Blues Awards and a Félix in 2003.