It's been a very hectic week culminating with the JUNO awards. Congratulatioms to Ray Bonneville for Blues Album of the Year and to other blues-friendly winners, Madagascar Slim (World Music) and Michael Wrycraft (graphics). Slim was very modest about his win, "This Juno belongs to all the people who played on the album, but if you don't mind, I'll hold onto it."
Here I am pictured with Ray and a couple of other Blues nominees (l to r, Rene Moisan, Tom Bona, Steve Hill, Ray himself, yours truly and Michael Jerome Browne:
R.I.P Tony Flaim: Ran into Serge Sloimovits in the JUNO media room. He was shocked to hear of the death of Tony Flaim, doubly so because he had spoken to Tony following a news report on CityTv that reported on the death of former Downchild singer Hock Walsh but mistakenly aired footage of Tony with Downchild. Tony, who was very superstitious, though that was some kind of omen of impending doom - and he was right.
Welcome back Kyle: Looks like Kyle Ferguson is back with the Sidemen again. The boys will be sticking a little closer to home for a while, playing the local blues circuit. I missed their set during Canadian Music Week, but I sure do look forward to hearing them again.
Canadian Music Week: Musical highlight: Martha Wainright. She was singing with another young woman who turns out to be the daughter of Anna McGarrigle (Martha is the daughter of Kate McGarrigle and Loudon Wainright...and sister of Rufus Wainright - looks like some kind of dynasty taking shape). Other great music from Darlin, Danko Jones. I did a crub crawl down Queen Street and hear little bits of lots of bands - one group at the Bovine Sex Club must have found it hard to stay focused with TV screens all around showing 50's sci-fi soft porn flicks.
I attended part of a guitar workshop by Leslie West but once I took my seat I was sure this was some other guitar player (because he didn't weigh 300 lbs - he didn't hardly look 100 lbs). But it was Leslie West alright, transformed by a stretch in rehab and obviously a healthier lifestyle. The licks and the tone were unmistakeable, even though he's not playing a Les Paul Jr. anymore.
Words of Wisdom from ICE-T: I didn't know anything about Ice until his keynote address at Canadian Music Week. He had some great comments: "The Rock Star is the top of the food chain - you could could be the richest man - Bill Gates - but if a rock star walks into the restaurant, your bitch is climbing over you to get to him!" "When the President of the United States says your name in anger, lots of shit happens - I had the FBI, CIA, Secret Service watching me - I had an ice-cream truck parked outside my house in February." And Ice provides the Tip of the Day: "If you want to be in the music "bizniss", you have to entertain people. If you just want to entertain yourself, then play in your room or take your guitar to the park and play for all the people who walk by."
Link of the Day: www.beatnik.com. This is Thomas Dolby's new project for putting music on the web. The beatnik player allows the user to re-mix selected tunes from their favourite artist. Dolby demon strated on a tune from Moby and was able to do a remix by clicking on numerous buttons that triggers vocal parts, horn shots, strings, all the elements of the tune. Very cool.