Tonight was my "Bon Voyage" party at my house gig at the Tranzac. Every Thursday for a year now I've been doing this solo gig and inviting a different guest each time. I've had the greatest blues players in the country as my guests: Michael Picjkett, Carlos del Junco, Michael Jerome Browne, Morgan Davis and my first (and only repeat guest) Paul Reddick of the Sidemen.

So, tonight my guest was Gary Kendall, long-time bass player for Downchild and we were having fun, no doubt about it. Halfway through the evening I told Gary that this was a gig where people could feel comfortable to try something completely different (and he did! he played a couple of originals on the guitar - I'll be posting a picture of me and Gary with him playing the guitar and *me* playing his bass. This should be worth money.

Before my gig, I dropped in to the Silver Dollar where there was an early show of Michelle Willson (the "evil gal" from Boston) I had just been to the club where she had a long-standing house gig called Glenn's in Newburyport. I told her that when I had a few moments to say hello before she went on. I then had a "foot-in-mouth" lapse when I asked her what happened to her star organist Ken Clarke...Obviously he didn't leave on good terms and she recoilled at the topic of the organ - that it really took up a lot of the sonic space as well as the energy of setting up, etc. Still he was a great part of the show (his piece de resistance was when he did a burning solo with his stockinged feet on the pedals). Michelle's new band was great though and she was in fine vocal form - there's just no one that sings with her confidence and abandon. She asked how late my gig went but I told her we didn't go past midnight so there was no way for here to get there in time to hear (or sing).

Meanwhile, back at my gig, somebody shows up on the break and says he's going down to Jeff Healey's club and that for the last set they will be inviting guests and he could arrange for me to sit in. I've never really met Jeff though we have exchanged words on the phone a few times when he called the jazz festival office, so even if he recognized my name, I don't think he would know me as a player. By the time I'd packed up, I didn't feel like going anywhere (except maybe a restaurant) but as I headed off, a little voice told me to head down to Healey's and boy am I glad I did!

Not only was Jeff in fine form (he wasn't talking about it tonight but heannounced from the stage last week-end that he was geiing engaged - how's that for juicy gossip in the blues diary) but he had a couple a players that I've worked with in the band and I was able to wrangle them into playing with me at the Woodbine Racetrack. I've done the gig before - it's totally acoustic. We stand around the entrance to the slot machines - no PA - no vocals necessary. So i'm going to do it with Jerome Godboo, harp and Terry Wilkins, bass. This is Terry's favourite kind of gig - totally acoustic. It's going to rock!

Meanwhile, since this is the first post, I should mention that I am also the resident desktop publisher and (barely)managing editor of several newsletters and websites for the Toronto Downtown Jazz festival, the Toronto Blues Society (MapleBlues), the Toronto Musicians Association (Crescendo) and others. Tonight on the way to the gig I had to stop by my printer and slip the pages under his door. Earlier in the day, I had the worst possible thing happened. Just after I had photocopied the final master pages of Downtown Jazz, I lost the originals. I looked everywhere and finally gave up in disgust and went and printed the whole thing again. That's what my days are like.

I'm taking the time to set up this blog because I've been highly enetertained by an ongong diary of a "big-time recording engineer" in a real life, real-time recording situation. It's hilarious - check it out at