Wow, I just blinked and it's 2003! My producer called today to nudge me along - he says we haven't done anything for a month, but we've been trundling along, We did some sax overdubs with Jim Galloway and some fiddle/mandolin with the young Mark Roy. And a first for me - we did some trans-atlantic overdubs with Butch Coulter adding harp tracks from a studio in Hamburg Germany.
Saturday, Feb 1 - Drove out to Thorold, near St. Catharines to be the special guest at Arizona's. What a delight being backed up by Gary Kendall and Jim Casson. Teddy leonard was subbing for the regular guitar player. Teddy was in great form and I threw him a lot of solos. I had this spontaneous idea (watch these!) to play my King Biscuit Boy song. I learned this song in the 60's when I taped it off the radio by holding the mike of my Phillips reel-to-reel recorder in front of the speaker. I missed one of the verses and to this day, do not know it. I remember seeing Biscuit at a small club in Kitchner and came up to him on the break to say how happy I was to meet him and how I've been performing one of his songs for years, and had performed it for years without knowing the artist or songwriter. He asked what the song was amnd I old him "I'm Gone" He snapped, "I didn't write that, Allen ToussainT wrote it" Now that I'vew learned a bit about Biscuit The Archiver, I can see why he was annoyed that someone who is suppose to know about the blues has to do it this way.
Tuesday, Feb 11 - Hamilton, The King Biscuit Memorial Show. Must have been over 700 people crammed into this large club. The downstairs club was used just as a musician hang-out, but I wish I'd spent more time upstairs. My set was pretty early - I was doing it with Lil because she worked hard on this project. Also invited Mark "Bird" Stafford to sit in. Broke a string on the second song - shodda knows. I changed the 1st string but was too lazy to change them all, or at least the most-likely-to-break. I looked around to see if someone was going to hand me a guitar but, alas, this was no folk festival. I pulled out my spare strings and got Lily to go up and read messages from musicians who couldn't make it. Next day I'm copied an email saying there was "Too much Toronto Blues Society and not enough people that actually played with Biscuit" Nasty.
Wednesday, Feb 12 - Just opened a couple of shows for Harry Manx (Startford and Dunville) and had the priviledge of accompanying Harry to the JUNO awards media even announcing the nominees (Harry nominated for Blues Album of the Year). NorthernBlues also scored a nomination for Saved in the Gospel category. That afternoon Harry did some overdubs on my album. Without Paul at the hellm, there were a few technical glitches but we did get something down - an exquisite track.
Thursday, Feb 13 - Could have gone with Harry to Ottawa, but stuck here at a board meeting of my co-op, plus getting Crescendo to printer.
Friday, Feb 14 - Valentine's Day. I let myself get dragged out to a dance where there were supposed to be lots of attractive women but I'm not that motivated because I just fell in love with a bank teller - she's one good reason why people are still preferable to bank machines. Anyway there were no wild women at this event, so we headed off to the Silver Dollar to Dylan Wickens' CD launch. Not a great crowd, but Dylan was on fire. He sure can get the sound happening - using a big Fender Showman head.
Speaking of amp heads, I stopped off at The Montreal Bistro on the way home because Jim Galloway mentioned this afternoon that he had been playing all week with Doug Riley (as well as Lorne Lofsky and Don Vickery). This organ/guitar combo could not get better than this. When I took my seat, I realized the music stand was blocking my view of Lorne's left had (the fretting one) but as quickly as a thought of moving I had to say to myself "Why Bother?" - I could never play that stuff if my life depended on it. They ended the night with a blues and rocked out.
Doug manages so well with his bass pedals that the resident piano tuner, Dale, was shouting "Where's the Bass Player?" When Jim introduced the band, he said "Claude Rains" on bass. I guess he could see me shaking my head at the bar - he said, impatiently" Clause Rains played the "Invisible Man" - Do I have to spell it out for you, Brian?"
Young Sarah French, who want to be an artist manager is now a roving reporter and I had arranged acces for her to the Maple Blues Awards and she tells me the story was already published in T0-Nite, but I haven't seen it yet.