Monday, September 21, 1998

I've been meaning to send this along for over a week, but things got pretty hectic culminating with my gig last night. I think I've reached another milestone in my slow climb up the slipery slope of the Toronto blues scene. Following that Thursday night at the Silver Dollar, my duo gig with Scott Cushnie at the Montreal Bistro and a solo acoustic gig at the Free Times, I was now invited to be the "special guest" (ie, you get $70) at Gary Kendall's 'Blues Tuesday' at Whistler's. So I had been practising a few old blues standards that I haven't played for years (if ever), and managed to pull them off. I had the unpleasant experience of hearing the band start up while I was seated in the washroom - I seem to recall this happening before somewhere...perhaps in my early days with Blue Willow. Anyway, I climbed onto my stool halfway through the tune and it worked out fine, then I proceeded to pull out all the most predictable tunes I knew since the bass player (Gary) had never heard them. In the end, I could have thrown a lot more at him. The only time there was a problem was when I tried to simplify on the fly and the other guys (who knew the tune) played it the old which left Gary in the lurch. Mostly, I could tell the whole band was having a good time...I felt it really lifted off - we were flying! I was sitting on top of the world as I stepped down off that stool and then I see that my fly was open. Back to earth, Brian! I seem to have this built-in curse that the moment I get too big for my briches a bird shits in my eye, or something like that.

I remarked to Rod, who was playing piano instead of his usual organ - and playing it great - that at least the people at the front table will not have been bothered by my 'deshabille' because they were both blind. They were the greatest listeners, really. They stayed til the end and chatted for awhile. The guy's name was David and he must be a collector because whenever I did a song he recognized, he would shout some acknowledgement, and he knew some of the more obscure ones. After this, I don't have a single gig lined up. And I haven't even started looking. What I need is one place where I can play every Thursday, or every Tuesday...

Just did a duo gig with Professor Piano and I didn't sing a single song. In the past I've called the tunes, but this time I called some, but I never called one of my own. Waiting to see if Scott would, I guess. He just kept pulling out these great old tunes and I was glad to play them. But to go from that to fronting this gig at Whistlers...well I guess that's what a lot of musicians do in this town. One night you're the star, next night you're the sideman