BLOGGING AND VLOGGING FROM CANADA'S BEST KNOWN UNDISCOVERED OLD WHITE BLUESMAN

Saturday, May 3, 2003

More feedback from the label and I guess we're going to go back into the studio! Yea! Well, conseidering it's not my favourite thing to do, I think I'm looking forward to adding something a little more "peppy" to the album. Fred has always wanted me to re-record Computer Club Queen, which is a track off my last album which he put on last summer's sampler (because I hadn't yet finished anything from the new album - in fact, I hadn't even started the new album). So I've got a new version of that - I had to upgrade the song - the original line was "That girl's got a giga - she's got 40 meg of RAM" - (seemed like a lot back then...) I've also got a new tune that I'm going to lay down - it's really a pretty sad story but I'm going to give it an upbeat treatment - because I want it on this album and because this album can't handle another slow song.



Then we have to remix several tunes to get them sounding as good as the best ones. Interesting to note that the best sounding one is the last one we mixed. I had been bugging Paul to refer back to previous mixes to make sure we had some continuity in the sound but both he and Bax go on on on about how they need to treat each tune separately and get the best they can out of each. Well now they're going to have to go back anyway - I wish there was a way to load up each song into the same mixer but we can't do that easily because we used different inputs/tracks from one session to the next. Part of me would like to have the whole album all lined up in the same file, with all the vocals on the same track so that (presumable) the vocal would sound the same from one tune to another - though I'm sure I'd be proven wrong again.

I worked a little on the new tune last night. I had intended to go to Mark Stafford's CD Launch at RD's, then I was going to try to drop by at Hugh's and catch the last set of the Jesse Winchester show. I haven't seen Jesse since that day that day in 1972 when he told me he was going back to Montreal and leaving me to produce the Fraser and DeBolt album (to be called "With Pleasure"). on my own. He was the only reason I was on the gig, because Columbia records didn't want some unknown kid from an ad agency producing the follow up to a ground breaking critically acclaimed (really) album. They had wanted a guy called Todd Rundgren to produce it but none of us had ever heard of him but we all agreed on Jesse since he had just made an album with Todd. In fact, I think they both had the same manager, Albert Grossman, and I think it was Albert on the other end of the line when Jesse yelled at me from a phone booth that he was packing it in and going home.



I have to admit it was not great chemistry. Jesse was into the cognac and everybody else was tripping on mescaline. He must have felt a little out of place. We did preproduction for a week or so at F & deB's farm in the Eastern Townships with a bunch of local musicians. It sounded pretty good on mescaline but when we got to Toronto it fell apart. One of the engineers knew a Toronto band that could jump in and pull it all together so we decided to try it with them - Simon Caine was there name. Dennis Pendrith, John Savage, Bruce Pennycook and Patrick Godfrey - and Joe Medelson came by and played some harp. In fact, that's they day I went back with him and auditioned to be Mainline's bass player. I think I told this story in another blog. If I find it, I'll link it.



So I didn't go see Mark, and I didn't go see Jesse, but by 12:30, I had worked enough on the song, and also taken care of a little business so I shot down to the Silver Dollar to hear Mem Shannon and am I glad I did! This was funk heaven, not a real blues show but this is what the people in New Orleans were coming out to hear and it was great playing - fabulous drummer, very young - keyboard player using losts of that chunk clavinet sound. And Mem playing all those classic funk guitar rhythms. I got to hear the last 45 minutes and I wish I'd been there all night. This man belongs on the big stage.



Tonight I stayeg home again (all week end I've been organizing my CDs - somebody gave me a big shelving unit so I've been gathering them from various stacks and boxes and putting the all in one place, alphabetically. Very enjoyable doing that (feeding my Virgo nature, I guess). I've got over 600 CDs and I'd be hard presssed to find any that I've bought for myself. There's one Japanese import of Gatemouth Brown and that was a big mistake! These are all promo copies I've received in my capacity as editor or MapleBlues & Downtown Jazz. You only have to gaze through my collection to get a quick idea of which blues artists are good at promoting themselves or have someone to do it for them. Also being a judge for JUNO's and INDIES really builds up the collection with the best of Canadian releases. Now I see that I've got some doubles and I think I'll go down to some CD trader and pick out some new music. I've never sold or traded promo copies before, that's illegal isn't it?



Tonight I worked on the new tune for a while and then tuned in Saturday Night Blues where they played a live concert by Savoy Brown. Just a couple of months ago, I dropped by the Dollar on my "rounds" and I arrive just in time to hear the very loud ending of the last song of their first set. The audience was very different than the usual Dollar crowd, obvious all old fans of the band in the Seventies. I didn't know much about them but at that moment I decided I wasn't going to hang around for a long break and then probably too-loud blues rock, so I didn't stay. After hearing this live recording I sure wish I had. It's the real deal.