Sunday, July 25, 2004

Beaches Jazz fest

I've got to get two newsletters to the printer on Monday, a FACTOR

application due at the end of the month (and I'm hardly clear on how I

want to spend the money), I've got to remix the track to be included on

the NorthernBlues sampler (being mastered next week)...and what have I

been doing today? Yardwork, gardening...then a little time at the

office with JH scanning some pics for both newsletters...and now

writing my blog. Work avoidance, but as always lots going on. And it

seems very hot, though it's not even 30c.

last night I had a peek at the Beaches Streetfest after a screening of

that great jazz film classic "A Great Day in Harlem". The street was

crowde but not the crush they had tonight, I bet. Last night RK was in

town and we jammed away the night. I must have bored him with my

repeating pattern but I was trying out some changes for a new tune - as

of tonite, I've abandoned those changes in favour of a slow blues

approach. Just what we need for a sure chart success, a slow blues!

Anyway I laid down some ideas on the micro-cassette recorder. Can you

believe I'm sitting next to a condensor mike with a good preamp plugged

into a dual processor Mac and it's still easier to capture ideas on

this little hand-held, low-fi, micro-cassette.


(overheard at the Beaches International Jazz Festival)

"They won't dance if they don't know the words"

and if you're going to be playing a showcase at one of those music

conferences, tell them the only night you have available is the last

night - that way, you'll have time to schmooze up an audience for your


The Toronto Bluesfest may have been cancelled, but we sure had that

festival spirit at the Beaches today and especially at the Silver

Dollar afterwards. I hope I absorbed a few tips from the amazing guitar

playing I heard. Kid Ramos was at the beaches mainstage and I must say

it doesn't get much better than that. I was pretty tired and should

have stayed home after supper, but I knew he'd be heading over to the

Silver Dollar to sit in with Little Charlie and the Nightcats and sure

enough he was there and he played great again - but the tone was not

quite the same as he got through his Fender Reverb Unit and two Vox AC

30 amps. Talk about *driving*!

Little Charlie played great too. And Rick Estrin is one of the most

colourful bluesmen anywhere. He was hilarious and what a great singer.

On the break it was like a bunch of long lost brothers from California

who found each other in some far-away land (our far-away land).

Shortly after the second show started, Little Charlie took off his

guitar in the middle of a slow blues and said "we have a great blues

guitarist in the house tonight" and Kid Ramos, sitting just in front of

me, started to get up But Charlie said..."Rick Estrin!" and handed Rick

the guitar. Rick proceeded to play some respectable guitar, and Charlie

even blew some harp - a little role reversal. Then they invited up a

bunch of the Ottawa crew that was in attendance, Roxanne Potvin,

Southside Steve and J-W Jones all got to play with their West Coast

guitar hero.

Note to self: Have a tune prepared for situations when you might be

called up to do a tune and there's no guitar to play. Something I could

just sing. A tune that everybody knows. I also have to work up

something on bass - at The Porquis Blues Festival, I got up and did

Born Under a Bad Sign on bass but I need something a little more peppy.