Sunday, June 5, 2005

One down, two to go (maybe 3). I love these festivals. Orangeville is far
enough out of Toronto to escape that "blasé" we've-seen-it-all vibe. We
were playing in an artists' studio at the back of a cute arts & crafts
boutique (well, let me give them a plug - it's The Dragonfly at 189
Broadway in Orangeville).

We had artists painting along as we played and a small but attentive
audience who really got into the music. They enjoyed whatever Andrew and I
were putting down although there was one request - a gentleman came up to
the stage and handed me this note, for which I was very appreciative about.
I'm going to post it later as soon as I scan it. Drop by again to check it

After packing up, I took a little walk down the street to hear some of the
other bands. I heard Johnny Max rocking out with that great guitarist Kevin
Higgins. Then I dropped in on Gary Kendall's band to hear some more fiery
guitar work from Teddy Leonard. Phenomenal. I'm standing there groovin to
the music then Gary announces "we've got some celebrities in the house" and
I'm looking around and he points over to me! I don't think anybody in that
audience knows who I am, but they applaud anyway. I'm still looking around
for the rest of the celebrities, but apparently I was "it". Now I might
have started to grovel in the irony of all this except after that I walk
over to the club where Chris Whiteley is playing and Chris also makes a big
deal from the stage (what's going on?) and this time, "Brian Blain is in
the house" and this time I'm coaxed up to the stage to sing a number. I
got up and did a slow blues on Chris's big Epiphone jazz guitar - and
before I even picked it up I remembered that guitar as having monstrously
heavy strings the last time I played it, but this time it was eminently
playable. Victor Bateman was playing bass and Dan Whitely was on guitar

I did "Girlfriend Blues." Did I ever tell you about the time I sat down at
one of the outdoor stages at last year's Distillery Jazz Festival to hear
the Victor Bateman Trio and Victor launched into a slow blues with an intro
that sounded ver much like something I wrote. Before I could start feeling
"ripped off," Victor started singing the lyrics and I realized he was doing
"Girlfriend Blues". He had learned my tune! What a trip. I think my
reputation is preceeding me - by the time I get to the "mainstage" level,
I'll already be famous...we'll see.

All in all, it was a very gratifying evening in Orangeville. The venue
owner had a great time - one of the artists that had to listen to the whole
thing from start to finish said she never had that much fun painting.
Andrew and I each got a little gift basket with a nice hand-made mug. I
need more gigs like this