Sunday, November 27, 2005
What a great night at Massey Hall. The opening number from Carrie Chesnutt and the WBR band was an absolute show stopper. The six amazing vocalists that followed were all great, but I don't there was anything that could overshadow Carrie's performance of "Dr Feelgood" (which she only recently learned). I hope that cut makes it onto the CBC Broadcast (Dec 30th on "Sounds like Canada" with Shelagh Rogers and starting Jan 3 (??) on Saturday Night Blues). It was pretty long number...but if all Canada could hear Carrie doing that tune, they would be wondering out loud why she wasn't one of the featured vocalists and why we don't see her touring across the country as a headliner. Just one more thing about Carrie...the show opened with a wailing sax solo but you couldn't see who was playing because she was in the dark. It was Carrie on soprano sax and when the lights came up on her people were doubly amazed because she looked fantastic. Then she handed off the horn to Sarah and went into this sultry, searing vocal...well, it was something to behold. You had to feel for Roxanne Potvin following that production number with her pared-down blues sound even though her new material is getting away from the blues. My seatmate John Valenteyn said he could hear Colin Linden's influence - he's been producing her new CD set for release in February. Shakura S'Aida, Suzie McNeil, Lee Aaron all gave great performances and Salome Bey was very entertaining - her daughter Saida on stage throughout with her and sounding great herself. What a night!
The whole evening was quite a feast for the eyes, too. Here's a link to some
great pics from Bill King:
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
In case anyone thought I wasn't doing enough to promote my new release, at least I got a new picture (I'm always advising artists to get new promo shots done regularly - tip of the day), Rick Zolkower (better known as "Mr. Rick") took the pics.
It may take more than a new promo shot to get some gigs happening. I think I can't keep sitting around waiting to be invited to play - even though that happens often enough to keep me believin that there's people out there that want to hear what I'm putting down. I'm getting airplay, good reviews for the CD...all that's missing are the gigs.
Well as soon as this newsletter is done, I'm putting together a new promo package and getting it out there. festivals have probably already mostly decided who they're having but "you don't get if you don't ask". One thing is you never really have the humiliation of being told "no" because they don't even get back to you unless they're making you an offer.
So in the absence of any gigs, I've getting out to hear a lot of music. Last Saturday alone I saw three amazing events - a film premiere of a documentary film on the life of Jackie Washington in an impeccably restored 1920's movie house in Hamilton, a quick drop in at Hugh's Room to hear a bit of the Long John Baldry Tribute - The Mississsippi Hippies were playing when I poked in. That's the loudest I've ever heard any band at Hugh's - which is a very bright room. I couldn't stick around but I guess they went over great, with an encore and all. Finally, I made it to the Horsehoe just as Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were taking the stage. What a show. Amazing horns - she's something special. She puts on a show for the people - hardly a space between each tune - beautifully paced. I hope some of that sunk in. Sure makes me want to do some band shows again.