Thursday, March 16, 2006

Day Two - Canadian Music Week

Saturday I got a late start, get into the car and one of my tunes is playing on the radio - Jazz-FM a station with a lot of listeners (as I've discovered since I've been in their rotation). Anyway, how many of those 300+ emerging artists at Canadian Music Week had the pleasure of starting their day hearing one of their tunes on the readio!. I wanted to get to CMW in time for the session where a "coach" by the name of Tom jackson would work with a band and help improve their "stagecraft". His website is he was good. He'd let the band play the song then he would stop them and point out what somebody was doing (or not doing) that could add energy/dynamics. For example, he had the singer hold off before jumping in to the second verse - let the band vamp a little - milk it (if you've got the audience in the palm of your hand). He had the soloist just noodling around a bit before he launched into his solo. Everything was based on making the audience feel like they're experiencing a special moment, something that will never be repeated that way again. He said people remember "moments" rather than great songs or great voices. And it is our job as performers to create those moments...I know what he's talking about - I call it "lift off". And I can remember looking around the room at the Silver Dollar and seeing everybody just grinning from ear to ear. I think the band was Little Charlie and the Nightcats.But those moments ar few and far between. Something to strive for.

That night I saw a bunch more bands, and there were some fine young singer-songwriters in the legendary Imperial Room of the Royal York Hotel. Liam Titcomb played and I told him I had a perfect song for him, but now I'm wondering if he might already be too old (or at least, too mature) to play a schoolboy. I met two "music supervisors" (for film & TV) at CMW and gave them each a CD. Now I need to follow up with an email that points out the special features of each track (apparently that increases the chance that it might be listened to).

As if I didn't hear enough music on the week-end, I went on Sunday to the "Gospel Brunch" at Hughes Room. My indispensible listings co-ordinator had not benefited from any of the Music Week perks, so I said we'd go see The Campbell Brothers and what an uplifting afternoon. Two Downtown Jazz concerts this week: On Monday it was Cubanisimo at the Opera House - not what I expected but inspiring to watch. There were 4 male singers up front. Amazing horn section and not a chart or music stand in sight. Tuesday, I stayed home and tried to get out some packages to agents in Quebec, maritimes and New England. Also had a nice connection with someone from St. Johns, newfoundland - boy would I love to go there again. I totally forgot that there was a special media event for the launch of Ndidi Onukwulu's CD, but I decided I'd better make her Thursday show for the public at Hugh's Room. That same night, there were two other CD Launches for very strong local artists, Treasa Levasseur and Roxanne Potvin. I got to see all 3 women in full flight and I was very encouraged for the future of Canadain blues.

On Wednesday, I went to Hugh's to hear Del Ray and I was not disappointed, I saw somew emails that were calling this the show of the year but I would not go that far. She was playing with another virtuoso, Steve James. They were using that "single Mic Technique" preferred by some of our old-timey players, but in this case, close micing would have made for more intelligibility.

Where was I - Friday night...Another Downtown Jazz show - Randy Weston at the Glenn Gould. Man did that piano sound good. No mikes or sound re-inforcement. Just a great piano, a great player a quiet audience and a great sounding room. Hurray! From there, we pop up to the Silver Dollar where the Weber Brothers are playing, These siblings made their way to Ontario 10 or so years ago but still haven't found the acclaim they deserve.

On Saturday, I wanted to hear Lori Cullen at Hugh's Room but got thre justr as the audience was piling out (a little past 10:30) Well, if that's what the public wants, that's what they can have. I headed stright to the Dollar where Anthony Gomes was playing. He's lost the lamé suit, but he sure can get some great guitar sounds. I'd say more about Anthony but I'm nodding out. That's it, goodnight. B