Thursday, October 30, 2008

Blainletter #16

Here come blainblain

The big news is that my prodigal son Joel (aka, DJ Coi) is back – he's been out at the Cape all summer but he's back now and we both have a renewed desire to make music together (he's more on the electronica side of things but we are finding some common ground). We had a good run through last night. Come to Free Times next Friday and check it out!

October was fine despite the fact that it's the first October in 4 years that I haven't been on a European tour. Butch Coulter who was the key to these European adventures is a new dad and was less inclined to go out on the road this year, even though there was some interest in return engagements for the Kathi McDonald Band and even a couple of inquiries about getting Brian & Butch. Well, it's over to 09 I guess.

Going Home
I did have a "mini-tour" (tourette??) of Quebec and went back to my old stomping grounds, Sutton, Quebec, to play a gig at the Cafe Mocador, now the Mocador Pub, but in the same location on main street Sutton. Many old friends came out. I've passed through Sutton a few times since I left there almost 18 years ago, but never stayed around to hang out. This time, I took a leisurely walk after my sound check and ended up in the upscale Italian restaurant that occupies the building where I lived upstairs with wife & kid and had my studio on the main floor. I did not get any special consideration because I had lived there so many years ago. I had the most expensive plate of spaghetti I ever had…but it was worth it to sit in the old homestead and take in the vibes.

Out and About:
When I got back to town I had a chance to see Harry Manx playing at the Hamilton Place. He's got some great new material. While we were hanging out in the backstage area, he brought me to another part of the complex where Yes were rehearsing for their big gig in Hamilton the next day. Fascinating hearing the signature bass sound of Chris Squire coming through that door. Also got to Tressa Levasseur's CD launch. Michelle Josef plays on the album but is regrettably no longer in the band. I joked that it took two drummers to take the place of one Michelle Josef.

The OCFF Conference
As one of the pitiful few who was supposed to be there but wasn't, I've been following the post-mortem discussion on the maplepost listserve. I was to host the blues campfire again this year but regretfully I couldn't get to Ottawa because I had to attend to my (desktop)publishing empire (!). I'm seeing lots of comments from attendees that there were not enough opportunities to jam. In the past, the campfire room has not been sufficiently exploited to provide playing opportunities. Don't know how it went this year, but in past years it was a dozen or so players in a circle and I didn't think there was ever more than a dozen listeners. This has always been musicians playing for musicians – not much help in "career development," I've been reminded. Still it can provide a "walk-in" opportunity to join the circle and play a couple of tunes.