Wednesday, March 23, 2011

On Ghosts

Last Thursday (St Patrick's Day) I did a guest spot at Clinton's Tavern performing, you guessed it, "The Ghost of Clinton's Tavern," and in the course of the tune I even tried to invoke the ghost himself, who all the staff claim is quite real with manifestations such as ashtrays flying across the bar and feet appearing (and disappearing) under the mixing console. I was trying to be tuned in to any psychic energy but alas I felt nothing all night except a rocking groove provided by my impromptu back-up band, Lady and Gentlemen, a very promising young band who I'm sure you'll be hearing more of.  

Click to play The Ghost of Clinton's Tavern: The Ghost of Clinton's Tavern-live - Brian Blain

The next night I was at Hugh's Room for the launch of Digging Roots' new CD.  They were also a very promising young band when Lily Sazz and I encountered them on the stairwell of the Holiday Inn in Barrie, Ontario during the Ontario Council of Folk Festivals Conference a long time ago. They were a couple of first-nations musicians who had heard there was some music event going on in the hotel and I don't think they even knew what a music conference was but we invited them to come jam in the hotel room and were immediately captivated by Raven's guitar prowess and Shoshona's intense vocals. 

Well since then, they've showcased at many a music conference resulting in festival appearances across the country. Now here they were playing Hugh's Room, Toronto's premiere roots music venue, and I'm sitting at a table quite close to the stage when I feel somebody right behind me. I take a quick look over my left shoulder and have fleeting image of an elderly native woman looking straight ahead and more than the visual or the energy I pick up on an overwhelming feeling of approval and satisfaction. I was a little stunned and related this to my friend Jacquie between songs but was soon drawn back into the music until halfway through the set when, once again, I felt my "personal space" being occupied but this time I saw nothing. 

I'm pretty sensitive to energy, I think that's what makes me a good reiki channel, but this was the first time I ever had a "visual". Some might write it off to my overactive imagination, but I found out later from Shoshona and other family members that it was the birthday of Raven's grandmother who had passed away and I guess they had all been thinking of her and the kicker was that she was a leader and a person of authority in her community and that was the overwhelming vibe that I was feeling at that moment - that this was a person of great authority standing there giving her approval. 

I think this stuff happens to me because I'm able to just sit back and be "the observer" in these sort of situations and I don't try to analyze or explain anything, and I certainly have no desire to make any "contact." Nowadays I'm not shy about relating it to others, and in this case I was glad to be a sort of a messenger to these young artists who are quite adventurous and not bound by tradition that what they're doing is OK with at least one "ancestor".