Monday, October 29, 1990

Women's Blues Revue at The Diamond

Saw some great blues performers at the “Women’s Blues Revue” sponsored by the Toronto Blues Society. Arranged to meet Marilyn Churley and her husband Doug MacDonald. I hadn’t seen Marilyn since the days in St. Henri when her daughter Astra was just born. Now Astra was a teenager – and a very high-profile teenager as the subject of a documentary film called “Talk 16”. Marilyn was a newly elected NDP member of the legislature, soon to be Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs. The concert didn’t exactly get of to a raging start (and it should have considering it was such a late start – something about coordinating it so that Salome Bey could be filmed by CITY-TV). I never did see those TV cameras, though. It was Salome that really got it going. I should say the highlight of the evening was a young singer called Amanda Marshall who was terrific (I just heard she is no being managed by the Jeff Healey organization). Ellen McIllwaine, who never fails to knock out a crowd despite the worse case of techno-karma that I have ever run into in the Canadian music scene. I have never seen her do a gig where something didn’t blow up, break or go out of tune. Still, her pioneering efforts with sound processing devices should assure her a place in some future hall of fame. And this time everything went fine.