Friday, July 28, 2000

A festival gig and a good review for "Who Paid You To Give Me The Blues"

Here's a picture of Michelle, Suzie after our gig at the legendary Silver Dollar Room:

Just back from my rehearsal for the Oakville Jazz festival, Friday Night, 7pm (opening for Mississippi Heat). For this gig, we have the luxury of a fifth player and that player is the phenomenal Carrie Chestnut on tenor sax. She joins Michelle Josef, Lily Sazz and Suzie Vinnick to provide a kick-ass back-up band (with background vocals, even).
The concert is at The Oakville Entertainment Centrum, located at the northwest corner of the QEW and Winston Churchill Boulevard, off Upper Middle Road East. From westbound or eastbound QEW, take the Winston Churchill Boulevard exit off the QEW. Proceed north on Winston Churchill Boulevard to the traffic lights at Upper Middle Road East. Proceed west on Upper Middle Road East, turn left and proceed east to the Oakville Entertainment Centrum.

These "proceedings" culminate in an evening of highly entertaining blues from ourselves and the wonderful Mississippi Heat. We'll also be doing a late show (11pm - 1am) at the Nearby Alice Fazouli's. Take a run down to Oakville on Friday night and support the blues at Oakville Jazz.
Other Gigs & News: If you're heading to the track on Saturday (Woodbine, that is) I'll be strollin' & strummin' the blues with Suzie and Victor Bateman from 5:30 to 8:30.
Next Friday, September 1, we're at the Tenessee Tavern, 1554 Queen St. W.

In other news, we got our first national magazine review for "Who Paid You To Give Me The Blues". Here's what they said in SCENE Roots and Blues Magazine: "Blain, a veteran bassist and guitarist, has finally got around to recording his own project, a whimsical blend of driving bar blues and more esoteric material that echoes his past as a sideman for Lewis Furey and Fraser & Debolt. The title track track sports a Dr. John-style vocal, a relentless groove and nice bursts of Blain's guitar playing, while a track like "Worry, Worry" has a more R&B flavour. Blain clearly has a sense of humour, as evidenced by the country-tinged "Entrepreneurial Blues" and the swinging "Girlfriend Blues." The Latter probably boasts the best vocal performance on what is largely a guitarist's record. Also worth checking out are "The Big Fire" which showcases the subtler side of Blain's musicianship, and "Y2K Blues" with it's mock apocalyptic narrative."

Other Good News: I got a check from SOCAN for performance royalties. What a nice surprise, even though it was a rather small cheque for the publisher's share - the writer's share was used to pay down my national debt from a fat advance I got from BMI many years ago (back when they gave advances for signing). The best news is that I now seem to qualify for a free subscription to "The Music Scene." Now I only owe them $917. In case you're wondering how that happened, a long long time ago, back when there was competition between SOCAN (then called BMI) and CAPAC, they used to give cash advances and I'll probably be paying mine back for decades to come.

The other career milestone was being invited as a "special guest" at Dylan Wickens house gig at the Black Swan. It doesn't matter that for most of the evening there were more people on stage than in the audience, I actually got paid $50 just to sit in. I never met these guys or heard them play except for one cut on the radio - but that's the great thing about the blues, there's a standard repertoire and even when you do original tunes, they have a bluesy, predictable arrangement.

On May 22, 2000, Rick Zolkower launched his CD of old-style blues at the Silver Dollar. Music Rating: Three Notes for being so real. Food Rating: 2 Shrimp ( good dip and I happened to be standing by the food table when some hot pizza arrived)

Saw Jenny Whiteley playing the we dropped down to Grossmans where they have had some kind of 25th anniversary celebration. They were featuring Michael Pickett Band with spoecial guest Michael Jerome Brown