Wednesday, December 8, 2004

Parties, parties: Last week I had so many industry events on my calendar that there was no way to make it to them all. The ones that were not downtown, Metalwaorks Studio and Koch, are the ones I passed on. Too bad, I wanted to check out that studio. Ended up at a glitzy Art Gallery function on Yonge Street - didn't know a soul. I used to rate these events as one shrimp, two shrimp...five shrimp for an excellent spread. Hey, I have to amuse myself somehow - I don't hardly drink so I don't get to take advantage of the main attraction of these industry schmoozes. Well this one had lots of shrimp, but they came out after the pastries and they we still not completely thawed. They get a minus one shrimp for that!

The Toronto Blues Society Christmas party was nice - featuring guitarist Debbie Davies. First time I'd seen Debbie - she rocks!. A few remembered her when she was here in Albert Collins band...must have been a while ago. Her Strat has three non-Fender pickups on it, a P90 soapbar, which seemed to be the one she used most, a humbucker in the neck position and a Duncan or Fralin in the middle position.

This week will go down in history for Brian Blain, blues guitarist. After playing almost forty years (on the same guitar), I went and bought myself an effects pedal. This is the first effects pedal I ever bought - I've had many volume pedals, and I even have a Looper pedal, but I never bought a signal processor. I needed something that could duplicate the sound of my Vibrolux Reverb at 10, while maintaining a low volume. I saw Duke Robillard, one of my faves, at the Silver Dollar and noted that the only pedal he used was a Boss SD-1 and I went and bought one of those. I'm still getting used to it - not sure I can use this for recording (which is where I really need it). I can still hear the processing. I guess nothning will ever sound like a loud amp except a loud amp.

Another breakthrough - received the first (try-out) mix from RH. This was one of the older tunes, one that didn't really have a very crisp vocal but he really brought it out. Looks like we might have this album mixed this year. Now I've got to decide which tunes I want to mix!

Also, I called Butch in Germany today and he still thinks we can pull together a tour in the Czech Republic and Germany for the spring. I figured we were going to have to push it back to the fall, but maybe this can still happen...

Friday, December 3, 2004

Women's Blues Revue: Here I am backstage at Massey Hall - the most

revered music hall in the country, really. Suzie Vinnick, bass player

and vocalist in the Women's Blues Revue Band asks me to take her camera

while she's playing - and take some pictures of her and the band,

presumeably. The minute I get to my seat an usher tells me I can't take

pictures. I say "very sorry, one of the performers gave me her camera

and asked me to take some pics" then I added "but i wasn't going to

take any in the hall, just backstage". Now he's on the walkie talkie

and being told to walk me over to the stage entrance - right down the main aisle of Massey Hall!. A big "Photo Pass" was stuck

on my vest and I was led back to my seat but after the show had

started I made my way down the side to go shoot some pictures. I

figured, now that I've got this big Photo Pass stuck on my chest, I might

as well take some pictures. Lotsa pictures. But after I'd shot 2 or 3,

there was a tap on my shoulder with an usher insisting I follow him

back. When we got off to the side, I turned and showed him my photo pass, then he gets all

apologetic...sorry he didn't see the pass. Now I stay back for a while

but I move in again when I see a good chance to get a shot of Suzie. I move down and this

time a young woman usher(ette) stops me. I point to my pass and she

says I still can't go as close as I want. That was my day as official

photographer for an hour but I never figured out the camera and I bet

not a single picture came out. Sorry Suzie.