Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Doin the Rounds in December

The holidays are approaching and I even heard a Christmas song tonight at the Tranzac where I dropped in to see Bob Cohen, David Woodhead and Doug Wilde (aka 3-Ring Circus). I was with my old buddy Allan Fraser and we both got up and did a couple of tunes. I couldn't resist pulling out an old chestnut of mine that I recorded in 1972 - Don't Forget Your Mother - because Bob Segarini was in the house and had just performed a heartfelt Stormy Monday Blues and I remembered when he pulled me aside at the Black Swan when I was newly arrived in Toronto and told me how that song had been a bit of a soundtrack to a rather stormy chapter in his life. We were both recording at André Perry's Studio (the original one in downtown Montreal) where Bob had a "meeting of the eyes" with one of the girls who was singing back-up for me, the beautiful Laurel Massé who was part of Manhattan Transfer at the time. It turned out to be a meeting of more than the eyes as they tucked themselves away in the small booth that overlooked the studio and kicked off a long, intense bi-coastal love affair. All while they listened to take after take of "Don't Forget Your Mother" being put together. Bob says that song still drifts into his consciousness once in a while - so Bob, here's a link if you want to hear the full production. Anyway, I did perform it at the Tranzac - though I fumbled some words - and we all had a wonderful trip down memory lane. Quentin Meek, a great recording engineer from those days in Montreal was also in the house and did a couple of tunes on...wait for it...autoharp! There were many great musicians in the house - I met Fergus Hambleton for the first time and Ed Roth and Franki Hart and a new friend - a great fiddler called Tom Hamilton (I hope I've got that right) who sat in with me when I played the Vino Rosso "salon" last Saturday. See a clip of Allan performing Northumberland Straits" below:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

On Blues Nicknames

I think I have a new blues moniker (as if I didn't have enough already). Joel was calling me "Two Lane" Blain - a reflection of my driving style, I guess. It has a good ring. When I was starting out in music (50 years ago) The Kreklo brothers used to call me "Nappy". When I was a little kid, my father called me "Butch." Other kids called me "Bucky. "When I got into the blues I picked up the nickname "Colorblind". "Buddha of the Blues" was a short-lived moniker. Now Stringbuster is my new "brand" - it'm my ambient electronic persona. Watch this space for upcoming podcasts and vlog posts.