Sunday, May 21, 2017

Great hearing old friends and meeting new @terrygillespie CD Launch. More at

via Instagram @brianblain

First Time playing the Dakota

I've seen many a show at the Dakota Tavern but I finally got to play on that stage today - Very capable and friendly sound guy Evan was on the ball - even thought to get me a guitar stand.  I was doing a "warm-up" for Terry Gillespie's CD launch celebration.  Richard Flohil had offered me the gig and suggested he would top up the fee if I brought a bass player.  I said maybe I'd bring a harp player but in the end I didn't call anyone.  Then a couple of days before the gig, I thought of Terry Wilkins and thought it was not likely he'd be available but if he was that would settle that.

As it turns out, Terry was playing across the street and finishing at the same time I was starting. So he quit a few minutes early and was at the Dakota in plenty of time.  He had gone over the chart/setlist and listened to some short audio clips I sent and he was solid - even a couple of spots where I didn't know what I was doing, he did.  I hadn't played with Terry in a long, long time and it was a delight.  I used to tell people there wasn't a gig (or rehearsal) that I ever did with Terry Wilkins where I didn't take away a valuable lesson.  Not sure what the lesson was this time, but I'm sure there will be one that I'll realize down the line.

Great hearing Terry Gillespie going full-tilt with a big band that included a Montreal guitar legend, Andrew Cowan, and a genuine RastaBassMan, Owen, who was a delight to meet.  Drummer Wayne Stoute had dropped by my place the night before and we had Indian food. Top notch band and Terry's been getting good crowds at all these Toronto dates - quite ambitious to expect a good crowd at different places in the same week in the same town but so far so good.  It was mostly reggae at the Dakota and people were loving it. Michael Fonfara walked in halfway and jumped up on the old upright piano.  Sounded great!  Reminds me I must lasso that guy into a gig again.

As Terry G were commiserating about becoming septuagenarians this year, I was thinking just when I've been telling people my touring days are over, there's Terry embarking on as many tours as he can gather. We were reminiscing about how we met (at one of my Campfire Jams) I was also remembering when Terry W. and his Australian band, The Flying Circus, had just arrived in Toronto and were taken under the wing of my producer Frazier Mohawk who provided this huge rehearsal space on Richmond St.  I was his "assistant" of sorts and helped out with some pre-production chores.  I don't think we got much past the pre-production and I think some of those guys went back to Australia,  and I went back to Quebec.  But Terry stayed and it was a great gain for the Toronto Music Scene.