Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Brian's Blues Campfire kicks off second year residency

The Campfire Jam found a new home in 2017 and it has been a big hit with the jazz crowd at the Old Mill.  We're happy to announce that we'll be back in 2018, still on the "Second Saturdays" of the month.  This Saturday (Jan 13) I will be jamming with a couple of folks I've never played with: Adam Solomon (actually I did jam with Adam a few years back in the livingroom of a CBC producer – I had just discovered Ali Farka Touré and was very anxious to pick up some Afro-Blues licks on the guitar and Adam was so generous in showing me (they don't call him "The Professor" for nothing). His "African Guitar Summit" CD won a JUNO in 2005 and he has been a mainstay of the African music scene in Toronto and Canada.  Raha Javanfar is better known in blues circles as the leader of "Bad Luck Woman and Her Misfortunes" who are nominated for Best New Artist at this year's Maple Blues Awards – and will be hosting the Nominee Jam after-party to close out the big gala at Koerner Hall on Monday night at Koerner Hall (I think there's still tickets available). Check out the new campfire webpage at  Coming in Feb. it will be a bit of a 24th St Wailers reunion with Jesse Whiteley, Emily Burgess and Jon Wong then in March, I will be joined by the Blackburn Brothers

These Campfire Jams at the Old Mill have been a real highlight of the last year – and my only steady gig, actually. Thanks to all the amazing blues artists who joined me 'round the Campfire last year: Julian Fauth, Sean Pinchin, Kim Doolittle, Raoul Bhaneja, Manitoba Hal, Bill King, Mike Daley, Geoff Daye, Mark "Bird" Stafford, Jesse O'Brien, Rick Taylor, Roberta Hunt, Carrie Chesnutt, Alison Young, Ken Whiteley, Paul Reddick, Sugar Brown, Jenie Thai, Chris Whiteley, Diana Braithwaite, Don Vickery, Michael Fonfara, George Koller, Michelle Josef and Steve Marriner.

I cannot believe how Trump took up so much of my attention in 2017 – it was the most engrossing (emphasis on "gross") reality TV show ever. Everyday I was turning on the news to see what he's done now. I've become a CNN junkie which brings me to the little video clip below.

…the jam went on longer with some great guitar interplay between Sean Pinchin and I but I've cut it short mostly because I screwed up the last verse trying to re-write it on the fly.

This tune was written after one too many reports on refugees who were displaced, starving and dying of thirst.  The song is called "Donner Moi De L'Eau" (Give Me Some Water).  When I get around to recording it I want to do it with a kora player (are you out there, Mansa Sissoko?). Let's call that my New Year's Resolution! I had just written it that afternoon and played it for the first time at the Campfire Jam. Steve Marriner, who had been playing mostly piano that night, grabbed my bass and dug right in with a solid bass line (and, in the Campfire spirit, he later pulled out a tune he had just written a couple a days before).