Friday, December 13, 2019

PatMakesMusic Live @ Oio Invites 2

Here's electronified bassman Pat Merner cutting loose.  We do this kind of music sometimes, then I take out my resophonic guitar and he pulls out the string bass and we get down with some blues.

Saturday, December 7, 2019

On the Cover of Rolling Stone! (er, not quite) | Old Mill Dec 14 w/Raoul, Julian & Pat | Holiday House Concert Dec 29 | Ellington vs Basie

December 2019

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Hello Blainreaders - Yes that's my mug on the mag I've been editing for almost 30 years.  I want  you to know it's not me who decides who goes on the cover but I guess after all this time I was overdue for some blatant self-serving promotion.  Actually we had a good excuse for it - I have been selected as this year's recipient of the "Blues Booster" Maple Blues Award - a prestigious lifetime achievement award for the work I've been doing behind the scenes all these decades.  Maybe next time I can get one for my guitar playing...well, I do have a new CD coming out soon (believe it or not).

All these years editing the Maple Blues, every press release and bio that came across my desk started with a list of all the awards that artist has won.  At one time, I was tempted to start my bio with "Winner of the 1969 Best Industrial Ad for Firestone Tire"...cause it's the last award I remember. Oooops, I must not forget my "Golden Quill" Porcupine Award for songwriting (thanks Steve!). You've got to wonder about all these awards but if it helps a musician get gigs, then that's worthwhile (and there's no one out there who can afford to sit back on their laurels).

Thanks to all the folks who have been writing and calling with congratulatory messages. The best part of this was I got this great new picture (thank you Mulligan Photo!) which I'm going to put on the cover of the new CD - did I mention I've got a new CD coming out soon (believe it or not).

And now to the business at hand:  The Old Mill has asked me to keep the Second Saturday Campfire Jam going for another year.  Yea! This Saturday I've invited some repeat offenders - Julian Fauth (I think he played the first one with me), multi-instrumentalist and mega-talen Raoul Bhaneja and my young bass prodigy, Pat Merner.  That's Saturday, December 14, 7:30-10:30 in the Home Smith Bar.

I delighted that the Winterfolk Festival is having me back again this year.  Had a great time playing it last year and maybe this time I'll have a new CD in hand.  They've moved from the Danforth to the Annex with The Tranzac as home base.  I have great memories of the Tranzac, in fact that's where the Campfire Jam got it's start even though I wasn't calling it that.  But they gave me a small budget and I was able to present a lot of blues greats there, Carlos de Junco, Michael Pickett, Morgan Davis and I remember when I had Madagascar Slim and he called me the night before to say he had just met another musician from Madagascar and could he bring him along.  That was Donné Roberts and I think that was the first time they ever played together. Well, it was not the last!  When I think of all the musical introductions that happened around the proverbial campfire, it warms my heart and makes me feel like I have done my bit to boost the blues around here.

I had so much fun doing a house concert with my old buddy Allan Fraser last month that I decided to do another at the end of the month.  It's happening in a magical space in the Annex where she mostly does "storytelling" sessions but considers me a storyteller with a groove. The date is Dec 29, 2:30pm.  I think we'll be doing a Facebook Live thang too and all proceeds going to bigger and better mastering of the new CD. Oh did I mention...

See below for ticket info:

Out and About

Despite getting a flu shot, I still got hit with a nasty bug so I didn't get out as much as I would have liked.  Even when I was feeling a little better, I skipped out on some great events just because there were way too many people wanting to shake my hand because of you-know-what. But I love that Facebook Live.  I got to see snippets of Steve Strongman and the Women's Blues Revue and what is it with that Ghost Town Blues Band?  I think they've been adopted by Canadian Blues  fans. They're up here every other week-end - that's a long drive from Memphis!

One show I really enjoyed was put on by the Jim Galloway Wee Big Band at the elegant Arts & Letters Club.  Jim has left us but the legacy of the band is in good hands with Martin Loomer at the helm.  His concept for this show was to alternate Duke Ellington and Count Basie tunes, some classics and some rarely performed but all with the original charts. See if you can recognize who's who. Hint: we alternate B & E and start with Basie

Thanks for reading this far.   Have a great great Christmas and my hope for a happy New Year for all you Blainfans, Blainfriends, Blainreaders and Blainbackers.

Feel free to forward this to any friend you think might enjoy my occasional ramblings (and maybe my music, too). These clips and more are always available on my blog,

See you out there, 

BrianB, aka Butch, Nappy, Shaker, Two-Lane Blain, Colorblind Brian, Stringbuster, Buddha of the Blues



Saturday December 14 7:30-10:30pm Brian's Blues Campfire Jam - "Second Saturdays" at The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill Toronto. Special Guests: Raoul Bhaneja, Julian Fauth, Patrick Merner. 9 Old Mill Road.  No Cover ($20 min food & beverage)

Sunday, December 29  2:00 p.m.

House Concert  (Annex area $20) RSVP

Saturday January 11 7:30-10:30pm Brian's Blues Campfire Jam - "Second Saturdays" at The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill Toronto. 9 Old Mill Road.  No Cover ($20 min food & beverage)

February 21-23, 2020  Winterfolk Festival, The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick.  


I call it my "living" album because it started life as a solo "live" recording with bassist George Koller and has now been "sweetened, stacked, mixed and mastered" with new instrumentation on all the songs. It starts with New Orleans marching horns from Alison Young and Colleen Allen on "Forgotten",  “Alice“ gets violin and banjo from Drew Jurecka and Tim Posgate. There's a reggae percussion workout with Trinidadian Wayne Stoute and the wonderful Michelle Josef, some sweet slide from Harry Manx on the French tune, barrelhouse piano from Toronto expat Patrick Godfrey and organ grooves galore from Australian B3 sensation Clayton Doley. "The Ghost of Clinton's Tavern" is a full-tilt electronic ambient remix by my son the DJ. 

Copyright © 2019 Brian Blain, All rights reserved.

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