Tuesday, October 5, 2010

How I spent the summer...

WOW! I haven't blogged anything since June! I can hardly believe it. After seeing Jersey Boys I took some vacation time and worked on my Mom's front and back yards. We went to see Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples in Toronto (June 30th) and they put on a marvelous show. Colin James joined Mavis for "I'll Take You There" but both Mavis's and Allen's band were fantastic.
On the 17th of July we had to take Chloe (our shih-tzu) to the vet for the last time. It was a sad day.
Some dandy CDs came along during the summer. Los Lobos Tin Can Trust, Jimmy webb's Just Across the River, Red Horse featuring Eliza Gilkyson, John Gorka and Lucy Kaplansky, and a surprise from Tom Jones! Praise and Blame has been on my playlist ever since it came out. Wow, that guy can sing! And with the minimal backing band it's a rebirth. Don't miss this one!
Friday night at the Festival of Friends was a lot of fun. First some homemade gumbo at Dave & Sylvia's (and a drink or two) then over to Gage Park for Richie Havens, Buckwheat Zydeco and then Dr. John. A splendid time was had by all!
August 11th was (as it alsways is) my birthday. Gloria and the boys got me a new guitar. Then on the 12th it was over to Hugh's Room with Rich for Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Jack didn't care for us snapping photos but he sure liked seeing the programme from the Mariposa Folk Festival circa 1970 that I brought with me. "Can I show this to my girlfriend?" he asked. "Sure, go ahead!" was my reply, and he signed it for me. Another great show.
Visited Michael Wrycraft in Toronto and Ian Thomas at his home studio, to ask about their archives for work. Read books by Ginger Baker, David Clayton-Thomas, Rosanne Cash and James Lee Burke. All in all a good summer.
Now it's fall, and it's dark outside, raining. They haven't turned off the chilled water in the buidling so it's only 18 degrees in the office.
But life goes on.
Saturday night we went back to Hugh's Room to see Jimmy Webb. He puts on a dandy intimate show. He is an extraordinary pianist and songwriter, and so what if Harry Nilsson is right about his voice. Harry told him (according to Jimmy's story) "Jimmy, there's only one thing wrong with your voice...it sucks!" Jimmy replied, "Well Harry...what's with 'I put the lime in the coconut? You call that songwriting?"
Still lots of good music coming out. Robert Plant, Richard Thompson, Bachman-Turner, Bill Frisell, even a new CD of gospel music from legendary guitar slinger James Burton! Mavis Staples, produced by Jeff Tweedy, Neil Young produced by Daniel Lanois and Wingless Angels produced by Keith Richards! Who could ask for more?
That's about it for now. I'll be back sooner than three months from now.

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