Pat Blythe: Yesiree! CMW 2015 Continues….

 

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Yessirreee….it’s that time once again. My dawgs are barking, my body’s aching and wondering what the hell I’m doing to it. Ahhhh….CMW. It’s been such a busy four days and the party hasn’t even started yet.

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My fellow scribe (Roxanne aka Veronica) and esteemed editor Bob Segarini have already filled you in on a number of events we attended on Thursday and Friday last week. I will touch on them briefly, expand on the one they missed and enlighten you on the activities of the oh so late nights of Monday and Tuesday. (yes, it was a much needed recuperative, peaceful weekend).

So… in chronological order — I begin with Hugh’s Room and the celebratory launch of Fergus Hambleton’s new CD, Written in the Wind.

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Fergus Hambleton on sax

However, while Veronica and Bob were busy taking in the talent at the Intersteer just up the street, I was being gobsmacked by the amazing voices of the Ault Sisters at Hugh’s Room. The opening act for Hambleton, they were absolutely brilliant. I was so busy picking my jaw up off the floor when they opened with the Etta James song At Last I almost forgot, as the DBAWIS photographer, that I also needed to get some shots in. Their entire set, note-for-note, song-for-song was pure bliss.  Check them out May 21 at the Lula Lounge or June 6 at Monarch’s Pub.

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 The Ault Sisters at Hugh’s Room

 

The Ault Sisters – Back to You (cover)

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The Ault Sisters at Hugh’s Room — L-R Amanda, Alanna and Alicia

Next on the menu for Friday afternoon — CMW registration. Starting the day meeting my fellow columnist Roxanne Tellier aka Veronica, to register and pick up our media passes at the Sheraton. What! No conference guides until Wednesday!! How’s anyone supposed to plan their week? Back again to pick up the guides today.

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Registration directions at the Sheraton….

Friday evening….ohhh….that was a late one. Annette Shaffer at Tranzac, David Celia at the Cameron House, Daniel Lanois at the Horseshoe Tavern and “night-capping” it off at Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n Rolla with The Joy Arson.  A pictorial review:

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Annette Shaffer  and friends – Tranzac

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The Organic Jam Band (my name, not theirs) with Annette Shaffer

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David Celia – Cameron House

David Celia – The Grind

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Tim Jackson on bass; Cleave Anderson on drums; David Celia on guitar

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Daniel Lanois – Horseshoe Tavern promoting his new album Flesh and Machine

Daniel Lanois – Jolie Louse

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The Joy Arson – Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n Rolla

The Joy Arson – Far Better Days

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Transportation Toronto — Listen Up!! Anybody Home??

What’s the matter with the transportation gurus?? Trying get home on the TTC was ridiculous to say the least. Toronto is playing host to an international music festival for ten days, the bars, the pubs and clubs are open until 4am for the duration, and the TTC either shuts down at 1:30 am or the service is so limited, may folks end up in cabs — which is good for the taxi drivers but an unexpected chunk of change for those having already spent heavily at the clubs. Not exactly encouraging attendance in “Music City”. No wonder folks are so tempted to take their own vehicles, especially those living a fair distance from downtown Toronto. If you want to attract and bring people into town to experience the nightlife AND leave their vehicles at home, you HAVE to provide more than just adequate transportation (in fact it’s well below adequate these days).

Attention Mayor Tory….yoo hoo, wake up and smell the coffee. The city can shut down major arteries for special events but they can’t provide decent transportation alternatives for a key event like CMW!!! I’ve been on my feet all night, they are NOT in the mood to walk all the way home.

Now that I have that out of my system, on to Monday and Tuesday’s main events.

Monday…..First up, Xprime, one of my favourite “local” bands. These guys are talented and a joy to watch perform. They held an intimate “industry” event at the Hideout Monday night and DBAWIS chief scribe and editor Bob Segarini took pleasure in introducing the band. Watching these four young musicians, and listening to their harmonies, just plain makes you feel good as they take obvious delight in playing their music… and it shows. Gabe (keyboards & guitar), Neil (bass), Phil (drums) and Steph (guitar) bounce around on stage (well, okay, not Phil since he is required to stay put behind his drum kit) with enough energy to light up a small city.

Xprime – My Fair Lady

Xprime – Tell Me Why

After a little dancing, picture taking, lots of yakking and a few liquid libations, Segarini thought it was time to introduce us Canuks to a U.S. institution….Carl’s Jr. , a burger joint that has just recently opened on Queen St. West in the former home of the HMV store. This is Carl’s Jr. second location in the city. So, Betty, Veronica and our editor headed to burgerland and were joined by Xprime members Neil and Phil and their friends, to sample the wares of the newest addition to an already jam-packed Toronto burger market.

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 Carl’s Jr.

Veronica and I decided to split one of their giant burgers. Fries and a chocolate shake were added to the mix. You’d have to ask Bob what he ordered since it was pretty specific and included some Tex Mex something-or-other. I pretty much inhaled my half of the burger (I was famished) ….and yes, it was deeelish. No shortage on the bacon either. The shake went down with absolutely no problem….right to my hips.

Carls Hamburger - Copy

Tummies sated, it was time to head home. Praying for decent TTC service, we eventually hopped (as you do) onto the eastbound streetcar and Veronica and I continued east to our respective homes. A yummy and satisfying ending to a fab evening

It’s Tuesday so it must be Phoenix time and Jully Black….

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Veronica and I met up at the Phoenix in plenty of time to grab a drink and a good spot– to watch and shoot from. I traveled a bit lighter this time, bringing in just the camera with a spare battery tucked away in my pocket. On time and ready…then we waited….and waited….and waited….

Jully finally came strutting out an hour late to thunderous applause and the boom of a brand new sound system. That woman has pipes….powerful pipes. …and she works….hard. The room was jammed-packed and the audience was more than ready for the show (although it was more like a revue) to start. Fully choreographed with six dancers, a full band including brass section, Black worked the stage and the audience like the professional she is.

The band was tight, excellent musicians all (to these ears anyway). I loved Black’s voice and no band, no instrument, nowhere, no how, is going to overpower her vocal chords. Launching her new CD Jully Black The LP, she was in full form and in full control. She prowls, poses and flips that mane of hers at precisely the right moments and angles. She brings a presence and power to the stage. Her expressions, as she sings, are honest and her music is a dancer’s dream. I found myself having a hard time staying still long enough to take a few pictures — over 200 actually. I had a blast shooting her and her band as we were allowed to get “up close and personal”.

I could have done without the dancers. Although they were very good (and I do like watching a good dancer or two) and obviously enjoying themselves, they were an unnecessary accoutrement to Black and her band for this particular show and venue.  But the disappointment…. Black was late….very late….not acceptable. The CMW programme stated 8pm….and with no opening act, the wait seemed interminable. Diva’s can still be on time.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed her performance and would not hesitate to see one of her shows again.

Jully Black – Fever

A photo Gallery – Jully Black Performance at the Phoenix May 5, 2015

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….and speaking of shoes….how the hell does anyone walk in these, let alone dance…..??

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Seriously…How?

At night’s end Veronica and I “swanned” our way over to the Black Swan to listen to Peter Verity. I then sauntered over to the Sheraton to meet up with a friend I hadn’t see in almost 40 years! Greg Simpson, the man who is instrumental in putting CMW together, wrapping it up in a lovely bow and presenting it to us for our enjoyment, is a friend from my hometown of London, Ontario. We managed to spend an hour swigging coffee and catching up in the lobby bar before parting ways. He had an early morning call and the sandman was beckoning me.

Say goodnight Betty.

“Goodnight Betty.”

Cheers,

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at: dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-buttonIn “real” life Pat Blythe has spent the past 32 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry. After an extended absence Pat is now heading back to the GTA clubs, immersing herself in the local music scene, tasting what’s on offer, talking to people and writing once again — sharing her passions and her deep love of music. Together for 34 years, Pat also worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda Little Red-headed dancing girland the Imps, Plateau, Buzzsaw, Hellfield….) as well as national and international acts,  Currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, Pat is currently compiling a photographic history of the local GTA music scene from 1975 to 1985. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance….

2 Responses to “Pat Blythe: Yesiree! CMW 2015 Continues….”

  1. fab photos Pat! lovely to meet you finally too 🙂

  2. You think Julie Black’s shoes are impossible? She learned all that shit from Shakura S’Aida.

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