Pat Blythe – Lights Out and the Power of Music….

Little Red-headed dancing girl

Another week has passed and this stinking cold is still hanging around like a nasty smell (not that I can smell anything). It has wiped that smug “I haven’t had a cold in 10 years” look right off my face. I ended up with a high temp the other night so hauled myself out to see the doc. Lungs are, in her words, “crystal clear”. Damn!!!! It’s viral. So, here I sit, taste buds shot, no smell (not even burning toast), hacking and coughing and severely pissed off!! According to many, this nasty monster can hang around for weeks. I am NOT impressed. Tea with lemon and honey and curling up with my favourite sweater at night is all I’ve got. Okay, I’m done bitching and whining. This column will be another short one and a roundup of some of the upcoming music events.

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I haven’t been trolling the bars much in the past week or so but I did attend the Mill Street Indie Week Lights Out Media Launch Party at the Rivoli last Saturday. The event was a benefit to raise money for Earth Day. Lights Out is an annual event with artists playing acoustic sets by candlelight in multiple venues. The idea is to raise awareness for Earth Hour, a time when people are asked to “power down” for one hour to conserve energy. The event is sponsored by Mill Street and they donate a portion of every pint sold on March 19, which is Earth Day. To date $300,000 has been raised.

It was fairly well attended with candle flames fluttering everywhere. Four acoustic performances were planned with Sigrun Stella opening the event. A transplanted Icelander, Stella is a singer/songwriter of the more folksy variety. Her voice is strong and clear and carries over the din of the room. One particular song “Follow You Home” was particular interesting. About a woman who follows a man home from a bar even though he’s not interested. It’s a stalking song….

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Sigrun Stella

Crazy Blue – Sigrun Stella

Next up was Joshua David. This young gentleman had my attention instantly. A country artist, singer/songwriter David was full of energy and passion and it shines through in his performance. Calling Waterloo, Ontario home, David is constantly writing new material and performing. From the TD Kitchener Blues Festival to the Grand Ole Opry and Bluebird Cafe in Nashville, Tennessee. He describes his music as “soulful blues and country fusion” and performs a wicked countrified version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”…..acoustically. The audience was spellbound. David’s musical tastes run the gamut….from Queen to Eminem, Andrea Bocelli to Kiss. Now both blues and country have found a home in him. I hope to catch him again at one of the many festivals invading our fair Music City.

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Joshua David

Joshua David – Love Again

The third performer of the evening was another young man, Logan Brown. At the age of 19 he plays music for a living, a tough row to hoe in today’s musical climate. An extremely confident performer, Brown plays whenever and wherever he can. Hailing from Kingston, Ontario, he throws every fibre of his being into his performance. Brown’s impassioned performance had the crowd moving and toe tapping ending with resounding applause. According to Brown, dad listened to Fleetwood Mac and mom listened to TKO….a wide range of music indeed. According to his bio, Brown “has found a way to write the music he’s always dreamed of writing and put on the shows he’s always dreamed of playing.”

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Logan Brown

I missed the last performance. The viral cold from hell was starting to form its late night grip.

The Healing Power of Music

Music head

I wrote a piece last year about “feel good” songs. (Oct 6, 2015). To quote the previous article, “music is one thing we all, as humans, have in common. It can influence, inspire, change, enhance, quieten and shape our moods, desires and feelings. Music has the power to heal the body and soothe the soul….music can take us back to a certain place or moment in time however briefly, generating a wave of nostalgia for what was. You can flow with it, dance to it, quietly listen to it, hum to it, sing with it, make love to it, clap your hands or tap your toes to it, get lost in it….”

To top it all off, neuroscientist Dr. Jacob Jolij of the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, has quite literally scientifically determined the top ten songs that are the best at making you feel, well, chuffed. (British slang for happy or very pleased. I just happen to like using it)

So, all you music aficionados and lovers of the beat, this Friday, March 11, Cherry Cola’s is hosting a special fund raising event in support of the Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund. The event is called Music for The Mind.

Music for the Mind

Here’s the synopsis from their website: “The Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund (CMTTF) exists to create access to music therapy for Canadians who need it most. We bring music therapy and music therapists to rural, urban and remote communities from coast-to-coast through innovative programs and research projects. These initiatives range from interventions for autism, Alzheimer’s, anxiety and depression, fine-motor skills development, pre- and post-natal care, and brain injury, to name only a few.

We accomplish this by awarding clinical and research grants, scholarships and fellowships to innovative accredited music therapists who are then empowered to use their talents and expertise to make music therapy accessible within our communities.”

Music, to me, is such an exquisite form of communication….a universal language we all understand.  Music’s power transcends all forms of teaching since no words are necessary. Only the melody is required. Everyone has the basic ability to respond to music, from the child in the womb to the Alzheimer’s patient, from the hard of hearing to those in a coma. It affects each one of us uniquely, triggering areas in the brain we have only recently begun to understand. Even listening to the same song, each of us can hear something completely different. Music is such an integral part of our lives I can’t imagine a world without it. Head to Cherry’s, say hi to Cherish and Jay, and support Music for The Mind. We all need a little music in our lives.

I leave you with a couple of local Toronto artists. Go on, go check them out. That’s it, up off the couch. Close the computer. Jordan John performs at the Orbit Room every Monday night. Modern Hearts perform at various clubs and bars in and around the city. Check their website to see where they’re playing next.

Jordan John – I Keep Falling in Love

How To Love – Modern Hearts

treble cleff


All photos by Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker”, copyright 2016


Canadian Music Therapy Trust Fund, Wikipedia, my old article


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

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!

One Response to “Pat Blythe – Lights Out and the Power of Music….”

  1. Jane Harbury Says:

    look forward to hearing this young lady Sigrun – and am a huge fan of Jordan John – he’s a major talent. thanks Pat. Feel better soon

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