Pat Blythe – CMW 2016 Part 2 and Other Stuff


Well, another week has just blown by and we are already half way through May. Where the hell is spring? I do believe Mother Nature has taken a detour. However, the beginning of “festival” season, music in particular, has started with a bang. CMW is the lead-in with the SING! Toronto Vocal Arts Festival running parallel and beyond. A bucket load of music is on tap this summer and folks are going to be hard-pressed to know which way to turn. So much to choose from and it will be happening all over the city, clear out to Hamilton and back. I’m not even including all the long weekend jams that happen in parks hither, thither and yon. Pick a few favourites, either local or long distance and settle in for the ride.

Music head

CMW 2016 Part 2….

Just to get you started, let me introduce you to what I think is the Song of Summer….get those hips moving…

Just a Little Bit – Julian Taylor

Music is good. Music is great. No….music is the food of life…of our hearts, our souls, our brains. Don’t get me going on the Toronto City Council’s decision to designate Toronto as a music city. Apparently many of the them have been hiding under rocks over the past 50-odd years. Toronto IS  a city of music and there is a plethora of ear candy to chose from. Outside, inside, day and night. The talent is never ending. You job, dear reader, is to get out and support it.

So the CMW finale for me was Friday and Saturday, May 6 & 7. From morning to night, my calendar was packed. Music, interviews, pictures, more music…, bars and concert venues…..the choices were endless.

Here is my calendar of events…..


May 6 — Another wonderful CMW day and the launch of Cashbox Magazine Television. Partnering with Sandy Graham, owner and editor of Cashbox Canada Magazine, on this exciting new adventure, we took an idea and ran with it. In two weeks we had collaborated, designed, scheduled and booked 16 interviews (we did 20), three hosts and co-ordinated a production/film team. It all came together beautifully but we worked our asses off to get there. Gordon Lightfoot, Andy Kim, Eddie Kramer, Eddie Bullen, Danny Marks, Julian Taylor, Gord Deppe (The Spoons)….just the tip of the interview iceberg. Our hosts were Michael Williams, Don Graham and Lenny Stoute. It was so exciting to see it all come together! ….and the pictures….my camera was very busy as well! Thank you to Michael Burak of Distractional Studios and his team Yoshi and Nathan. They brought the studio to site and all the interviews were streamed live. Welcome to rock ‘n roll guys. A g shout out and thank you to Mark Smith who was our site facilities manager. If we needed it, he found it. Believe Digital will be handling the international distribution. We know everyone is eager to see their interviews. The team is working around the clock to complete the editing and posting.

drunken-uncleThe evening found me at the former Rancho Relaxo, now called the My Drunk Uncle’s Pub for the annual Greg Simpson dinner. I didn’t do a final count but there were about 25 folks this year. Always a great time to catch up and the chance to meet some new people as well. Simpson, in from Vancouver and a 35-year veteran of working with Neil Dixon and the CMW team, always manages to put together a  fascinating and eclectic group. Eat, drink and be merry!

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Roxanne Tellier and Pete Kashur in the forefront

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Party goers… and the boys of Xprime

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Our host for the evening, Greg Simpson

Later on I sauntered into the Cameron House Back Room to see Matty and Leon of the Australian band The Lazys. Promoting The Lazys new album as an acoustic duo (The Lazys are a four-man rock band), the two lads were making their rounds of CMW, the bars and the radio stations. Arriving early, I managed to catch a young singer with a very powerful and emotive voice….Nefe. A fantastic set, Nefe and her guitar performed original pieces and one cover…a fabulous rendition of Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean. A singer/songwriter from Guelph, Nefe has a very rich, soulful and expressive voice that can be easily heard, reaching out and grabbing your attention instantly. I approached her after her set to see if she would like to interview at the Cashbox booth. I don’t think she took me seriously. Too bad. I would love to find out more about her and that wonderful voice.

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Matty and Leon were up next but a phone call pulled me out of there and I had to run so I missed their full set. The Lazy’s were a band I caught at last year’s CMW. One hell of a performance at the Phoenix opening for Rival Sons has retained my interest in this band and I was looking forward to seeing them this year. With a new album coming out they will most certainly be returning for a Canadian tour in the fall. Fingers crossed…..

Let Me Know – Nefe

Shake It Like You Mean It – The Lazys

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Matty Lazy of The Lazys

Saturday, May 7 found me back at the Cashbox booth, but not without some side trips to the lobby bar of the Sheraton. There I ran into Sam Reid and Alan Frew from Glass Tiger. The last time I saw Reid was at the ONES show in Keswick but it was my first time meeting Frew. After suffering a horrific stroke in 2015 and determined to fight his way back, Frew and Glass Tiger are now back performing. Scottish accent still firmly intact, it was truly wonderful to see that Frew’s hard work, resolve and willpower had won the day. You can catch Glass Tiger at Thunder on the Bay, Centennial Park, Quinte West on June 25.

Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone – Glass Tiger

The East Coast Event was happening at the Rivoli beginning at 6pm. As usual, the talent and the food were excellent. Bands were on the fare rather than simple acoustic performances. The bands are loud enough to perform over the din of over active vocal chords. Smart move Mr. Campbell. Time to head over to the Hideout for Xprime’s showcase. The “boys of summer” are as good as ever. Working on a brand new album, they managed to slip in some of their new tunes. My fave by a long shot (so far anyway) is “Take That Love”. I even know all the lyrics!

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Drummer Phil Taylor of Xprime (drummers are a challenge to shoot….got ‘im this time…)

Cherry Cola'sThen it was off to Cherry Cola’s and their 6th anniversary party. What a blast. Rumours were rife that Eagles of Death Metal were going to show up after their concert at the Opera House. Good friends of club owner Cherish Stevenson, they were supposed to but extenuating circumstances prevented them from doing so. That didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the revelers at Cherry’s. Band after band performed, including Jay Macedo, whose album should be out soon. The house was rocking! Cherish even brought out an anniversary cake (and it was yummy). I wandered in my front door at 5:45am. Long day, longer night.

A Montage of Cherry’s Special Night….

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Singer/Songwriter Sean MacLean bookended by 2 Cherry Cola party goers

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Our hostess for the evening, Cherish Stevenson with Sean MacLean

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Silly Cherish and kick-ass rocker Jay Macedo

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Secret Broadcast’s Matt Lightstone and Bob “The Iceman” Segarini

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Jay and his group Killing It onstage at Cherry’s

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Toronto’s great live music scene continues to bring the newest and the best to Cherry Cola’s Rock and Rolla Cabaret and Lounge

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More proof the Ladies Rock as Hard as the Boys

…and Other Stuff….

Sunday, May 8 was another evening at Taste of Colombia’s El Salon to hear David Storey. Producer and director of Corner Gas, Storey has a long history in the entertainment industry. A fascinating storyteller, guitar player and singer/songwriter, the audience was enthralled with his performance. Lawrie Ingles joined him on keyboards and the pair made beautiful harmony together. Host Michael Williams always manages to elicit the stories that go with the songs. To open the evening was young singer Mire Meikle, a find from the Open Mic sessions. Question….have you ever heard opera sung with an acoustic guitar? No? Then you missed a great performance by Jason Hales, another Open Mic discovery. What a voice! He’ll be back and I’ll let you know when.

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Lawrie Ingles & David Storey

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L-R – Lawrie Ingles, David Storey, Michael Williams, Mire Meikle, Jason Hales

Saint Adelaide – David Storey

8340806-melting-electric-guitarMonday I think I melted….

It started to heat up again on Wednesday. There’s nothing like a beer launch, outside on a rather chilly, windy day. Really, really hard to think sun, beach and a cold one. Wasaga Brewing Company were introducing their new beer at the Hard Rock Cafe in downtown Toronto. Complete with live performances including Bobby Curtola and a few local Wasaga Beach acts. A bevy of beauties paraded out in their bikinis, professional models all, posing at the Hard Rock and in Dundas Square across the street. It was hilarious to watch all the photographers follow them in a pack. What they seemed to be missing was a shot from “behind” the scenes…..

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Now that I have your attention……

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….and Bobby Curtola sang…..

Paul Sanderson Photo Credit Greg Ryan.preview-smallLater that evening it was off to see entertainment lawyer Paul Sanderson. The man sings….plays piano and guitar….writes songs AND books. What a great performance at the Free Times Cafe. Sanderson was promoting his latest books on entertainment law. He began the night with original tunes, on both piano and guitar. I thoroughly enjoyed his music. The second half of the night was a very informative Q&A session.

We’re now up to Thursday and absolutely superb performances by three a cappella groups at the Jane Mallet Theatre as part of SING! Toronto’s Vocal Arts Festival. During the reception Pressgang Mutiny lined up the stairs to serenade the guests. Then it was off to find our seats in the theatre. First up was The Ault Sisters with Justin Beiber’s “Love Yourself” and a Joni Mitchell cover. This is the second time I’ve seen the sisters. They were marvellous the first time and they’ve done nothing but improve with age. Their harmonies are brilliant. Second performance was by Toronto Northern Lights with a guest appearance by Dave Matheson from Moxie Fruvous. Their rendition of “Present Tense Tureen” was hilarious and wonderful. Pressgang Mutiny then put in a second appearance as the final act of the evening. I have to say, they were my favourite. They had me at the alternative national anthem, “Northwest Passage”. Fantastic! “Hailing from the port of Toronto, Pressgang Mutiny are Canada’s youngest shanty men and have been roaring out songs of the sea since 2012. ….they are keeping together a vital tradition of work songs that represents the world’s first truly multicultural music.” Thank you SING! Toronto and Pat Silver for the invitation.


Pressgang Mutiny

Paddy Doyle’s Boots , Haul the Bowline , Bring Em Down Pressgang Mutiny

Love Yourself – The Ault Sisters (Justin Beiber)

The close of the week, a milestone birthday for a good friend. I elected to make the birthday cakes ( yes two). My gift to Mary Ann.  A lovely way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Happy Birthday my friend. May you have many, many more.


Patty Cakes


All photograph by Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker” except Paul Sanderson (taken by Greg Ryan) and PressGang Mutiny (Courtesy of the Maritime Museum Nova Scotia)

Sources: YouTube


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 workedpblythealongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who shot much  of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and 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 – CMW 2016 Part 2 and Other Stuff”

  1. Excellent read! Cheers, Bob.

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