Pat Blythe – Jordan John and More Celebrations….
We’re opening with a song….ya I know, but can you think of a better one?
Summer In The City – Lovin’ Spoonful
It’s 8am on a Wednesday morning and apparently Toronto is about to experience one of her hottest days on record. After an unusually tepid winter, the summer of 2016 has been a scorcher in more ways than one. Sweltering days in the city, forest fires across the country, bone dry, rust-coloured lawns and the humidity….oh the humidity! The hair control police have been kept extraordinarily busy rescuing escapees from extreme curl. If it’s not tied, clipped or covered, many of us walk around looking like we stuck our fingers in a light socket. Even my eyelashes are sweating! In this weather ladies we don’t glow, we downright drip with the best of them.
…and now on to the most recent happenings.
Last Friday I had the great pleasure of capturing on camera, a good friend’s retirement party at Cherry Cola’s. After too many years to mention, Peter Montreuil decided to hang up his pencil (however you do that) and gracefully segue from government worker to club hopping Indie band supporter. Actually, Peter is one of the biggest proponents of Indie music in the GTA and can be found at the many clubs around town supporting his favourite local bands. I am constantly running into him, positioned right at the front of the stage, thoroughly enjoying the music and the moments. I’m sure the man has one of the largest T-shirt collections of local talent. Always gracious, keeping an eye on my gear as I move around taking pictures, Peter is guaranteed to be sporting the T-shirt of the band performing at that moment.
Peter and Lois
With Lois by his side, the man with one of the biggest hearts I know threw his own retirement party at his preferred bar, Cherry Cola’s Rock ‘n Rolla Cabaret and Lounge, which was hosted by the much-loved Cherish Stevenson, owner of said preferred bar, starring four of the young bands he is so passionate about. Opening up were the boys from Xprime followed by Blackdog Ballroom. The four brothers that comprise Mushy Callahan were up next and closing out the evening, The Ballroom Babies. Thank you Jay Macedo who pitched in and worked his magic with the sound. This soiree has been in the works for well over a year and Peter has been counting down the weeks, days, hours and even seconds until the great event. A packed house, loads of hugs, great music and yes, even a cake all added up to a very memorable event. Thank you Peter for including us in your celebration. Happy Retirement!!! (and trash that alarm clock) I’ll see you in the clubs soon. In the meantime, a “retirement pictorial album” has been created on my FB page which everyone can access directly here . Following are just a few photo of the event….
On stage at last!!!
Peter and the man who launched his “Indie career”
Our hostess Cherish Stevenson….was that shaken or stirred?
Nobody Told Me – Mushy Callahan
I Won’t Change – Ballroom Babies
All To Myself – Xprime
Black Slacks – Blackdog Ballroom
Saturday was spent running errands around the city and no clubbing in the evening! I was actually supposed to attend two events, Senseless, which was being held at the Evergreen Brickworks, and Toney Springer at the Linsmore Tavern. I was so bushwacked (yes I do get tired and require 40 winks once in a while) I decided to lay low and get an early night. Sunday was starting very early and ending very late.
This is what I missed. Senseless, referred to as “a fully immersive musical experience for all your senses”, engaging not only your eyes and ears, but all your senses, all through electronic and live music. I found the whole idea intriguing and was looking forward to attending. Unfortunately, that proved impossible at the last minute. I am looking forward to the reviews and a possible return of the event next year. ….and Toney….. so, so close to home. Me….my entire body was yawning, and so I took it to bed.
Sunday started way too early. Ended up having a blast taking photos at a 60th retirement party (no, you won’t see them here, they are private) while listening to two amazing performers from the band Romani Rota (Gypsy Wheel), one on violin, the other on keyboards. Beautiful music and exceptionally skilled musicians. Then it was over to Taste of Colombia in Oakville. Prakash John and his son Jordan John, along with drummer Mark Carbone performed that evening. It was truly an OMG event! Jordan’s incredible vocals (his range is amazing) combined with searing guitar work…..just wow! Prakash, ever the consummate gentleman on bass, handles the instrument like no other. A rock and roll hall-of-famer, Prakash is one of the world’s top bass players and his skills working those four strings are constantly in demand. Both Prakash and Mark kept the backbone beat solid while also singing backup, sometimes with a wink and a nudge. The trio amped up the night and had many of the audience members on their feet dancing. That was a first at Taste. I have been listening to Jordan’s music for quite some time now and his album, A New Day, is in constant rotation on my phone. It was such a pleasure to hear some of those songs come to life on Sunday night. As for Prakash, well….my very first “official” date with Chris in 1979 was going to see The Lincolns at the Jarvis house….a band Prakash had just recently formed and a band which still performs the “Toronto Sound” today. If you want to listen to the masters of R&B, they are a must see. I also highly recommend you catch Jordan and his full band at the Orbit Room every Monday night. Always check first though, this young man is in great demand around the world.
Michael Williams and Prakash John at CMW 2016
Yes, I photographed the event at Taste. Unfortunately my doohickey thing that takes the pics from my camera and magically transports them to my laptop bent a prong and is now throwing a hissy fit. A replacement will be arriving today.
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Prakash John and The Lincolns
I Keep Falling In Love – Jordan John
On Sunday, July 24 we will be holding a special event, For The Love of the Guitar, at Taste of Colombia. It’s a celebration of a 4000-year-old instrument and the people who play her (yes, it’s always a “her”). Remember Lucille? An instrument with a lengthy history and stories like no other, although, granted, the stories are more about the instrumentalists. Everyone is welcome to join us for this organic “jam session” as it comes to life, all dedicated to this magnificent piece(s) of stringed wood that has more than stood the test of time (and musicians). Toney Springer, AHI, Gary Santucci, TJ Whitlaw, Jeff Jones (if he makes it in from Edmonton) and many others will be sharing their stories and music, all dedicated to the guitar. Lawrie Ingles will be also be joining in, bringing a bit of sanity on the keys. Oh, and by the way, the following day (July 25) is Michael Williams’ 60th birthday, yet another celebration. Life is just full of them! Now, if I could get all my favourite bass players…. Prakash John, Chris Squire, Jeff Jones, Carol Kaye. Phil Lynott, Suzi Quatro and John Deacon together on stage…..impossible I know but…..oh my.
One of Danny Marks’ guitars….
….and this is way too cute……
Ole Ole Ole Hot Hot Hot – Kids Version/Dance Cover
All photos by Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker” except for Jordan John
Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.
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In “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 workedalongside 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!