Pat Blythe – Summertime Blues


We’re back!!!! Tales from the city….clubs, parks and more birthday festivities. Speaking of birthdays, I swear everyone was born between June 1 and September 1. Growing up my birthday was always sort of tagging along at the end….a fall baby. All my friends celebrated anywhere from March through to August but it as especially busy during the summer months.

Summertime Blues – Eddie Cochran

I was lucky to have a sister as a birthday gift on the day I turned two years. At least I could share my “late in the year” birthday with someone although the idea wore a little thin as I got older. Later on, as an adult, I just sussed out my parents were really enjoying Christmas and New Years ’cause the three of us (I am the eldest of three girls) Rock n roll bday cakewere all born approximately nine months after the holidays. I am so very blessed to have my beautiful sisters in my life. I just know that even today I look at the list of ‘FB’ birthdays coming up and most are smushed between June and September.

But I digress…. there is a ton to catch up on….two week’s worth of “stuff” and happenings. As well I’m going to start steering everyone to my Facebook page A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker” for all the pics (my editor will be extremely relieved to read that) and just posting a few in the column. Some of these events are getting reeeeeally big and with the motor drive in full swing it’s a slew of pics. The ever talented Jain McMillian is working on my website ( and when it’s ready the pics will be moved over. I’ll keep y’all posted.

The Penguin Song Happy Birthday

For Sari, Michael Williams, Michael Stanfield and everyone else who celebrated birthdays recently.

So…..starting with a birthday BBQ and ending with and Club 120. Sari Santangelo celebrated a birthday of unknown vintage with Sam Taylor and The East End Love performing. A slightly more private affair primarily with family and a few close friends, it was another afternoon of food, food, food, some great music, more food and loads of laughs. Sari used one of my photos for her birthday invitation and, much to my astonishment, on her birthday cake. I have to say my flabber was once again gasted. That was a first. Thank you Sari for loving my work. What was the shot…..?

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The Birthday Girl herself smokin’ a big one…..

….and here it is on the birthday girl’s Happy Birthday cake….in colour….

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Once again the affair was hosted by the inimitable Robin Campbell and his lovely lady Risa Black and was celebrated under sunny skies with a much more bearable temperature. As the hired “paparazzi”, I got to stroll around taking pictures of everything and everybody….eating, playing, singing, smooching, snoozing (we won’t show that one) and generally having a good time. This also enabled me to cruise the food tables with ease. Oh my gawd….those meatballs!!!!! I found one of those long bamboo toothpicks and put it to good use. Who needs a plate?  Stab, chew, swallow, repeat. I lost count of how many of those little suckers I devoured. There’s an “oink” in there somewhere. Unfortunately I was running with back-to-back gigs so had to dash at 4pm to pick us some folks, toss them in the vehicle and head back out on the road. Luckily I wasn’t around to take the blame for the disappearance of all those meatballs.

A few BBQ pics….I am not going to name everyone (simply because I can’t remember all the names) Suffice to say “partygoers”.

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 John Nye and our host (with beer in hand) Robin Campbell

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…and this is only half of it!

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….the band

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….the audience

Then it was on to Oakville and Taste of Colombia to hear two old friends perform together again after 40 years. Keyboardist Gary Richardson (Austin, Texas) and guitar picking singer/songwriter Don Graham (Montreal/Toronto) reunited as Graham County one more time. Michael Williams hosted and managed to elicit a number of stories, particularly from Don. A wonderful evening that saw many linger long after the show was over. ….and your intrepid photog caught these….

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Gary Richardson and Don Graham

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L-R – Don Graham, Michael Williams and Gary Richardson

Friday night (July 22) found me right smack in the middle of the Beaches International Jazz Festival. Street Fest was in full swing on Queen St. East between Woodbine and Lee Avenue. Closed to traffic for several hours, it was wall-to-wall food, bands and bodies. Blues, jazz, calypso, South American, rock….you name it, music of all genres for all ages. Just purchased a brand new lens (I’ve been using Chris’s gear for my photography) and decided to test it out. The jazz festival seemed a good place to start. Captured Paul James at the Stone Lyon, some street scenes, Sam Taylor and The East End Love at the Peppery Cat, a few other bands and some food trucks. The Tamron lens goes from 70 to 300 so I can get your nose hairs from quite a distance away. Super close up, singers beware, I can see your tonsils. Too close and you don’t wanna know what I can snap. Going to have some fun with this one. Next on my list, a periscope lens that sees over the tall folks that consistently park themselves in front of me.

Saturday and Sunday found me once again behind the camera for the Beach Village BIA Music in the Park at Ivan Forrest Gardens. Hosted by Michael Williams, audiences watched, listened, sang and clapped to performances by Bold Step Dancers, Sam Taylor and The East End Love, Celtic Sun, JK Vibrations Steel Band, Chris Birkett, Metis Fiddlers, The Boot Scooters Line Dancers, Move to the Music, Don Graham and Gary Richardson, and For The Love Of It School of Dance. Saturday also featured the Beaches Got Talent show. After six contestants serenaded us, and due deliberation by the four judges, young singer Julianna D’Assisa was the winner. She won a recording session with Juno award winning producer Chris Birkett and vocal lessons from vocal coach Donna Flynn.  The two-day event was to encourage more music in the parks using local talent.

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L-R – TJ Whitelaw, Toney Springer, Michael Williams, Lawrie Ingles, AHI

Sunday evening it was back at Taste of Colombia to celebrate the instrument that continues to change the world of music today. The evening’s event, For The Love of The Guitar, featured Toney Springer, TJ Whitelaw and AHI with Lawrie Ingles adding a little keyboard magic. It also happened to be Michael Williams birthday the following day. It was a spectacular show and demonstrated the various guitar styles of each of the performers. No electric….all acoustic. Fabulous!

A few videos featuring an instrument with a 4000-year-old-history and the lovers of that instrument.

Grande Prix de Guitare de Montreal 2011 – TJ Whitelaw

Brand New Cadillac – Toney Springer w/Jack de Keyzer

Johnny B.Goode – Coldplay with Michael J. Fox

Last night (yes it’s Wednesday and I’m still writing) I headed to Club 120 to see Chris Birkett and his band perform. What a pleasant surprise to run into David McMillian and Micheal McIsaac. More on Birkett later. Right now I’m really late with this column….


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



Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Contact us at:

dbawis-button7In “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!

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