Pat Blythe – The Weather, a Wedding, a Toast to Sarah Smith

Well…’s confirmed. Mother Nature has definitely got the time of the year completely messed but who’s complaining. It was an absolutely perfect day for an outdoor wedding last Friday. Sunny, gorgeous, colourful….we could not have been blessed with a better day. Sam Taylor sang his heart out, entertaining the guests as they were seated, serenading the bride as she cruised down the aisle and again during cocktails. The guests were raving about him and his voice well into the evening. A very well documented wedding it was with two official photographers (not including me….I wasn’t ‘official’) and three videographers. They all made sure every teeny tiny moment was captured, including a few late-night wipeouts on the dance floor. The younger set were thoroughly enjoying themselves. My niece Annie and her new husband Jesse are chilling out in Montego Bay as I type this. This spectacular weather remains with us until September 25 (how fortuitous!) and then apparently Fall is due to arrive, albeit a few days late….temperature wise anyway.

Leaping bridesmaids

The bride and groom, Annie and Jesse Patton

Backdoor Man – Sam Taylor (Willie Dixon)

I attended a “salon” yesterday, arranged by CSARN. My lovely friend and artistic supporter Judy Berger has been after me to attend their conferences for the past two years and both times I have been either sick (this year) or otherwise engaged and ill (last year). I finally made it to this particular gathering at Artscape on Shaw St. Now all you entertainment/artist types may be interested in CSARN (pronounced see-sarn). “Formerly the Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network, CSARN is a registered Canadian charity dedicated to helping Canada’s professional artists continue working and creating art into their (dare I say the words) senior years.” They have paid mentorship programmes (for both the mentor and mentee), provide seminars and webinars on a plethora of topics ranging from financial planning to social media, intellectual property protection to marketing, basically anything that interests the membership. CSARN’s annual one-day conference, Maintaining Creativity, is a wonderful opportunity to network, make new friends and maybe even learn something. They even provide sustenance. Both Martha Henry and Gordon Pinsent are involved in the charity….Henry as Artistic Advisor and Pinsent is an Honorary board member. To find out more about CSARN click here

The marvellous Sarah Smith…..

While in London for Bluesfest I was invited by Sarah Smith to attend the Toast London event as her guest. Held the third Monday of every month, Toast London is billed as “London’s premier supper club and schmooze event.” Produced by Victoria Craig and hosted by Paula Morand, they welcome three guest speakers, whom they refer to as “visionaries”, representing local businesses in the London area. As well, they provide entertainment and that’s where Smith comes in.  To find out more about Toast London click here World renowned rock photographer John Rowlands is scheduled to speak at the next event which should be happening right about…………now!

I Need To Know – Sarah Smith

I’m always thrilled to see Smith perform….it’s not often enough…..and she always plays one of my favourite songs, I Need To Know. She is an intuitive and skilled performer and can read a crowd before she’s four bars into the first song. Oh so friendly and personable, she has a smile that lights up a room and a talent that just explodes on stage. Singer/songwriter and traveling woman, Smith is known as one of the hardest working Canadian artists, performing over 300 shows a year in Canada, Europe and the U.K. with her band, solo or with her best friend and former bandmate from The Joys, Ken Ross. Her voice is often compared to Melissa Etheridge with a tinge of Janis Joplin and maybe even some Joan Baez thrown in. Just about every singer out there is reminiscent of someone, somewhere, sometime, (except for Freddy Mercury and Bob Dylan) but Smith’s voice is truly her own. A pop/rock artist with a heart, listen to her voice and get lost in her performance. You’ll soon forget the others.

Smith is making one of her very rare Toronto appearances at the Hideout as part of a benefit show for Friends of Turning Point Youth Services. Hugely supportive of our youth, Smith has been a friend and mentor to many budding and struggling young artists including Carly Thomas and Sam Taylor. I would highly recommend taking the opportunity to see Smith live and while you’re at it, supporting our future.

You Are My Sunshine – Sarah Smith & Carly Thomas

I should take a moment to mention Smith’s core band members as they are some of the finest musicians around. Mad drummer and cajon box player Bobby Reynolds (and yes, sometimes he drums standing up!), lead guitarist Guy Miskelly and bassist Ken “The Zen” Ross. Home base is London, Ontario but she rarely touches down before she’s off again. Her fan base is huge and Smith does her best to make time for everyone before, during breaks and after her shows. As soon as she steps off the stage she is instantly surrounded. Her respect and love for her fans is returned to her a hundred fold. Smith’s latest album, 11, which really is her eleventh album, was released late last year. For more info on Smith and what she’s up to click here

A little more music for the heart and soul courtesy of Sarah Smith.

Already Here – Sarah Smith

The Stars – Sarah Smith

Changing My Mind – Sarah Smith

I’ve been told I’ll be performing this song on the piano with my “daughter” Colleen (who’s on guitar and singing) next Monday night. We’ll see…… I’m not one for playing in front of people, especially a bunch of professional musicians! Barbra Streisand type stage fright. However, I’ve been practicing just in case….Colleen is pretty adamant. As for the drums, yep, I’ve been practicing them too but doing a little chording on the piano is, right now, a tad simpler than trying to work my way around a drum kit. Maybe Christmas….. However, please join us next Monday, Sept. 25 at Dora Keogh’s for an evening of laughter and music hosted by Julian Taylor and Tyler Ellis. My birthday is just the excuse and it’s a great segue into Tuesday.

Wicked Game – Chris Isaak

I shall end right here. It’s late on a Tuesday night. I have dance class in the morning, AirBnB guests arriving from England, oh so many photos to edit, projects on the go, opportunities ahead…..the possibilities are endless….and the music just keeps on coming. I promise, Bluesfest next week….


All photos copyright A Girl With A Camera “The Picture Taker” unless otherwise noted.

You can also check out my little Events page on my Luvthemusic website at


Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

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dbawis-button7“Music and photography….my heart, my passions.” After an extended absence —  33 years as a consultant and design specialist in the telecommunications industry — Pat has turned her focus back to the music scene. Immersing herself in the local club circuit, attending the many diverse music festivals, listening to some great music, photographing and writing once again, she is eager to spread the word about this great Music City of ours…..Toronto. Together for 34 years, Pat little-red-headed-dancing-girlalso worked alongside her late husband Christopher Blythe, The PictureTaker©, who, beginning in the early 70s, photographed much of the local talent (think Goddo, Frank Soda and the Imps, BB Gabor, the first Police Picnic, Buzzsaw, Hellfield, Shooter, The Segarini Band….) as well as national and international acts. Pat is currently making her way through 40 years of Chris’s archives, 20 of which are a photographic history of the local GTA music scene beginning in 1974. It continues to be a work in progress. Oh…..and she LOVES to dance! 

3 Responses to “Pat Blythe – The Weather, a Wedding, a Toast to Sarah Smith”

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Another excellent column!

  2. Mike Barrette Says:

    Amazing, simply Amazing ! Well written, Well done, and Well put ! 🙏🤘

  3. Nicely done! Thanks Pat!

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