Pat Blythe – LP, in Memory of Hervé, My 4th Anniversary …and Music!

It’s my fourth anniversary writing for DBAWIS!!!! Time has wings. A wild and crazy ride full of music, festivals, clubs, a theatre show, a little G&T, dancing, my drums, more music and incredible people. There is soooooooo much going on it’s challenging to keep up. Have you ever suddenly blinked and wondered, “Holy shit, what just happened? WHAT the HELL has just happened?” My life, as I knew it, has inexorably changed….transformed….and it happened when I blinked. I’m in my happy place with photography, writing and music…..it can’t get much better than this……

LP

So, my HUGE thrill for the weekend was attending a concert at The Danforth Music Hall. I have been loving a new (to me) artist by the name of LP (Laura Pergolizzi). There are simply not enough adjectives to describe how much I love her music, her voice and now…..her show. I’m not entirely sure how I found out about her but I haven’t stopped listening. I’ve even managed to turn a few others on to her. Anyway, when I discovered she was performing here in Toronto I immediately went scouring for tickets. Sold out! I then realized my trigger finger would be twitching madly if I didn’t have my camera with me so I reached out to some of my contacts for assistance. Suffice to say I managed to connect directly with the promoter. I assumed I would hear back in a week or so. Nope…..within seven minutes I had a reply. Within an hour it was confirmed my name had been submitted to LP’s “people”. I would be informed the evening prior to, or the day of, the show whether I made the cut.

So the waiting begins………………………………………patience is not one of my virtues……………………..

©Charles Shultz

Slowest four weeks I’ve experienced in a while. By the time the day of the concert arrived (Feb. 9) I’m feeling edgy. It’s now after 12pm so, feeling the “let down blues” (it was a 50/50 shot), I’m right in the middle of writing a “thanks for your time….I’m sure the show will be great” email (yes I “peeked”, couldn’t wait any longer) when I notice there’s a new email from my contact. I’M IN!!!!!!! The time is 12:20pm. You could have peeled me off the ceiling!!!! I was about jumping out of my skin. Excited would be a gross understatement. There were a number of friends who knew how badly I wanted to photograph this show (and see/hear LP live). I placed two excited phone calls, made one cryptic FB post and spent the afternoon checking and rechecking my gear. Now….what to wear.

Keeping in mind this was a sold out show the parking gods actually answered my prayer (turned the corner and literally drove into a free parking spot). After collecting my ticket and media pass, I slipped into the venue, heading directly to the “photo pit” in front of the stage. Just under an hour to go I got to chatting with some lovely ladies who had driven all the way from Ottawa to see the show. If I remember correctly two of them had purchased VIP/Meet and Greet tickets Apparently LP is very kind, gracious and surprisingly quite diminutive in stature. The latter was proven when the charismatic performer bounded on stage. The former is evident in one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve witnessed. To see it in photos is one thing, but in person……her whole face radiates pure joy. The woman is clearly in her element on stage and loves what she does. LP and Sarah Smith, another favourite performer, together they could light up an entire continent with their smiles.

The Ottawa crowd

Killer show! I’m still vibrating. Over ninety non-stop minutes of song. Opening with Dreamcatcher, the orchestration just fills you up. She then segued into When We’re High followed by Dreamer. Somewhere in there was Girls Gone Wild, the first single off the album. The final encore was a version of Lost On You, the song that initially caught my ears and continues to resonate with me. With a vocal range that is off the charts and one of the most melodic whistles (her trademark) I’ve heard, LP is an accomplished singer/songwriter/musician. Her songs are deeply personal, uplifting, even exhilarating and each one is unique. Her characteristic voice is the single common thread throughout her music….well that and her whistle….ranging from almost gritty one moment to an ethereal falsetto the next, all with a slight tremor and very distinctive edge.

Dreamcatcher – LP

Lost On You – LP

I was enthralled with the show, every so often raising my phone to take a photo. For these shows the deal is three songs, no flash and you’re out of the pit….and no, you may not use your “professional” camera when you’re in the crowd or security will ask you to leave…..so out comes the phone. Of course I had to share my giddiness with a couple of friends as well.

Not to go unnoticed, there is an equally accomplished band accompanying LP on this promotional tour for her just released Heart to Mouth album. LP did introduce them and featured her guitar player a number of times but unfortunately I was not in a position to make notes. Ooops, wait a minute, a quick tweet out to her official blog site and I had their names in a heartbeat. Brian Stanley on bass, Alex Feder on electric guitar Max Mitchell on key and Neal Daniels on drums. A crack team who deserved to be mentioned! Thank you Anna!

A huge shout out to Embrace Presents….Cat, Ewan and Riff….who responded in the blink of an eye and were instrumental in making this happen. Also big hugs to Cam Carpenter who steered me in the right the direction. This was one of the most exciting concerts I’ve attended. Very little can surpass the sensation and intensity of emotion created when watching a performer (or listening to a piece of music) touch an audience. It can make you weep as you get swept away. So few have the capability….Freddie, Sarah Smith and LP.

Lauren Ruth Ward

Opening for LP was Lauren Ruth Ward. Baltimore-born Ward moved to L.A. in 2015 and released her first album Well Hell in 2018.  Her music has been called “a unique blend of 70s rock, glam and Americana….”Weekday Records. I enjoyed Ward’s performance not knowing what to expect. Along with her writing partner Eduardo Rivera on guitar and Cajone the duo captivated the audience but it’s Ward who’s the showman. With flower child like abandon she bounced and danced back-and-forth across the stage, easily connecting with the audience, squatting and reaching out to shake hands. The woman physically pulsates with her music. Ward’s voice ranges from sweet, sexy kitteny soft to full-on quivering belter with Sheet Stains, the latter in complete contrast to her stage persona, specifically the flouncy gingham dress.

Lauren Ruth Ward

Sheet Stains – Lauren Ruth Ward

Hervé Basset….in memory of a giant

Hervé Basset passed away suddenly June 28, 2017 shortly after a performance at the Cadillac Lounge. Basset’s talent, generosity, humour and pure joy of performing touched many people. His keyboarding skills were legendary as was his enthusiasm and showmanship at every gig.  After a stroke in 2011, he was back behind the keyboards in now time. The Hervé Basset Foundation was created in support of new and emerging local musicians and the first tribute/fundraiser was held at the Rockpile in July, 2017. Almost two years after his passing the foundation lives on in his memory and has teamed up with the The Hideout’s The Bout. The foundation will provide financial support to the winning band specifically for publicity, promotion and marketing.

Toney Springer

Immediately after the LP concert I headed over The Hideout Toronto to meet up with Beyond The Cage singer/songwriter Tracy Brett and bass-player Greg Plant. Brett was a very close, long-time friend of Basset and his wife Krystyna. The parking gods were once again with me and I turned the corner on to Bathurst and right into yet another parking spot. I missed Phil Naro and Ozone Baby but did manage to catch Wild T & The Spirit (Toney Springer, Guenther Kapelle and Murad Gunduz). A total net of $2,000 (after expenses) was raised. Thanks to everyone who braved the cold and thank you to The Hideout Toronto for your support.

Murad Gunduz

Guenther Kapelle

……and music…..

Did I Offend You – Lauren Ruth Ward

Blue Collar Sex Kitten – Lauren Ruth Ward

Into The Wild – LP

Muddy Waters – LP

Other People – LP

Forever For Now – LP

Someday – LP

Girl Crush – Sarah Smith

Undertow – Sarah

Cheers!

All photographs ©2018 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

Please scroll down and leave a comment. Thank you.

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! 

One Response to “Pat Blythe – LP, in Memory of Hervé, My 4th Anniversary …and Music!”

  1. lucky you! I love LP…
    um… your watermark however needs updating.. still stuck on 2018. 😉

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