Pat Blythe – A Quick Mix …Ones, Reuben Cherry, Jeans ‘n Classics …and Music!

I have a rather detailed telecom project to keep me occupied for the next few weeks and a lot of my time will be focused on just that. Suffice to say the columns will be infinitely shorter than usual. My evenings however, don’t seem to have a dearth of things to do or people to see. I’m not exactly sure where the time goes but the hours just melt into each other and before I know it “early to bed” becomes 3am once again!

Classical rock…..

Ramping up for two ONES shows in the next few weeks…..the first performance is in Kingston April 12 but the really big one is in Kitchener on April 13.Kitchener’s Centre In The Square is a 2,000-seat theatre and I had the luxury and the pleasure of photographing there for the first time last week.

Jeans ‘n Classics’ ELO performance was perfect timing, allowing me to become somewhat familiar with all the twists and turn of the “long and winding” hallways, not to mention all the hidden doors and shadowy places to blend into. There are three levels with an upper, waaaaay up there upper balcony that soars over the audience below. I am not one for heights (heart palpitations, light headedness and loss of balance don’t help) but I must confess, it has the most amazing view of the stage and the sound is incredible. You get the full-on experience of the show and with ONES, the multi-media presentation will blow your mind. The balconies are the best places to be. For cameras and eyeballs…..oh what a view!

l-r (in zig-zag formation) – Peter Brennan Paul DeLong (drums), Jeff Christmas (conductor), Mitch Tyler (bass), Don Paulton (keyboards) Jean Meilleur (vocals)

l-r – Kathryn Rose, Lea Salomaa, Jean Meilleur

Paul DeLong (rear on drums), Mitch Tyler (bass), Don Paulton (keyboards)

The Kitchener Jeans ‘n Classics performance was the second one I’ve seen. This time the music of Electric Light Orchestra filled the theatre. I listened to songs I hadn’t heard in years, taking me back to all those vinyl parties and concerts in the 1970s. ELO was not the first rock band to incorporate an orchestra to fill out their music but they were one of the most popular selling over 50 million albums worldwide during their heyday. Moody Blues were the first band to use a full orchestra for their album Days Of Future Past. The Faces, Deep Purple, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Yes, even Metallica have used orchestras either in studio or for live performances. Of course there’s the “Canadian connection”…..Procol Harum’s Conquistador, performed and recorded with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in 1972.

Peter Brennan

Thank you to Kathryn Rose and Paul DeLong from Jeans ‘n Classics who made the arrangements and to Peter Brennan, the creator of Jeans ‘n Classics, for once again giving his permission to have a photographer lurking about. Big thank you to Rachel Dunlop, Manager of Production and Building Operations at Centre In The Square who very graciously showed me around the facility, and to her team of ushers who were very accommodating, lighting my way with their tiny flashlights. A wonderful evening full of some extraordinary music and an audience who soaked up every last note.

From their website, Jeans ’n Classics works with over 100 orchestras in venues throughout North America, and has created almost 1,000 original rock and pop orchestrations which are presented across 45 unique and exciting productions.” I highly recommend you catch one of their shows. You can find out more here

Telephone Line – Electric Light Orchestra

Livin’ Thing – Electric Light Orchestra

Can’t Get It Outta My Head – Electric Light Orchestra

10538 Overture – Electric Light Orchestra

I was actually surprised how often a full orchestra was (and is) used by so many rock bands. The fusion of the two….the best of both worlds, adds another dimension and has produced some incredible pieces of music over the years. Symphonies for the ears and the soul. Here’s a few videos of some of those rockers who performed (or recorded) with the real deal. It truly is a “wall of sound”. No looping, pre-recorded tracks, no synths….. Many of the following videos are the complete one hour (or more show)….all worth watching. Mom and dad would be proud!

Conquistador – Procol Harum with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (Nov 19771)

Concerto for Group and Orchestra (1969) -Deep Purple

ELP – Montreal (1977)

Ahhhhhh…….Chris Squire’s bass…….

Long Distance Runaround – Yes Symphonic Live

This is wild!!!! The entire orchestra is in full Kiss face makeup and they’re loving it! The audience is just, literally, lapping it up.

Kiss Symphony: Alive IV – Detroit Rock City (Act Three)

S&M (full concert) – Metallica

Brief notes ….

l-r – Craig Riddock, Kevin Jeffry, Peter Kashur, Kid Carson

Finally the planets aligned (even if Mercury is in retrograde) and I managed to connect with the boys from Reuben Cherry. Every time they’ve performed I’ve been booked elsewhere. Craig Riddock (vocals/lead guitar), long-time friend Peter Kashur (guitar/vocals), Kid Carson (drums/vocals) and Kevin Jeffrey (bass) round out the band. This is the second incarnation of the band, originally formed in 2002. Riddock remains the band’s primary songwriter and is the only original member. A mixture of blues, soul and rock with three singers, the band is still in rehearsals and aren’t playing out too much, but when they do…….. This particular night….a rare appearance of Bob Segarini who “guested” on one song with Riddock. ) Segarini also produced Reuben Cherry’s debt album on 2004. I am looking forward to hearing more of this band!

Craig Riddock and Bob Segarini

I was surprised and pleased to find out harmonica player Steve Grant was in the first lineup of Reuben Cherry. Grant (fondly known as Cabbagetown Steve) plays the one of the sweetest blues harp this side of the Mississippi. You can often catch  him performing with Little Magic Sam (Sam Taylor).

Angeline – Reuben Cherry

You’ve got enough music above to keep your ears busy for a while.


All photographs ©2019 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera


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 – A Quick Mix …Ones, Reuben Cherry, Jeans ‘n Classics …and Music!”

  1. peter j kashur Says:

    … i did guest with the first version on several live dates, and I did play guitar on the Angeline track … (and accordi0n on another track, but I will deny that if asked.) thanks for the words Pat. always a pleasure to see your lovely face looking back at us.

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