Pat Blythe – Diversions, Julian Taylor Band, New Drums …and Music!

It’s Tuesday yet again. Apparently it repeats itself every six days. Bugger! This means it’s column writing day and I am not remotely focused on the task at hand. This could mean a ridiculously lengthy dissertation or stupidly short piece of nonsense. We’ll see where this one goes??

Two diversions…..two visitors in the past 12 hours. I am the queen of procrastination and squirreling so visitors are always welcome. Visitor number one and it looks like I may have a new partner (and a very welcome addition) to my GingerPennies “company”. We’ve been yattering back and forth on FB for a while. With a brain full of ideas, a background in design and marketing and a virtuoso on the sax…..what can I say. The yattering may yet prove fruitful. We’ll work on a plan, it’s one step-at-a-time….. I’m excited about this opportunity.

Visitor number two brought me a gift…..a brand new wall clock! Danny Bilan popped over to pick up some extra cymbals I had floating around (guess what my new clock is) and we visited over a cup of coffee. Bilan, yet another drummer in my life, performed and recorded with Wild T & The Spirit (Toney Springer), Moxy and a number of other bands. He remembers Chris which was really nice to hear. ….and congratulations are in order, the Bilans just celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary! Another rock ‘n roll record!

It’s a Zildjan……if anyone’s wondering (although I use Sabian with my kit)

….and…..on that note…..I have a brand new drum kit!!! which I’ve been bashing about on a daily basis for the past week and a bit. (and yes my neighbours are still talking to me) A gorgeous shade of blue (Blue Satin Flame is the official description), my little set of Gretsch is just the perfect size. Kit selection, purchase assistance, setup, moon gels in place, tuning, etc. all done by good friend Paul DeLong. If anyone claims they are out of tune, you have him to deal with…… Stick handling has been a little dubious (maybe I need shorter ones) but I’m loving the sound of my heavier Rock Legend set. Finding out the proper way to “kick” the bass drum and control the pedal now has my upper thigh in spasms. So….I’m out of shape too. With all the accoutrement (shakers, brushes, clackers, assorted drum sticks) AND the piano, I have a nice little percussion setup. Now I all I have to do is learn how to play my little blue babies properly. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to my determination to conquer the traps….Karl Anderson, Kid Carson, Frank Russell, Sasha Tukatsch and Paul DeLong….and a big thank you to JD at Drumland!

The process… didn’t think you’d get away without a blow-by-blow pictorial description…..this is heady stuff!!!!

Lined up and ready to head to their new home

Assembling and tuning…..


….still tuning, floor tom’s turn

Final check and setup……

Presenting…….The Blue Flames!

A fundraiser for one of our own…..

A huge fundraising event for Lenny Stoute was held at the Horseshoe Tavern on March 28.  A who’s who from the music business showed up in support of Stoute who is suffering from some major health issues and is barely able to walk. The occasion, Lenny We Got Your Back, saw artists Fergus Hambleton with Wood &Water, Tim Bovaconti, Danny Marks, Laura Hubert, Don Graham,  The Essentials and many others perform on that legendary stage. Famed publicist Jane Harbury, Patti Habib (The Bamboo Club), Gerry Young (Pop Goes The Weasel/Current Records), Sandy Graham (EMG/Cashbox Canada), Joanne Smale and so many others came out to lend moral and financial support.

A veteran entertainment journalist and writer for the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, Music Express, Eye Weekly, Metro and Cashbox Canada Magazine, Stoute has been interviewing the players and writing about the music scene for decades. He has seen several specialists over the past two years and is now hoping for a definitive diagnosis for his pain, after meeting with yet another medical expert, this month. For more information and/or to contribute click here.

Healing nicely thank you…..

A member of the ONES troupe is healing nicely after surgery to repair a torn (literally right off the bone) shoulder tendon. Greg Wyard, bassist/guitarist/vocalist and swarmandal player extraordinaire will be performing with his beautiful stand-up bass at the shows in Kitchener and Kingston…..and his vocals….still as sweet as ever. Mike Pellarin, whose speciality is musical theatre, will be joining the show with the “over the shoulder” bass…..two accomplished bassists in one show……and since this is one of my two favourite band instruments, this will be heaven.

A shot from the ONES show….Greg and his basses

Pellarin keeps extremely busy performing with show after show at the various theatres here in Toronto, the U.S. and the U.K. Accomplished on both the fretless and electric bass, Pellarin has performed with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bat Out of Hell, Beautiful: The Carole King Story, The Book of Mormon, Footloose, James and The Giant Peach, Kinky Boots….shows stretching back almost 20 years and way too numerous to mention here.

…..and I found the following pic on Pellarin’s FB timeline. Credit and ©2011 goes to CTV. I grabbed it because I know four of the performers, three of which have performed in ONES. Taken in 2011, fast forward eight years and who would have thought Wyard, Pellarin and Stott would be, at one time or another, again in the same show!

l-r  – Bob Reid, Greg Wyard, Dave Barrett, Mike Pellarin, Topher Stott

Mike Pellarin

Julian Taylor……

What can I say, that hasn’t already been said, about one of my most favourite performers (and people) on the planet. Taylor and his band knocked the wind out of us the minute they hit the stage. Taylor alone transforms into a force to be reckoned with on stage and when freed from the weight of his guitar, his energy levels increase to a point of almost exploding. The Great Hall was vibrating and so was every member of the audience. Taylor has a way of bringing ourselves out of ourselves. His vibe and joy are infectious. He projects an enormous amount of life force that we, the audience, want to project right back to him. I’m not surprised he’s totally drained afterwards. I’d be wasted about three songs in.

Julian Taylor


The Great Hall was packed….upstairs and downstairs. The view from above….all the moving lips….the faces riveted to the stage…..the bodies moving and gliding around….I just stood and watched, finally hanging my camera around my neck to lean over and snap a few. The intense energy rippling throughout the venue was palpable with song after song washing over all of us….we simply flowed right along with it.  A straight, no break, two-hour set.

Gareth Perry and Julian Taylor

Guitars in harmony – l-r – Gareth Perry, Julian Taylor


Avalanche, the title of his latest album, is unlike anything Taylor has done before and is nothing like his last double album, Desert Star (which by the way is also an incredible piece of work). Avalanche is a piece of Taylor’s heart and soul. Avalanche is his life, his sorrows, his losses, his family and friends, death, confusion, all laid bare in these beautiful songs. It’s about pushing forward even when you feel you can’t…’s also about love and how family and friends are always there….it’s about memories (past, present, creating) and the journey ahead. The songs are deeply personal and you can hear and feel the passion in Taylor’s voice and in the music.

David Engle (from the balcony looking down)


The Julian Taylor Band (JTB) are first and foremost friends and many of them have been working and playing together since high school. The camaraderie and love is obvious both on and off stage. The band is comprised of Taylor’s “brother by another mother” Jeremy Elliott on thundering drums, David Engle and his magic fingers prancing about the ivories, master of the electric six string is Gareth Perry, bass man Steve Pelletier and tickling the second set of ivories is Derek Giberson. For Saturday’s show the brass were brought in. Love me some brass. On trumpet was Troy Dowding and on sax (yes please) was Alex Trent. Jarrod Ross, another exceptional bassist and who also bears an uncanny resemblance to Pelletier, subbed in for Pelletier who, due to prior commitments, was unable to perform with the band that evening.

Jeremy Elliott


This is one sweet show that has been indelibly printed on my brain…..and, dancing feet, they played one of my favourite songs.

The finale ….

It’s the end of today (literally). I’ve just woofed down part of a Swiss Chalet roast beast dinner (no fries or roll) and looking at a rather full rest of the week. So….not a stupidly short or ridiculously long column. Music is next and then……bed!


Dance With Me – Brazillian 2wins

Hallelujah – Brazillian 2wins

Misery Business – Paramore – Post Modern Jukebox

The Flow – Melanie de Biasio

Your Freedom is the End Of Me – Melanie de Biasio

Just A Little Bit – Julian Taylor Band

Sweeter – Julian Taylor Band

Back Again – Julian Taylor Band


All photographs ©2018 Pat Blythe, A Girl With A Camera unless otherwise noted


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! 

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