Pat Blythe – Summer Blues and All That Jazz, Mariposa …and Music!

 Happy Summer Everyone! Finally!!!!!

Busy, busy in the outdoors this past weekend. Rocking (literally) the back garden my youngest and very industrious son Thom is building a small patio using the remaining stones Chris collected over the years. It’s looking lovely. A late start for planting but by BBQ time everything should be ready and blooming. Also busy hosting an AirBnB guest for three nights. Originally from Tibet, Levone has made New Hampshire his home for now but he is loving Canada and all the Pride festivities.

Last Tuesday was the Eddie and Quincy Jazz Review at Cherry Cola’s as we celebrated a milestone birthday. Eddie turned 21 (last year he was 29) so it’s Benjamin Button all over again. He’s now younger than his sons! Quincy on guitar, Tre-Micheal on drums and the place was on fire. Andrew Stewart (it was so great to see you!) and Etric Lyons (Kush) shared bass duties while Divine Brown joined in and belted out a number. A diet of samosas and birthday cupcakes rounded out the evening as everyone sashayed into the night.

l-r – Eddie, Tre-Michael and Quincy Bullen

Eddie Bullen with Andrew Steward on bass

l-r – Eddie Bullen, Tre-Michael Bullen, Etric Lyons, Quincy Bullen

Friday evening was the Blues Jam at one of my locals, The Salty Dog in the Beach. Another celebration, this time the second anniversary of the Blues Jam. Co-hosted by Robin Hutchison and guitarist Mike Sedgewick, the blues jam is a monthly event (among others) and last Friday the place was , shall we say “jammed”. House band Guenther Kapelle (Wild T & The Spirit) on bass, Tim Gittens (drums) and Sedgewick on guitar welcomed Little Magic Sam Taylor and keyboardist Maia Van Raes as they kicked off the night with some deep in the swamp, howlin’ blues. “Cabbagetown” Steve Grant (Buddy Guy) joined in on harmonica as the place rapidly filled with guitar cases and brass instruments of all those waiting to join in. It’s impossible for me to know the names of everyone (I do apologize) so a pictorial “show” will have to do.

A huge thank you goes out to Hutchison and Sedgewick for persevering and keeping the music and blues alive in the Beach. I know it’s been a challenge since it appears most residents of the surrounding area are more apt to complain than enjoy. Somebody really needs to remove the pickles from their asses. Castro’s, another Beach live music venue is also fighting “noise” tickets by residents who love living in the area, except when they don’t like something about the area…..which is as confusing as f**k!  According to FB, musicians from across the city are now banding together to deal with the issue. I’ll keep everyone posted.  By the way, here’s Toronto’s archaic, murky, (mis)interpretive, wishy-washy, noise bylaw:

“TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODECHAPTER 591, NOISE591-No person shall make, cause or permit noise or vibration, at any time which is likely to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the inhabitants of the City”

So, in essence, we can all complain about EVERYTHING at ANYTIME and keep those phone lines just a buzzing at 211 forever!!!! Jackhammers, streetcars, horns, loud conversations, trucks…… Now that’s a protest. Start revving your phones…… Music City indeed!!!!!

An evening at The Salty Dog Blues show……I don’t know everyone’s name but it was one hell of an evening!

Mike Sedgewick

l-r  – Mike Sedgewick, Tim Gittens, Guenther Kapelle, Sam Taylor, Maia Van Raes

Steve Grant on harmonia and Guenther Kapelle keeping an eye on Steve

Sam Taylor in mid guitar face, Steve Grant on harmonica with Guenther Kapelle keeping calm

Sam Taylor

So…..this just in…..apparently the Toronto Music Advisory Council is no more. According to fellow scribe Roxanne Tellier the advisory council has been somewhat quietly disbanded due to the reduction and monetary cutbacks to Toronto city council by our illustrious premier. It appears the arts, in any form, are not even on the horizon let alone a priority.

A little Mariposa history…..some from my column last year…..

“Conceived by Ruth Jones, a 33-year-old mom of four living in the small quite town of Orillia, the first festival was a two-day affair, (future festivals ran for one and three days) held in Oval Park in Orillia. “We went to hear John Fisher, he was known as Mr. Canada. One of the things he said was that every small community should have a hook to hang tourism on. I put that together with the fact that I loved to go to folk festivals in Toronto, and I thought maybe Orillia needs something to wake it up.”

This purely all-Canadian event and non-profit, volunteer organization and festival was called Mariposa, a pseudonym used by Stephen Leacock for the town of Orillia in his book, Sunshine Sketches of A Little Town. The festival has had a number of homes over the years relocating to Maple Leaf Stadium in Toronto from Orillia then on to Innis Lake, Centre Island and Olympic Island(part of the Toronto Islands), Harbourfront (again in Toronto), Molson Park, Ontario Place, Bracebridge, Cobourg, Muskoka, back to Toronto in Parkdale and finally home for good in Orillia in 2000 thanks to two Orillia city councilors Tim Lauer and Don Evans and local musician Gord Ball. Mariposa’s permanent home is Tudhope Park, right on the lake…..the perfect gathering spot for a weekend of music.

Some of the thousands of artist that have rolled through those include Gordon Lightfoot, Buffy Saint-Marie, Barenaked Ladies, Leonard Cohen, Murray McLaughlan, Neil Young, Buddy Guy, Richie Havens, Taj Mahal, Pete Seger, Bob Dylan…..and the list goes on and on and on…….

This year, the three-day family festival includes, Jason Isbell, Julian Taylor Band, Tom Cochrane with Red Rider, Terra Lightfoot, Shakura S’Aida, Fred Penner, Sharon and Brahm, Stephen Poltz, Lee Harvey Osmond (Tom Wilson), The Suitcase Junket, Danny Michel, The Ennis Sisters, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Pondercast with Laurie Brown, Jennifer Castle, Half Moon Run…..another list that goes on and on and on…… For a complete listing click here

A few photos from 2018…..

The Fast Romantics


Walk Off The Earth

l-r – Alan Doyle, Valdy, A.J. Croce, Leif Vollebekk

Buffy Saint-Marie

A.J. Croce

Danny Michel w/Davide DiRenzo on drums

I had such a blast last year I am looking forward to attending again in two weeks time. The music, the food, the crafts, the camaraderie, the lake, the park…..everything combines to make it an unforgettable experience.

The Mariposa Folk Foundation’s mission statement remains the same, “The promotion and preservation of folk art in Canada through song, story, dance and craft.”

A birthday wish and a memory…..

Since this column will post on June 26 I want to wish Chris, wherever you are, a very happy, what would have been your 65th birthday. You are still a part of my day every day…..I miss you…..your counsel, your guidance, your laughter, your cooking, your everything, but most of all your unquestionable, all in, love for me. To have experienced that is something everyone should feel at least once in your life. “Happy Birthday Sweetie!”

“When you cried, I’d wipe away all of your tears
When you’d scream, I’d fight away all of your fears
And I held your hand through all of these years
But you still have all of me”

My Immortal – Evanescence 

Born in The Wild – Danny Michel

Full Concert – Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Back Again – Julian Taylor Band

Dandelion Crown – Suitcase Junket

Paradise – Terra Lightfoot

Geechee Woman – Shakura S’Aida

Forty Light Years – Lee Harvey Osmond

I Can’t Remember My Name – Snotty Nose Rez Kids

Texas – Jennifer Castle

Turn Your Love – Half Moon Run

…..and the lastest from Toronto band The Crooked who are currently tearing up Germany.


Enjoy this glorious weather!



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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