Pat Blythe – It’s a Love Revolution Down on Main Street…..and music

I’m loving September. Warm(ish) days with cool nights are just perfect. Grape jelly made, herbs harvested, spaghetti sauce jarred (soup is next), podcast published and now it’s column time! In between all that is photo editing, cross stitching and a few telecom projects. Running around at Mariposa and Summerfolk; meeting new people and listening to new music during Canadian Music Week and Indie Week; dodging bodies, running into my friends and hearing more new music at the clubs…..I’ve missed it all. Fingers crossed we have some semblance of normal next year.

Suzi Kory with her band (l-r – Ryan Cassar, Suzi & Jeff Brown); also with her “hubby”, Johnny Toronto

I did manage a road trip to Cavan, just outside of Peterborough. Suzi Kory’s Love Revolution Festival was happening this year and I had no intention of missing it! A full day on my feet running all over the place, I now have the luxury of two cameras, so I’m not bothered by constantly changing out lenses. The downside…..my camera bag just gained more weight than I did over the past 18 months! I need a porter or a dolly!

Top left – New Moon Junction; Top right and moving down – Megan Hutton and the boys in the band; Chase Stevens; Jessica Sole; Jeff Brown, Jesse Slack & A.J. Astle; audience members sittin’ on a school bus enjoying the show

This is the second year Kory has produced the Love Revolution Festival and it’s looking like a fan favourite. The festival provides a venue and an opportunity for newer artists to perform, while also introducing them to more well-established musicians. Kory also provided green room snacks and water while the food truck made the best crispy chicken sandwich I’ve ever devoured. The hand-cut fries were pretty damn good too. It was glorious weather, albeit a tad hot, but the clouds drifted around, hiding the sun every so often, providing some shady relief.

Who says you can’t get a photo of the drummer?

It’s the first time I’ve attended any kind of gig focused specifically on country. I’m basically a rock ‘n’ roll/prog rock baby, but I thoroughly enjoyed the day. Featuring local, independent country music artists, last year’s festival was the first country drive-in music festival in Canada. It’s well supported by local business…..even Global News got into the action. Below in the musical notes section is a taste of the wonderful music I had the pleasure of not only listening to, but photographing. Every single performer knocked it out of the park, but the star of Saturday, Kory herself…..well she just keeps outdoing herself every time. Love Revolution is still my favourite song of Kory’s. You sure can’t beat the wide open spaces of farmer’s field and the smell of hay to relax in and soak up a taste of country.

A concert! A real, live, indoor-with-an-audience-concert! That’s where I was on August 28. Inside the Regent Theatre in the Shwa, with full run of the place, snapping away. I rented a great wide-angle lens and with those two camera bodies, swapping lenses was…..how you say…..“morceau de gateau”.  Those tippy toes were tippy toeing all over the stage and theatre, intent on capturing as much as possible.

The band was phenomenal. What a walk down memory lane. It was wonderful to hear lead vocalist Kevin Reid tell the back story of Seger recording one of his major hits, Night Moves, here in Toronto at Nimbus Nine studio. Produced by our very own Jack Richardson (The Guess Who) Seger originally thought the song wasn’t good enough. Even after the song was recorded and mixed, it still wasn’t passed on to Capitol Records by either Seger or his manager. When Richardson found out he passed a copy on to Capitol. It was made the title track of his next album as well as the first single. Night Moves was responsible for propelling Seger into a national star.

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The harmonies were superb. The Segerettes (Amanda Gordon, Cyndi Richards and Marysia Gonzalez) blend together beautifully, while adding class and panache to the show. Then there’s the sax…..oh the sax! The music kingdom’s sexiest instrument and it is, without a doubt, my favourite of all the brass instruments. The saxophone is the signature instrument in most Seger songs. The plaintive call of the sax can bring you to your knees, inhale and forget to exhale, and in the case of Carson Freeman, make you weep with pleasure.  Songs that feature the sax…..well they just wouldn’t be the same without it. Careless Whisper, Baker Street, Turn the Page, Born to Run and so many more. No sax, no song. Then there’s that keyboard magic. Nobody makes the keys sing like John Jamieson. Forever Seger’s music director (and my podcast audio engineer) is a master of the keys….any keys, and the music flows from his fingertips. …..and “that voice”, that distinctive Seger rasp and growl. Close your eyes and Seger is right in front of you. There are notes (small and very large) that no voice should be able to produce (or recover from), but Reid does it with ease and Seger style. The audience ate it up.

Released today!! A new single by singer/songwriter/guitarist Sil Simone.  I interviewed both Sil and bassist/producer Gerry Mosby a couple of months ago for the podcast. That was a hoot! The stories those two tell…..tall tales out of school! Accomplished musicians both, their four-hour interview….yes, you read that right…. is going to be a project itself to edit. It will be tough to leave anything on the cutting room floor. The Solace (short version) and Talking Red which includes The Solace caught my attention last year. Both feature the vocals of the late, great Phil Naro.

Mississippi Crawl – Sil Simone

The Solace (Talking Red A Cappella) – Sil Simone

Talking Red – Sil Simone

Montreal-based band The Damn Truth released their new single yesterday, called Tomorrow. Off their latest album Now or Nowhere, six tracks on the album were produced by Bob Rock who has also worked with Metallica, Aerosmith, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi and Tragically Hip. This is another band headed overseas in the 2022 for a U.K. tour.

Tomorrow – The Damn Truth

Only Love – The Damn Truth

Fake Fame – Dear Rouge

Turn the Page – Bob Seger

Love Revolution Festival Performers

*Megan Hutton of Instant Rivalry performed…..without the Rivalry…..

Love Revolution – Suzi Kory

Think of Us – Jessica Sole

Real Good Kinda Thing – New Moon Junction

Friend of a Friend – Jesse Slack

Up – Kansas Stone

Another Little Roadside Kiss – Chase Stevens

The Water – Johnson’s Creek

*Drink You Pretty – Instant Rivalry

A big thank you to all who have participated!

This week’s podcast is very short. It’s my 30th episode and I still can’t believe it! So I thought I’d celebrate a wee bit by providing a thumbnail synopsis of my history and why I started this project.  If I knew then what I know now…….

The photographs are snaps of my Toronto “history”. Two were taken by Chris, one is of Chris and me and the others are part of my journey post-Chris

It’s really short….with music. I’ll return to the real artists next week. First up will be an update with Paul DeLong followed by Mitchell Field (Hellfield), Dan Clancy (Lighthouse), Alfie Zappacosta, and of course the aforementioned Sil Simone and Gerry Mosby marathon conversation. John Jamieson and I have several more “in the bag”, with more interviews booked over the next couple of months.

https://luvthemusic.podbean.com

Cheers

All photographs ©2021 Pat Blythe A Girl With A Camera

=PB=

Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.

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“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.

little-red-headed-dancing-girl

Together for 34 years, Pat also 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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