Pat Blythe – Musings…..thanks…..a few shows…..and music

Is it me, or are the days and weeks running into each other? It feels like I just finished a column and here I am writing another…..albeit late as usual. Today was one of those days where you just seem to bounce from one thing to the next. A 3am bedtime call after spending hours editing today’s podcast, was not conducive to an early morning rise, simply to rush downtown and open my maw for the dentist. Two hours later and I feel like my mouth has received the white glove treatment. Mr. Clean and the Lysol Lady have thoroughly cleaned and sanitized my mouth. Everything is now shipshape and spotless…..just don’t eat. It’s kind of like after your mom cleaned, tidied and dusted the living room. You couldn’t sit anywhere!

People are talking about optometrists…..been to the dentist lately? Toss in the parking and I had to give some serious thought to remortgaging the house!

I cannot think of a better way to spend part of my afternoon than with a good friend. I love spontaneity, especially spontaneity that works out. Pick up the phone and call…..“Hey I’m passing by, do you have some time?” It all fell into place and we got to catch up, share those long overdue birthday drinks, and sample some local cuisine (at least I did). I can’t remember the last time I had chili/cheese fries! This pandemic has dramatically slowed down, or in some cases halted, time we spend with those we love. However, it does makes the reunion that much more joyous.

Bluffs in fall

Photograph of the Scarborough Bluffs ©Christopher Blythe 1996-2021

The days are getting progressively shorter and sunny afternoons are best savoured outdoors, even for a moment or two. I’m back to my bi-monthly, weekend walks with my eldest and will soon start up again with my youngest. The time spent with my sons is invaluable. I’m grateful for that time, simply focused on each other. With a coffee in hand, we traverse the paths of Marie Curtis Park and walk along the river…..talking. I wouldn’t trade those two hours for all the tea in China! This year I have both my sons and their partners for Thanksgiving dinner. I am so friggin’ excited!!


I want to take a minute and thank each and every one of you for your comments, likes, and loves, etc. regarding the anniversary of Chris’s passing. It’s heartwarming to know you still think about him and miss him. He really was a special kind of dude. A presence not easily forgotten.

Chef Chris…..doing what he loves

So this Thanksgiving I will be remembering all those charcoal BBQ’d turkeys Chris loved to cook, thankful I was able to tuck into so many over the years. He loved nothing better than putting a big bird on the barbie! But more importantly, I will be thinking about the friendship and love he gave to so many. He taught me much and sometimes I wish I had been paying more attention (especially with the camera stuff). I’m still trying to figure out how he could raise a single eyebrow into a perfect arch?

A few shows

Since I’m not out trolling the clubs and live music scene full time quite yet, I decided to let you know what’s coming down the pipe. Following is some information about a few shows that will be happening in and around Toronto.

Let’s start with Paul DeLong’s One Word. A passion project of Paul’s, One Word is combination of five stellar musicians who pay homage bands and artists such as Mahavishnu Orchestra (John McLaughlin), Dixie Dreggs, Return to Forever (Chick Corea) and so many others.  Each an accomplished musicians in their own right, Victoria Yeh (electric violin), Marco Luciani (keyboards), Michael Murphy (lead guitar), Steve Lucas (bass) and Paul DeLong (drums), together they bring the music of the great jazz fusion artists to life. …..and then there’s those Billy Cobham Fibes….. For more info and tickets click here

One Word

Remember Jon and Lee & The Checkmates? Jon Finley, one half of the singing duo, was recruited by the late keyboard player Michael Fonfara (with the support from the rest of the band) to include Finley in the lineup.

According to publicist Jane Harbury, “Finley’s singing career began in the sixties with Jon and Lee & the Checkmates, one of Canada’s best loved rhythm and blues bands.  His early fans included Paul Shaffer, Robbie Robertson, Ronnie Hawkins and David Clayton Thomas.  From there, he joined the world’s first supergroup, Rhinoceros.  Formed in 1967, Rhinoceros included members of Buffalo Springfield, Iron Butterfly, Electric Flag and the Mothers of Invention.  From psychedelic rock to gospel and then on to his L.A. based jazz ensemble, Soulbop – John Finley has continued to sing his way across North America and the world for over 50 years.”  

John Finley in the Sixties

On October 14 Finley will be celebrating his latest album, Soul Singer, at the Paradise Theatre in Toronto. Finley will be joined by Sam Pomanti (keys), George Koller (bass), Isaiah Gibbons (drums), Alexander Brown (trumpet) and Alison Young (saxophones) and his guitarist from back in the days of Rhinoceros, Danny Weis. For tickets and more information click here

Brass Transit and Forever Seger… there’s a mix and some wicked brass sounds! It’s a Christmas Party!! Ya I know, it mentions the “C” word but…..we are less than three months away now. Two of the top tribute bands out there, on a single bill, now that’s music heaven. What’s truly dear to my heart is Gilda’s Club. They were a huge support for both Chris and I in the last two years of his life. Completely dependent on donations, Gilda’s (named after the late Gilda Radner) has been assisting cancer patients and their families for over 30 years worldwide. Programs are specially designed to address all ages, friends and of course spouses, all at no charge. It’s wonderful to see these two bands support the work Gilda’s provides. For more information click here

Kirk Reed of the Reed Effect has been working tirelessly to release the album he and his late brother Chris Reed had written and recorded. Entitled 1973, the album was released a short while ago. The video was released October 1.  Passionate about music and as close as two brothers can get, this album (and video) are dedicated to Chris’s memory. Chris took his own life one year ago this month. He will be celebrated at Cherry Cola’s October 23. He’d love this video!

Rise Up – The Reed Effect

Singer David Michael Moote says the video Lost “is a call to arms. A plea to look within and find the power to break free from the mental bondage we can get stuck in. I hope this song can light the fire for anyone doubting themselves, thinking it’s too late, or that there’s not enough time. Let’s being now, now…”

Lost – Operus

The video Bloor St. was posted in FB and a comment about changing Bloor Street’s name (what would happen to the song?) initiated a firestorm of comments regarding Dundas St. I am of the opinion that we don’t erase history, we educate and that’s where the money should go. Changing the name of a street is a pandering and a hollow gesture that neither solves nor absolves… only divides and upsets.

Remove the emotion and political correctness and it doesn’t make any sense. However, Keifer’s ode to Bloor St. is a wonderful homage to the history of Toronto and the times when, not all that long ago, things were so radically different. There’s no one word, or even a plethora of words, that can describe how imperfectly exciting and amazing those times were. They just were……

Bloor St. – Keifer Sutherland

Julian has a new video out. Ballad of a Young Troubadour is one of the many fabulous songs from his 2020 album The Ridge. Both the album and Julian were nominated for two Junos this year.

All over the world music venues are shutting their doors permanently and festivals are facing yet another year of cancellations. It’s going to be a long, slow, uphill battled to get back to where we once were not even two years ago. Julian uses his new video to spotlight three Toronto venues that helped and supported him during his career…..the Linsmore Tavern, Sauce on Danforth and Dora Keogh Irish Pub. He’s asking (and hoping) fans will do what they can to support live music venues. “Promoters, venues, clubs, theaters and festivals are vital to our community and the human condition. Live music is one of the most beautiful connections that we have.”

Ballad of a Young Troubadour – Julian Taylor

Take It Off the Top – Dixie Dreggs

Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant – Return to Forever

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Birds of Fire – Mahavishnu Orchestra

We’ve Got Tonight – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Night Moves – Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

Just You and Me – Brass Transit

25 or 6 to 4 – Brass Transit

This week’s podcast is Part 2 of my conversations with Mitchell Field, founder of the Canadian rock band Hellfield.

There will be no podcast next week (October 12). I will be focused on spending time with family and friends over the holiday.

I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving! Extra hugs all around!



Pat’s column appears every Wednesday.


“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 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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