Pat Blythe – Indie Week…..Julian Taylor….podcasting……and music

I’m missing the live music, the clubs…..but most of all the people. It’s been two years now since I’ve trolled Toronto’s club scene, traveled with the ONES show and visited the many stages of the various festivals in Ontario. I loved it all….every second of it! I met some of the most incredible people, heard some fantastic music, and was honoured to a part of a scene I had been away from for so long. I made new friends (and lost a few), learned new skills, and was gifted with the opportunity to write this column… was a whirlwind six years. Then Covid decided to rain on our parade. The Pandemic Interviews allowed me to stay connected to many of the musicians I met during those five years.

We’re now two years in, and the world has changed. No matter how we feel about live music or live performance of any kind…..the landscape has been altered permanently. Yes, we’ve become more creative in our approaches; but also more cautious, more fearful, frustrated…..even angry. Optimism has turned to pessimism…..cheerfulness to sadness. The pandemic has polarized families, communities, friends….even countries.

The one thing that truly brings us all together is music. It’s part of our DNA. Whether we create or appreciate. We literally cannot live without it. So, as we move into 2022, songwriters are writing; singers are singing; composers are composing, and musicians are still playing. Many of us are still pushing forward, designing a new landscape and forging a new path. So I’ll stop right here and ask you to support your local musicians and entertainers… the cover charge without complaint, shell out those dollars for a ticket; make sure their asses are covered, ‘cause they’re covering yours.

Although we’ve all been holed up at home for the past two years, Indie Week still keeps on keepin’ on. Quickly switching from in-person, live events founder Darryl Hurs and his team has successfully created Indie Week on line. Over the years, Indie Week has become the preeminent festival for emerging artists in Canada. Usually running five days and nights…..into the wee, wee hours of the morning…..the festival showcases hundreds of musical artists, hosted by live music venues of downtown Toronto. There’s an official launch party, the Indie Week Awards, along with a big blowout finale. Over 10,000 music fans are educated and entertained.

Indie Week launch night at the Revival, 2018

Indie Week has found success with online educational sessions, now offering them throughout the year. Either free, or very reasonably priced, the seminars are conducted by some of the top names in the industry. There is demo listening; mentorship programs; tech day; health and wellness sessions, the business of music… much more than clubbing, although that’s the dessert after a long day at conferences. Fingers crossed we’ll find our way back to all the craziness. In the meantime, Indie Week 2022 is again online and tickets are on sale. Here’s the link if you’re seriously interested in learning and listening.

Bob & Darryl. If it wasn’t for the man on the left (Bob Segarini), I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing now. The man on the right is Darryl Hurs, passionate about music and founder of Indie Week.

I have had the great pleasure of photographing, and writing about, Indie Week from 2015-2019. I loved the people, the music, the camaraderie, the madness and mayhem…..the total vibe. The energy was never-ending and stayed with you for weeks afterwards. Putting together Indie Week was (and is) hard work. Heavily dependent on volunteers and so many venues, it could sometimes get confusing at times, but every second was worth it. I met wonderful people, created a new life for myself, and made some lifelong friendships. Thank you Bob, Darryl and Indie Week!

Julian Taylor

The accolades just keep pouring in for this born and bred, Toronto-based musician. I’ve written numerous pieces about Julian Taylor over the past six years. I gushed over his album Desert Star like a schoolgirl, fell in love with Avalanche and couldn’t stop listening to The Ridge, his latest album. Julian was nominated for two Juno awards for the latter while the music of The Ridge has spread all over the world. After working and struggling in the business for over 20 years, The Ridge touched an international nerve and catapulted the Julian into the forefront rather unexpectedly. Yep, a 20-year overnight sensation!

Clockwise – from top left, backstage TURF 2015; Horseshoe, CMW 2017; Dora Keogh 2016; Avalanche launch 2019; Aeolian Hall 2017;  first interview 2016; with Michael Williams, CMW 2016; interview 2016

It’s been a whirlwind 18 months since the release of The Ridge in June, 2020. Along with his two Juno award nominations in 2021, he won Solo Artist of the Year at the Canadian Folk Music Awards and was on the Polaris Long List. Julian has now been nominated for five native American Music Awards….Best Debut Artist, Country Recording and Folk Recording (both for The Ridge), Male Vocalist, and Country Video (for the title track The Ridge). With a new album coming out this year while also producing his newest project, Julian Taylor’s Jukebox, there is no shortage of things on this man’s  “to do” list.

Exhilarating performance by the Julian Taylor Band at Mariposa, 2019. I caught Julian’s daughter watching the show.

Of mixed Black and Mohawk heritage and with family in Kahnawake, Quebec, Julian is also a dedicated father, raising his daughter to be part of both worlds. A gifted musician and storyteller, a DJ, a true troubadour…..Julian is probably one of the most humble people I’ve ever met. An exceptionally charismatic performer, he’s currently on tour “over the pond” in the U.K. Tonight was Aberdeen, Scotland. I sure hope he returns once I’m living there. I’ll be first in line for a ticket.

Podcasting again…..

The Pandemic Interviews are back! First off the mark is the interview we did with Gerry Mosby and Sil Simone. Chris captured Gerry with his lens back in 1978 performing at the Piccadilly Tube with Lawrence Gowan’s band Rhinegold. I was introduced to Gerry briefly in 1979 (by Chris). Forty-two years would pass before we would meet again. Chris would be chuckling into his sleeve on how things come around…..eventually.

Middle left Sil Simone is pictured with David Michael Moote, one of the cast member of Oh Canada What A Feeling (and interview EP21)

Sil Simone and I first met when I was taking photos of the cast of Oh Canada What A Feeling at the Princess of Wales Theatre. Since photography is not allowed on any of the Mirvish premises, it was agreed I would photograph the cast at the back of the theatre after the show. Ha! It’s a back alleyway with a parking lot across the street. I decide to risk it, and had the cast trickle down the fire escape. The shots turned out beautifully! I hung out as friends and relatives started to congregate. I ended up taking way too may photos of the gathering. That was in 2015. Here we are six years later, and I reconnect with Sil. Who knew Gerry and Sil were good friends. It’s amazing how the past becomes present.

We talked for three hours. John Jamieson and I couldn’t squeeze in all the stories so here’s an hour and 25 minutes of stories, laughter, serious conversation and music.

A brand new song from this pairing, Colours of the Rainbow was posted just seven hours ago (at this writing). According to David Celia, “it was at a 120-year-old-home, on the edge of Lake Brulée in Algonquin Park, this song was born.” It was inspired by the discovery a completely intact office in the home of a man who had lived there off and on throughout his life. Photographs, journals, receipts, fishing tackle and more had been left undisturbed. “The feeling of entering another time had overcome us.” The video was shot in a Toronto backyard, but with “a new interpretation of the song”, retaining the same mood and sentiment. “Cherish your stories after you watch this because they are like the colours of the rainbow; endless in transition, impermanent and beautiful.”

Colours of the Rainbow – Marla & David Celia

Part of Victoria Yeh’s 2020 Travel by Sound series, this trio perform an original version of Angel This is Violet. Composed by Val Fullard, the song was recorded in a single take over JamKazam with both David and Lynette separated by over 200km from Victoria. The Travel by Sound series, spearheaded by Victoria, includes six bands and over 20 artists who will escort the listener around various locales in the BruceGreySimcoe region in Ontario. Check it out at

Angel This is Violet – David Hines, Victoria Yeh, Lynette Fairweather

Send Down Your Love, a brand new single from singer/songwriter from Mack MacKenzie and his band Three O’Clock Train. A proud Mi’kmaq, MacKenzie “takes a certain pride in watching the spotlight finally shine on the pioneering and pivotal role played by Native musicians in the history of rock and roll.” Formed in 1984, Three O’Clock Train is an alternative country band from Montreal, Quebec. Together for 12 years before breaking up, the band reunited in 2012 with new members, and proceeded to record and release two albums, New Moon and Train of Dreams.

Send Down Your Love – Three O’Clock Train

I was pleasantly surprised to see this next song, Treasure, is produced by an old friend of mine, Tom Atom (who is also Tom Eakin on drums). Tom was the engineer at Cottingham Sound when I met in him 1979. Treasure is a rock piece, in the true sense of the word, and will take you back to the days when rock ruled the airwaves. Adding an edge that is distinctly theirs, the Michael J Miller Band brings it forward to the 21st century.

Treasure – MJM

I love finding new music….something I haven’t heard before. I first saw and heard Sharlene at a benefit concert a number of years ago. She was performing with bassist George Koller and I happened to catch them together in a photo, which Sharlene purchased. (thank you for that) Sharlene is classical harpist and, according to the Oakville symphony, is “one of Canada’s most prolific and influential Celtic/lever harp players.” To me, the harp is the most romantic of all musical instruments. The graceful movements of the harpist, while teasing some of the most mesmerizing notes from such a regal instrument…’s ballet on strings; sheer beauty and elegance.

Soaring – Sharlene Wallace

If you’re looking for you Bob Seger “fix”, look no further. I think Seger and his band have been cloned. This 10-piece powerhouse brings the music of Seger alive. Close your eyes and you’d think Seger himself was right in front of you. 

Forever Seger – EPK Recorded live

Some more music from the series After Life.

Passing Afternoon – Iron & Wine

Back to the Beginning – Aaron Espe



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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