Copy
April 2021
View this email in your browser
Greetings to my esteemed Blainreaders
 
This is pretty late in the month to be sending out the Blainletter but as I've been prone to say on repeated occasions, "What’s the rush?" 
 
Everything's moving in slow motion except when I've got a deadline to get out a newsletter, or do my taxes.  Then I get that old familiar "gun-to-the-head" feeling and I jump into action, get it done and have a big rest on the next day.
 
Long-time subscribers will probably remember that many Blainletters came out the day before the gig I was trying to promote.  Well of course there's no gigs now but I will be doing my monthly livestream Blaincast tomorrow – I'm calling it "Brian's 4-20 Special".  April 20th has traditionally been the day that reefer smokers celebrate the weed – I guess it's an artifact of the hippie days.  Now they celebrate the end of prohibition (100 years after they ended the prohibition of alcohol – a much more dangerous intoxicant from what I've seen).
 
I didn't really know what I was going to do except play "Have A Toke," my slightly controversial tune about the therapeutic benefits of marijuana (which, by the way, was commissioned by one of my long-time benefactors).  But as it turns out, I just came upon some old recordings that I hadn't heard in years.  A tune I recorded with Paul Reddick, Julian Fauth and Michelle Josef up at Puck's Farm.  It was Michelle who encouraged me to record this tune after I played it for her at the kitchen table.  It's called "Definite Maybe."
 
The other tune was from the 2005 Overqualified sessions – Like the "Tai Chi Ten" on the new album, this was recorded with Michael Jerome Browne at Fast Forward Studios and was never mixed or intended for release.  It's a short, simple message – a tribute to Canadian peace keepers called "In Harm's Way."
 
I will also give you folks a sneak preview of the Blues in the Schools presentation I will be doing on Wednesday.  I pre-recorded a segment with Patrick Merner (aka PatMakesMusic), who plays some bass and synth on the album and did a lot of gigs with me.  He puts out a lot of energy and that's just what we need for an audience that's  8-12yrs. We tried to provide some modern sounds with Ableton loops and beats and the whole set explores the journey of one song, The Midnight Special. I talk about the development of the song, and learned more about the legend of Lead Belly.
 
It's all wrapped around my take on how the blues developed and influenced modern music.  I even crafted my own combined blues and land acknowlegement which I will share with you here:
 
"May we always play this blues music with respect and acknowledgement of the tremendous suffering that was endured by the black folks who created it and may we play it across this land where we dwell with respect for the indigenous people who were here for thousands of years before the white man got here."
 
Last week in the space of one day, lots of good stuff happened so I guess I can't complain...

I got a nice call from a fan telling me how much she's been enjoying my CD and wants to buy one to send a friend.
 
I got a note that there was an item on me and the "Water Song" video in the music industry newsletter "FYI Music News."  (there I was right next to Justin Bieber – maybe they do these news items alphabetically…)
 
Danny Marks posted on Facebook that he would be playing my "Water Song" on his blues show the next night (even though it's 5 minutes long - longer than he usually allows).  And he did play it! Also said some nice things about it.
 
In the same week, "I'm Not Fifty Anymore" was played on Saturday Night Blues, Canada's national blues show on CBC.
 
Then, the following week I get a request from the French CBC morning show for an interview and she tells me she heard my French song on Saturday Night Blues and I was surprised to find that Holger played me for two weeks in a row. Nice!
 
I've been mailing CD all over the world (I hope that guy in Russia is not in a big rush cause to use the fast mail was $100!)  
 
The CD is getting (repeated) plays all over the place and we've got requests for promotional copies from all over (even a festival producer in BC).
 
Am I boasting too much?  Well I'll stop now and say how much I appreciate all the great feedback I've been getting and if you haven't sat back for "I'm Not Fifty Anymore", then please give it a google.
 

a bit of my BITS show

And here's an exclusive preview of the video we recorded for the Blues in the Schools presentation on Wednesday. A little bit of blues history with some electronica sounds. This was my first time using a new platform called SyncSpace which allows musicians to play together in real time with no latency. Of course, you need fast internet and a good computer - I'm planning to upgrade my Mac real soon!

Read All About It

There's a nice article about the CD and some of the stories that inspired the songs on rootsmusic.ca.  Check it out, and if you'd like to hear from some of the musicians who participated, check out the replay of my zoom launch.
 

Quote of the Day

Quote of the Day (I think it's Junior Kimbrough about hospitals) "You go there and sometimes you get back and sometimes you don't"
Thanks for reading this far and let's just try to get through this. Music will help.. Feel free to forward this to any friend you think might enjoy my occasional ramblings (and maybe my music, too). These bits and more are always available on my blog, www.torontobluesdiary.com.

See you out there, eventually...

BrianB, aka Butch, Nappy, Shaker, Two-Lane Blain, Colorblind Brian, Stringbuster, Buddha of the Blues

Upcoming
Shows

Tues 7pm ET: Join me for another live stream TOMORROW at 7pm on my Facebook Page (Facebook.com/brianblain.home).If you're not on Facebook you can still watch on my musician page: Facebook.com/brianblain.musician. It's my "4-20" Special and it's my chance to play  "Have A Toke," my slightly controversial tune about the therapeutic benefits of marijuana (which, by the way, was commissioned by one of my long-time benefactors). 

I will also play a couple of "lost tapes."  There's a tune I recorded with Paul Reddick, Julian Fauth and Michelle Josef up at Puck's Farm.  It was Michelle who encouraged me to record this tune after I played it for her at the kitchen table.  It's called "Definite Maybe."
The other tune was from the 2005 Overqualified sessions – Like the "Tai Chi Ten" on the new album, this was recorded with Michael Jerome Browne at Fast Forward Studios and was never mixed or intended for release.  It's a short, simple message – a tribute to Canadian peace keepers called "In Harm's Way."

Sunday, May 9, 7pm ET at 7pm on my Facebook Page - Brian's Mother's Day Special

For this album, I wanted to bring attention to the water crisis that is affecting 3 billion people on the planet. "Water Song" is a pretty dark "ear movie" with a global vibe provided by Sadio Sissokho (kora) and Harry Manx (mohan veena). The haunting vocals are provided by Ruth Mathiang. "I'm Not Fifty Anymore" kicks off the album with a little tongue-in-cheek  humour and some fine harp playing from Steve Marriner.  “The Not Worried Blues (An American Dream)” and “You Are Also His Son” were recorded with Julian Fauth and Gary Kendall, Mike Fitzpatrick and Pat Carey from Downchild.  “Blues Des Cantons (Goodbye Sherbrooke)” is a leaving-home barrelhouse boogie “en francais” with David Vest pounding the 88s. Patrick Merner added some bass & synth, and Clayton Doley overdubbed some organ from his studio in Melbourne, Australia. Ken Whiteley played some lap steel on "You Are Also His Son", Jesse O'Brien added some piano and organ to "The Mother I Never Knew" and drummer Michelle Josef provides a solid backbeat throughout.  Some songs end with extended jams (because I loves to jam) and the last track is a ten-minute acoustic soundscape with Michael Jerome Browne from the last day of recording my “Overqualified For The Blues” album years ago in Montreal. I call it “Tai Chi Ten,” …because it’s just the right pace and length for my Tai Chi set, but it makes for a fine meditation even if you aren’t moving.
 
 
Track Listing
 
 
1. I’m Not Fifty Anymore  3:07
  feat. Steve Marriner
2. You Are Also His Son  4:52
  feat. Ken Whiteley
3. Blues des Cantons (Goodbye Sherbrooke)  4:22  
feat. David Vest & Clayton Doley
4. The Mother I Never Knew  3:55  
feat. Jesse O’Brien
5. Not Worried Blues (An American Dream)  3:37  
feat. Julian Fauth
& Gary Kendall, Mike Fitzpatrick and Pat Carey from Downchild
6. Water Song  5:26  
feat. Harry Manx & Sadio Sissokho
7. Tai Chi Ten  (A Meditation)  9:54  
feat. Michael Jerome Browne

mixed by Margaret Stowe at Ozworld Toronto
mastered by Harris Newman at Grey Market Mastering, Montreal
art direction Linda Turu
photography Margaret Mulligan
design Keijo Tapanainen
 
Copyright © 2021 Brian Blain, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp
Share Share
Tweet Tweet
Forward Forward