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May 2021
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Happy Mother's Day.  Yes, it's a tradition over here in Blainville to do something special on Mother's Day. One of the first songs I ever wrote was called "Don't Forget Your Mother" and it got my foot into the Big Door of big-time show business - Big recording sessions with world-renown musicians, a nice place to live, a road manager who drove me around in a white Mercedes, opening big concerts for Lou Reed, Joni Mitchell, touring with April Wine....an allowance from the record company!  Anyway, it all disappeared as fast as it happened and I've always believed that was for the best and that I was protected by the Buddhist Gods on that one.
 
But the Mother thing stuck, as a bit of a "brand".  And when I got to Toronto in 1990, I always did a big show on Mother's Day, with guests and a little promotion. 

Six months ago, we were sure we'd be back to live music in Toronto and I had hoped for a big show, especially considering I was celebrating not one, but TWO mothers!

That's right, last year I sent in a DNA test and after a lot of detective work (thank you, Marg Stowe) I discovered my birth mom. and now I have a bunch of new relatives.  I'll be jamming with one of them later tonight!

Speaking of jamming, regular Blainreaders will know already that I'm the guy who is always looking to jam and I have had my eye out for a way to do it in real-time over the internet.  They said it couldn't be done, but one fellow in Ottawa is doing it and I had a dry run and it's pretty amazing - but it does require a fast internet connection, you have to be within a couple of hundred miles of each other and there are lots of other factors, including a fast computer - and I'm going to be upgrading real soon.  It's called syncspace.live and with the next Blaincast I might just surprise you with some real-time jamming.
 
Watch my Mother's Day Blaincast on YouTube at 2PM Sunday (ET). Click here to get a reminder.  It will also be live on my Facebook page

 

Parlez-vous Francais?

I did an interview (en Francais!) and despite the fact that I haven't spoken much French in the last 30 years I bumbled my way through it.  You can hear for yourself right here

 

Who can play the Blues?

I found an old VHS tape in the basement and it was labeled "Jodie Drake Tribute" .  The Toronto Blues Society has been honouring the pioneers of blues in this town and I thought this would be a good one.  And it was! a great performance from the 1995 Toronto Downtown Jazz Festival, with jazz legends Norm Amadio and Frank Wright and a very young Reg Schwager on guitar. 

But there was a moment after the concert when a fan asked her what advice she might have for someone wanting to play the blues and she had a down-to-earth answer for that young man, and it had nothing to do with race.

You can hear her take on who should be singing the blues right here  and check out the full performance on the Toronto Blues Society YouTube channel here

Shopping for a house?

No, I have not become a real-estate agent (though a few musician friends have headed down that career path).  But if you're shopping for a new home in Virginia, there's a real estate agent called Gordon Laroussini in Richmond Virginia who was asking for permission to use my video of "I'm Not Fifty Anymore" on his ReMax website.  Most of his customers are 55+ and downsizing from their big mansions and he thought they might get a kick out of my tune.

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.
 
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

TODAY, Sunday May 9 2pm ET: Join me for my Mother's Day Blaincast at 2pm on my Facebook Page (Facebook.com/brianblain.home) and premiering on my YouTube channel

I will be playing tunes from the new album, including "The Mother I Never Knew" and songs I wrote about many musician friends. Check it out

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.


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