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December 2020
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Well this is a first - I'm here typing my Blainletter and I don't have a draft, I don't have any notes, I don't have any gigs to promote and I don't have hardly anything to say... what dreadful days for us musicians who want nothing more than to get in front of an audience and put a smile on their face. I feel so bad for my younger musician friends whose career is mostly ahead of them.  I've had a good run and I've been quite happy to be semi-retired and play when invited and just be around a lot of great musicians. Anyway, if music is a healer then we never needed it more than now.

So Happy Holidays and all that.  My next door neighbour put up a beautiful wreath on her front door and more holiday decorations are starting to go up in the hood but I got a feeling it would be a good idea if we could just cancel the holidays - just this one time. Stay home. Stay safe.

But wait here's some news:  Today I sent off the final CD artwork and master to the manufacturer.  Long time coming, eh?  It was just one delay after another and I finally was just saying "what's the rush?"  I knew this had been going on too long when a couple of folks contacted me to pre-order a CD and I had to tell them they already ordered one!

Hey it's another Bandcamp Friday, the one day a month when Bandcamp forgoes their commission on all sales. You can download "I'm Not Fifty Anymore" or you can order the physical CD, which should make it to your mailbox before Christmas.  Go to www.brianblain.bandcamp.com.  

You can indicate if you want to send it as a gift and I'll be glad to include a personal Holiday greeting to the recipient. 

And for serious audiofiles, I am also offering hi-res files (96k/24bit).  They're not up on Bandcamp yet but you can contact me directly if this is the way you like to listen.

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn't mention that this might a good time to consider giving a Brian Blain CD as a Christmas gift to a friend who might appreciate "I'm Not Fifty Anymore" or relate to my adventure discovering my birth mother ("The Mother I Never Knew") and I've been amazed at the enthusiastic response to my "Tai Chi Ten" - a long instrumental that I call a "meditation".  Well I guess there's lots of folks who are feeling like they could use a little bluesy meditation music these days.  It's even showed up on a couple of playlists - who would have thunk a ten-minute instrumental would ever get played on a blues radio show!

I've been watching a lot of the streaming sessions folks have been doing and even send in a few bucks here and there (though I hate paying that $3.00 PayPal cross-border fee). Please support your favourite artists by watching their streams, sharing their streams and, if you're not as broke as them, buying a ticket or sending a donation. I get the feeling we're working our way back to ancient times when artists were supported by wealthy patrons...except nowadays all it takes to be a patron of the arts is a little spare change.

If you ordered your CD on Bandcamp, they are very organized and I will have your mailing address.  However, if you ordered through the GoFundMe campaign, I may only have your email so I'll be sending you a message asking for your postal address if you want to receive a physical CD.  And then I've got a bunch of addresses scribbled on the back of envelopes and I hope I didn't lose track of anybody.  If you pre-ordered directly from me, it might be a good idea to send me your mailing address just in case.

Watch for a Holiday Blaincast and after that I will be popping up now and then to play some of the tunes that didn't make it onto the album. And if you didn't watch the album launch…you might get a kick out of it: https://youtu.be/pPrzSbCcBXY

Quote of the Day

"The foundation for happiness is warm-heartedness and compassion"  - Dalai Lama
Thanks for reading this far. 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

The weekly Backyard sometime Basement Blaincast reached episode 25 last Sunday and with all this CD Launch activity, I have decided to forego the regular Sunday thing in favour of spontaneous Facebook Live Pop-ups whenever I feel like it. I'll be putting out a series of "Songs that didn't make it onto the album" as well as my continuing series on "How-to-write-a-blues-song-with-Brian" And I'm sure I'll find other reasons to stream They say you have to be consistent to succeed with streaming. Well, nothing else in my life is consistent...

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 © 2020 Brian Blain, All rights reserved.


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