Fellow Travellers – Part 1

Indulge me in this metaphor, the musical journey.

As much as it is a journey of self-discovery, there are are also many opportunities to meet and learn from fellow travellers. This week’s blog will talk of two, but there are more that I hope to get to later.

1510977_1594543244126576_1390311601829406757_nTom Rich is a talented writer, singer and multi-instrumentalist who has been in Toronto for a few years, and a frequent player at the Relish open mic. He has worked with a number of artists including Sam Taylor and Jonathan Roy, as well as performing on his own and with band performing his terrific original material. His latest CD is available from iTunes here.

Sadly, Tom is returning to Halifax soon, but not without a farewell show, the details of which are below. Consider yourselves encouraged to attend.

My dear Toronto kinfolk. 
After two-and-a-half years of living part-time in The Big Smoke, I’ve made countless new friends and unforgettable musical memories, got to know your city and fell head-over-heels in love with it. I loved it so much, I made repeated plans to move there permanently but alas, after heavy consideration, my heart longs to reside by the ocean in Nova Scotia. I have a job to do at home that I cannot trade for anything – my duty to my brother Colin as his personal care assistant. Colin has a rare condition called metachromatic leukodystrophy, and I’ve been assisting in his care ever since his diagnosis in the early 1990’s. In my time away from him, I’ve realized that there’s nothing else to which I would rather devote myself.
I will remain active in the music scene at home in Halifax. I’m going to record a new album over the winter; of songs inspired by and written during my travels between Hali & The Tdot (which have also led me twice to Nashville). I am also involved in some exciting new projects from Matthew Pickup, Dark Lit Sky, and will release The Dang Danglers’ Self-Entitled Debut, a side-project album I recorded in my trailer home with M Pickup and my brother Luke.
I will never be able to stay away for too long, but I am going to say so long for now, by playing a two-hour solo acoustic show at Relish Bar & Grill in the east end of town, on Thursday August 25 at Relish On The Danforth. It’s an early show, with Karaoke to follow, so of course that means plenty of time afterward to delve into the vast selection of fine Ontario craft brews and let loose.
So come on out and let me thank you in person.
– Tom Rich

IMG_1530Another friend made along the way is Sal Borg aka, Johnny Blue, and other aliases as the mood suits him! Sal is not only a great performer, he is a living encyclopedia of the blues and vintage gear.

Below is a video of him performing a great cover of Johnny Winter‘s Mean Town Blues, recorded August 13, 2016 at The Amsterdam Bicycle Club.

Photo: Alexa Clark (Second Harvest)


Sal’s originals cover an interesting range of topics, including food, a subject that he can speak to with great authority as his family was in the wholesale produce business for a century. One of my favourites is Hot Sauce On Everything, a snippet of which is below.


Sal’s lifelong fascination (his kids confirm that) for  music and musical instruments have led him to own one of the most impressive personal collections of guitars and amps I have ever seen, short of rock stars’ warehouse-full accumulations. Every item has a story behind it, which he gladly shares. Time passes pleasantly and quickly in his company.

Sal kindly showed up for my gig this past Friday at Relish. He had the chance to hear this number, Looking for the In-Between. The vocals are a bit under-mixed, but listen to Nemo and Greg tear it up on bass and drums! I had a hard time staying focused when either would do something downright awesome. Here it is below.

©2015 – R. Pelletier/Félix and the Cats

Until next week!


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