Félix Navidad

We are back albeit one day late. I was making rather merry!

Last Friday was a continued exploration of Toronto’s live music scene, namely the monthly blues jam at the Peppery Cat, hosted by Mike Sedgewick. It was a pleasant surprise, not only because of the crowd in attendance (a good house which owner Larry I’m sure appreciated) but also for the talent attracted (Fraz and Arch, I’m thinking of you).

On a side note, I hope to get FatC (Félix and the Cats) in at species counterpoint and co-owned The Salty Dog in the new year. Talks are ongoing…

I will start by saying that I had never heard Mike play before, and was very impressed with his technique and feel. A true bluesman. He he is also a genuinely nice man, easy to approach and talk to, which is what is needed to be done to be part of the jam as there is no signup board.

Left to right: Jeffrey Taylor, Mike Sedgewick, me and Jeff Kahl. Thanks to Mike and Helena Cheung for the photo.


I got a chance to do 3 FatC originals after a few other guest players performed, including a fiery set by Frank Consentino. I mention him in particular as current FatC drummer Greg Anzelc has played with Frank in the past.

Small world–wouldn’t want to paint it though. That’s Greg’s day job. Kudos to the band for more than just keeping up despite brand new songs for them and no charts.

The next blues jam is January 20, and I hope to be there again. Worth your while to be there too!

Until next week, be well!




This week went viral, but only in a biological way. After fighting off the flu, a cold promptly took its place. Fortunately it was low grade enough to not cancel our Thursday show at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. The weather had other ideas and scared off people, so the audience was sparse. That said, ALL clubs were thinly attended, according to reports.

The rest of the week was occupied with work, and rebuilding mini-pedal board. Maybe a post on that will follow.

IMG_1754.JPGTonight, this post is being sent remotely from Relish, where former Cat keyboardist Alan Zemaitis, the ever-popular and versatile Kyle Sullivan on drums, and jazzy Jesse Boxer-Meyrowitz on stand-up bass, are performing their annual and insanely popular Charlie Brown Christmas gig. This year, they’ve added a second show due to popular demand.

There you have it, short and sweet.

Be well!



Must See

Flu season is here, and even this cat is not immune. So, after a few days rest, I am back to a reasonably good status. During that time, when not outright unconscious, I caught up on a few music series on my “must see” list.

The first was Dave Grohl‘s Sonic Highways, available in Canada through iTunes. The series concept is simple: the Foo Fighters travel to various American cities and stay long enough to be inspired by it and record one song at some iconic studio there. The narrative of each visit covers the musical history of the city, the studio itself, and interviews with notable musicians, from which phrases and ideas, scattered like bread crumbs, find themselves woven into the lyrics of the song that closes each episode. This show has plenty to offer musicians and non-musicians alike, and you don’t have to be a FF fan to enjoy it. With buying the series, you get extras, including a more detailed summary of the recording process, which I turn the crank of any recording wonk.

Second, and still in the process of being viewed is Soundbreaking. If I have to choose one, this is would be it. Fascinating through incredible, often rare footage, and insights from the best in the business, it looks at music from the point of view of the producer. For non-musicians, or at least non-studio musicians, it beautifully illustrates what a good producer does, or at least should do. For all viewers, there is a greater understanding of why certain songs resonate, and what it takes to make and capture a great performance. As much as I have been learning about the technical aspects of recording, particularly over the last six months, it has given me cause to reflect on what and how I intend to go forward. It’s brilliant!

15284021_1297141880327219_2584694952430887418_nFinally, a call out to friends and fans that F&TC are at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club again this week, this time on a weekday. Good news is we get to start an hour earlier, so maybe you could catch a set? It would be great to see as many of you as can make it.

The details are in the sidebar. The big challenge on this gig will be how to play “Runner Up” with just 3 people. New toys may be in order. Come down and find out!

Until next week or Thursday, be well!



Lucky Horseshoe

I would be remiss however to fail to mention the show this past Thursday at the Horseshoe Tavern. So, here is the review in super brief mode:

Moan Toys, aka Jace Traz: with the usual gang (Rob, David, Dean, Lawrie): never disappoint; best squirrel jazz solo ever.

Tragic Hearts: lotsa Marshall power, lotsa energy, same chords, couldn’t hear a word. Sorry!

Forty Seven Teeth: good pop sensibility; two girls harmonizing–always good. Which I could have made out the words better but I can listen to the EP. Promising.

Danger Bees: now we’re talking! Great new drummer! Tons of fun, but be nice with the stage banter, guys! Loved that it ended with Heartless Jane.

Venue: a piece of Toronto history, beer is reasonably priced considering the caliber of entertainment.

Sound: a disaster. Probably not the soundman’s fault (entirely) as the acoustics are dismal, but it often felt the level, especially the bass, was turned up beyond the space’s ability to absorb that much volume. Seemed reasonably good for Jace and Danger Bees at least.

Here are some pictures and clips from the show:

Be well!