I had another topic in mind for this week, but that will be deferred following the news of Chuck Berry‘s death.

Image from

This one struck me harder than Bowie or Prince, no offence to these other artist’ legacy. Many of the headlines celebrate his accomplishments as a rock and roll pioneer and innovator in a musical sense. No argument there. To say he was more or less innovative than any of the great blues guitarists is an argument for another time. I honestly don’t care whether he originated those licks, but to a huge number of young rock guitarists growing up in the seventies, and even later, his aproach was the entry point and the home base. Any decent player could easily learn these songs and spin them in his or her own way. His music was both unique and completely malleable.

But it’s as a performing guitarist that I think he had the most enduring impact. Chuck Berry was the prototypical rock star guitarist, and created the template for the mad, lusty, joyful swagger of swinging that guitar around right in an audience’s face. It looks and sounds loud and crude, but man is it fun, and it hasn’t stopped.

All rock guitarists owe him a lot, perhaps everything. He will be missed.

Here he is featured in the movie “Hail Hail Rock ‘N’ Roll“.

So, it’s been a busy week.

Tuesday was the show at the Linsmore with friends Michael Sheen Cuddy and Arch Rockefeller sharing the bill. Thanks to all who came out (I thank you individually here). The show also brought about some reflection, and I may share that in a future post.

Thursday night brought the out to the Eton House tavern on Danforth near Pape to catch an unplugged set by friend Fraz Milne, whom I have spoken of previously. It turns out that they have an Indie Music night each Thursday, for which Fraz played the second set. The evening is hosted by Elana Harte, who you can watch and listen to here (sorry, the video won’t embed). Awesome singer!
I’m sorry I could not stay for  Wendell Ferguson, but here is a bit of him below.

Instead, I finished the evening at the Peppery Cat for one of Mike Sedgewick‘s inimitable blues jams, where I rocked out some frustrations, doing originals which the band picked up fantastically!

Photo by Ray Cheung

The week ended at C’est What for T.C Folkpunk‘s newest CD, Hearsay Is 20/20, listening party. I wrote more at length about T.C. in an earlier post here; always the gracious host, he introduced me to RexySpice (self-confessionally not your average lyrically driven violently acoustic unintentionally comic singer songwriter), with whom we all share similar yet uniquely slanted approaches to songwriting. I look forward to the opportunity of hearing him at a live show soon.

Unless someone famous passes on next week, the planned-on post for this week will be covered then. Be well! I mean it!


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