When Worlds Collide – Part Deux

LinsmoreThis coming Tuesday, June 27 is a special one at the Linsmore. Not only will it be my last show while still holding onto a day job, it will be a great night featuring some awesome musician friends. Here are the blurbs we put together for the show.

Tim Prueter is a musician living in East Toronto. He works to capture an engaged audience by delivering original songwriting, honest life driven lyrical content and an emotional and often intense vocal experience. Like a photograph, Tim’s songs offer a window into a moment, the only type of journal that has ever consistently stayed with him.

Sal Indigo aka Johnnie Blue aka Blind Lemon Meringue crawled out of the dark, murky swamps of Kensington Market in southern Toronto. He was born with a steel slide bar on his left hand so he took to playing blues and rock n soul on an electric guitar. Influenced by Elmore James, Hank Williams, Tom Waits, Doris Day and Desi Arnaz, he writes a variety of warped thud-like opaque melodies and work songs.

Félix and the Cats is Bob Pelletier’s long-repressed and most personal expression of his musical obsession. Inspired by daily observations or simply made-up shit, FatC look at the world and try to make it catchy and rhyme. A lifelong devotee of Curmudgeon Rock, Bob/Félix will fall prey to thinking the worst of many things and people, but fortunately dials it back before his friends and family label him a complete jerk.

We hope to see you there!

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind of activity, moistly due to wrapping things up at work as I leave the world of education, at least formally.

The most unusual event was a retirement party for my superintendent about two weeks ago. To mark the occasion, I had decided to learn and perform the Beatle’s In My Life, which worked out well as it was the object of my vocal lessons too. That went reasonably well, although I fumbled the chords after the bridge, remarkably played on the violin by Neil Dyal, a fellow VP in the Board. We played it with only one quick run-through, so kudos for that, and for the even equally awesome job on Difficult People, which I royally messed up by forgetting the words 2 lines in, and breaking one of the top ten rules. I NEVER forget that song, but it had to happen this time!

It was particularly irritating as the retiree had brought a friend along to sing: Ali Matthews is a multiple award-winning performer. Below is the bio from her site, worth reading in full as it is very impressive.

Photo from http://www.alimatthews.com/profile.html

“I desire to write songs that connect us with each other; songs that tap into our hopes and heartaches, our fears and passions, the things that make us vulnerable, the things that tell us we are alive. I see a dark and broken world in desperate need of mercy and compassion and I am compelled to create music that will draw us closer to grace, to each other and to our Creator. I am not a preacher – just a fellow-traveller on this fascinating ride …and I don’t mind being transparent.” Ali Matthews

Multi-award winning recording artist, Ali Matthews has been a performing songwriter since her teens and has built a strong following across Canada and beyond. She has released 7 critically acclaimed CD’s since 2000 on her independent music label, Shake-a-Paw Music. Her CD’s are distributed nationally through David C Cooke Distribution.

As a graduate of The University of Western Ontario, where she studied English and Drama, songwriting is her natural passion. Writing and performing on both piano and acoustic guitar, she blends mature and sensitive lyrics with evocative, compelling melodies. Ali’s songwriting and performing are highly respected in both the Christian and the mainstream music industry due to her accessible, honest lyrics and her ability to weave the “spiritual” into every day life experiences.

Matthews’ songwriting and recording have yielded an impressive collection of international awards. She holds the GMA (Gospel Music Association Canada) record as the artist with the most awards – 20 GMA Covenant awards and 44 nominations in 10 years. She was a winner in the 2006 International Songwriting Competition, The Canadian National Songwriting Competition, The Word Guild Canadian Writers Awards and she was named Woman of the Year in the City of Stratford for her outstanding contribution to the Arts.

I followed up that evening by sitting in again at Legends with buddies Gary Edward Allen and Amber Durette, an experience which was repeated again this past Thursday with even better results as I had prepped some Sheryl Crow and Amy Winehouse songs to play with Amber.

Thursday also including seeing T.C Folkpunk (who I had caught at C’est What? on June 11) in his film debut at acting and singing in Love in the Sixth, at the Fox Theatre. It was a fun indie film, with lots of great lines and catchy tunes. T.C. impressed me with his natural acting abilities too.

Friday I ran my last talent show at the school where I work. It involves some 50 student acts and goes on all day (in a very hot gym with 400+ kids), lots of gear to set up, operate and playlists to manage. Good thing I love this stuff. The day left me a bit dehydrated for vocal classes, which Jaclyn noticed right away, but she was kind and patient with my warbling.

Last night, it was Leanna Yamada‘s turn to impress me with a great set at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club, where FatC will be back August 4. This time, they had the full band out, and, having taken the time to get the PA set right, it was a great showcase for the entire group. Wish I could have stayed for more, but there will be other opportunities, I’m sure.IMG_0088

Tonight, it’s back at Relish to hopefully première a brand new one. I’ll let you know how that went next week.

Until then, be well!



Another Father’s Day, another collection of report cards to proofread!

I’d rather be hanging with these guys…

Okay, they’re a bit older now but just as cute!

Come back next week for fresh news about Worlds Colliding – Part deux!

Be well!


Could Not (and Did Not) Say It Better Myself

Hello again! First the social update:

It’s been another busy week of burning the candle at both ends, with two open mic/late nights back-to-back. Thanks again to Gary Edward Allen for the Thursday Legends event, which seems to be picking up steam. Just need to get players out a bit earlier.

Tiffany Fairbairn

I took advantage of a quiet moment to slip out with T.C. Folkpunk to catch a set by the excellent Katey Morley and band, then back to Legends for powerful sets by Tiffany Fairbairn, Amber Durette (thanks for letting me sit in), and further late night jamming and silliness with colourful local favourites. I have written about Tiffany (aka Lucy at the time) last September and it was great to hear her again and talk a bit about drummers!

Gary Edward Allen and Amber Durette plus yours truly covering “Rocking Mountain Way (including a an interruption with me futilely searching for a slide bar). Thanks to Jen Murphy for photos and video!

Friday night, I rendezvous’d with buddy Sal Indigo to strategize our upcoming show June 27 at the Linsmore, and play a few tunes at the relocated Friday Night Blues Jam, hosted by Mike Sedgwick at the Salty Dog Tavern. Sal had a great set. For me, maybe it was fatigue, or the amp was set too loud, but the vocals just did not carry over. Live and learn.

Now for the topic at hand. Last February, I posted a piece called Music City? that undertook to discuss the challenges of being a musician in these times of easy and “free” access and a corresponding diminished valuation of the arts. The lovely and talented Mrs. Félix sent me a link to an article from the Daily Beast that does a much better job of explaining this, particularly for the composers in the digital age. I posted it earlier in the week on my personal Facebook page, and have linked it below for your reading pleasure.


Until next week, be well!




This week was fairly quiet so the post will be correspondingly brief. Let’s go backwards in time, okay?

Starting this afternoon, the missus and I saw the new Wonder Woman film, which lived up to expectation. The only false note was a musical one, pun intended. For context, and trying to avoid spoilers, there is a scene set in a Belgian village where they are playing music in the village square. The time is 1918, just a few weeks away from the signing of the Armistice, so we are somewhere in late October or early November.

The interesting selection of material is “Sous les ponts de Paris“, performed by Lucienne Delyle (according to the movie soundtrack). The song itself is fine, as it was composed in 1913 (lyrics Jean Rodor, music by Vincent Scotto). The problem is that Delyle was born in April 1913, making her either a precocious 5 year old when the song was recorded and available for playback in the Belgian village square, or the film makers were simply sloppy. I vote for option2.

Photo by Mary-Elizabeth Gilbert

This past Tuesday, I was (again) at the Linsmore to see good buddy T.C. Folkpunk perform at Indie Tuesdays. Tim was hale and healthy thanks to the Jameson diet, and not only rose to the occasion, but was literally lifted higher by the brand new stage the fine folks at the Linsmore have just had installed. Not only does the stage make the performer more visible, and better lit, the sound seems to also benefited. I am very much looking forward to my next show there on Tuesday, June 27, sharing the bill with Timothy Prueter and Sal Indigo. Please put it on your calendar!

Timothy Prueter 

Sal Indigo

It’s nice to see the Linsmore pushing back against the trend by increasing their support of live music. If this is an anachronism, then let’s do the time warp again.

Until our next temporally ordained re-acquaintance, be well!