Pérégrination – part(ie) 2

This continues a short series of bilingual posts, which makes sense given the context.

Tel que mentionné dans mon plus récent blog, j’ai rendu visite à mon père à Rivière-du-Loup, où il habite depuis un peu plus d’un an. C’est là d’ailleurs où j’ai trouvé la guitare décrite dans le blog du 30 juillet 2017.

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Keven et sa Schecter hybride (3 cordes de basse et 4 de guitare)

Cette fois ci, pendant mon temps libre, j’ai exploré RDL un peu plus et découvert un jolie microbrasserie, Aux Fous Brassants, et dégusté leur produit. Par pur hasard, j’ai fait la connaissance de Keven Lemieux, un musicien local, et on a jasé un peu des défis que pose essayer de trouver des gigs. Keven a partagé avec moi que les musiciens de RDL avaient formé un organisme coopératif, Rainbow Submarine, pour développer les opportunités artistiques dans la région. Voici comment le groupe décrit sa mission, et qui se manifeste par des show de cuisine, des concerts spéciaux et des soirées musicales dans les clubs, tel qu’Aux Fous Brassants.

Rainbow Submarine est un organisme de diffusion alternatif, ayant pour mission d’offrir une scène à Rivière-du-Loup aux projets musicaux québécois et émergents sous plusieurs formules alternatives : alternatives dans le lieu, la structure du spectacle, son accessibilité, ou encore sa mise en scène. Notre objectif premier est de faciliter l’accès à cette culture émergente en mettant sur pied des événements rassembleurs, multidisciplinaires et uniques, afin dans un second temps d’offrir une fenêtre sur l’importance de ces projets, sur le besoin de les soutenir et sur les retombées qu’ils provoquent dans le monde culturel québécois.

Suivant cette rencontre révélatrice et encourageante, j’ai pris une belle marche à l’hôtel que je partage avec vous ci-dessous.

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As written in last week’s blog, I was recently in Rivière-du Loup, Québec to visit my dad who has been living there for just over a year. That is the town where I found and purchased the Dano Pro I described in my July 30, 2017 blog.

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Keven and his custom guitar/bass hybrid Schecter (3 bass strings et 4 guitar strings)

No new purchases this year, but during some free time, I wandered around and chanced upon a great microbrewery called Aux Fous Brassants where I started chatting over the delightful home brewed product with Keven Lemieux, a local musician. We commiserated over the challenges posed in finding gigs, whereupon he shared with me that in RDL, ever-resourceful local artists have founded a cooperative group called Rainbow Submarine whose aim is to develop performance opportunities. What follows is a rough translation of their of their goals, made manifest through house concerts, special concerts and club dates at venues like Aux Fous Brassants.

Rainbow Submarine is an alternative promotion organization, whose mission is to offer a scene in Rivière-du-Loup to up-and-coming Québecois artists and groups through several alternative formulas: alternative venues, show structures, accessibility, or staging. Our main objective is to facilitate access to this emerging culture by bringing together and showcasing multidisciplinary and unique events, and highlighting the importance of these projects, the need to support them and the impact they have on Québec’s cultural world.

Buoyed by this encouraging news, I enjoyed a lovely walk back to my hotel, aspects of which I share with you below.

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Next week will be the final instalment of this mini-series.

Until then, be well!


Pérégrination – part(ie) 1

This will be another rare but worthwhile bilingual post, and part of a short series. You’ll understand why shortly. 

In memoriam

C’est avec regret que j’ai appris que mon cousin Phillippe Pelletier est décédé au début d’août, à l’âge de 79 ans. Né d’une GRANDE famille musicale et étroitement liée, Phillippe sera toujours un des plus mémorables de mes cousins. Même si la distance nous séparait et mes visites étaient rares, j’ai de bons souvenirs de lui pendant mes visites estivales chez mon oncle Georges et ma tante Georgette, dont j’ai écrit dans un blog antérieur. C’est cette famille sans aucun doute qui m’a donné le goût de la musique, et pour ça j’en serai toujours reconnaissant.

Je reviens d’une visite au Témiscouata avec mon père et on a eu la bonne fortune de nous retrouver à une cantine au lac Jerry (aussi référé dans le blog lié ci-haut) pour un lunch entre deux visites parentales. Il se trouve aussi que Phillippe y avait sa maison aussi. Le hasard fait bien les choses.

George St-Pierre (oncle de Phillippe) au banjo, moi et ma soeur Manon dans le pickup au lac Jerry. Ma mère Corinne est en arrière-plan portant la jupe rouge.

2018_08_19_15_51_27.pdf000.jpgPhillippe était bien reconnu pour ses talents de violoneux, et en hommage à ce qui le rendait toujours heureux, le voici qui joue le reel du lac, accompagné par Gaétan Lavoie à la guitare et Jacqueline Pelletier au clavier.

In memoriam

It’s with sadness that I recently heard that my cousin Phillippe Pelletier passed away in early August, aged 79. Phillippe will remain one of my most impressive cousins—and there are a lot of them! Despite the distance and the rare visits, he holds a special place for me and I have fond memories of him when visiting my uncle Georges et my aunt Georgette’s LARGE, tightly knit and musical family during summer holidays as a kid, and which I wrote of in an earlier blog. This is the family and household that awoke in me a lifelong passion for music, and for that I will be forever grateful.

I have just returned from Témiscouata for a family visit along with my dad, and as luck would have it, we found ourselves at a snack bar at lac Jerry (also mentioned in the aforementioned blog linked above) for a quick lunch. It was there also that Phillippe lived.

George St-Pierre (Phillippe’s uncle) on banjo, me and my sister Manon in the back of a pickup at lac Jerry. My mom Corinne is in the background in the red skirt.

2018_08_19_15_51_27.pdf000.jpgPhillippe loved playing the fiddle, and his home by the lake. In recognition of that, here he is playing the Reel du lac, accompanied by Gaétan Lavoie on guitar and Jacqueline Pelletier on keyboard.

Keep your family close and be well!


What’s Up, Dock?

This week culminated in a lovely and intimate show at the Dock on Queen.

First though, back on Monday, I hosted a recording session with John Mahler, who graciously cut me loose to do the producer thing on one of his newest songs, I Won’t Tell You. We still have some vocals to add and final mixing, but I hope to have something cool for you to listen to by the end of August.

Next up was Tuesday night back at the Linsmore Tavern to catch an Indie Tuesday, my first in many months. The evening featured Black Creek ReignAbe Deshotel and Tides On Earth, the latter act the focus of my evening as Leanna Yamada and Daniela Gassi, who have recorded at ManCave Studio, both work with songwriter and loopmeister Ryan Bonner to produce an originally haunting and full sound.

Daniela Gassi, Leanna Yamada and Ryan Bonner (Tides on Earth).
Photo courtesy of Lorie Fairburn. This does not constitute an endorsement; still deciding.

Wednesday was a hybrid musico-political evening at Stephenson Park for a Danforth Village BIA sponsored show by the fabulous Soul Maître Ds, who played all my favourites from their catalog, and some great covers (who else plays Squeeze‘s Black Coffee in Bed). Thanks to some matchmaking by good friend Lorie Fairburn, I also had a chance to do some lobbying with aspirant city councillor Brad Bradford, who kindly listened on as I ranted about the well-intentioned but ultimately misguided and ineffective Music City (TMAC) initiative, a subject I have broached here once or twice already! I’m not expecting anything from it, although he did kindly ask for the report I had written for the city back in February, but I am prepared to be proven wrong.

Paul Brennan, Henry Lees, Arch Rockefeller and Laurie Ingles.

The week wrapped up with a fun and intimate show at the cozy aforementioned Dock on Queen, where some good friends made it over despite a lot of competitive things to do that evening—thank you! We may be back but this time for a full-on electric show.

Our next appearance is Saturday, September 8 at home-away-from-home Relish on the Danforth.

Until then, be well!


Fellow Travellers – Part 6

It was a busy 3 days from Tuesday to Thursday this past week.

Soul Shine Tuesday

I previously mentioned, I was the first official guest at the Soul Shine Tuesday show at the Amsterdam Bicycle Club. For those who are new to this blog or don’t follow regularly, this show takes over the slot I had at the AB for 9 months. Hosted by the amiable and super-talented Lawrie Ingles and Henry Lees (the Soul Maître Ds), the format is now single-artist focused, with Lawrie and Henry opening the show, the feature performer doing a short set solo, then the hosts sitting in for a few tunes, and rounding off the night back on their own as SMD.

Here’s a little sample of the show.

Beach House Jammers

Each Wednesday, Tony Oldland hosts a very successful open mic at the Beach House Bar and Grill on Queen Street East. It’s a testament to Tony’s hard work and affable perseverance that he has been able to curate a high caliber of performers, bring about steady improvements to the facilities (new stage, better sound gear), and maintain interest through some inspiringly themed evenings.

Image may contain: Tony Oldland, smilingTony has been playing in a variety of bands over the last 40 years. Starting as a rookie rhythm player he developed into a versatile lead guitarist and vocalist with local groups, including the Toronto top 40 bands Careers Without College, Digits and CLOUD-9. For three years as the guitar-hero of R & B band DOMINO, rounded out his skills and took them to semi finalist status on Canada’s Got Talent. The indefatigable Tony brings a wide variety of authentic guitar and synthesizer tones to his 80’s band The Beach Town Brats (which not only features Tony, but also Félix and the Cats drummer Chris Bender and ABC songwriters’ Circle alumnus Chris Scian), plus maintains two Beatles tribute bands, The Beachles and DanceBeatles, and gets hired regularly as a substitute guitarist for orher bands.

The Cats got a nice extended set this past Wednesday, with a bonus of sitting in as backup band for another ABC SWC guest, Karen Wilde. Great fun for all!

The Stuff of Legends

Wednesday had me back after a long break at Legends Thursday Night Jam for some loopy madness and a great singalong of Mister Juicy Fruit by Fraz Milne and Sal Indigo.

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch

Daytime activities continued unabated with two recording sessions: one for Leanna Yamada and the other for John Mahler, for vocal tracks and final mixing. Things went well although I wish ManCave Studio were air conditioned. I will let you know as soon as these are available online.

Gig Alert!

This coming Saturday, August 11, the Cats are back for an acoustic inspired gig at the Dock on Queen. The show gets under way at 9, and it’s a pay what you can (and want to). We really look forward to playing this show as the club has a great vibe, and nice acoustics. Please join us!

See you there and be well!