ManCave Studio Diary #4 – They Don’t Mess Around in Memphis

This week was highlighted by a happy return to the ManCave for a great session with Sal Indigo aka Salabama.

He and drummer and FatC member Chris Bender came in this past Thursday to lay down bed tracks for four of Sal’s tunes live off the floor. Sal played a Les Paul tuned in A, though only a compressor into my Blues Junior set up in the bathroom around the corner and dialled up pretty loud.

Chris played though the house drum kit, which according to Sal was once used by Downchild Blues Band. It certainly has that vintage sound.

I added bass independently and did the preliminary mixing.

I was particularly impressed by how Sal and Chris were able to get the songs down with very few takes, which captured the fun and energy of the performances.

The song featured here was inspired by a comment made to Sal about the grittiness and authenticity of Memphis, and the importance of “tone” as per the Miles Davis quote in the final verse.

They Don’t Mess Around In Memphis © Sal Indigo aka Salabama


In advance of January 1, let me wish all of you the happiest and best New Year for 2019.

And be well!

Slowly I Turned…

This blog post is coming to you from grey and cool Niagara Falls Ontario where the missus and I spent a few days unwinding after a fulfilling but tiring 2-month stint back in the workforce. I am quite happy to be back to retirement mode and hope to be able to get the recording project in full swing after the holidays.

While here, we caught my favourite cover band, The Lonely Hearts, at the 365 Club which is the bar nested deep within the almost hallucinogenic environment of the Fallsview Casino. People here certainly know how to cut loose.

The band put on a great show for an enthusiastic and sometimes exuberant audience.

Thanks to friends and family who came to the Duke Live this past Tuesday to catch us and Monkey Fightin’ Snakes. It was our best show to date! Neil, Chris and I want to thank MFS and specifically Matthew Davies for the opportunity to open for them. Thanks as well to the staff and sound tech at the club for taking such good care of us. Hope we can do it again.

Monkeys, Snakes and Cats, oh my!

Before getting deeply into the subject of this week’s post, just a quick report on the Félix & the Cats show at The Dock on Queen this past Friday. It was a fun night for all. A big thanks to supporters who came out and a special recognition to Tim, the Dock’s most loyal music fan! Thanks as well to the club for always making us feel welcome.


The really exciting news is that we are slated to open for The Monkey Fightin’ Snakes on Tuesday December 18 at the Duke Live! This is a huge thrill and honour for FatC to be on the same stage as the MFS in all their awesome simian and reptilian goodness, and will be our first time at the Duke! If you don’t know Monkey Fighting’ Snakes, here is some background gleaned from their site.

The Monkey Fightin’ Snakes are a blues rock band from Toronto. This band is the brainchild of singer songwriter Matthew Davies. Their blues sound is little bit jamband-pop, a little world-folk-twang.

Think Eddie Vedder with Neil Finn and Tom Waits.

The key members are:
Matthew Davies – Guitar, Dobro, Banjo, Ukelele, Pedal Steel, Lead Vocals and Songs
Dave Stoyles – Bass, Guitar, Button Box, Souzaphone, Trombone and Backing Vocals
Daniel Szabo – Drums, Backing Vocals, Guitar
Eric Szabo – Keyboards, Backing Vocals, Bass
Darren Atkinson – Drums, Percussion, Mayhem, Backing Vocals

Monkey Fightin’ Snakes put out their first album of original music “Finish What You Star” in 2014, produced by multi Juno Award winning producer Michael Philip Wojewoda. Recorded live off the floor (through an old Neve desk to 2” tape, no click track, lead vocals and guitar solos captured within the take), the album featured 9 original songs written by singer and guitarist Matthew Davies. After extensive touring, the band returned to the studio to record “Broken Off-Switch” in 2017, this time with 14 tracks also penned by Davies. 2018 saw the arrival of brothers Eric and Daniel Szabo, and much new writing in preparation for the third album.

For a taste of MFS, check out the video below and click over to their YouTube channel.

I hope you can make it out to catch us on the 18th at the Duke, and if not already a fan, become one of Monkey Fightin’ Snakes! Until then, be well!


Fellow Travellers – Part 7

Most of the musicians I have written about are people I have encountered at various shows and open mics in the city, but occasionally, these encounters take place in another context. Such was the case recently when I met two great artists at work, in an entirely unrelated context.

Photo by Jen Squires – Photographer

First is Andrew Moljgun, a saxophonist and keyboardist who has made a name for himself as part of Blues/R&B band Bad Luck Woman and Her Misfortunes, as well as an impressive list of performances with a variety of top artists such as Jenie Thai, Peter Elkas, Tommy Youngsteen, and Colin James. If the planet can align, I hope to have Andrew in at ManCave Studio to be featured on a song on the upcoming and somewhat slow-moving Félix & the Cats début EP. It might be tight as he is heading off for a 10-country European tour with Samantha Martin and Delta Sugar right after the New Year.

dittEven more serendipitously, just this week, a singer-songwriter best known as Ditt happened into the front office on school business, and as I overheard him talking about music with the staff there, I had to find out more. Starting off as a drummer at a young age, then touring as tech support with his brother all over Ontario and Quebec for the band Swan led him to dedicating himself to being a musician. Building on his expertise on drums, he taught himself the guitars and began writing his own songs.

Ditt wrote, sang, produced and played on his début CD A Boy Can Dream, with Jake Kolodziej engineering. He exemplifies the kind of dedication and enthusiasm it takes to persist in the music business these days and I wish him well!

Gig Imminence

This Friday, Félix & the Cats are back again at the Dock on Queen, one of our favourite little places to perform. Come on down for a civilized 8:30 start and stick around for the evening. The guys in the band have asked me to feature the quieter acoustic material in set one, the rock it up for the next two, so you can adjust your stay to taste. Great beer too!

Looking forward to seeing you there! Be well!