Sunday is traditionally the Christian day for spiritual contemplation, with the aim of saving one’s soul.

And what could be more redemptive than an afternoon of music at one’s of Toronto’s time-honoured temples of live music: the Black Swan Tavern.

Rather than do a standard all-Cats show though, I thought it might be more praise worthy to invite Salabama to be part of the service. If you follow the blog, you will know that he has recorded a good number of demos at ManCave Studio, so it was natural for for the Cats to be his back up band.

The afternoon opened with a energetic set of FatC originals, then a second set of Salabama songs, and ended with a third set of jammed covers. Despite the beautiful weather and the draw of the Pride Parade, we had a respectable turnout, so much so that the club has asked us back for the early fall. Dates TBC.

Thanks to the friends and family who came out, to Sal for being the inspiration for this event, and as always to NeMo and Chris for their talent and enthusiasm.

Be well!

Pop-Up POP

Coming to you from Rivière-Du-Loup, QC, this will be a bilingual blog bien sûr! For English, simply scroll down.

De retour à Rivière-Du-Loup pour ma visite patrimoniale, dans tous les sens du mot, j’ai cette année l’avantage d’avoir de contacts dans la communauté musicale qui m’ont guidé vers des événements uniquement divertissants et qui ont mis en relief la différence entre le désiré et le réalisé. J’explique un peu plus bas.

Mais avant, un sommaire des deux sorties que j’ai fait…


Tel que mentionné l’an passé dans ce blog, RDL bénéficie d’une société artistique nommée Rainbow Submarine qui organise des spectacles divers, ce qui n’est pas unique en soit, mais le fait en concert et en partenariat avec des locaux souvent inédits. La semaine passée par example, un a eu lieu au Mini Putt local. Cette semaine, l’atelier/boutique de bijoux La Mélusine se transforma en scène feuillue (gracieuseté de Botanix RDL) pour accueillir Laurence-Anne, musicienne vivant maintenant à Montréal mais originaire du coin (Kamouraska). Accompagnée talentueusement au saxophone par Ariel Comptois et à la percussion par Laurent St-Pierre, Laurence-Anne nous emporta sur un petit trip évocateur (pour un gars de ma génération) parsemé d’influences prog-rock et psychédéliques, mais le tout exprimé de façon unique et personnelle. La sono et l’éclairage, finement ajustés par l’équipe technique du Rainbow Submarine, n’ont pu qu’accentuer la qualité du spectacle. Le tout fut une expérience transcendante.


Le lendemain, je me retrouve à l’église anglicane Saint Bartholemew—déjà toute une histoire derrière ça—pour une soirée cabaret. Le format enchaîne musiciens, poètes, auteurs et comédiens. Ici le meilleur serait de laisser quelques photos vous offrir un aperçu, ainsi qu’un petit clip.

Pour ces deux soirées extraordinaires, je dois remercier Keven Lemieux de m’en avoir parlé, et Maxime Varenne et l’équipe entière du Rainbow Submarine de leur chaleureux accueil. Je dois les saluer pour avoir transformé en réel ce qu’ailleurs, même dans un grand centre comme Toronto, on a de la peine à retrouver: une communauté artistique autonome, proactive et en plein essor.

I’m back in Rivière-Du-Loup for another paternal visit, auspiciously on Fathers Day weekend. This year, it’s been less of a blind search for entertainment thanks to social media contacts that guided me to the best this strikingly vibrant musical community has to offer, which laid out in stark contrast the difference between aspiration and realization. More on that later.

But first, what I saw and heard…


As reported last year, RDL benefits from the presence of an artistic organization called Rainbow Submarine that promotes events—nothing new there—but does it with surprisingly inventive partnerships and venues. Las week’s show for instance took place in the local Mini Putt. The show I caught was in a jewelry shop/boutique called La Mélusine, transformed into leafy musical concert hall (thanks to local nursery Botanix) in order to host Laurence-Anne, originally from the area (Kamouraska) and now living in Montreal. Backed by Ariel Comptois on sax and Laurent St-Pierre on percussion, Laurence-Anne took us on a journey flavoured with touches of prog-rock and psychedelia, layered within her unique rhythmic, harmonic and melodic approach. Sound and lights, ably provided by the Rainbow Submarine tech crew, further enhanced what was already a transcended performance.


Did you know that Rivière-du-Loup had a signifiant Anglo presence in the 19th century? Hence, a cabaret night hosted in Saint Bartholomew Anglican Church, of course! Like a more curated open mic, the evening brought together musicians poets, authors and actors. The photos and short clip below should hint at what I witnessed. The event was licensed so I enjoyed a beer in church. Praise be!

Massive thanks to Keven Lemieux for connecting me to these events, along with Maxime Varenne and the entire Rainbow Submarine team for their indulgence and warm welcome. Kudos mostly for nurturing what could only be wished for elsewhere, even major markets like Toronto: a supportive, proactive and thriving artistic community.

It’s back to Toronto for me and two shows this coming Sunday, June 23. First at 10:15 am at Might & Main for a solo acoustic set as part of an amazing lineup of performers starting at 9 and all the way to 2:30 in the afternoon. Then, from 4 to 8 with the Cats doing a set of FatC songs, then backing up Salabama at the Black Swan. Pick your event, or better yet, do both for a fun musical marathon!

Be well! Salut!

Risky Business

The lure of things new, shiny and tenuously linked has always been irresistible for me. This week’s surprise last-minute show at the Linsmore (this Tuesday, June 11, 2019 – 10 pm, for those interested) is a case in point. Not content to stir the pot by subbing in the amazing Omar Saab, lead singer of the Lonely Hearts, for his live debut on bass, as NeMo had a previous commitment, I have also decided to try out a new rig, shown below.

Why not!

Traynor Quarter Horse 25-watt pedal/amp, the mini pedalboard, Tokai Talbo Blazing Fire guitar and Rexx single-12 speaker cabinet.

Now, these are (almost) all components I have used before, but never in this combination. The binding characteristics is that 3 of the 4 parts of the rig spark joy (those who have seen the clutter in the ManCave may laugh at the irony). All are connected to my past career at Yorkville Sound. The obvious link is the Traynor Quarter Horse which I just picked up this week as the sale price was irresistible (see the pattern?). I was very impressed with the sound right out of the box, particularly when paired with the Talbo, a product line Yorkville distributed in the 80s, and the Rexx speaker, designed by Yorkville (again) alumnus George Krampera. I’ll let you know next week how it all works out.

Also performing that evening will be Ian Alexander Robson at 8:00 PM and Dingo at 9:00 PM. The Facebook event link is here.

So, I do hope you will be there to support live music. Plus the beer is cheap!

Coming Soon

On Sunday June 23, The Cats will team up will Salabama (Sal Indigo) for a special matinee show from 4 to 8 at the Black Swan. More details as we near the date.

FatC & Sal Black Swan June 23.jpg

Be well!


Up to My Neck

The home renovation project had consumed me.

It’s been challenging to do anything but try to move that forward AND maintain musical commitments, hence the paucity of content.

Tonight, I’m allowing some passive entertainment, live for sure, to hopefully re-energize things, and nothing could fit the bill better than a quiet evening of excellent acoustic blues piano with the very talented Juno Award winning Julian Fauth at Sauce on the Danforth. I believe he has a Tuesday evening residency, and well worth a trip to the east end.

Until next time, be well!