I have in the past mentioned my occasional visits to Rivière-du-Loup, Québec, and the thriving music community there. The person who initially made this happen is Keven Lemieux, whom I have met almost every time I visited the town. What I haven’t talked enough sufficiently is that Keven is a remarkable and super versatile musician. Please take a moment to check out some samples here.
I particularly like this one done in hommage to Les Paul. Wow!
A few posts back, I posted a video of a local group remotely performing Under Pressure. Not to be outdone, Toronto’s own Tristan Avakian, a very sought-after guitarist—Ultimate Queen Celebration, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Cirque du Soleil (Quidam), and many broadway shows, plus as a songwriter/performer under the name As Waters—knocks it out of the park with UQC’s version of the same. Just listen with your eyes closed for a minute…
Not everything with six strings is a standard guitar. One of the lesser-heard variations is the baritone guitar. Although the strings are tuned the same relative to each other, the overall pitch is a fourth lower, making the lowest string a B instead of an E. The neck is also longer.
Why would anyone want this?
Well it’s the tone in the baritone. There is a particularly unique resonance with this guitar that lends itself particularly well to single twangy notes, often heard in surf music and spaghetti westerns. Some of the best examples are Diane Eddy’sPeter Gunn and the B52s‘ Rock Lobster. Other examples can be found here.
I’m hoping to incorporate this guitar into at least one of my songs, but we’ll see how that goes. Thanks to Sal for the loan!
Back in 2016, those alcyon days, I posted about a song written even earlier, and the only original done with a cover band at the time.
Although I have performed it a few times with the Cats, I never felt it lived up to its potential, and have tried to alter it to see if that would give it the spark I was looking for.
Still working on that, but just for fun, here is the iteration I posted in 2016, plus two others: one redone as a blues shuffle, and the other most recently mostly to accommodate a key change, a hook, and more interesting chord changes.
This post is a bit late as I was waiting for a topic to manifest itself. It took a few extra days but one has appeared.
Thanks to Joanne Clayton, proprietor, curator and chef at Relish Bar and Grill for this. She recently posted a sobering status update on Facebook.
There is no doubt that almost everyone has struggled though the pandemic, but I think we need to take a moment to reflect on the plight of small business owners, particularly those in the hospitality industry. Consider as well that many of these businesses help the musical community by employing artists who need that work to supplement what they earn from shows and are now laid off and unable to perform live (at least there is CERB and EI). I could go on about the challenges and misconceptions of running a restaurant AND paying musicians even at the best of times, but I’ll save that for another rant post.
Throw into the mix how a club like Relish that has a core mission of supporting live music, and you quickly understand that we ALL lose if it, and places like it don’t make it through the pandemic.