Hitsville USA at the Movies

A few years back, some friends along with Mrs. F&theCats and I visited the Motown Museum in Detroit. It was a remarkable experience where I learned a lot about what made that place special (hint: it wasn’t just one thing).

The embedded video, courtesy of Reverb.com, does a good job of capturing some of the magic and explaining a bit of the chemistry too. Check it out!

It goes almost without saying that Berry Gordy‘s vision and genius in putting it all together was a key factor. There are a couple of recent documentaries in which he appears that would I would suggest you see if the subject interests you.

The first is Hitsville: The Making of Motown that features Gordy and Smoky Robinson providing fun insight into the history. The second is called Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, where Gordy is briefly interviewed, but focuses obviously on Clive Davis, of which I knew much less beforehand. Well worth catching to see how megastars are “made”.

Both are viewable on streaming platforms.


Next Tuesday Gig Alert

Just a reminder that the Cats will be at the Linsmore next week (Tuesday) for Indie Night squeezed in between the Fortnights at 8:00 and Phillip Vonesh and the Spare Parts at 10:00. Some more ab

We’d all love to see you come out and support live music!

Until then, be well!

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Weekend Warrior

A few blogs back, I wrote about the polemic against “amateur” musicians “stealing” pro gigs. I have huge admiration and respect for pro players, and have always tried to pay them accordingly when I’ve hired them. However, I believe that the distinction between amateur and pro is fluid, and the former, even the most débutant, also deserve a place at the table for their love and support of live music.

Spinning off of that, I was inspired to write a new song titled I May Be Bad (But It Still Feels Good) dedicated to all the part-time players. The demo is still too rough to share, but I expect we can play it for you at the Linsmore on October 15 (9 pm).

I hope you will come out for that one and a few other new tunes.

Until then, be well!

Photo Op

Sorry for the late post. The desktop computer has crashed and is in the shop for an OS rebuild.

So this is being done on an iPhone.

Last week’s feature at Relish was a great night. On top of it, we had two ace photographers taking pictures of the band. One of them, Peif Weyman, was there for Chris as he is a Murat Diril cymbals endorser. Good friend Ian Sinclair with whom I have played with in previous bands came out to capture the band live as we needed to update our shots.

Here are a few samples.

Until next week, be well!

Go Pro

Some recent social media posts have got me thinking more deeply about the oft-read rant regarding “amateur” musicians “stealing professional” jobs. It is the last quoted word that got me curious.

What does it mean to be a “professional musician”?

At the far end of the scale, it’s obvious: musicians who earn their entire livelihood from playing music. Easy enough!

But what about, say, someone who works in a music store and plays shows in the evenings and on weekends? Does the day job disqualify that person from the professional ranks or is working in a music store a mitigating factor?

Okay, let’s take that further. What about someone who work instead as a server in a live music venue? Does the place of day employ shield a musician from being ranked amateur? What if he/she/they work in a doughnut shop?

Is it a question of how many hours performed vs. the day job?

Perhaps I’m looking at this all wrong…could it be a question of expertise or raw talent? Is it attitude and the ability to please an audience? Is it originality?

I have my own ideas, but I’d like to hear back from you, dear readers. Just leave a comment if you wish.


FatC Relish Sept 21.jpgThis Saturday the Cats Will Play

After a good and hot rehearsal last night working through the four new tunes we hope to launch, the Cats are raring to go this Saturday at Relish 2.0. We kick off at 9:30, but please come early for the food and former ABC Songcircle guest One-Eyed Oracle (aka Boris Buhot) playing from 7 to 9.

Make it a full evening of live entertainment!

 

 

 

Be there and be well!

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2.0

The band is very excited to be back for the first time (?) at the new Relish 2.0 at 511 Danforth this coming September 21, 2019.

We hope to introduce a few new songs that I have tried out at the open mic and one world première, so it should be a special evening on all counts. You can subscribe to the band’s event calendar here, should you wish to be kept up to date while avoiding social media overload.

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Be well!

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And Speaking of Which..

Ultra brief blog this week just adding details to the Linmore show mentioned last week and scheduled for October 15.

Guest will be:

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The FortNights (Fraz Milne and Fintan McEnroe) at 8:00

The Cats will be on at 9:00. A few new tunes may make their way into the set list, so regular fans will be in for more than the usual.

 

 

 

 

Closing the night at 10:00 will be Phillip Vonesh and the Spare Parts, for whom I played a while back when the lead guitarist was away. This time Phillip will be backed by his usual crew so a great show is in store for all.

Until next time, be well!

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Swampy

Again, just a short update this week. The Salabama show at Relish 2.0 went great, thanks to solid playing by Sal himself, Tony Oldland on bass and Paul Brennan on drums. Special thanks to the brilliant Sean McAuley on harmonica too, and to Rick Henry for a superb mixing job and for having the nerve to tell me to turn down! It’s always a fun privilege to play with Sal and have the chance to try out live the arrangements we’ve worked out in the studio sessions at ManCave. Here’s a sample courtesy of Dave Correia with one of Sal’s originals, Swamp Chickin.


Upcoming Gigs

TheCats have been on low-profile for most of the summer, but a few shows are beginning to line up for the fall. September 21 will be our first time at Relish 2.0, then October 15 at the Linsmore Tavern with special guests, and finally (so far) a Sunday matinee at the Black Swan with special guest Omar Saab of the Lonely Hearts.

That’s all for this week!

Be well!

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Side Launch

This Saturday (August 24, 2019 – 9:30 pm) will be my first full show at the new Relish, albeit not with the Cats but with the one-of-a-kind Salabama. I’m very excited and proud to be called upon to be second guitar for this one particularly as Sal has recorded many of the tunes we will be performing in the ManCave Studio and this will be a great opportunity for you to get a sneak peek of his upcoming album.


The Answer to Last Week’s Quiz

The bass feet posted last week belong to as follows:

Tom Rich
Lucas Gadke (Chloé Watkinson Band)
Robin Latimer

That’s it… short and sweet.

Be well!

Bass Toes

In the last few weeks, I’ve caught shows by a few bands that were characterized by a phenomenon I had never noticed before: the Barefoot Bass Player.

So just for fun, here are photos of three players who I know directly or play with who I know. See if you can figure out who is who. Answers next week.


This week!

No photo description available.As Mrs. Félix & the Cats will be away for business for a few days, there may be a few more shows to catch during her time away…tbc.

Today for sure I will be at Long & Mcquade for the new mural unveiling and to catch the Lonely Hearts performing there live, then later it’s off to the Linsmore for FatC drummer Chris Bender‘s cover band Rock Bottom. Should be a fun night!

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That’s all for this week. Be well!

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Click to Resume

Super brief as there is a lot going on in the other aspects of life.

Renovation has reached a significant turning point, one where I have removed the stuff stored and cluttering up ManCave Studio thereby more or less reclaiming the space. Just in time too as I have a session scheduled tomorrow.


New Open Mic

A new open mic is starting up this Wednesday at The Cut, which appears to be formerly the St. Louis Bar & Grill. The host for August has impeccable credentials in that it’s David Macmichael who has been doing the same at Relish B&G for many years. It’s on my calendar to check out and I expect to report back next Sunday.

Until then, be well!