Saturday, October 3, 2009

Three Show Day— Southern Ontario

Our day starts in St. Catherines, ON, at 11:00 AM, where we appear on Deb Cartmer's CFBU blues show. Deb's been a great booster in this region for years. Shows like this are really important to keeping the blues alive. We bring in guitars and harmonicas and washboard and play live on the radio. Old school!! Yeah!

It's Big Dave— tellin' ya, baby!

"Who? Me? I can't answer that on the radio!" I do, however, promo the upcoming gig this afternoon. It's not far from the radio studios— maybe a 10 minute drive. Thanks, Deb! See you at the club!

It's a 3:PM start at The Golden Pheasant, and we arrive early for sound check and set up. Gary Kendall has different guests in with the band here every Saturday afternoon. It's a good sized room inside— and looking better than the outside. Dave and I grab lunch because we may not get food before our night show in Kitchener. Guess what we're having?

Big Dave meets some of the boys in the band before the show.

Gary brought the red Strat for Dave to play. Not really Dave's style of guitar, but he enjoys the look of it!

You know it's a relaxed day when Gary Kendall is sitting during a show! The place is very laid back, but a good crowd of blues fans fills pretty much every table by starting time. I sit in and play harp through the PA for a couple of numbers. At 6:PM we're gone like a cool breeze— we need to get to Kitchener, set up, sound check and do another show. We grab a couple of huge coffees on the way out of town, set the GPS, and rock.

You never know what to expect at the Boathouse in Kitchener. Here's our arrival. I'm wondering what kind of night we're going to have, but Kevin Doyle says it's a late crowd, so not to worry. Also we learn that our pal Julian Fauth— Juno winning, much nominated for everything Julian Fauth— is coming out from Toronto tonight to open for us! Heck, we should be opening for you, Julian. But this is going to be a great night. I can't wait to hear him play, and Dave's a big Julian fan, too. So we're pumped and feeling fresh. This is going to be a great night!

Little do we realize what trouble the waitress will cause with her cute little sign. All the posters around it read Doc MacLean and Big Dave McLean, National Steel Century Blues Tour... and we're also playing in a venue we've been featured in a couple of times before. If you are reading the Blog from first date to last— stay tuned. If you are reading from last to first, you'll have some idea. But not to dwell on witchcraft... on with the show!

Julian quietly walks to the piano with his beer and takes the place over! Bam! Bam! He's got a right foot like a hammer on a drum. He sings great. He plays piano like nobody's business. He's got great songs. And he's got a guest singer sitting in with him! Miss Angel, just getting back onto the stage after the death of her late husband and bandleader, Mel Brown. I sit in on washboard, so sorry, no pics. A great set— too short at whatever length it may have been! Thanks, Julian! Now I guess Big Dave and I have to play...

By this time there's a good little crowd in The Boathouse, including some folks that heard us in St. Catherines in the afternoon, and decided to drive on up for our Kitchener show as well! Blues fans! Oh, gotta love 'em. And we do. Thanks for making the effort. Now we are determined to play deep and big and deliver!

Me, and Julian, and Big Dave, post show. It's been a real fun night. Now we're packing out. Now we're looking for a Tim's. Yeah, I know where it is. We're loading up on big, big coffees. We've got Muddy on the stereo, and we'll be back in Toronto by about 4:AM. Days like this may be long, but they go by fast. Sometimes too fast. I was remembering when I used to play Pop the 'Gator in Kitchener with my big band. I'd roll in there with a pair of white Lincolns, a five piece horn section, and the place would just burn all night. That's where I met Mel Brown. Anyway, good-night.

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