Sunday, October 4, 2009

West End Fun with the Gary Kendall Band

Don't panic, Dave! I won't make you walk home! We're staying at my place again tonight, and today we kick around the neighbourhood a little bit. I live in an area called "The Junction." It's a big mess of railway tracks running in all directions, and they didn't grid the streets too nicely either. Anyway, we do breakfast at High Park and go for a walk.

Heck, our pal Julian Fauth is playing an afternoon show just a couple of blocks away! We head over to Dundas St. West and, before we know it, we're on stage. There's the usual great collection of Julian's musicians playing today. Everybody always wants to play with Julian. We are no different, but limit ourselves to one set because we need to get to another, late afternoon show. Thanks, Julian! Always a ball! Good to see you again! Sorry, no pics— spur of the moment and I guess we just forgot to use the camera. Too much fun.

It's Big Dave's gig tonight at Hollywood on the Queensway. This is a dinnertime show with the Gary Kendall Band— a single set for Dave. We bring my son, Alasdair, along to check out the switched-on Dave, Gary Kendall, and the band. Alasdair's pretty impressed, although the older generation on the dance floor spooks him in a big way! Some of them spook me, too! But it's all good fun, and these are all good folks who believe that "live music is best."

After the show we get together for some group pics, and Alasdair is honoured to get a chance to play Gary's bass! I don't think Gary lets many people touch it. Alasdair riffs on "Killing Floor," and "Sunshine of Your Love," demonstrating that he's an up and coming contender.

Gary is kind enough to give Alasdair a few pointers and some conversation. Alasdair's a Downchild fan, and a Gary Kendall fan now, as well, so he is pretty pumped by the encounter...

Come on, lad, school in the morning for you. Alright, just another try...

It IS a nice rig— but the boys have another set to play, and Dave and I have plans to zoom around town some more.

Big Dave made me take this pic of the bathroom artwork at the club. The rest of the club is actually pretty tastefully furnished. They have a nice stage, and a good sized dance floor.

We drop Alasdair off at home, and then head on down to Grossman's Tavern on Spadina Ave. Grossman's has been a six nights a week blues club for over thirty years, and Brian Cober and the Nationals have held the Sunday night jam slot for much of that time. Brian is a great player, bandleader, guitar player. I want Big Dave to catch his unique, two-slide guitar style. Wow!

Is that cool, or what!? Overhand, one slide on the thumb, and a slide or a steel in the mid-fingers. We used to play the same little place in Kensington Market— a tiny little blues bar with plenty of smoke and plenty of booze. Julian used to play there as well. Didn't pay well— but the work was steady.

There are quite a few players out tonight, and Dave is feeling a little bit bagged, so we don't end up sitting in. After a couple of Cokes we go outside and fire up the old '63 Galaxie. We take a run through the market, but it's pretty quiet tonight, so we're bound for home and a reasonably good night of sleep. The straight pipes of the Galaxie rumble us back up Spadina, and the neon disappears behind us.

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