• June 10'20 Nice Bistro Whitby, ON
  • Apr.15'20 Princess M Hospital Atrium
  • Apr.11'20 HIRUT 2050 Danforth Toronto
  • Dec.14 '19 HIRUT 2050 Danforth Toronto
  • July 26 2019 Gull River, Minden ON
  • June 19, 2019 The Nice Bistro, Whitby
  • Sun.May5, 2019 Hugh's Room, Toronto
  • Sat.April 6, 2019 The Old Mill, Toronto
  • 15 marzo 2019, el gallo restaurant, san pancho, mexico
  • Feb. 26, 2019 Relish Bar/Grill, Toronto
  • Jan.23,2019 Nice Bistro, Whitby
  • Sept.29,'18 12:30-3:30pm; Glass Eagle Studio, Haliburton
  • Sept.19, 2018 Private Function, Toronto
  • July 27&28, Haliburton Arts&Crafts2-4pm
  • June 6, 2018 The Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • Feb.23,2018 San Pancho Music Festival, Mexico
  • Jan.20,2018 The Old Mill Toronto, Home Smith Bar
  • Sept.30,2017 All That Jazz & More, at the Minden Legion
  • Aug. 5, 2017 Private Party, Carnarvon, ON
  • Aug. 4, 2017 Music by the Gull, Minden, ON
  • Aug. 2, 2017 The Nice Bistro, Whitby ON
  • May 17, 2017 The Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • April 29, 2017 Minden Cultural Centre, Minden, ON
  • March 24,2017 The Old Mill Toronto, Home Smith Bar
  • Feb.26,2017 San Pancho Music Fest. Mexico
  • Nov.5, 2016 Radio Hall, CanoeFM, Haliburton, ON
  • Nov. 2, 2016 le Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • Sept. 4, 2016 The Red Umbrella Inn, Minden, ON
  • July 26, 2016, Head Lake Park, Haliburton, ON
  • Jan. 29, 2016, The Home Smith Bar at the Old Mill, Toronto
  • Oct.23, 2015 Gate 403
  • Sept. 9 The Nice Bistro, Whitby, ON
  • August 22, Gate 403, Toronto
  • August 14, Music by the Gull, Minden, ON
  • July 29 Hugh's Room, Toronto
  • June 13, Gate 403,Toronto

Friday, December 16, 2016


I'd like to see Gene Kelly manoevre and tap dance through the slush and snow piles we have today.  and there's more to come....
oh, he probably could do it with ease.  meanwhile, it takes me forever to go around the block.  Going around the bend, however, is easy peasy.

I've been very slow in getting footage of perfomances out there, and it's all because i have a very shitty computer, but i just sent away for a new (refurbished) one, and i'm hoping that very soon, i'll have the footage from my DecaDance CD release (last July 2015), up for your viewing pleasure.

but today we can all celebrate last January, 2016, with this:


Well, I thought that would show automatically, and it doesn't, but you can get there via the link anyway.

Stay tuned for new gigs coming up in the new year.  We are playing January 1, 2017, but it's a private party.

Here is a memory of San Pancho in Mexico, where it's sunny and warm, even as I type:

Why is this next one so big????   Click on it if it shows only half a face.
Merry Christmas.   Happy New Year.  Hasta la vista.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Just dropping in to keep myself in the running, and i found a whole bunch of irritating notices on the blog site that i don't understand or care about.  also, when i logged in, it had someone else's email and name on top.
Please stop, world.
If this falls victim to all the crap and hacking out there, then I'm just gone gone gone.

OK, now to business:
 i'm working on a revival of zootcase, plus getting all the film transferred to a workable format, and trying to get all my song lyrics out there, and of course, singing.

wish i was back in Banff at the artists' residence so i could focus. wish it were summer

Monday, October 31, 2016


French is such an expressive language, and as i always say, when singing the French songs, so much more expressive than the English translations, which always seem sort of flat compared to the emotion of the originals.  Examples:
"If you leave me", as opposed to  the desperate "Don't leave me"; or "What's left (of our love)?" compared to "I wish you love" - which sounds like a kiss-off to me.  And don't even try to translate (except I am doing it now):  "Tant que l'amour inondra mes matins; que mon corps fremira sous tes mains" - "As long as love floods my mornings, and my body quakes beneath your hands".  The published English words are "If it seemed that everything was lost; I would smile and never mind the cost".  Well, which would you rather hear?  I thought so. Exactement comme je disais......

Two French gigs coming up:
first one at the lovely Nice Bistro in Whitby Ontario, where the food is fabulous, and the music is magnifique.  that's on Wed. Nov. 2, 7pmuntil approx. 9:15. Standards in French and English.

then on Sat. Nov. 5, I will be at the Radio Hall of Canoe FM in Haliburton, Ont recording all my favourite French tunes, just because i want to.  the evening will be broadcast later.  also 7pm

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


   David Bowie's song, of course, and he accepted the changes, sliding peacefully into the loving arms of death, as we all will do, hopefully in that same peaceful way.  But meanwhile, back at the ranch of life, changes are not always welcome or peaceful, and we often meet them with resistance, clinging to the ways we have grown into.  Sometimes, of course, we happily leap into the waters of change, seeking the excitement of the new, the thrill of the unknown.  But at those other times, it’s hard to let go – if that is what the change means.
Where is the excitement of not being able to do what you once did? Of not looking like the god or goddess you maybe had been? Of losing a loved one? A job? A relationship? A limb? Or just a  favourite something?
I guess the problem lies in expecting excitement, or at the other end, in expecting the reassurance of what is comfortable.  If we were Buddah, we wouldn’t expect anything. But by god, it’s hard to be holy and satisfied as a plain Jane or Joe, in this imperfect world.

Changes are there no matter how we respond, just like some miserable people (lousy neighbours, for example) who intrude on our lives.  The important part is the response – not letting the misery get inside; not wishing there was no misery; not crumbling.
The response is what defines a person, and what creates a life that gives us what we need. Moving with the changes makes it like a two-step, a dance.
And dancing, in my opinion, is always magic, whether a fast wild jive, or a slow, even sad, shuffle. Dancing, like music, takes us somewhere else.
Never let the music go, the music that is you.



Two French gigs coming up:
first one at the lovely Nice Bistro in Whitby Ontario, where the food is fabulous, and the music is magnifique.  that's on Wed. Nov. 2, 7pmuntil approx. 9:15. Standards in French and English.

then on Sat. Nov. 5, I will be at the Radio Hall of Canoe FM in Haliburton, Ont recording all my favourite French tunes, just because i want to.  the evening will be broadcast later.  also 7pm

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


It finally happened.  My worst fears realized:  I left my flash drive/USB stick in a public computer. These things occur when one is rushing....
God knows what embarrassment was on it.  I only hope that whoever took it is honourable.

How likely is that, eh?

In the meantime, I am trying to recreate what I do recall. And to carry on bravely.

Two French gigs coming up:
first one at the lovely Nice Bistro in Whitby Ontario, where the food is fabulous, and the music is magnifique.  that's on Wed. Nov. 2, 7pm until approx. 9:15. Standards in French and English.

then on Sat. Nov. 5, I will be at the Radio Hall of Canoe FM in Haliburton, Ont recording all my favourite French tunes, just because i want to.  the evening will be broadcast later.  also 7pm

so if you're out and about in this beautiful province of Canada, do come by. Venez ecouter.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


And I hope I will be lucky enough to be a part of the music - fo'evah!!!

here are some pics - two of the band in action by the beautiful twelve mile lake; then our resident beach boy, ian; then with drum god paul greco; guitar god paul chilco; bass and sax god (john deehan) conversing; the goddess of song - who me?; and finally the sun-worshipping would-be goddess:

Thursday, September 1, 2016


 We are dedicated to good music, food (it's a ribfest) and fun, yes we are.  And we will be proving that this Sunday, over the last long weekend of the summer.  There goes another season.  Let's celebrate the good times:
Sunday Sept. 4, 2016
The Red Umbrella Inn
Hwy. 35, Minden ON
705 489 2462
Zoe Chilco & the Jump 'n' Jive Band  4-9pm   see the musicians below - Ian Pay, Paul Greco, Zoe, John Deehan, Paul Chilco

Hi! Y'all. Come and join us for the farewell to summer bash.
you'll have fun, I promise
Eh!!! c'monna our place.  itsa gonna be niiiiice

Thursday, August 18, 2016


Many years ago, when I was young, I met a man.  Very gorgeous he was - a tall, blond Swede transported to Canada, and fitting in nicely, with a spot on a paneled television show, his own business of antiques he collected and sold in a downtown shop, plus his career of racing and collecting cars.  A bright and interesting light on the male scene - and he was interested in me, what a surprise.  I was smitten, and a willing victim to his charm.  He lived in an old Victorian house in Cabbagetown, in the east end of Toronto, (later bought by Lorne Michaels just before he went off to New York city and started Saturday Night Live).  It was around the corner from where I and my 3-year-old son shared a house with two of my co-workers.

Besides being beautiful and intelligent, he was unfortunately a big, fat liar. He wooed me, told me he loved me; gave me a key to his house.  I used it one night - all unplanned (the fateful surprise visit). When he wasn't home, I waited; amused myself reading perhaps; then as the hours passed, I finally got into his bed and waited more.  By two AM, when he still wasn't home, I opened the drawer of a night table out of boredom - and found a letter he was writing to his former lover.  Full of love and longing, he was, wanting to be with her, to get back together.  A touching tale.

I left then, my trust destroyed, my pride keeping me away from him for a while, but that was followed by the usual after-period of on-again, off-again attempts to fix things.  It never worked.  he kept lying, trying to convince himself, perhaps, and it was a doomed relationship, and a painful growing for me, over a long time, until I finally smartened up and decided to write to his old girlfriend, who by that time had heard about me.  She responded to my letter eagerly, a very lively woman with many artistic talents, and we traded missives and stories often, by-passing the silly man, and enjoying a new friendship.  She was a fun spirit; I could see why he liked her, and also why she was done with him.  (I had also received a phone call once from his ex-wife, who had re-married, warning me against him).

Eventually, my new friend invited me and my son to visit her in the country, and we did so, and repeated the experience on other occasions.  On one of our trips to her house, shared with her new man, her sister, and her mother, she drew this portrait (below) of me.  I found it last year and framed it, only noticing as I did so, that the date of the framing was forty-two years to the day from when she had done the work.  This young me gazes out from my wall now, and silently challenges me daily: "Well, what are you making of yourself?  What have you learned/accomplished/offered/created lately?"  The young, naive me that I was looks much more knowing and confident that I felt then, and I must assume that Sybil, the artist, ex-lover of my ex-lover, saw and captured a different, future me. Wherever she is now, I thank her for this reminder of those days, pain and fun, and all, and for her example to me of an independent, fully-alive woman.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


It is raining big time, and the whole county is grateful - having had a total fire ban because of the dry conditions.  Here are some photos of my new abode:

looking out towards the lake across the road (when the blind is up)

le sofa & the old milking stool

looking across bar into kitchen area

painting of Muskoka by my great-uncle (of the Gill family)
the music/writing/reading room; MacDonald lassie presiding
come sit by the fire, dear - real wood & fake electric both 

the bluebird of happiness in the bathroom window

And here's the reigning seniors' cribbage champion of Alberta, here in Ontario to whup them Eastern asses, and take the crown for the country. She visited with daughter Cheryl the other day.

Donna, the queen of cribbage

My good friend Cheryl

and lastly - myself at my lovely old home (I used to call it Derry Dell in honour of my Irish studies.  It was shortened to Derry but now I call it Derriery, since it is behind me, in the picture, and in real life.
Photo taken by Phoebe on my last day there - coincidentally the same day as I bought the land back in 1988:

here's the last annual autumn dance outside my Derriery home, but stay tuned for this year's fling at the new location:

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Why, you arsk?
Just been crazy busy, and full of changes, and saying good-bye to things and places, and oh yes, a lot of heavy lifting.

so last post had the organ going to its new home; next was the old cast iron stove on its way.  some pics - rob and bob after loading, 'miss canada' ready to roll, and there she goes, rolling down the lane.

and here are some of the haliburton head lake park gig.  the band, and the women's chorus before the performance,  a couple of shots of us in action; the audience on the lawn in the sunset; then meself in the bar after it was all over:

laurel, wil, zoe, darla, jacquie

ian, john, paul, gregg

finally, here's a shot of my new home with brother paul visiting.  teeny bedroom, teenier bathroom, but the TV is tres big.

Friday, July 15, 2016


It's all part of the farewell process - farewell to my home of the last 26 years; to all the memories and mementoes scattered around on walls and tables; farewell to the lovely quiet and solitude (whoops!! little typo there - I wrote soliturde - heh heh.  what say you, Herr Freud? Is it all just crap?)

Among all the pictures and objects that tell so many stories, is my beautiful harmonium - the pump organ that i've had for lo, these 40 years or so.  You can't take it with you, right? and i just can't take it at all anymore - too heavy, too big for a smaller space.  But finding a loving home for it was a long journey that happily, I can say is now over.  A good, singing friend who also happens to play the organ fell in love with its fine wood and carvings and rich sound. 
we did it last Sunday (i got it to the door by myself, and then four big guys took over for the transfer to the pick-up truck).  So, really, we, including my singer friend.

some pictures:
Me, giving a goodbye hug;
 me being sad to see it go;
 guido, visiting from holland, giving the move the thumb's up;

it's out of the house; now what do we do?

the proud new owners - wil and jacques
 a creative moment - moi and guido and the great outdoors reflected
 dennis giving instructions
 first hoist
 first turn and onto the planks to the truck
 poosha poosh
 poosh a little bitta more
 that's-a nice now- jacques, frank, zoe, guido

 dennis and zoe
 wil and her new baby