UPCOMING GIGS

  • 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

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

RINGS ON HER FINGERS,

AND BELLS ON HER TOES;
SHE SHALL HAVE MUSIC WHEREVER SHE GOES.

Remember that little ditty? I do, we used to recite it many years ago, and now, I'm taking it for my own, although I don't have bells on my toes. That would hurt with shoes on. 






Getting to the end of my sunny days, and not looking forward to the cold, but I will have this reminder of the festival. It's the last half of the song "Gracias a la Vida" in San Pancho.









and some pics:







Sunday, February 25, 2018

GRACIAS A LA VIDA

I sang the song on Friday night, and meant it - saying thank you to life for all the things that are there for me; I am grateful, even if I also complain regularly. One can't become too holy, can one?

So then the wonderful music festival of San Pancho, Mexico, carried on for the whole weekend with an extraordinary lineup of great and varied musicians. There was a wonderful sense everywhere of a real fiesta, with food and families and dancing and fun, all with the music and the summer evenings in the park, and the fabulous ocean around the corner from us.

Music is such a gift - to listen to, and to perform.  I hope that I can sing until I die.
Here are some pics of my performance with the wonderful guitarist, Steve O'Connor.
Sadly, my days in the sun here are numbered, and I will return to the bloody cold next week.







Wednesday, February 21, 2018

TEN MINUTES OF BEAUTY

The other day I rhapsodized about being at the beach, wanting to be there all the time, and then today I ran, but I just felt tired afterwards, and not the energized person I was hoping to be. Can't win 'em all, I guess, but perhaps I was just hungry. Nothing feels good to me when I'm hungry, and I hadn't had breakfast.
When I made it back to my casita, I thought 'what I need is some good music'. So while my porridge was cooking on the stove, I put on Zoot Sims' ten-minute version of "Emily", a lovely song, but indescribably beautiful in Zoot's version, which also included great bass, piano and vibes.
I sat there for those ten minutes of beauty and let myself be restored, even more than the beach usually restores me. And then I decided to make it twenty minutes and listened again.
I listened, I ate, I conquered, to improvise on Caesar's words, and felt human again and ready to plunge into the daily work of trying to create beauty too. Sometimes you need a little help.

I'm singing this Friday night at the local music festival here in San Pancho, Mexico.  So happy to be part of it, and lucky to be accompanied by an accomplished guitarist, Steve O'Connor. The festival goes for the whole weekend, and you can see more here:


https://sanpanchomusicfestival.com/2018-schedule-mobile/

Meanwhile, I had mentioned my sickness a couple of weeks ago and the ensuing songwriting that came out of being emptied so thoroughly, resulting in my song "Empty of Love".  Well then, wouldn't you know it, because life is just that perverse, the next week I wrote a song called "A Feelin' About Love", in which the singer senses love coming her way again & gets all jumpity-happy about it. 

Whatever, it's a good song - they both are, - just representing the two extremes of that great illusion that we call love.  I always loved that song "The Bright Elusive Butterfly of Love".

Back home, after the beach, and the food, and the music. Mucho mejor.


Sunday, February 18, 2018

UN DIA TRANQUILLO


Outside in the late afternoon in a sleepy Mexican town, I sit in my plastic chair, and listen to the quiet. Unlike other years, there is no blaring traditional music destroying any chance of thought or solitude. There are the leaves, rustling slightly in the wind. There is a bird repeating its whiny call over and over and over. Every once in a while, a nut of some kind drops from one of the trees, or I hear a dog in the distance. Mostly there's only the tap tap tap of the computer keyboard as I attempt to record the day's activities.
There is nothing active, only stillness.
This is a world removed, as dry as the hollowed out earth across from the front door of my small casita, where roots hang down in tangled disarray, the only sign of life occurring when a bigger gust of wind blows through the little lane way.
There are rocks and a bit of old rain or hose water sitting in a small dip of the ground's dirt. In fact, every part of the small street is dipping and uneven with waves of lumpy dirt and loose stones of every size, perfect for tripping you up, breaking bones or gashing skin. No one ever thinks, from year to year, of leveling the ground, or raking the rubble to the side, of planting flowers or creating some kind of delineating edge. A dry, dusty cliff of scrappy dirt lines the path, facing the cement houses on the other side. At the end of the road, garbage bins are knocked over and spilled by roving animals, their contents flattened into the dust.
The houses are painted here, cheery and bright, unlike on some streets, where the concrete blocks just remain, looking like an abandoned pile of unfinished construction, until you notice a light burning within, or a clothesline full of garments, or a child wandering outside. Here on the little dry lane, the homes present varied and colourful fronts, although the sense of artistry does not extend to outside the front door, where grey cement rises and falls like the topography of a very bad case of acne on the faces of several entrances. The lumps swell and slope in random patterns, as if bricklayers simply dropped clods of their mixtures like bread dough on a bent cooking sheet, turning their back on the preparatory work of smoothing the ground first, and then just walking away, forgetting their concoctions as they baked to solid forms in the hot sun. They are traps as well, defying you to walk without attention, to assume any amount of confidence in an even surface.
Walls with iron gratings in window openings rather than glass; inside and outside life that will erupt in a few hours and converge together in the intimacy of a gigantic, town-sized family gathering. Aromas from the several kitchens wafting through the air, and the occasional break-out of that really loud music as people relax to their personal form of therapy. All for one, one for all. Tables and chairs set out on streets under poles that support a thin tarp - pop-up restaurants of tacos and burritos, tradition of many years. Dogs and children everywhere as families make their after-dinner trek to the ocean for the wild and breathtaking canvas of the sunset, putting to rest another day.

This one has been quiet.





Wednesday, February 14, 2018

LOCO FOR COCO

Yes, I have been going crazy trying to find a vendor of coconut water. Usually I see them on the street here in the tiny pueblo in Mexico, but of course, since I was sick, and still (pity me) not the hearty girl I usually am, I have not been able to catch him. And it's so health-producing.
So today I went down the cursed huge hill to the main street, and wandered there in the heat until I did in fact locate the stall. Got the coco water, got the coconut meat, and started back in the noonday sun, where only mad dogs and Englishmen go, up that goddamn cursed hill again to return home.

At that time of day, the shade is disappearing, but there was a patch half-way up, and a good thing too, because I had to stop for a rest, and get my breath back. I stood there, put my packages down, and it was there that I felt it - the breeze that was high today; the summer wind - and that put me in mind of the song, and that in turn put me in mind of dancing to that song with someone many years ago. Oh, it seems so far back now that it's like a dream, but I did dance then, and it was oh, so romantic. Remembering the romance put me in mind that it is St. Valentine's Day today, the day for romance, and there I was, alone on a dusty road, with only memories.

I guess memories are worth something. At least they're better than having no memories, better than never having lived, or loved, blah blah, blah blah. I have certainly lived, and I will certainly keep on living, and maybe, if the timing is right, loving. For the present, though, the summer wind felt good, there on the cursed hill and the dust that covers everything. I was right beside an over-sized mausoleum of the graveyard, which put me in mind of the poppies I planted once at my (then) new house in the countryside of Ontario. I called the little garden "The Graveyard of Broken Dreams", and waited for the poppies to bloom, as I wait now for new love, and for my breath to return.

Meanwhile, after being sick, and after I had emptied my body, via some kind of bug, of everything inside me, I was inspired to create a quite lovely tune, with lyrics, which I named, "Empty of Love". Like Edith Piaf, "je repars à zero" - I am starting again at zero. It's a very good song, one I think Diana Krall should record, and one of these days, I might write her and suggest it. Just gotta get my strength, and nerve, up. Here I am, silhouetted as I am moved by the muse the day I wrote it, and then again today, and here as well, is a pretty little Valentine's heart, with wishes for love for this loco world.