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21st Annual Women’s Blues Revue 2 comments

Amy came to visit this weekend – we both just need some time to hang out together and it was terrific. When we planned this weekend, I made two suggestions for Saturday night:

a) Come watch me play hockey.

b) Women's Blues Revue

Although Amy currently hails from Fonthill, ON, she is originally from Erie, PA. Let's just say that hockey is not part of her culture. Yeah, she has been to see me play before. In fact, the last time she visited and came to the arena, she witnessed me being cross-checked into the boards and nearly getting my neck broken. Amy is also a semi-professional musician with a keen interest in the blues, so I wasn't surprised when she expressed deep enthusiasm for the concert option. To be honest, I was relieved. Of course, attending the performance is a terrific choice. However, part of me wonders if Amy has bad hockey karma. The only time something violent / scary has ever happened to me was that one time she came to check out the game.

Of course, it didn't hurt that one of my fav artists, Suzie Vinnick, was taking over as musical director for the always kick-ass house band for the evening. This is worth giving up a precious night of hockey.

Clearly, the (33) stars were in alignment … the concert was amazing. Each year that I manage to attend this, I think "This is the best concert ever!" It really does just keep getting better.

I remember when I saw Serena Ryder in the show, back when it was held at the Danforth Music Hall. At the time, she was 19 and I thought, "Damn, how can a 19 year old know anything about the blues?" Of course, she knocked my socks off with her huge voice and amazing stage presence. Nonetheless, when I learned that there would be a 13 year old playing this year's concert, I was pretty skeptical. Well, I don't know what they are feeding kids these days, but Nikki Yanofsky's family should bottle and sell it. She's a pipsqueak with power in those pipes. Amazing. She opened the show with a bang. Sadly, however, she wasn't around for the big group closing number. Speculation on stage, and in the audience, was that it was past her bedtime.

Treasa Levasseur is one of those rich new discoveries that WBR is so good at presenting to a newer, wider audience. Her off-beat humour and wonderful voice have me hooked. I've ordered her CD.

Shawne Jackson, Roxanne Potvin, Layla Zoe and Dawn Tyler Watson all rocked in their own unique ways. In fact, DTW's performance of the Beatle's Come Together was one of the finest covers I've ever heard.

I had hoped that the show structure of the previous years would hold true and that the band, featuring Suzie, would do the opening number after intermission. I was not disappointed – Suzie did a selection from her album with Rick Fines called "He'll Never Know" – click to listen to a sample. Hun, never mind the front people … you and the band would do just fine filling Massey Hall and bringing the house down.

A suggestion for future shows … go with a single – female – host who can sustain the energy between acts. Maybe someone with a background in comedy. This would make the show a more complete "package" – a concept album instead of a series of high-energy singles.

Amy and I have decided to make this an annual pre-Christmas thing because, as it happens, right about now every year something about the stresses of the previous 11 months has built to some kind of breaking point for both of us. And we seem to be good at getting each other to chill. How convenient that the WBR will be appropriately timed each year – we are both so looking forward to the 22nd Annual Women's Blues Revue!

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Links Post #2: The “Sue” Links 2 comments

In my last blog, I had a sidebar to the right that I could fill with links to neat places. On the downside, there was very little room to explain why I put the links there. On the upside, the links were just … there. Easy. Handy.

No such luck @ Vox. (Yet.) I have voiced my blogging desires to the universe. We'll see if the universe coughs up.

Until then, may I present The "Sue" Links? It didn't start out this way, with me having three links to artists/writers named "Sue". It was just something I noticed one day.

One of my many heros is Susie Bright. A goddess, a proponent of sex-positive feminism, a wise-ass and all round smart chick. Here is her blog which gives more details on her wide and varied career in publishing, film and cage-rattling. Most importantly, to me, she hosts a weekly Internet radio show on all matters sexual and political called In Bed With Susie Bright. For sheer entertainment value this is, bar none, the best deal on the Internet. I've subscribed now for several years and Susie never fails to make me laugh out loud AND think very deeply about some of my own beliefs and why I hold them. The ultimate "laugh out loud" moment for me happened when Susie told the story of Hunter S. Thompson leaving her voice mail – long, rambling messages, ranting on about a wild assortment of things. This, in itself, isn't all that amusing until the moment when Susie acquired a new cell phone number and a local insurance broker acquired her old cell phone number. I remember listening to this while I was driving to a friend's cottage up north and I had to pull over, I was laughing so hard. Maybe the fairy goddess of all things Susie will drop on by and remind me of the Show number that this appeared on? Please?

Suzie Vinnick is a Canadian blues / folk artist who is yummy.  Yummy, I tell ya. 33 Stars is a CD that rarely leaves my CD changer for long. Lately, every time I get a notice about a live performance, I'm already booked which is annoying. Soon I'll be back out in the crowd, drunkenly urging her to sing that laid back Rock'n'Roll number.

Suzanne, a.k.a. Sue de Nym and several other noms de plume, is also a kick-ass musician. She rocks when she plays centre or wing on my hockey team, too! There are some cuts from Fanfaria here, but the quality isn't great. False Messiahs is my fav … maybe the artist herself will grant me permission to post the actual song in higher quality here.

There you have the three "Sues" who all spell their names differently, but who rank highly enough with me to get their own link post!

Update: Suzanne, bless her, has stepped off her longboard long enough to agree to let me post the full version of False Messiahs here. Thanks!

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