Harbourfront Fest, Part 1
Wed Jul 23 09:23:40 EDT 1997
Random Notes on the Harbourfront (Toronto) Festival
Congratulations to Derek Andrews for another great
As usual, this was a pretty laid back festival. A
good turnout, but never uncomfortably crowded. One
of the nicest festival venues -- right by the lake,
with sailboats in easy view all the time. Sessions
wedre held both indoors and outdoors, allowing
participants to experience both an outdoor "festival"
ambiance and indoor blues club environments.
I didn't see every performer -- I was particularly
disappointed to miss James Perterson, but I was MCing
in another area. Some personal highlights ....
COLIN JAMES & COLIN LINDEN: This week, Warners is
releasing "National Steel," a new CD by CJ, with CL
supporting him. Their evening set was drawn from that
CD -- and it is a winner. This is Colin James'
bluesiest recording yet, with tunes by Robert Johnson,
Terry & McGhee, Bukka White, and others. The Colins
put on a fine show -- just them plus a bass and drums --
good harmonies, great guitar. (I think the CD is
slated only for Canadian release -- sad news for US readers.)
CURLEY BRIDGES: In 1955, an east coast US R&B band called
Frank Motley & His Motley Crew came to Toronto on tour --
and decided to stay. They were fixtures of the R&B scene
in Ontario in the late 50s and early 60s, but eventually faded
from view. The vocalist/pianist in the band was Curley
Bridges, who was recently "rediscovered" (he knew where he
was, but R&B fans didn't) living in Barrie Ontario, playing in
local clubs. This was his first appearance in Toronto in about
three decades. It was worth the wait -- he's a terrific singer
and keyboard player who deserves to be more widely known. He
played tunes from the 50s to the 90s, did a fine imitation
of Louis Armstrong and got a well-deserved standing ovation.
(Special kudos to Bucky Berger, who was conscripted at the last
moment to play drums -- the two men had never met before,
but Bucky played as though he'd been with Curley forever.)
continued in next message .....
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