Brad Spurgeon's Blog

A world of music, auto racing, travel, literature, chess, wining, dining and other crazy thoughts….

Nice Touch by the Belleville Blues Band – and Other Uppers

April 29, 2011

I dropped by late to the Cabaret Culture Rapide last night in Belleville. Thursday night is the open blues jam, and there are rarely that many people around to jam. But the Belleville Blues Band is always there, since they host the evening. I’ve written several times about them here, so I won’t say more, but there was a nice moment when I was doing a video of them when the harmonica player got up from his seat on the stage and walked around the whole bar playing the harmonic.

Aside from that, the evening was a lesson in how things can change. I had entered the bar thinking I’d had a dull evening – then, I got to play four or five of my songs in the jam, with and without other musicians. Then, I left the place to return home and I was hailed by a regular performer at the Ollie’s open mic, who was sitting outside the Cabaret Culture Rapide, thinking of going in. We talked for a while and it was interesting to discover he frequently went to play music on the spoken word night on Mondays at this venue. Then I walked all the way to near the Point Ephemere without finding a cab and I was just slightly beaten to one by a couple, who it turned out were going to the same place I was going – so we shared a cab. Turned out the woman was a film stunt woman. Crap, how amazing an end to a night can that all be?

Mini-Post: Literal Spotlight on Belleville Blues Band

January 21, 2011

A simple night last night on a visit to the Cabaret Culture Rapide where I played four songs, along with the members of the Belleville Blues Band. I’ve written a lot about this place and band in the past, so I won’t add anything now, except to say that each time I play with them is a greater pleasure than the time before. But the unique thing about last night was that I finally had enough light on the stage to get a video of the band in which you could see the performers and the surroundings very clearly. That’s one of the drawbacks of my Zoom Q3 recorder, and I’m hoping that the Zoom Q3HD will have helped on that – it films badly in dark light. So check out the image and music in the video of the band last night:

Ollie Fury at the Espace B and Me at the Acoustic Jam Session

December 3, 2010

Actually, I ended up in both places last night and had a nice bit of exercise walking between the two of them. That’s the beauty of the iPhone; you can pull up the GPS and see how long and HOW you can walk from one venue to the other and get your daily exercise – in the -10 degree weather.

Although I have seen and written about Ollie Fury in Paris for a while and in Singapore during the F1 race when Ollie happened to be there at the same time I was, this was the first time I had the opportunity to see him in action with a whole band. On bass and some kind of harmonica/keyboard instrument was Yaco Mouchard, and there was another guy on percussion – bongos, snare, something like that. It sounded great. A beautiful combination for Ollie’s haunting compositions. Ollie told me in Singapore that he was going into the studio to record like this, and now I’m really looking forward to the result.

I took the 36-minute hike from the Espace B – where Ollie played – over to the Cabaret Culture Rapide bar where I have written many a time about my Friday-night open mics there…without a microphone. But last night was the first time I have attended the Thursday night jam session with the Belleville Blues Band. And I was not let down. I enjoyed the band immensely, and I was delighted to be able to find four of my songs that just managed to squeeze into a blues feel of the evening. I was invited to do more, but I couldn’t think of anymore to do just then. Will no doubt return. But it was great fun to play with the guitar player and drummer, and then the bass player joined in and so did the other guitar players. I ended up with the full band on “I Shall Be Released.” (I had started with “Crazy Love,” then went into my blues version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and then did my own song that I wrote when I was 16 and which has yet to find a title.) The band then played on its own brand of blues and blues rock, and while I am not a huge fan of electric blues evenings – with the same three chords endlessly played – this was a completely different effect with the acoustic instruments, and as you will see, with the cool singing.

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