Those four albums have been the foundation of my love for all music, and I have always owned copies of them. The Lou Reed album was purchased at least 10 times because it was played so many times with cheap stereo equipment that was all a teenager could afford.
Another major musical event that happened while in my last year of high school (1975) was seeing a concert called “The Two Generations of Brubeck”, with Dave Brubeck and his 3 of his sons, Darius on keyboards, Chris on bass and trombone, and Danny on drums. This was a tour to promote an album of the same name released in 1973. That fueled my interest and eventual love for Jazz. Since coming back to the Montreal area later that same year, I have managed to go to every single Montreal Jazz Festival at least once, and have a t-shirt or jacket or something from all 37 of them. These days, I spend most of my time in front of the blues stage, almost every night of the festival.
My passion for the Blues specifically has only been developing for the last three and a half years or so, although almost all of the music I have liked over the years has been blues influenced, even if I did not realize it. This is why I still consider myself in the discovery phase. It is quite possible that some of what I write about will already be known by some of you, but since I wanted to contribute somehow to what the Montreal Blues Society is trying to do, besides just being a member, this is my way of helping them with their goal of promoting the Blues in Montreal and across Quebec.
The Blues passion got its start when listening to Mitch Melnick one afternoon on his sports show. He always plays good music when they come back from commercials, and particularly Blues. One day, he played a cut from the Luther Allison album recorded live at the Spectrum here in Montreal just a short time before he passed away, that had just been released as a DVD/CD called Songs From the Road. I went to HMV, and they happened to have a copy, so I bought it. Since then, because of learning about great old and new blues artists while listening to Mitch and Blues shows like Holger Peterson’s Saturday Night Blues, and Randy Renaud’s Black Cat Alley, I have bought approximately 1400 Blues CDs.
That year, 2013, I decided to start going to as many Blues festivals and shows as I could, mostly because it is one of the only ways to buy some artists CDs, since they do not distribute the way they used to, through record stores. So, for the last three years, I have kept track of whom (and where) I see shows. In 2014, the year I turned 57, and being born in ’57, I had a goal of seeing 57 shows. Here are the actual numbers for the last 3 years:
2013 – 24 shows
2014 – 59 shows
2015 – 136 shows
Since I am now way past setting any yearly goals related to my age, my new goal is to see as many shows as Jack Dekeyzer plays on average in a year, about 180. After last year, I can say this is almost as tiring as playing that many, but I am sure I get just as much enjoyment from listening to that much as most musicians get from playing that much.
Hopefully, this little bit of my background will help you understand where I am coming from with my writing, and possibly help keep the negative criticism to a minimum.