Normally when you go to see a blues show at a local haunt you expect to walk into a dimly lit room with a few red lights and four tables that were handmade in 1850. When I went to see Bob Walsh at Sin Taverne Urbaine on Wednesday, Jan 30th, it was nothing of the sort. Sin is a modern spot with its white leather couch seating on the sides, long tables down the middle, and pub style tables at the back. Red drapes add to the décor. All have a perfect view of the newly built 10'x26' stage. Says Sins' blues promoter Bob Sacks, "I want this blues project to work out and I wasn't going to get any class acts with the temporary plywood stage". Sacks took it upon himself to build the new stage, which had plenty of room to accommodate Bob Walsh's six piece band.
Sin's owner, Francis Carbonneau, states that he is alternating each Wednesday between a comedy night and a blues night. On the blues side Sacks adds, "We wanted to take over where Café Campus left off and have a spot for blues shows in the middle of the week. Our premise is to have a winter blues series on Wednesday nights to break up the monotony of the frosty months. The club is modern and has a kitchen. The shows pretty much start at 20:00 and are done by 23:00. Laval is a central spot. It's 20 minutes out of Montreal and the same for the folks North of Laval, like St-Jerome. We are right off of Highway 13 and there's plenty of free parking."
The next big act to play Sin is Bryan Lee, on February 20th. When Sacks was asked how he managed this booking, he had an interesting tale to tell.
"Back in 1988 I went on a cross-country solo motorcycle ride. At one point I ended up in Mississippi, saw Bryan play, and had the chance to meet him after the show. As I was talking to him, he said I had an accent he couldn't pinpoint and asked what state I was from. I told him I was actually from Montreal and was going across the USA on my bike, and that was that. Then in 2001 Bryan was playing the Spectrum in Montreal. I had the opportunity to meet him again that night. I asked him if he remembered me. I had to refresh his memory but he remembered that time back in Mississippi. I liked his music so much that I told him that one day I was going to book him to play one of my places. He thought it was funny. Now it's 2013 and I have the perfect place for him to play. I dealt with his booking agent and he said that Lee wasn't going to be anywhere near Quebec and there was no way this show could happen. I asked the agent to do me a favor and tell Bryan that it was Bob Sacks from Montreal and see what he says. Next thing you know the phone rings and I'm told Bryan will do the show!"
To view what blues acts will be appearing at Sin Taverne Urbaine check out their Facebook page at Sinners N Blues.
Editor's note: Sean might have mentioned the kitchen but I'm not sure if he has repasted there, I did. It must be mentioned that the lamb is absolutely sublime! I highly recommend it.