Working on arrangements for some of my own tunes at the moment for recording with band- John Horler, Alec Dankworth and Graham Pike in the autumn
Looking forward to producing another album and then we are heading West early in 2016.
I have just added this track to my playlist. I wrote it in 2002 and it is on my first album, but a couple of years ago I recorded a different version at Cowshed Studios where I was recording my second album with John Etheridge, and Alec Dankworth. I asked percussionist Daryl LeQue to play on this. Hope you like it.
We had a full house in Bath which was really heartening – and they were a lovely appreciative audience. We will be back next year. Chapel Arts is a great venue and Ed the sound man couldn’t have been more helpful. We crossed continents with our music doing everything from Russian songs to Argentinian tangos with Mexican, French (Hot Club) and Jacques Brel and Bob Dylan in between.
Looking forward to Portsmouth with Winston Clifford on drums, Matt Chandler on guitar and Graham Pike playing chromatic harmonica, trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone – anything he can get on stage basically
Toronto, summer – 1970 something.
I lived in a bedsit in Rosedale. I was straight out of school and the city was an exciting, noisy place. The Zumburger on the corner of Bloor and Yonge was where we would meet.
In those days Yonge St was grubby and colourful. I loved it. I can remember the smell of it in the heat of the summer: car exhausts, food cooking, patchouli oil, marijuana and incense. I used to go to the Riverboat in Yorkville to hear music – Don McLean played his new song American Pie and Tim Hardin took three of us in with him, when we couldn’t afford the entrance fee. Tim became a friend and a few years later when he visited us in England and was trying to kick his heroin habit, I would buy him his Collis Brown medicine from every chemist in town. He drank the bottles down in one.
To get into the city I would sometimes by-pass the subway and walk along Bloor St. past a dark and intimate bar that looked like the kind of sophisticated place that I might want to explore in another time of my life. But then I was a scornful young hippy – bare feet, patched jeans and a good deal of embroidered cheescloth. When a few of us went to see BB King at the CBC studios we were relegated to the back row because we looked too disreputable. Being disapproved of was something we positively courted.
As I walked into the centre of Toronto on hot nights, it felt as though my life was lighting up, along with the city – and that’s where the song comes from.