Friday, November 30, 2018

Gibson ES-175

Here I am with our high school rock band; Listen. A great bunch of guys (Steve Patterson, Dean Epifano and Carl Jennings) and we had a lot of fun making music together. We even got to play our local rock bar The Orient Express where I would see my music heroes like Jane Siberry or Kim Mitchell perform.

I am holding my Gibson ES-175 that I bought used from a Trombone player in Toronto (my Dad and I drove in from Burlington).  I think I paid $750. That was a lot of money at the time but I knew it was a good deal. I was so into Steve Howe and Pat Metheny at this point that I had to have one. It is kinda funny that I was playing ZZ Top and Van Halen tunes on it at first.

I have not used it much over the last 5 or 7 years. It is not in as good shape as it was when I bought it. (the archtop is almost flat now) Besides the fact that I play a lot of banjo I also bought a telecaster that I quite like that is really easy to put on my back when I bike to the gig.

This Saturday (Dec 1) I am playing at the Rex with Steve Koven's Project Rex. It is going to be a fun band: Rob Clutton on bass, Matt Brubeck on cello, Sarah Thawer on drums and of course Steve on piano and synth. Good times.

For the first time ever (I have had this guitar for 36 years!) I tried putting flatwound strings on it. Wow. I love it. I love the feel. I love the sound. looks like I will haul this big Gibson box down to the Rex. I guess I will take the ttc unless the weather is perfect.

If you have never been to the Rex you should make the trip someday. It is a special place. A real jazz  club, with a very relaxed vibe but right in the heart of the city on Queen West just west of University.

Yes I may take a few peaks at the tv screen for the first set as the Leafs will be in the third period again the Wild when we hit the stage at 945pm. After that you will have my full attention.

thanks for reading!


Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

So Long Seven goes to Europe!

I am so excited to be heading to Europe again next week with my banjo on tour with So Long Seven!

We start in Prague, with a concert presented by the Canadian Consulate as part of their Canada Days Festival. Then we take a bus to Germany where we perform in Furth and Bamberg. In Furth we will play at the very cool record store called Kioski and then in Bamberg we are at the infamous music club called Pizzini. After that we, drive to Groningen in Holland where we perform at Lola. The next day we drive down to Leuven in Belgium to play a house concert. Then, we drive back up to Amsterdam and play at a very cool theatre called Teatro Munganga.

Here are the Facebook links to all the events:







Wednesday, October 17, 2018

World Music! Fun! Part 2

Only ten days until the big show at Revival with So Long Seven, Near East Trio and Zephyr.

Do you have your tickets yet? The advance tickets are only $15 (no service charge!) and are available at Soundscapes and The Candy Bar, both on College St. $5 for kids. $20 at the door/$10 students

In case you didn't know, it is an afternoon show (4-7pm) that will be family friendly (face painting and door prizes!).

One of the real nice things about this concert is you will get to hear the great tabla player, Ravi Naimpally in two of the three different groups; So Long Seven and the Near East Trio.

Ravi and I have been friends for sometime now. We have kids the same age and actually met at the YMCA while we were watching our kids in the pool.

Ravi is a great guy, very generous and a real family man. I have been fortunate to learn a fair bit about Indian Classical music from Ravi. He has been playing and studying this music since he was a young man as both his parents were a big influence on him when he was young.

Ravi is a very in-demand tabla player. He has been touring internationally of late with a group called Niyaz as well as just returning from a tour of South Africa with saxophonist Sundar Viswanathan's group.

No matter where we go with So Long Seven it always seems like someone we meet knows or has performed with Ravi Naimpally.

Ravi has recently been organizing clinics and teaching privately in a new music school that he has recently started. If you want more information please contact me or talk to him at our big show at Revival. Ravi is very approachable and especially loves to talk about the tabla.

Friday, September 14, 2018

World Music! Fun! part 1

Yesterday So Long Seven announced our big send-off concert on October 28 before our tour of Europe in November. I will get into that a little more later in this post.

A couple years ago (I think it was a couple years) my friend Andrew told me about a musician that lived in our neighbourhood. He told me I should check her out "she lives right around the corner!" I was intrigued. Then he told me she was famous in Turkey. I have other friends with connections to the Turkish music scene and they confirmed this for me.

I decided I should just get her number, text her and see if she wanted to jam. I was playing banjo on the porch one day and I got up the nerve and did just that. I told her I was working on playing and singing Wayfarin' Stranger and she should come over. Unfortunately she was out of town but seemed a little bit interested in getting together.

A couple months went by and I was performing at the Tranzac (might have been with the Cluttertones) There was a woman hanging out, even after almost everyone went home. She had a real vibe. Seemed to know a lot of people. Definitely some sort of artist. I didn't get a chance to talk to her but I asked someone at the very end of the night who that was and they told me it was Brenna MacCrimmon.

Fast forward a year or so and we became fast friends. We got into a regular jamming habbit and realized we had a lot in common (including some rare vinyl that we both owned) We even found out eventually that we grew up around the corner from each other in Burlington Ontario. Funny that we never crossed paths there. However, we did realize that the record collection at the Burlington public library had had an impact on both our lives. The coolest part of that being Fran Clutton (Rob Clutton's mom!) was in charge of buying a lot of those records as she worked at the library.

Anyways, Brenna and I have had lots of fun musical adventures including a double bill with So Long Seven and a group she is in called Turkwaz. We even have a CD coming out soon with a great early jazz pianist friend of ours named Bill Westcott. Now we are working together on presenting this fun show on Sunday October 28 at Revival called World Music! Fun! which will feature a trio she is part of called Zephyr. (Zephyr also includes Jaash Singh on Dumbek and Demetri Petsalakis on oud)

The show will also include the Near East Trio (and of course So Long Seven) but more about that in the next blog instalment.

Monday, January 22, 2018

lipliners video and newsletter

hi there, 

I sometimes enjoy writing these newsletters. Today I just want to be brief with some details. The whole point of this is just to get people to hear the music that my friends and I are making. (either live or on the records)

So Long Seven's new record Kala Kalo is NUMBER ONE this week on the national World Music (International music) college and independent radio charts put out by Earshot. Thanks for the support folks!

We are heading to Ottawa and Montreal again next week so please let your friends in those cities know. 

Friday Feb 2, Gigspace, Ottawa
Saturday Feb 3, Private Montreal, concert series (email for more info)

please find us online
on instagram: @solongseven
twitter: @solongseven

listen to Kala Kalo

or on spotify, apple music, itunes etc.


After NOW magazine called her a singer songwriter to watch for 2018, Collette Savard and the Savants are releasing our new album (on vinyl too!) at the Tranzac Friday January 26. 

Ronley Teper and the Lipliners have an amazing new video that was just launched for the first single off upcoming CD. I really like is politically charged, edgy and funny...kind of like Ronley :-)  Check it out. Share it! 

This weekend the Lipliners start our residency at the Baby G's on Dundas (and brock) Saturday night. (last saturday of every month)Saturday Jan 27, 8-10pm

Thanks for reading this. Cu soon!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Kala Kalo #1 on the charts!

Here is my monthly newsletter (i am a bit late this month) Let me know if you want to be added to the mailing list.

Hi folks, 

I hope you are enjoying winter so far. I am looking forward to spending some time hanging out with family and friends over the holidays. It has been a fun and busy year. I thought making music as a collective like we are in So Long Seven would be easier but the work doesn't seem to end. It is fun though and really we just want people to listen to our new record Kala Kalo. (you can stream it on Spotify or Apple Music etc.) We are sold out of CDs already but are reprinting as I type!

Good news is that it is climbing the charts all over Canada on community radio stations. Today I was informed it is #5 on CJSR's (Edmonton) top 30 and NUMBER ONE (!) on their international chart. Please contact your fave programs on CBC and local radio to request our CD Kala Kalo. Stay in touch re: upcoming gigs at

This is a fun week full of playing other people's music:

Wednesday Dec 13, Cluttertones play at the Burdock in a triple bill with Germaine Liu and John Millard. 

Thursday Dec 14, Collette Savard and the Savants play our monthly late show at the Tranzac. 

Saturday Dec 16, Ronley Teper's Lipliners are in Hamilton at the Capital bar.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

Thursday, November 02, 2017

monthly newsletter

Hi folks, I hope you are enjoying the fall weather wherever you are. I have enjoyed the changing of the colours of the leaves and the changing in the win-column of our Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Really, I am back in your in-box to talk about music. This is the big month for us at So Long Seven as our new CD Kala Kalo is being released on November 8. It is available as an actual CD (it will be for sale at our shows and at the most excellent record shop on College street called Soundscapes) Vinyl should be ready soon too. (!)

I really hope you can take a listen to it. It is produced by our pal Anthony Michelli who did a great job. It features special guests: Salif Sanou dit Lasso and Demteri Petsalaskis and lots of surprises! It will be streaming on Spotify, Apple music and many more sites and for sale at itunes

We sincerely hope we can get as many people as possible to hear it one way or another. Please share, add it to your playlists and let your friends know about it. (thanks!)

We have a mini-CD release celebration tour coming up too!

Dec 1, Grange de la Gatineau-Cantley, Quebec
Dec 2 St. Jax Church-Montreal, Quebec
Dec 3 House Concert, Kingston, Ontario
Other fun stuff this month too!

The Cluttertones are playing a house concert in Hamilton on Saturday November 4, Zula House. You can find more info from our pal and our host Cem Zafir.

Collette Savard and the Savants are back at our monthly show at the Tranzac on Nov 9, 10pm. (it is rumoured that we may also be playing at Grossmans on on Feb 24 from 630-830pm) 

Andrew Downing (cello) and Tim Posgate (banjo) are returning to our fave venue, Sellers and Newel Books, 672 College on November 23. Advance tickets recommended as this usually sells out. Beer, wine, banjo, cello, books....should I go on? 

Ronley Teper (the Lipliners!) and Tim Posgate will be performing at tribute to the music of Tom Waits (perfect!!) at Hugh's Room Live on Saturday November 25. I also recommend advance tickets for this. (Ronley and I just got back from a three week Euro tour and can't wait to perform together again)

This is going to be a great month. Cu soon!

Free Counter