Gaye Delorme; Jesse Winchester
While we’ve banked a few interviews for upcoming installments of Points North with bluegrass legend Del McCoury and the brilliant young British blues pianist Ben Waters, there have been a number of requests that we revisit a special we produced on Gaye Delorme
a few years ago.
With Gaye’s sudden passing in June I was not surprised that members of CKUA's listening audience wanted to hear the gifted guitarist recount the various chapters of his life and career.
The special, produced in 2006, was comprised of two 60 minute installments and as I write this, we have decided to run the first hour in its entirety on Sunday September 18 and Tuesday September 20 on Points North.
Over the past two weeks technical producer Duke Paetz and I have been recording conversations with many of Gaye’s peers and friends from the prairies and on the west coast.
It was apparent from the responses to our interview requests that Gaye had certainly touched many individuals profoundly and I am pleased to say that we will be airing those tributes and recollections on Sunday September 25 and Tuesday September 27.
Keyboard players Teddy Borowiecki and Pete Sweetzir, Powder Blues leader Tom Lavin, Maurice Ginzer (the onetime proprietor of Kaos Café in Calgary who co-produces the Calgary Blues Festival), Holger Petersen, songwriter Bruce Miller, Barry Allen, and Murray Strang were all candid while fondly recalling specific moments in studios, or re-framing inspired Delorme performances.
Strang was the Sony rep that led the promotions charge on Delorme’s Blue Wave Sessions out of the Sony Calgary office. Twenty years after the release of the disc, Strang still feels the album was somewhat short-changed in terms of acceptance, particularly east of the Manitoba/Ontario border. Both Strang and Lavin had no problem zeroing in on the nuances and compositional strengths of specific tunes on the Blue Wave Sessions.
Miller talked at length about how he and Delorme maneuvered their way through the Los Angeles studio scene while recording Miller’s Rude Awakening album in the mid-seventies, and Holger fondly recalled inviting Gaye into the CKUA studios to record conversation and music for the Acme Sausage Company program.
If you get a chance, please join us on Points North as we look back on the talents and life of Gaye Delorme, who was a very important figure on the Alberta musical landscape.
When the announcement was made a couple of weeks ago that Jeremy Fisher would be replacing Jesse Winchester
at the season opener for Edmonton’s Full Moon Folk Club on Friday September 23, I immediately headed to Winchester’s website
to see if any specifics were available.
Sure enough, a message from the brilliant tunesmith graces the main page to his site and the contents are not what any of us were expecting to read.
Winchester writes, “I sorry to announce I am cancelling my shows for the rest of this year. I have been diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus and will have to undergo treatment for the next couple of months. I’m sorry if any plans have been disrupted: I do hope to see you again soon, and we’ll pick up where we left off.”
Winchester goes on to say,” Your messages of love and support have been more touching than I can possibly tell you. You are causing my feelings of euphoria.”
We can hope and pray that Winchester rallies and wins this battle and you are encouraged to go to jessewinchester.com and send him a message.
Given his brilliant shows in Calgary and Edmonton just over a year ago when he filled in on some dates for an ailing Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, there’s no doubt fans were expecting more of the same this time around. Why shouldn’t they, given Winchester’s deep well of song that stands up to that of any of his contemporaries.
If you are looking for a fix of Jesse Winchester in a live setting may I suggest you visit or revisit his appearance on Elvis Costello’s Spectacle program that was produced for the second year of the series. The installment found the Louisiana native guesting in a songwriters in the round setting, with Sheryl Crow, Ron Sexsmith, Niko Case and Costello. By the time the man who called Montreal home for so many years had delivered a delicate reading of Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding, Case had tears streaming down her face and the rest of the crew momentarily sat on stage in stunned silence that could only be attributed to the beauty of the piece.
As for Jeremy Fisher, he’ll likely be putting much of his focus on the material found on his latest release Flood when he fills in for Winchester at the Full Moon Folk Club.
It was a pleasant surprise to open an envelope containing the latest release from Saskatoon blues-rocker Tim Vaughn
last week to find that the cover of the disc package is one of Tim Koslo
’s artistic creations.
Koslo’s work is titled Friends At The Dream Gate, and surprisingly it is the first time a recording artist has used one of Koslo’s pieces for an album jacket.
Vaughn has been a fan of Koslo’s t-shirts, that pay tribute to artists like Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley, since first meeting the artist at Blues On Whyte in Edmonton’s Strathcona a few years ago.
“But what really sold me on the idea of getting Tim to do the album artwork was seeing what he had done after adding colors to some of the pieces I had already seen in black and white. They’re so vibrant and full of texture and although they are serious and thought-provoking there is a sense of humor that comes through,” says Vaughn.
“I also think that Friends At The Dream Gate tied in nicely with the title track “Read Between The Lines”,” added Vaughn.
Koslo, who from time to time finds his way to the stage at Blues On Whyte Saturday afternoon jam sessions, is hoping that this may lead to other artists considering his work for album jackets.
“I can really see the piece as a stage backdrop as well. I am really happy with the CD jacket although a little bit of the detail gets lost when it is reduced. But, Tim is also going to release the album on vinyl so the piece will be issued in a larger format,” mused Koslo.
Incidentally, Tim Vaughn brings his show to Alberta a few times over the next two months and the first such date finds Vaughn and his band playing for the Underground Blues Society in Peace River Saturday September 24. Vaughn then plays Lethbridge on Thursday October 6 on a swing out to B.C.. November’s visit starts with a two-night stand at Castaways in Edson on the 25th and 26th and then he brings his muscular blues-basted material to Blues on Whyte for a Sunday night stand on November 27th.