Musician Lou Reed is dead at 71. I listened to his album New York just the other day with my friend Vox. Damned fine music. Very sad news.
I heard today that Peter Appleyard died, at 84. Do you know his work? He was a great vibraphone player who lived and played in the Toronto area for many years.
Here’s another video I’ve shared before in which Mr. Appleyard has an opportunity to rock out a little with the late Jane Vasey, the fantastic piano player in Downchild back in the day. I could play this video 100 times in a row. Just feel the joy.
And finally, here he is playing with Benny Goodman back in 73.
Our cat Rossi died today. He had a stroke or maybe strokes about a year ago and since he’s been living with seizures that have become increasingly severe with the passing of days. He was a good cat, grumpy, independent and yet in a strange way the most affectionate of the bunch – on his own terms. I admire that.
His first name, the name we called him by when we first met him, was Always be Closing, from GlenGarry Glen Ross. We called him that because when he showed up on our porch at Blackthorn, he did everything he could to close the deal.
We realized soon enough that Always be Closing was a stupid name for a cat, so we changed it to Rossi.
I heard today that Chicago bluesman Magic Slim died. RIP
Jazz-man Dave Brubeck has passed at 91. RIP
Here’s In Your Own Sweet Way
Let’s take five and listen to his big one…this melody was all over the radio tonight.
My brother emailed to say that banjo picker Dave Hum has passed. RIP. As Salvelinas aptly put it, the man sure could play.
Sheila (known on this blog as Tuffy P) lost her dad this morning. He had been ailing from kidney disease for some time and passed away at the hospital. George and I shared a birthday – he would have been 87 next month. I’m going to miss him greatly and I know the same is true for the whole family.
Some people are storytellers – they can’t help themselves, and George Gregory had the storytelling gene. Like all the best storytellers, he never shied away from telling the same ones several times. Like a fine cheese they ripen with age. He told all manner of stories, but all of them said much about his character. He was a kind and generous man, but he could be tough too, especially when it came to defending something he believed in. George believed in hard work and perseverance. He was the kind of guy who believed in loyalty – at work he thought it best to stay with a company for the long run (and he did that) and he believed it was possible to start at the bottom and work your way to the top (he did that too).
George was also known to break into song at a moment’s notice. He liked Irish tunes in particular. Here’s one of his favourites…
Details of visitation and funeral are available at the Marshall’s Funeral Home site.
He wrote this one with Burt Bacharach…
Mr. David was 91.
I’ve been listening to Doc Watson’s music since I was a teenager. It seems as if styles come and go but Doc has always been there bringing his brand of Americana to life. He was not a purist in the sense that some bluegrass musicians are. His music was a synthesis of musical forms from the American South and it seems to me it was always just right. I know there will be some readers of this blog who are not familiar with Mr. Watson’s music, so enough words. Lets listen.
Deep River Blues
Black Mountain Rag
Finally, here he is with Merle, playing Summertime