A Hard Days Work …
My Dad was a jazz guitarist, and a pretty good one too. When I came along though, he did what he must have thought was the honourable thing and took up a trade to support his new family. As a carpenter, he found new ways to express himself and became one of the most sought-after and trust-worthy contractors in our neighbourhood. It also gave me the opportunity to learn the value of hard work, being safe in dangerous environments, and how to make something from nothing … good times with the old man indeed.
Best Of Both Worlds
Once a musician, always a musician, and even though our family construction company kept us busy, you’d occasionally hear the magical sounds of jazz riffing tempting us from the basement on a Friday or Saturday night. A long week’s labour would give way to some tantalizing musical interludes as Mom made incredible meals and cleared away the aftermath of the endless coming and going of friends and family … I remember wondering, isn’t it like this for everyone?
Living in the musical shadow of my Dad’s raw talent, I sounded out my own niche as a blues singer playing the biker bars and seedy east-end clubs of Montreal throughout my youth. The constant reminder in my ear from a cautious father, kept me saddled firmly on the fence between a musician’s life and the corporate world of computers, middle-management and business politics. My 20s and 30s were spent, like most, taking very little too seriously and burning several candles at both ends … because we’re all invincible for a little while 😉
My wife Liz and I were some of the last few hold-outs on the bar scene; old kids who never succumbed to the dark side but also managed to skip setting down roots. We found each other and quickly began the process of propping and pulling each other out of the crappy world that was clinging to us after too many years alone; giving birth to our own new selves, and also to a couple beautiful baby girls. Our universes were transformed and made anew; not without some swift-kicking growing pains to get us on track, but all for the very best, and certainly long overdue.
Old New Songs
So many old riffs, half-jotted-down ideas and beer-soaked melodies, scrabbled together in various forms; all of them finally collected into a clear snapshot of my musical life. Decades gone by since I wrote the first one, and already 5 years since I last left the stage resonating with the hum of a hundred tired cover songs. I finally revisited my old originals repertoire tonight, a Thursday night, one of my favourite nights of the week. Everything to look forward to after many years of problems solved, and only the best yet to come in the ones ahead. I realize, I really love my songs, my life, my kids, my wife … what a feeling, all in a day’s work. It feels really nice to use the right side again.