Halifax to Toronto and Back to Halifax: Upstairs at Sam the Record Man, on Barrington Street in Halifax. I was exploring the blues section as I had recently been properly introduced to the blues. I was walking around kind of aimlessly. I wasn’t really sure of “who” to look for, but I heard something coming through the speakers that really caught my ear. It was acoustic blues, but it wasn’t that old acoustic blues from the 60’s, it wasn’t a field recording from the 30’s either. It was recent, it was smooth, but not squeaky clean. It was that perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication, It was peaceful, but it was heartbroken at the same time. What I heard was Chris Smither singing “So Long Harry Truman” and I was hooked! I bought the CD right then and there and I took it with me when I moved to Toronto where I played it A LOT. Imagine my delight when I discovered that Smither was coming to play the downtown Blues Festival. I took my CD case with me in hopes of getting him to sign it as this would be my first interaction with a real “Blues Guy”. This was outside on the grass in a park downtown on the Toronto Waterfront and as I was listening, I grew nervous, it wasn’t the fact that I viewed him as celebrity or anything, my concern was what if he was an asshole and wasn’t into singing CD’s and how that would affect the relationship between me and this CD which I really, really, really enjoyed. You laugh, but think about for a second, what if???
So it turns out that he was absolutely NOT an asshole. In fact he was telling people that he would come in to the crowd after the show and be asking for your mailing address so he would send you a note the next time he was in town. He had a clipboard which housed a sign-up sheet that looked like it had been photocopied 100 times and he was taking my name and address not to mention the fact that he signed my beloved CD and was cordial and humble while doing so.
Now let me take you from Halifax to Toronto and Back to Halifax in 7 (or less) moves, starting with Chris Smither:
- First heard Chris Smither in Sam the Record man in Halifax, where I bought the CD.
- Got Chris Smither to sign that disc in Toronto
- While in Toronto, we saw Coco Montoya, play a cover of Mail Order Mystics (written by [you guessed it!] Chris Smither)
- We saw Coco play at the Silver Dollar and got him to autograph our copy of the CD
- While in Toronto at the Silver Dollar, Coco called Jeff Healy up to play
- We first saw Jeff Healy in Halifax.
Who can go to a different city and back in 7 moves or less?