Sunday, February 6, 2011

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

I guess it is going to be a bit of an uphill climb before I liberate enough time to blog at the frequency I did through 2009 and the first half of 2010.  While I got out of the gate of 2011 with a good start after the new year, I have since fallen back to more sporadic postings.  I find this to be very frustrating because I have a whole pile of ideas neatly stacked in my list of posts in a draft state but I am not getting time to get back and finish them.  

Life is just so busy, I may have to accept that a post now and again is all I will manage for the time being until I finish catching up with other tasks which fell behind over the fall and until I can find time to spend fewer hours working to earn a living.  I suppose I should be glad that I am earning a good buck and be satisfied to work while I can, but truth is I am getting tired of it.  For now I won't beat myself up, but one thing is sure, if I  can't free up some serious chunks of time by the end of March I will need to re-evaluate things and figure out a way to liberate some time.

Not that all is work with no play.  Last night my son Eric took me out to see my favourite local performer Alejandra Ribera who performed at the Toronto supper club, Hugh's Room.  This has been her 3rd performance at that venue in just over a year.  I have blogged about Alejandra several times before and you can catch up here.

You can view all the photos that I took by going to my Picasa Gallery.

The evening was just splendid.   We had a fabulous table just out of the glare of the stage lights about 6 feet from the stage.  The food and service was very good - particularly when you understand that they serve about 250 people in the 2 hours before the show starts at 8:30.  I had the roast chicken (I know, boring) and Eric had a steak which he proclaimed to be tender and tasty.  The dessert was scrumptious - chocolate cheesecake.

The music was exceptional and enhanced by the wonderful acoustics of the room.  A great introduction by Richard Flohill started the event just about on time at 8:30.  Alejandra just gets better every time I see her.  There was quite a change in her band which was all for the better - not that there was anything wrong with her old band.  Except for the piano, some new musicians filled the spots of brass, drums and bass and she added two new instruments - electric guitar and accordion!  Both added significantly to the sound and brought some previously heard songs to a whole new level.  Pirate was spectacular with its new interpretation.  The Spanish influence was apparent in some of the new songs and the accordion lent a gypsy flair to few of them.

Alejandra was her usual warm but slightly nervous self with wonderful bits of humour tucked into the song introductions.  She introduced one of her new songs with the information that in one week last year she lost her apartment, her husband and her appendix.  I agree with her that it made great fodder for her new songs.  There were several and I am hoping she will be soon getting into the recording studio to start work on them for the new album.

Alejandra's guitarist was a big surprise and treat.  Surprise because she has never had an electric guitar accompanyist and I would not have thought it would work before having heard it.  A treat because Alejandra managed to get Donna Grantis  to perform with her.  Not sure if you know Donna Grantis but if you google the words  "Donna" and  "guitar" from Toronto she comes up in the 2nd spot after some bogus placeholder advertisement (set up to forward the link clicker into the Internet void).  She is an electric guitarist extraordinaire, accompanying the likes of  Shakura S’Aida and - no less - the musical director and performer of the 2010 Toronto Women's Blues Review I attended at Massey Hall in the fall.  Of course, Alejandra performed at the Women's Blues Review so I can see the connection.  Alejandra often accompanies herself on an acoustic guitar, but the electric guitar and Donna's performance added a new dimension to her songs. 

The most exciting news ever is that Alejandra is coming back to the Cameron to do a weekly performance on Tuesday nights in the 6-8 pm time slot starting in March!  She said she has a bunch of new songs to work on and she is looking forward to getting back into the routine of a regular weekly performance at her old haunt to do that.

The Next Blog Post:
I decided in this blog to leave you with more just a wishful promise for the date of the next blog to come.  I have already written and have posted the next blog in advance so its ready for publication on Tuesday Feb 8th.  So do come back and visit and hear about Forgetfulness, Day and The Dead.


  1. I'm happy that it is not all work and no play for you! You were seated at a good location for pictures. You captured some great shots!

  2. very nice..i will go to your flickr account!!:))

  3. I am beginning to think that you do more playing than you care to admit, Peggy.

    Just teasing, but I guarantee you that you are having more fun than I am these days. I guess I have no one but myself to blame.

  4. Thank you all - yes, it was a great evening and I really have to thank Eric for organizing it.

    Fram, I have a hard time believing that I am having more fun than you are - shopping for a sea going water craft! But point taken that I have been able to get out to more than my share of musical events this last several months.

    Thanks for visiting everyone. It honours me that you take the time to visit.

  5. Looking forward to your next blog about Alejandra. My favorite singer...


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