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Hot Docs 2016- I Am The Blues

Almost two years ago, I went into Long and McQuade and bought an acoustic guitar that, earlier the same morning, I had decided I desperately needed. I fiddled with it for about two hours, realized it hurt my fingers, and leaned it against a wall in my bedroom where it has stayed permanently with the exception of a minute or two when I’ve moved it aside to clean and felt guilty for my lack of motivation. I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit so that I can finally dust the poor thing off, and yesterday Daniel Cross’ I Am The Blues whacked me so hard that I even cut the tips off of my newly manicured fingers in order to try my hand at the guitar.

I Am The Blues follows legendary musicians such as Bobby Rush and Jimmy “Duck” Holmes as they continue to dominate the Mississippi blues scene after more than six decades. On benches, in backyards and inside Rush’s own Blue Front Café, the audience is treated to live and impromptu performances by some of the country’s original blues musicians who are all, sadly, nearing the end of their lives. As we see some of them pass during the making of the film, the point is driven home that we may lose the very genre itself if younger generations don’t step up to carry on the tradition.

This is certainly the reason I felt so compelled to pick up my guitar immediately after returning home from the movie theatre. We’ve seen some devastating losses from the music community this year, but though nobody will ever replace Bowie and Prince, rock and pop music will continue to thrive without them, even if everything is that much less interesting. When it comes to the blues, there’s no guarantee that the music will continue to be heard on a larger scale. The film addresses the problem but fails to give a solution, not due to a lack of trying- there simply seems to be none.

Please, people, see this movie and learn to play the blues! If yesterday’s attempt was any indication of my future success, I will not be playing a part in keeping this music alive. The artists we meet in the film are true musicians, incapable of separating song from life, grateful for every moment that they get to share with an audience- seriously, Bobby Rush was at the premiere and he stood by the door of the theatre, thanking and hugging every person as they left- and this is something that I just don’t see in today’s music. We have blues to thank for rock, among countless other genres, and to think that we are nearing the end of its life as we lose its biggest players really gives me the…you know. Went for it.

3 May 2016 Girth Radio Blog Read more

A Good Book Drive 2016

Sammy Younan, Girth Radio’s talented and adorable program director, is proving that he is just as tender-hearted as he is handsome by participating in this year’s A Good Book Drive. (more…)

5 February 2016 Girth Radio Blog Read more

I Wish I Was In: Barcelona

It’s too effing hot in Canada- I want to go to Spain! That’s all I got, and it’s not even a joke. I’m too hot to write more of an intro. If I was in Barthelona, I’d do this:

27 May 2015 Girth Radio Blog Read more

New Artist: L’ourson

Toronto musician and producer Jaiden Davis-Jones has released his first EP 30 Stitches under the new (and adorable) moniker, L’ourson.

Davis-Jones is a member of Dead Bent, a local hip hop group with two talented emcees and a blaring horn section. He plays keyboard in the nine piece band and additionally produces their music videos, which you can check out here:

26 May 2015 Girth Radio Blog Read more

Music Video: Le fantôme by Monogrenade

Maybe it’s too obvious to use the word “haunting” to describe a music video for a song called “Le fantôme” but I’m going for it- because it is and because maybe some of you don’t speak any French.

Non-francophones will be equally delighted by Monogrenade’s latest video release, which shouldn’t surprise anyone familiar with the stop-motion brilliance that can be seen in their video for “Ce Soir” directed by Christophe Collette.

15 May 2015 Girth Radio Blog Read more

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