Fab Weekend! 

October 20th 2013,

Big Black Smoke would like to thank Mark Rashotte for hosting another Fab Empire Beatles Weekend! You never cease to amaze us with you talents. It was a great thrill to have you join us on stage and rock with us on Goldfinger, and I Can see for Miles! The sound on stage was killer. Thanks for making us part of this amazing weekend. Wayne, Dr.Bob, and Dale, it was wonderful to have you join us! Thanks to Wayne Mcfaul and the entire Empire Theatre crew who made it all sound and look so good, tireless work all weekend and the effort shows. A big shout out to host All You Need Is Love, The English Channel, The Newbees, Brit Beat, the Cryers, Peter Conrad and The Traveling Beatleburys, Ed's Garage, & Rachel Blanton for a thrilling weekend of performances! You all are extremely talented and a wonderful group of people.  Last but not least Thanks to Andy and Barbara Forgie for making everyone feel at home the entire weekend, and keeping it all in check. Happy Anniversary this coming Saturday! Andy, it never ceases to amaze us how you can bring it day in and day out, your love for singing and music is unparalleled!
 

What's New? 

May 24th, 2013,

Lately we have been working on some new material, some great numbers that are heavy on vocals. When you have the luxury of 4 members who can all sing, you can definitely pad out a song in a much fuller way. It's been fun working on the harmonies, I feel we have not quite fully realized our vocal potential. Each year as a band we strive to learn new material that pushes our boundaries a bit. It's good to get out of your comfort zone a little. Vocally I think we are trying to do that, always pushing a little harder. We are looking forward to seeing everyone soon, and show you what we have been up to!

Gary

Hello Again! 

November 28th, 2012

Hello everyone! I cannot believe it's been a year since the last blog.....  Things have been very busy for the band lately, we have been so fortunate to have been part of so many
wonderful events. High notes include Empire Beatles weekend, Rock For Relief 3, and the Mix 97 Holiday Pime Time special! We have had jammed packed nights at the Red Lion and The Beaufort Pub, so many friends and family who make a night of it everytime we come to play. We are really hitting our stride as a band are constantly growing as players and performers. We plan on learning plenty of new material as well as pulling out some favourites from our master set list. We are so thrilled by the reaction to the material we perform, we work very hard at providing memorable versions of some of your favourite songs! I am proud of what we have achieved to this point, so blessed to have such great friends in Chris, Ron, Steve, and Kherson who have help me grow as a player and a person.

Gary

Value in Music? 

October 16, 2011

All my life I have been an avid music fan, I have been buying music from the age of 11 and continue to this day. Lately when I make the weekly trip to my local music store I see first hand the damage free downloading and ill informed record companies has done to the industry. Album sections dwindled down to greatest hits albums or not even available. Major label artists jumping ship due to lack of interest and promotion. Luckily there are a few smaller labels willing to take the chance on veteran talent as well as talented new artists. Still to this day if you wanted to photocopy a photograph or photographed artwork you still get rightfully hassled because of copyright controls. Music seems to not have the same value. Like  great pieces of art that have endured and have been cherished for centuries, music should share the same fate. Music is medium that is fully interactive with all your senses. In live music the audience experience can dramatically inspire the musicians performance to new heights and in some cases taking the music in a totally new musical direction. A myriad of emotions that a single three minute piece of music can convey. I know my views are very old school and I still embrace the physical format of music. I love portability but my love of holding the product in my hands and reading through the liner notes and enjoying artwork have not changed. I hope it never goes away but you never know these days! If you really enjoy something and it moves you and means something, buy it! The artist will thank you. Without you there is no art.

Gary

So Beautiful Or So What 

June 25, 2011

A few months ago Paul Simon's latest album was released. In my opinion it is one of his best.  So Beautiful Or So What  has all the the elements of of previous Simon works that we are familiar with, tuneful melodies, wonderful guitar playing, ethnic influence, and that sweet voice.  Much of the narrative in this album deals with the afterlife and getting older. He just seems wiser and comfortable in his own skin. I have yet to tire of it! Good albums linger, stick with you, move you. This is one of those. It has Grammy all over it. 

Gary

The Days In Between 

June 25, 2011

It has been some time since my last blog, I hope to remedy this by a flurry of posts over the coming weeks. A few things have happened over the past few months that  have made our start out of the gate this year a little bit slower. Last month I noticed that our e-mail traffic was a little slow due to a error in a password that prevented us from receiving incoming mails. Sadly some future opportunities slipped through the cracks. Thankfully we are in working order again. Thanks for your patience. Technology can be troublesome sometimes.  We are now on Facebook for those who prefer to stay in touch there. I am still at at a loss for what sort of content to post there. My wife has just bought me a HD video camera that I hope to get some footage of the the band to share. Until next time........

Gary

Fantastic Night! 

Februrary 25, 2011

I can not say enough about how the choir performed last night. They exceeded our expectations!  This was the most challenging show to date for the band, and the choir really took things up a notch. There was quite a few "goosebump" moments. Songs such as Days, White Room, I Can For Miles, and You Can't Always Get What You Want.
The band would like to thank David Reed for steering the ship and sharing his many talents with us. You are a fantastic teacher and a great person. A pleasure to work with. We would love to do it again. Hmmmmm............

Cheers,
Gary

Wow And Flutter Blog 

February 24, 2011

Welcome to my new blog spot for Big Black Smoke. I thought that this might clean up the look of the news page. From time to time I like to talk about music, gear, gigs, and what the band has been up to. I am hoping to add shortly some video and some new audio to the website. Recently we have been hiding in my basement rehearsing for the Centennial Choir show. We have worked up 8 new numbers for the show as well as 3 numbers with slightly different arrangements. They are shaping up nicely and we are really excited about the fleshed out arrangements with the choir. I had the good fortune of sitting in on a rehearsal today, and I must say how impressive it was. Some songs were rehearsed in previous sessions, but the new material was equally as good in it's stripped down state. It always amazes me how young people can learn so quickly. They improved with every take. To my amazement the students really dug the music. We can't wait for the full rehearsal with 30 voices behind us, It will be a really cool experience. Until next time........

Cheers,
Gary


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