amongst books

amongst books

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Tchir Brothers

Stephen and Trevor played Zaphod’s last night and were spectacular. During the sound check, Slo' Tom, Zaphod’s regular sound guru and a great musician himself, told the boys their guitars sounded very different, Stephen’s was very bright, while Trevor’s was low and dark, but it worked. And it did. Stephen and his guitar harmonized with brother Trevor and his guitar perfectly, the brothers bright and dark :)

The Tchirs played new and old songs from Trevor’s repertoire. I loved the song based on partner Kristy McKay’s poem, Pipère (Barefoot Through the Pickybushes, Friday Circle, 2005) and other new songs which I’m not sure of the titles: one about Avalon and another about mountains. I was very happy when they sang my request: Marie (Morning Song) from the second cd November. Other songs played included Girl of the Hour and Smoky Lake Moon from his latest cd Wooden Castles Fall and the big finish for the encore: Ivan Wassam, from his first cd The Way I Feel Today which got a few people dancing Russian style.

I’ve been a fan of Trevor’s since I first heard him open for Emm Gryner, once again at Zaphod’s, back in 2000 when I met him through Kristy, who was my fellow classmate in Seymour Mayne’s poetry workshop at the University of Ottawa. Over the years I got to know both Trevor and Kristy, particularly as hosts of Café Nostalgica’s open poetry and music stage, starting in 2001 to 2004. I participated in the poetry open mic for a couple of years and Charles and I heard great music and made good friends. I still see these folks around Ottawa, except Trevor & Kristy, who moved out to Edmonton a few years back (say hi to rob!).

Every time one of the former Nostalgica open stage regulars performs, it’s a reunion of old friends. I didn’t get to chat with everyone last night, but it was great to see John Gillies, Kevin Grant, Annie, who can still be found there, waiting tables on occasion, John Carroll, Pierre Chretien, and other musicians that I remember from the Nostalgica days, many of whom have embarked upon exciting careers as musicians, such as the guys from the Soul Jazz Orchestra. i’m not surprised...they were talented four years ago.

Many former Nostalgica regulars come back and perform at Zaphod’s. We’ve gone to hear Mélissa Laveaux (soon to leave Ottawa for France and a recording contract!), Lindsay Ferguson (who has a gorgeous new CD out), Rozalind Macphail (the amazing flutist who has since learned to play guitar, sing and write her own songs), Andrea Simms-Karp (who also has a new wonderful CD out) and many others. if you ever wonder where Bywords gets its talented musicians from, now you know :)

From the poetry open stage, I’ve kept in touch with a number of the regulars including Max Middle, Kristy McKay, John Gillies, Tiah Akse, Jessica Ruano and others. I even see bartender Lenny around on occasion. Loved those jumbo Trevor says in Thursday Heroes, the cover song from the compilation CD recorded with the poetry and music from those who participated in those great open stage Thursday nights. Ah memories. Thanks to Trevor for coming back again to Ottawa. He’s a talented musician and I can’t wait for his next CD and his return to Ottawa, hopefully next time with Kristy.

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