Friends, Art and Music

Last night was a rare night. Saturday in the city and I wasn’t working! I really like working at night. It leaves my days free to do as I please and it makes my work seem like a party. Imagine though that every Friday and Saturday night are spoken for. Long weekends never happen because Sunday and Monday are always days off. This past Saturday night was very special because my friends Ryan and Becky had asked me to display my paintings at their CD release party at The Artery in Edmonton.

Ryan & Rebecca Anderson are two members of the soon to be famous F&M. They just released their latest album, “At Sunset We Sing”. Get to your favorite local music store and buy it! If you want a taste of what to expect, you can see the video for “And We Will Mend Our Broken Hearts here: The video was directed by Mr. Mike Robertson who happens to be the director on my pet project, “The Dirt On Wine” Series.

But back to last night. I arrived early to hang my paintings and was warmly received  by the Artery’s owner/operator Mister Phillip Muz. He carefully hung each piece and was very kind with his comments. He has a great eye and took exquisite care to ensure that everything was hung to optimum advantage. Any anxiety I may have harbored about displaying my work disappeared.

The Artery is a great venue for live music. It’s intimate, but not too small and they serve a great range of beer and a little wine. Last night (at my suggestion,) they featured the Monte das Mouras de Arraiolos, a great blend of Tinta Franca, Tinta Roriz (or Tempranillo) and Touriga Nacional that comes in at the low-end of $ on my scale. It’s the wine Ryan always orders when we have it on the bar at Bibo because he likes the bargains and I do too.

Yesterday, of course, was the day of the first snow in Edmonton and everything had an icy white sugar-coating. It was ever-so chilly outside, but nice and cozy inside the welcoming walls of the Artery and the space was filled with art and music lovers of all sorts.

The music was great. first Ariane Lemire wowed the crowd with her guitar and her raw honesty, then Mark Davis and his group mesmerized with their moody-sweet sounds. Finally F&M took the stage hypnotizing the crowd with Rebecca’s sweet voice and her somehow incredibly sexy accordion, buoyed by Ryan’s deep compelling vocals and stage presence. All that was tied up in a perfect bow with the musical genius of Bryan Reichert who, though you know he’s played the songs many times, listens so intently and reacts moment to moment as though hearing it for the first time. Every instrument he touches turns to gold. All eyes in the crowd were riveted to these polished performers.

Anyway, you get the picture. It was a perfect night. Good pals from Bibo Lone and Todd showed up to hear the music and see the paintings and that meant so much to me. Bryan’s beautiful sweet wife bought me a delicious Vanilla Stout which I had never tried before and enjoyed thoroughly.

It’s such a privilege to share that kind of evening with good friends, but it comes down to this. Ryan & Becky insisted that I participate. They made me take a night off to bring the paintings out to play and honored me further by using one of my wine choices for their big night. They literally dragged me out of my comfort zone and into their magical, shining light.

Friends and music, art and wine. What more is there to live for?

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