Road Notes from Bob: The Hamilton Music Awards

Bob Mersereau | Author's Notes | Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Date: November 15, 2007
Dateline: Hamilton, ON

It’s been awhile since I blogged, and it’s time for an update. The main reason is that I’m back on the road, out promoting the Top 100 Canadian Albums book once more. I’m writing from Hamilton, where I’m attending the annual Music Awards in the city. When the book came out, and organizers saw how many Hamiltonians made the list, they extended the invitation to take in the awards, which I readily and heartily accepted. That was BEFORE I found out who else would be here; more on that in a moment.

I guess I’d always known that Hamilton was a music hotbed. I knew many musicians were from the city, but I hadn’t really put it together, until the Top 100 list was finalized. There’s Crowbar, and there’s King Biscuit Boy of course; Teenage Head; Daniel and Bob Lanois; Tom Wilson of Junkhouse and Blackie & the Rodeo Kings; Martha & the Muffins; Tomi Swick. Stan Rogers was born here. . . and then there’s Simply Saucer, the surprise band in the Top 100.

You can go on and on, but the point is the city has an amazing music history, and continues to be one of the most vibrant scenes in North America. It just doesn’t get all the ink other places do.

However, they know how to honour their own, and starting tonight, it goes on for four fun-filled days. When I accepted the invitation to come, I didn’t know what I’d be doing, but not only am I busy, I get to meet many of the above people, and finally put a face to some of the folks I did interviews with, or wrote about in the Top 100. Tonight, hometown hero Daniel Lanois returns, to kick off the Awards with a showing of his brand-new film. Lanois spent the last year putting together a documentary that looks at the process of creating art. Who better than someone who not only creates his own excellent music, but also joins in the process with many of the world’s best. His film includes footage of U2, Eno, Garth Hudson and more, and I’ll have a full review in my next posting. Oh yeah, I get to introduce Daniel tonight at the showing.

I’m also moderating a panel, handing out awards at both the industry and music functions, and acting as MC at a little show featuring Teenage Head and Simply Saucer. The wonderful Garth and Maud Hudson are in town, so I’ll finally be able to shake their hands - after hours on the phone interviewing for The Band sections in the book. And my buddies in The Sadies (#97 for Favourite Colours) are playing Friday night. I brought my personal copy of the book to add some much-cherished autographs. I’m just as big a fan as anyone else, and I can’t believe my luck to have so many of the people in the book here on one weekend.

See, told ya Hamilton has an amazing music scene. Stay tuned for the play-by-play of the Hamilton Music Awards, starting with my next posting.

-Bob

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