July 2016 - Summertime and riding the waves!

July 24, 2016:  It feels like home again. I feel good and safe again. Last night was the 2nd time we played as a full band and I must say, WE PLAYED! Just like what I told the guys, this is the end of the beginning. Songs have been learned, and my new stage hubbies are owning the tunes, there are some minor tweaking that will have to be done (but that's normal and will be fixed in a rehearsal) . There were lots of fun stuff that they played on stage. It was a real pleasure to see them let loose and just get into the vibe. I cannot wait for the next full band gig! I hope you'll be there >>>Show Schedule

July 10, 2016: Support is the wave I am floating on. Support of my true friends who remind me that the show must go on, that if my heart is heavy to dedicate the show to those lives lost. I did and although I could not mention their names on stage for fear of choking up. I found my strength and as one friend would put it, "You got your mojo back even stronger!". The new band members held me solid. Friends came out to see the show in support. It was a long awaited comeback indeed, not only for my friends and fans, but for myself as well. Photos >> Here

July 8, 2016:  Sad news...I feel helpless. The news about Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, then waking up this morning and reading about Dallas, it struck me to my core and I cannot catch my breath. Violence begets violence. Where are this generation's Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, etc?! The time between each violence is getting shorter. Are we in for another revolution? Are we ramping up for another civil war? What about peace? What about communication? What about kindness and tolerance and understanding? Simple words have become complicated actions. I have a show tonight. I have a heavy heart. My job is to entertain. I don't feel like it. I want to cancel the show but it's my job, my work, my passion. If you are in the audience tonight and I make you smile or feel something or forget the pain (even if it's only a brief moment) because of me doing my job. Then I will have done my job and I thank you now for being there while I work. Today, I have difficulties in living my passion, my work, my job. Two days ago, I was riding the waves, today - I am floating, waiting to gain my strength to stand up.

July 6, 2016:  Summer season has settled in and I am riding the waves! I am always in anticipation of my summer schedule. At the end of Spring, I was afraid that it was going to be a quiet Summer allowing me to focus on the new guys in the band but then a wave came in and another, and another.

It's always a thrill when fans post on my FB pages or send me private messages asking if, once again I will be singing at festivals that I've done in previous years. Like the Montreal Ribfest. Sadly I will not be able to do it this year. We were in talks but with the wave of gigs coming in, there were many scheduling conflicts and it came to the point where I had to choose. BUT I do hope Montrealers will come out in droves to enjoy the yummy BBQ Ribs and music because it's all for a good cause, The Big Brothers and Big Sisters of West Island. I was a Big Sister and even up until today, I am connected to my Little Sister who is now a mother of two beautiful children and has a wonderful career ahead of her. Hopefully, I'll be playing this worthy cause next year.

The Etta James Tribute will be on a mini-tour in Ontario, we've done Barrie in June and we'll be performing in Collingwood and Niagara-On-The-Lake next month. This show is close to my heart. I've developed great friendships with my fellow singers and band mates, some of whom are part of the who's who of the Canadian music industry. For instance, my mind is blown that at times it's the drummer from Big Wreck, Chuck D. Keeping (oh so solid) that's sitting at the kit and the host is a Canadian Icon, Danny Marks! Every show brings a surprise player so not only are you enjoying the various renditions of Etta James' repertoire but you see the true musicianship of iconic players who you thought were solidly cast in their own specific genre of music. This tribute is quite a treat and I am so honored to be part of this show as the vibe backstage is definitely FAMILY. Click here to see some photos from the Barrie show >> Etta James Tribute.

Carolyn Fe Blues Collective in various groupings has a few gigs this month: a boat tour of the Ottawa River in a trio format, we're back at the House of Jazz, an outdoor concert downtown Montreal and more will be coming. I would love to see you at one of the shows this summer, please click here for the >> Show Calendar

Acting and Theatre-wise, my acting agent booked me with a lot of auditions and film/TV shoots (some even without auditions)! I am loving it. The film I was in, Les Trois Petits 2, came out in French theatres on July 1st and is now another page turned.

The cherry on the icing was a skype meet with the 2016 Dora Moore Award Winner and author of my new favorite play - Calpurnia, Audrey Dwyer. We talked about "Yellowface", "Blackface"...racism within and without the industry. Then we spoke of Precy, the Filipino maid character in Calpurnia. How it was easy for me to get into Precy's role during the public reading at Black Theatre Workshop because her words were just so right. It's brilliant how Audrey was able to develop a character with minimal text but has a HUGE and I mean HUGE presence throughout the story. It's like that saying "the elephant in the room". It was a short skype session but a lot of pertinent exchanges on the issues of appropriation, discrimination and education.

Another exciting and fun news is my new job at a radio station as a host of a weekly 2-hour show,"Unsung And On The Side". I won't name the station yet as they are going through a major overhaul; but I've already pre-recorded 5 episodes which they've queued in for September while I'm on the road. I am having a lot of fun with the show and hope that you'll like the discovery road of the Blues, Jazz and it's derivatives I've taken. If you're a musician who has CD(s) out and would like to have your songs spun on my show, contact me >> here for details.