Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Not to rock the boat or anything cause I'm really just an ankle bitin' blues biscuit.. but I've been thinking lots about this whole "release your first CD thing." Seems like that's the question on many minds and although I understand the sense of accomplishment and completion that goes along with producing a so- called 'creative icing on the cake'..I'm not so sure it's what I want to do.

Will I be taken more seriously as a performer and recording artist if I put out a complete album? Should it matter to me what others think of my decisions regarding my music career? Most indie albums are produced at the expense of the artist and barely sold these days.. "here sir! have a free drink coaster with some of my original soul lazered into the grooves"..Not to dis the process..I have unlimited amounts of respect for the many multi- talented and productive musicians in this town but I'm feeling it in a totally different direction. 

Yes I want radio airplay, yes I want to share my music on a massive scale and yes I would love to make even a little bit of money off my labour of love. I'm simply unsure if having stacks of cracked plastic jewel cases gathering dust in thrift stores is worth the energy when it runs the risk of de-railing me from live performance and interacting with other music lovers..which happens to be my true passion and driving force.

Is it a rite of passage to produce a CD?  Is it a token of gratitude to the listener or an homage to all the other artists who have put tremendous amounts of time, talent, not to mention MONEY into what seems to become nothing more than a ritual process? Where do those albums really end up anyway, other than popped into the computer, downloaded then transferred to a digital device of some sort. 

What means more to me than anything is connecting with my audience and earning the respect of my peers and all the other players around town who I look up to and learn from. Somehow I don't think they would care one way or the other. The question seems primarily industry- based and I'm not convinced that impressing the industry is a priority for me right now. I just wanna play good music with great musicians. I'm fortunate enough to be doing that now so I guess I'll stay the course!

Speaking of great stages and great audiences..the next show is at Cory Weed's Cellar Jazz Club and I'm honoured to share such a stage with my amazing 'Dirty Swing Band' Jack Lavin, Dave Webb and John Nolan.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


My only regret in regards to my latest musical endeavour is that my own father never got to be involved with my little project.  Besides my own inner passion to perform well and succeed, he is the main reason I pursued music with such vigour in the first place. Countless hours of practising Bach and Brahms on my cello with him hovering over my shoulder telling me to "play it again and play it better, biscuit!" Prompted me to refuse practising in his presence altogether as a teen. 

John Daniel Le Van Jr. never played an instrument, but sang a deep encompassing baritone that filled the church every Sunday. Singing the bass lines of the hymn book, we were embarrassed as children by his booming, reverberating  vocals. Yet he loved the attention from all the old church biddies, and performed for them from his pew with heart, soul, perfect pitch and timing.

He would wake us up every Saturday morning much to our dismay crooning 'Ramona' at the top of his lungs, drowning out our groans of discontent....

He was a French Hugenot from the Ozark Mountains of Springfield Missouri. He never knew a life without music and wanted nothing more from me than to become a professional musician. How terribly disappointed he was when I quit the cello in the mid 1990's and took a detour from music altogether just a few years before he died. 

He gave me the moniker 'Wendy Biscuit' the day I was born apparenty because i was fat and round like the southern breakfast staple...'biscuits and gravy' He even composed a little jingle and sang it to me every Sunday morning while we walked to church. Here's how it went...

Little bitty Wendy Biscuit
Little bitty Wendy girl
Daddy gotta biscuit
Little bitty baby girl

As a teenager he embarassed me further by calling me "biscuit" in front of my punk rock friends who snickered and poked fun at my hated nickname. Only since last year have I learned how precious were the gifts he gave me. I can boldly say that the Wendy Biscuit Blues Band is an offering to his memory and I mourn the fact that he will never be in the front row where he always said he wanted to be.