Patrick Brealey

The music and musings of Canadian songwriter Patrick Brealey

Dark Angel 2016 — Roy Orbison

I will once again be per­form­ing my historical-​​social-​​musical show on the life and career of one of pop music’s most elu­sive char­ac­ters: Roy Orbi­son. Part con­cert, part social study, we will per­form Roy’s songs and dive into his posi­tion in the masculine-​​dominated rock and roll idiom. Sound heady? It’s not. Dark Angel: The Life and Music of Roy Orbi­son is an inter­est­ing, humourous, heart­break­ing and musi­cally thrilling evening that leave audi­ences say­ing, “I had no idea”.

Join us on Fri­day, April 22nd, 2016 at Hugh’s Room in Toronto. The show will begin at 8:30.

Tick­ets are avail­able at the Hugh’s Room web­site: http://​bit​.ly/​1​Q​R​v​KhI

And via Pay­Pal: http://​bit​.ly/​1​p​4​C​B1r

Hope to see you there!

Dark Angel - April 22-2016 - Plummish copy

Look at Miss Ohio

A glimpse from my Fri­day night Cameron House res­i­dency. A good lookin’ film by Jason Hatcher.

Folk Music Ontario

Look­ing for­ward to attend­ing the Folk Music Ontario Con­fer­ence in Toronto this week­end. I will be play­ing at 1:30am on Sat­ur­day night (that’s Sun­day morn­ing for you nit­pick­ers out there) in Room 363 as part of the AIM Showcase.

One Take Wonders

We were able to take part in a new project called One Take Won­ders. We set up in a Toronto stu­dio and recorded my song “Who’s Fool­ing Who”, live, no over­dubs. Here’s what we sound like, warts and all. I couldn’t be hap­pier, really.

Neil Young on Songwriting

I’ve always enjoyed this quote from Neil Young when he was asked by author Paul Zollo in the book “Song­writ­ers on Song­writ­ing” about how song­writ­ers should get in touch with their song­writ­ing spirit. Neil responds thusly:

“Stop try­ing. Let the force be with you. [Laughs] May the force be with you! I loved that movie when it came out and they said that. I said, ‘Yeah, right on. That’s exactly right.‘
You begin to rec­og­nize it after you’ve writ­ten a few songs. You start to rec­og­nize that when you have an idea for a song and you start hear­ing a melody over and over again with words in your head, that’s when you should write the song. If you don’t have an idea and you don’t hear any­thing going over and over in your head, don’t sit down and try to write a song. You know, go and mow the lawn.”

The thing is, when­ever I pic­ture Neil Young’s lawn I always imag­ine it to be lus­ciously overgrown.

Yonge-​​Dundas Square Show

I will be play­ing with a full band at Yonge-​​Dundas Square — Toronto’s ver­sion of New York’s Times Square or Tokyo’s Shibuya Dis­trict (albeit smaller and with less New York­ers and Toky­oists) at lunch time on Mon­day, Sep­tem­ber 22nd. We start at 12:30pm and it’s a free show!

Check out the details HERE.

Roy Orbison Podcast

Hey there,
Take a lis­ten to me speak­ing on the radio about Roy Orbi­son and my show ded­i­cated to him hap­pen­ing Fri­day, June 13. I had the plea­sure of chat­ting with Bob Reid and Christo­pher Ward of NewsTalk1010 — thanks guys! I start yap­pin’ at 19:25 of the pod­cast below…

Roy Orbison Show — Fri. Jun 13

Have you got your tick­ets to my ded­i­cated Roy Orbi­son show at Hugh’s Room in Toronto?

Buy Tick­ets HERE

And check out this video of me per­form­ing Orbison’s “Crying”


Eye of the Tiger

I had a moment the other day. You know those moments. When you see a glimpse of some­thing unex­pected that makes you look at life a lit­tle differently.

In a flurry of spring clean­ing, I was rel­e­gat­ing a space heater to a high, out-​​of-​​the-​​way shelf in a claus­tro­pho­bic shed. I was excited and mov­ing fast because this win­ter has been long. Really long. Even hardy Ontar­i­ans are claim­ing they have been at their col­lec­tive wits’ end and I couldn’t get this damn heat­ing machine out of sight fast enough. So I hoisted the tall space heater, get­ting enough ooomph in my lift to ensure Old Man Win­ter wit­nessed how seri­ous I was, aaaaand up we go! Aaaaand SMASH>*FLASHHxxzkkkPOP!!tinkletinktinktinkle.…I had dri­ven the heater directly into the energy-​​efficient light­bulb above my head, send­ing a shower of tiny, energy-​​efficient shards of what­ever those energy-​​efficient engi­neers make their energy-​​efficient light­bulbs out of. Prob­a­bly tiger claws and Dead Sea salt shavings.

As the star­burst of pieces rained upon me, sev­eral thoughts crossed my mind in rapid fire suc­ces­sion:
1) Don’t breathe. You’ll inhale a fil­a­ment that will lodge itself in your lung, lay dor­mant for 20 years and even­tu­ally rip its way through the soft tis­sue, leav­ing you breath­less, forced to live in a plas­tic tent like in that really intense part near the end of E.T. when Eliott and E.T. are in quar­an­tine.
2) I’m going to burn down the build­ing. Great. What a way to start spring.
3) Some­thing just went in my eye. No, really. A shard of energy-​​efficient light­bulb just went in my eye and, first, I’m going to have to miss my weekly Fri­day show at the Cameron House in Toronto (Come see us some­time! We start at 8pm!) and, sec­ond, I am going to lose sight in my left eye. [cue panic]

Get it out.

Wait. Don’t touch it. You’ll scratch your cornea or, worse yet, punc­ture it and send ocu­lar fluid everywhere.

Don’t blink. Wait. Blink. That’ll help wash it out. Yeah. {blink} Hmmm, yeah, there’s def­i­nitely some­thing in there.

Flush it with water! But what if the water some­how washes this alien frag­ment behind my eye­lid and it ends up slic­ing my optic nerve?! AAAHHHHH!!!

Ok, calm down, Patrick. Let’s look in a mirror.

Okaaaay, I don’t see any tiger claw shards of death in my eye socket. That’s good. There isn’t any blood. That’s good too! There is def­i­nitely some­thing in my eye other than my eye and I don’t like that very much but it cer­tainly could be worse.

I recently learned that when it comes to donat­ing organs, a healthy liver donor can have up to 70% of their liver removed to give to some­one in need and not only will the donated organ fig­ure out how to live in a dif­fer­ent human but the 30% of remain­ing liver in the donor will make a plan and GROW BACK to its orig­i­nal size. I bring this up because the human body is an amaz­ing organ­ism that we all hap­pen to inhabit. What­ever ended up in my eye, how­ever big, how­ever sharp, how­ever tiny, and how­ever blown up in my mind, my body knew how to get rid of it. Within 15 min­utes and a bit of a cold water flush, I was fine.

Ulti­mately, the inci­dent made me think about how quickly things can change. Of course we all know that life is short and to make the most of it. But are we really pre­pared for the after­shocks of moments that will change our lives for­ever? How would I have reacted to los­ing sight in one eye? I’m sure I would’ve fig­ured it out but man, that would be a blow. More impor­tantly, are we pre­pared for the good things that will hap­pen to us? Life is going to throw us a lot of light­bulbs and a lot of tigers, it’s how we learn to live with them that mat­ters most.

Put June 13 in your calendar


For those in, near or around Toronto, I highly rec­om­mend you put Fri­day, June 13 in your cal­en­dar as I will be putting on a con­cert ded­i­cated to the life and music of Roy Orbi­son. It is going to be magic. More details soon…

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