Building bridges with Oshawa’s Boris Buhot
Dave Grohl’s Sonic Highways TV series is on my mind. Grohl and his band, Foo Fighters, recorded their latest album in various studios in American cities, cities that have their own unique musical heritage. They document the journeys and interview key players in whichever city is being spotlighted. I like it a lot and not just because I agree with Dave’s premise that place informs sounds (regular readers will note I’ve been saying Durham Region has its own sound for, well, a good while now). The former Nirvana drummer visits eight cities — Chicago, Washington, Austin, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, New Orleans and Seattle. In the LA episode the Foos actually bail on the City of Angels and head to the desert for the Rancho de la Luna recording studio in Joshua Tree.
La Luna is just a house, a home and folks must record in the decidedly cramped rooms, breathing in the breath of the others, in close quarters that Grohl says puts the BO in HBO (the channel carrying the series). Among the folks interviewed for the LA episode is Danny Lanois, who has recorded at la Luna. The legendary producer from Hamilton says putting musicians in a room close together, in a circle, is not an issue as musicians “self-balance.” They have the ability to communicate between the notes, in the spaces and react according to what is happening in the round.
And this self-balance is what Boris Buhot will have you experience at his In The Round sessions, the third of which will be presented at Simcoe Jazz ‘n Blues on Dec. 4.
Buhot was born in Toronto but relocated to Oshawa in 2008. He moved back to TO in 2012 but is back again. He has a passion for music and a deeper passion for connecting people through music. He has been building towards this series for years and he is finally at the point in his life when he can gather the folk he knows and present them on a stage.
The series runs the first Thursday of the month and alternates between Toronto and Oshawa, bringing players from one city to the other, bridging the two scenes, the two sounds. The concerts are pay what you can. Buhot has some names up there too; players with their own heritage; influential players.
Juno winner and jazz master Tony Quarrington, Montreal-born guitarist and poet Noah Zacharin and folk icon Brian Gladstone are on the Dec. 4 bill. The inaugural Toronto show in November had Susan Latimer and Glen Hornblast and the first show of the series back in October, also at Simcoe Jazz ‘n Blues, had Frank Wilks of Buffalo Springfield Revisited, Sebastian Agnello of Lords of London and roots artist Peter Verity.
The players Buhot chooses have presence and a rich past. They are multi-talented and multi-layered and Buhot is hoping to showcase all aspects, all facets of their talents on his stage. They bring history, living history to that stage.
Exploring the living history of a scene is the basis of Grohl’s series. What Buhot envisions is similar to the Foo man’s view. Both are sharing their own deep love for music, its players, its artifacts and its architecture. Where music is created, played is important and this pride in place and this desire to tell all who will listen drives them both.
— William McGuirk is a freelance writer and longtime Oshawa resident. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org