Downchild Blues Band has today’s almost forgotten track

In their earliest days Downchild had a woman by the name of Jane Vasey in their lineup on keys…Jane died way too young, but made some great recordings with the band, most notably this swinging medley called Tryin’ to Keep Her 88s Straight…I had the pleasure of interviewing Donnie Walsh soon after her death before a show in London Ontario, and when I brought up Jane’s passing we literally had to stop tape to allow Donnie to gather himself together…it was their first tour without her and he was missing her both professionally and personally…here, Peter Appleyard joins Jane on the so when she did a solo guest shot on his TV show…


Greg Simpson

Greg Simpson firmly believes his career in the music industry officially began on March 14, 1965 when a band gave him ten dollars as commission for helping them find a gig. He hasn’t looked back since then and looks forward to celebrating his fiftieth in 2015 with an enormous party paid for by the hundreds of dollars he’s made since then.

His career has covered all aspects from radio for many years, and including working for record labels, artists and, since 1992, Canadian Music Week where he programs the radio stream and manages all conference streams and events in real time annually. He also attends half a dozen conferences a year doing research for CMW and is generally accepted as a knowledgeable cat with a few stories to tell. At the root of it all, though, is his undying love for music and musicians.

Greg Simpson is the author of ‘Today’s Almost Forgotten Track’

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Published on March 14, 2017 at 9:05 pm by Greg Simpson


March 15, 2017 - 11:03 pm

Rocker Rich

I was fortunate enough to interview Donnie with Jane in the room. He was clearly smitten and a much calmer, focused guy than I’d previously seen. A couple of years ago, I saw a Downchild documentary on TMC or HBO Canada. It was obvious that Donnie is still deeply affected by her loss. Musically, too, Downchild changed forever. During her tenure, Jane brought a quirkiness to the band. Visually, she was like a bohemian angel sitting in with hardscrabble bluesmen. Musically she was a superb pianist and–given a song like Trying To Keep My 88s Straight–an unforgettable vocalist.

My enduring memory of spending a half hour in Donnie and Jane’s company was her remarkable eyes. They were dreamily translucent, and seemed to take the measure of new people, locations and experiences…all with a sense of wonder. Just like the late Brian MacLeod (Chilliwack, Headpins), Brian Pilling (Fludd) and Gerry Boulet (Offenbach) one can only speculate what musical heights Jane would have scaled had she not died so young.

March 23, 2017 - 10:13 am

Greg Simpson

a fine memory to have, Rich…thanks

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