by Margie Goldsmith
The Mellotones, Halifax’s most kick-ass rhythm and blues band, are on stage at Bearlie’s a Canadian hotspot for live blues. Much of the audience is dancing, but not me. I’m quaking, because I know they’re about to call me on stage. What have I gotten myself into? I’m a writer, not a musician – an amateur compared to this sizzling-hot Nova Scotia nine-member band.
I am in Atlantic Canada because I’ve been asked to write about three historic hotels. Visualizing crumbling buildings, threadbare furniture and the ‘smell of old’, I planned to say no, but the firm that arranged the trip dangled a carrot they knew I’d bite; play with different musicians each night. I couldn’t pack quickly enough.
Eight years ago, I took up the harmonica because I travel to many foreign countries and meet so many whose languages I can’t speak. Music is an international language and a harmonica fits easily in the pocket.