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L.A. Beat

Blush explores the positive slide of life

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Calgary jazz/blues duo Heather Blush and the Uppercuts hit the Slice, Jan. 7 as part of a quick tour of Alberta and B.C. in support of her  2009 CD, Versus, which is the “antithesis” of her CD from the year before, ‘Vices.”
Heather Blush plays the Slice, Jan. 7“It’s more about the positive side of life,”  the Manitoba born and raised, Calgary based Blush said from the road. The last CD, “Vices” was  based on just that, vices.
adding the new CD is more upbeat, as  one of the songs, ‘Papaya, Papaya’ indicates.
“That’s a strange one. I write really differently, not like most songwriters who have  a particular style or formula,” she said
“It’s something that was really different. I was practicing scatting  vocalizing and  instead of scatting , came up with papaya, papaya. And  thought that was kind  of neat. So I  wrote a song about a girl in a market who didn’t speak the language and meets a guy who doesn’t speak the language either, so that’s how they communicate, and they get married and have 20 kids. Well not really, but it’s a fun song, ” laughed Blush adding one of the new songs , ‘Restless’ is getting radio play on CBC 2 as well as  lots of play on college radio stations across the country. She got into jazz music while studying  classical music as part of her music therapy program at Brandon University.
“I studied classical music then started listening to a lot of jazz vocalization. I just liked the melodies and the feel, ” she said adding she won’t be recording a new CD fora couple of  years as ‘Vice’ and ‘Versa’ which came out  a year apart.

“I’ll  be sticking with this one for a while for a year or so,” she continued adding that doesn’t mean she hasn’t been writing.
“(Playing the new songs live) That’s a  great way to see  what songs people respond to. If they really like it, you can add it to the  set list. If they don‘t you take it off the set list. It ’s a great way to test drive them,” she continued adding she is looking forward to playing the Slice again.
“ I love that place,” she said adding her trio, together for the past five years, is down to a duo— Blush and drummer “Captain” Steve Hazlett
“Actually  (bassist) Shane Sutherland just left to run a bed and breakfast with his wife and new baby,” she said.
 She moved to Calgary several years ago to pursue a job opportunity and quickly became ingrained in a vibrant music scene.
“There really is a lot of cooperation.. There’s lots of  musicians here, but compared to a  bigger scenes, there’s a little more cooperation. A lot of people move to Vancouver or Toronto so there’s a higher concentration of musicians and a lot more competition. Calgary has a really supportive scene,” she said.


— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat editor
Last Updated ( Tuesday, 05 January 2010 11:50 )  
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