I got an e-mail recently from Allan Fraser mentioning that he and Brian Blain would be doing a double bill together at the Yellow Door in Montreal on Saturday, April 16.
That note from Allan brought back a memory from some time in the early-1970s when I was running the Yellow Door for the night – as I occasionally did back then – when Chuck Baker was away. There was a problem and the performer who was supposed to play that night wasn’t able to so I had to find someone to take the stage. Through the back alley behind the Yellow Door was a little coach house that was occupied in those days by some folkies and there’d usually be someone or other there with a guitar. I dashed over, found Allan Fraser and Brian Blain, and had them on stage at the Yellow Door a few minutes later.
Allan, of course, was the Fraser of Fraser & DeBolt, a popular duo on the Canadian folk scene back then. Brian was the producer of the second Fraser & DeBolt LP.
Allan – whose song, “Dance Hall Girls” is one of the great classics of the Montreal folk scene – has continued to write songs over the nearly four decades since then but doesn’t come out to play them very often.
Brian, a fine singer-songwriter who lives at the corner of Blues Street and Folk Avenue, is an accomplished performer who’s been based in Toronto for many years now. He was my guest on the radio show back in 2005.
The Yellow Door, all these years later, is still at 3625 Aylmer Street in the McGill Ghetto.