Blues Veteran Gerry Markman At Meaford’s Red Door

The Friday night dinner music concerts at The Red Door Grille in the Meaford Motel have been a great success and so they are continuing on with an appearance this week from guitarist Gerry Markman.

Gerry Markman is a music industry veteran who has been playing guitar since the age of twelve.  His long career has included associations with the likes of The Cameo Blues Band, The Lincolns, the late Hock Walsh and Alannah Myles.   Along with touring he has done a lot of session work.

Gerry at 19 with The Max Band

Originally from Montreal he started out at a young age playing blues every night of the week at a place called Jazz et Café.  With some musical friends he formed The Max Band (named after his cat) that released a single in 1970 called “The Flying Dutchman”, a song co-written by Markman and Ian Lebofsky.  Over the years it has become something of a cult hit, particularly in Quebec, where it always went over well live.

When founder of Steve’s Music, Steve Kirman decided in 1977 to augment his Montreal music store with a new location in Toronto, he asked Gerry to help get it started.  In the years since, he has moved back and forth between working as a full time musician and managing Steve’s.

In 1981 Bob Segarini talked Gerry into getting back into music full time.  A year later, when the Cameo Blues Band reformed with a new lineup, Gerry was brought on as guitarist.  The Cameo Blues Band had originated at The Hotel Isabella as an alternative project for Hock Walsh, whose sibling frictions with his brother Donny resulted in his on-again, off-again participation in The Downchild Blues Band.  With John Bride and former Crowbar keyboard player “Rabbit” Ray Harrison, the Cameo Blues Band became a favourite of R & B fans in Toronto.  It was Harrison who re-formed the band in 1981 with Markman on board.  As a working musician he played with The Lincolns, the Alannah Myles Band, and Tom Barlow.

Gerry with Tamica Heron and the Harbour Street Band

Years later, he was a co-founder of the popular party R&B band The Sensations, based in Orillia.  He moved to Barrie in 1989 and continued to play with The Sensations while also continuing to commute to Toronto for his day job at Steve’s Music.  He also led the Ruanne’s House Band in Barrie, and twice was musical director for the Barrie Music Awards.  Now his is officially retired both from music retailing and touring, but he can’t quit playing.  Lately he’s played with Tamica Herod and the Harbour Street Band at The Harbour Street Fish Bar in Collingwood, and he still plays fairly regularly around Barrie and Orillia.

It will be a treat for local blues fans to enjoy his music for an evening here in Meaford at the Red Door.

Here’s a cool shuffle with his band The Sensations:

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