The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra

The Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra

A few years ago Tito began a series of paintings inspired by musical instruments. He was constantly on the lookout for new things to paint; thinking about instruments day and night. One day were were walking outside of Union station and there was this band. Unlike any band we’d ever seen, they had a fiddle, a drummer, a guitarist, a stand up base and an accordion. They were dressed like gypsies. They were rockin’. And we looked at each other and said ‘jackpot’.

We walked up to them just as they were putting their things away and practically begged them for a shot. Tito said something very flattering then that I’ve always felt nice about; he said “If there is one person you want taking your photo, it’s Shireen”. They agreed, and I grabbed my camera, and a wide angle lens, lay down on the sidewalk and asked them all to crowd over me. I took one shot. Here it is:

They told us they were called the Tequila Mockingbird Orchestra, and that they’d be in Kensington market that night, so we got 2 prints made and went down. One of the prints was a gift, the other one was signed by all of them and is a treasured photo in our home.

They went on to rock the house and we really got to appreciate how talented they are and how unique, funky and dancey their music is. They, and their manager Chandler, are amazing, warm, friendly people. That was the beginning of a great friendship :)

We went to see them every time they passed through Toronto (they’re from BC). When Tito and I spent a week in BC we got to spend some amazing time with them. 90% of what we did and saw on that trip were things they recommended to us.

They came to Toronto to record their new album, and Tito and I were asked if we’d take a few shots of them in studio – of course we were honoured. The shots in this post are all from that night. How amazing, to see the hard work, focus, dedication and talent of both the musicians and the technician, to really see how an album happens.

We did a second photo shoot a few weeks later; one that I can’t wait to share. It was taken in a very special place, the almost century-old carillon of  a church here in Toronto – can’t wait to show it off!

Check them out – if you’re looking for amazing music that defies categories, something that makes you feel good and want to dance, then you’ll love these guys :)

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