Happy Canada Day!! Exactly 3 summers ago, I took “I’d Rather Walk,” to the trails, and this crazy stroll around the country began. This was the first bridge I crossed. Very symbolic in many ways, as it was a crossing into a whole new path of discovery of Canada, it’s people, and all the connections in between.
With the launch this week of the All We Ever Need Fundraiser , it feels like Canada Day has become a bench mark date for embarking on new adventures, and I couldn’t be more excited to take the next leap.
Thanks to all who have supported, contributed, and shared the campaign so far. We’re close to $2000 in under a week, and I am really stoked about that! More exciting updates to come :).
Have an absolutely wonderful day! It’s a great one to celebrate with your family, friends, and community!
I am very excited for this day!! Over the last few years of walking throughout Canada and connecting with wonderful people and communities around the country, it is time to put these stories in songs into album form. For the first time, I am going to be working with a producer to bring this very special project to life!
Today is day 1 of the fundraiser, and I am thrilled to share this with the world! The new album is going to be called “All We Ever Need.” Click on the photo below to visit the page, watch the video, and to learn how you and your community can support and benefit from this project!
Last year aboard VIA Rail I met a man named Edward, almost 90 years old, heading east to Halifax on the train. I asked him what he was planning to do on his trip, and he replied he was headed to the Maritime Museum in Halifax to see the Titanic exhibit.
I asked Edward where it was, and he said he didn’t know. He also said he was travelling out just to go to the Museum for an afternoon, and then was turning back on the train. In my head, I’m thinking, “Man, what if the Museum was closed?!?! That’s a six trip out, and 6 day trip back!!” Hopefully that wasn’t his case.
Anyways, I asked him what the greatest lesson he had learned in his life was. He replied very promptly…”If you’re gonna do something, do it NOW!”
I sat on that idea for a year until hoping aboard the train again. I got to thinking about Edward, and a tune in his honour showed up at my doorstep. Here’s a clip from the Festival of Small Halls Storyteller’s Circle where I played it for the kind people of Linkletter.
Thanks Edward! You bring joy to many folk :). Hope the Museum was awesome!
What a fantastic start to the tour. The woman in the above photo with me is Elizabeth Taylor. The first time I ever took the train was in the summer of 2013 with Nova Scotia’s Jen Miller when we were the duo – When Coasts Collide. During one of our on board performances, this woman came into the room with a violin, sat down, and ROCKED those strings like crazy with us! We had such a great jam…
We hadn’t seen or heard from each other since…until Friday night when I got on the train headed east. I was tuning my guitar, looked around, and saw Elizabeth with violin in hand! She opened up her case, and we played together for the passengers awaiting their journey. So awesome!!
Then….on the train, I bumped into a few other people I had met in previous years! Super cool!! It’s really neat to re-connect with people this way.
Just made it into Toronto, and am heading out to New Brunswick tomorrow! East Coast….I be coming for ya, and then the legendary Festival of Small Halls in PEI!!!
Here’s where I’ll be over the next 6 weeks:
June 10-16th – Via Rail Train between Vancouver, BC and Moncton, NB
June 18th – Private House Concert, outside Moncton, NB
June 19th, 20th, 21st – Festival of Small Halls, PEI
June 24th-29th – Marine Atlantic Ferry between North Sydney, NS, and Argentia, NFLD
July 2nd – Private House Concert, Nova Scotia
July 4th – Music Mondays, Alma, NS
July 6th-13th – Marine Atlantic Ferry between North Sydney, NS, and Argentia, NFLD
July 16th-17th – Montreal, QB
July 18th-20th – Ottawa, Oakville, Toronto
July 21st – 25th – Via Rail Train between Toronto-Vancouver
Looking forward to catching up with old friends, and making new ones!!
I am honoured to have been selected to be on the instructor team for the 25th annual Georgia Straight Guitar Workshop coming up in June. This weekend of musical education presents a diverse pallet of new skills to learn, and great people to learn from. I’m going to be facilitating 2 courses – Bending the Blues, and an intermediate improv/jam class. These have focus on the guitar, but aren’t completely limited to it.
Click on the guitar below for a list of the classes and instructors. There’s singing, songwriting, ukelele, guitar, hand drumming (west african and afro-cuban), opportunities to perform, and great people to meet. It’s also held right near the stunning Crescent Beach. Check it out:
Over the last four years of touring to eastern Canada, I have acquired a mass of Celtic inspired songs, and have written my own within this particular flavour. It has now reached the point where I can now carry an early evening Celtic experience, and will be doing so every Friday in May at The Blarney Stone in Vancouver. If you’re a fan of oysters and Guinness, they have a wicked Happy Hour during this time in your favour :).
I’m there singing my heart out from 4-7pm.
Friday April 8th – Luke’s, Vancouver, full band, 9pm.
Saturday April 9th – Tractorgrease, Chilliwack, with good friends in the picture above (Chicken-Like Birds), 7pm, $12
Friday April 15th – TD Bank, Downtown Vancouver, 12-2pm, instrumental performance
Wednesday April 20th – Vancouver Folk Song Society Feature, Friend’s Neighbourhood House, 70th/Oak street, 7:30 PM
Sunday April 24th – Chewies, Kitsilano/Vancouver, 7pm, solo
Monday April 25th – Brix, Yaletown/Vancouver, 8pm, solo
April 29th-30th, Kelowna, TBC
Good day to yee all! What a whirlwind this last week was….in all ways awesome! I had the honour of being a part of this all star community that you see in the above photo. These are the trainer/mentors and participants of a brand new workshop/program called “On the Road.” It was organized by the BC Touring Council to help artists better understand the world of touring, and how to navigate music conference events such as Pacific Contact.
What is Pacific Contact you say? It’s a multi-day event, and there are many others around Canada (Ontario Contact, OSAC, CAPACOA, Contact East) where venue and event presenters, agents, managers, and artists come together to see how they can help each other out. Artists, agents, and managers present their craft and roster, and presenters book who they think will be a great fit for the communities they present to.
It was a fascinating experience to be involved with this event. The BC Touring Council has been around doing this for 40 years!!! This year was particularly revolutionary, as it was the first year they opened up a professional development component for emerging and aspiring artists. This also gave a few of the artists a chance to pitch/perform their art in the actual conference to presenters, something that has never happened before. On top of that, a youth advisory panel was assembled of young superstars around the province to raise awareness of issues surrounding the next generation of art presenting – an important step in arts world forward movement!
It’s exciting to see more community building initiatives being offered that walk artists through what it means to have a successful career. Many artists do not know about conferences and programs like these, so if you are an artist or know an artist, please pass this post along, as it this is something every touring artists should at least be aware of. Also, keep an eye on those in the photo above – they are an outstanding group of talented and dedicated artists, and will be making waves in the future!
I’ll be warming up the audience at the lovely Acoustic Emporium this evening in Chilliwack. Headlining the night will be Coalmont, a lovely group with amazing harmonies! They managed to snag an award – 2015 GMA Country Song of the Year for their tune “Under the Stars!” Can’t wait to meet them, and play in Chilliwack for the first time!!
Nights like last night at the Deep Cove Coffee House make my heart swell…….No joke!! What an incredible evening that was!! It was such an honour to play for a spectacular listening audience, to play with incredible musicians (left to right – Jasmin Frederickson and Ari Lantela from Chicken-Like Birds, and Kristina Jessin on violin/harmony), and to witness the pulling together of community.
For reasons unknown, the sound man of the night did not appear, but heroes among the crowd, volunteers, and openers of the night got it up an running. This may not sound like not a big deal, but when you have to pull together a sound system you’re unfamiliar with in minimal time, it’s a BIG DEAL! Huge thanks to Ken Hamer, Ken Cade, Glenn Chatten, and folks that got the sound up and running for our segment of the evening! Very special thanks to John Lyon for running this event, and to the Mount Seymour Church for the use of their space.
I’m all giddy inside! Thanks all, and to Dan Bowditch who took the photo of us playing :).
I had the wicked opportunity to play one of my favourite cover tunes for Indie Van City’s Inside Van Series. Such a cool experience!! Be sure to check out some of the other artists videos too. One of my fav’s was Full Moon Riot! Thanks to Ryan McDonald at http://chicknskratch.com, Dwayne Morgan at June Production, all the gang at Nimbus, and to the wonderful Kristina Lao who organizes this all!!
Here’s to the Walk of Life!!
Thanks to Jeff Arsenault for the above photo, and to all those who came out to support our first night at The Roxy!! We had an absolute blast playing on that stage, especially when everyone bust out dancing to the Bowie tune we played!
We have another show/jam night tomorrow in Vancouver at Luke’s Corner Bar on Granville and 14th, 9pm. Always makes for a fun evening!
A bunch of new shows are posted, and it is quite a variable palette this month from full band, to Folk Club, to collaborative Improv. Be sure to check SHOWS for the where’s and whens.
It was also my birthday the other day, and I felt inspired to write up a new Bard’s Blog about turning into Larry Bird!!
Soooooo….last night….THIS HAPPENED!!!! STAGE SIDE AT THE BOOKER T JONES CONCERT AT THE VOGUE THEATRE!! If you are unfamiliar with Booker T, listen to GREEN ONIONS, and you’ll quickly recognize that you know him!
The man is an absolute legend, and his been an integral part of music history. It is such a treat to be able to witness a seasoned performer of this caliber, and I find myself very inspired today.
However, this inspiration is not just from Booker T. I was pleasantly mind blown to discover the likes of Mud Funk, and Jesse Roper last night as well – two opening bands that opened a show like I have never seen before!!! Click on the photos to go to their websites:
Keep your eyes open for these two groups, and go when you see them performing – THEY MUST BE EXPERIENCED LIVE!! I actually don’t want to tell you how great they were, because words can’t explain. WOW!! That was in the top ranking for best show I have seen,,,IN MA LIFE!!
Best part of the whole night – I realized I knew 5 of the 9 members of Mud Funk from separate groups I have met over the years, and had absolutely no idea that they formed a super group! They are like the Funk/Soul version of the Eagles!!!
Just had the opportunity to adventure to Kaua’i at the end of January with my wife. The trip was amazing, and I highly recommend going there, at least once in your lifetime if you can. True to previous form, here’s a bard’s blog small world encounter from our journey – From Kombucha in Kauai to high school in Kelowna…
Recharged from the sun, I am very excited to be back in town, and to be playing for the first time at a legendary Vancouver venue on Saturday, February 27th – The Roxy!!
I will be joined with my bandmates, and we’ll be sharing the night with new local friend – David Alexander. It’s an earlier show, so be sure to be there by 7:45 to catch us play….Got a great one planned ;).
We’ll also be doing a jam down evening at Luke’s on 14th and Granville tomorrow night (Friday Feb 12th), starting up at 9pm. May have some special guests in attendance!
I was in Kelowna this weekend playing a show with bandmates, Darren Beattie and Matt Langill. We had a blast playing at Fernando’s Pub, and came away with one of the best new dance moves I have ever seen….Ask in person next time you see me for a personal demonstration….much like the Martix…you can’t be told what the dance move is…..you have to see it for yourself…..
In mid December, the boys and I traveled to Music City Studio to do a live off the floor recording with Mike Pedersen. We got a chance to go in and listen to the recordings in progress this weekend, as seen above. Matt is executing his best “thinker,” pose, Mike is at the control desk, I am wearing my jacket that matches the studio, and Darren is behind the camera. The half butt on the rug is Oscar the dog!….Anyways..
We were very excited to hear how they are turning out, and I’m thrilled to soon have some recordings that reflect what the full band sounds like. Working with Mike has been fantastic, and I highly recommend this experience to any musician. The amount that I have learned from just that one session is incredible – Recording, especially live with full band, is an exercised skill! Can’t wait to get in there and do it again :).
Stay tuned for tunes….
Very excited to be back in Kelowna this weekend with my bandmates, especially to play at Fernando’s in wicked hats and house coats!! Should make for a blast of a weekend, as good friends from Tiger Moon are doing a Long Johns themed show the night before!! haha. I’ll be at that one too if you care to join me in Long John style!!
This Tuesday evening I will be playing at a very special show. A new musical friend of mine, Kristina Lao, has pulled together a night of music in support of her long time friend Gilly – a very young woman that was rapidly affected by brain cancer. Funds raised from the show will go towards supporting her journey through the process. Gilly’s story can be followed here – https://www.gofundme.com/
The show will get going promptly at 8pm, so please come early, and be reading for a heart warming evening.
All the best to everyone during the holidays. Be sure to spread the U.F. Ho. Ho!