The Rolling Fork Tour to Ontario is history now – and what great history it is. The tour was fantastic in every way – from the cross-country train ride to the SRO closing concert in Windsor.
The train from Vancouver to Toronto, courtesy of VIA, was amazing – 4 nights, 3 days in First Class, with my own private roomette and meals in the dining car. Rolling past Mt. Robson, all covered in snow, was the visual highlight of the trip. The train was hosting a rolling convention of train buffs who were happy campers when I pulled out the old Carter Family train songs. It was a great experience.
Once I got to Ontario, every concert was special in its own way, with lots of friends and fans, old and new, coming up to chat after the shows. It was sweet to re-connect, especially with the old friends from the Emsdale area, who came out en masse to the concert in Huntsville – an amazing evening.
Other highlights included wonderful house concerts in Sudbury and Beeton, a great evening at the Artword in Hamilton, the fabulous Winterfolk X Festival in Toronto, a warm and generous evening at Broadway Music in Orangeville, and that beautiful sold-out show in Windsor.
A special thank you to Allison Brown (yes, the same AB of the brilliant pipes and songwriting abilities). Allison has started a company, Brown Paper Publicity, that handled all the PR for the tour and did a brilliant job. Thanks to Allison’s hard work and enthusiasm, this was the best publicized tour to Ontario I’ve ever done and it paid off with full houses for most of the concerts. Thanks again, Allison!
I got home to BC and my sweetheart Milena on Feb 27; after a few days of R+R, we started right in on renovations to our house/studio here on Protection Island and are now in the midst of resurfacing and painting the walls and ceilings on the first floor. We’re going with some Japanese grasscloth, a beautiful pair of blues for walls and ceilings and varnished birch panels for the accent walls. I keep humming Dylan’s “When I Paint My Masterpiece,” as I work away on this fine old house of ours. We may never get finished, but it’s a journey, right?
MARCH GIGS are all close to home.
Yesterday Rick Scott, Jenni Cluff, Norm Lowden, Don Thompson and I all performed here on Protection Island at a Celebration of Life for our dear departed friend , Mike Mathews. It was a moving afternoon of stories and songs, all in memory of one of our community’s finest members – a dear husband to Carol and friend to us all – and one of Canada’s greatest ranters –contributing to the Globe and Mail and journals across the country with his hilarious takes on Canadian life. We’ll all miss him greatly. As Mike would say, “roll your socks down!”
Next up: a country dance here on Protection on Saturday, March 14 at our Beacon House community hall, featuring dear musical pals Trish Clair, Geoff Horroks and Rick Scott. Trish will be fiddling and calling the dances while the other three of us pound out the rhythms…sugar on the floor!
On Thursday, March 29 I’ll be doing a split-bill house concert with Joel Faffard – one of my favourite musicians and a heck of a nice guy. We’ll be performing together at Donna and Bill’s in Lantzville; if you’d like to come, contact Donna at: email@example.com . Joel’s tells great funny stories and plays guitar like a demon, so come on out – it’ll be an evening to remember.
In APRIL I’m heading over to the mainland of BC and then Alberta for a Spring Tour:
Tuesday, April 10 I’ll be participating in the Bluebird North Concert in Vancouver with host Shari Ulrich and a great cast of songwriters: http://songwriters.ca/events/150/20100921bbnvancouver.aspx We’ll be at a fine hall: the Roundhouse in downtown Vancouver. Come on out for this one.
On Wednesday, April 11 I’ll be at the Minstrel Café & Bar, in Kelowna. This will be my first concert in this venue and I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a gorgeous room and all my friends who’ve played there rave about the audiences and the acoustics – and Kelowna in the Spring – who could ask for anything better? http://www.minstrelcafe.com/
After a day or two to explore the area, we’ll be heading down to Grand Forks for a concert on Friday, April 13 at the wonderful Studio B gallery and performance space. I’ve played in Grand Forks several times over the years and always look forward to coming back to one of the nicest small towns in Canada – hope you can join us. http://www.reverbnation.com/venue/988465
On Saturday, April 14 I have a gig I’ve been looking forward to for a long time: a house concert in Calgary at my dear friends, Iain Clark and Linda Greenwood’s. They have a beautiful place in the south end of the city and would love to see you there. You can reserve tickets with Iain at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Then on Sunday, April 15 the tour winds up in Revelstoke for a grand reunion with our favourite country band: Sistergirl. I had the honour and pleasure of producing their recent CD, Amazing Things Happen, and now we’re going to be doing a concert together in Revy. It will be a house concert in Stephanie Ballendine’s beautiful Amble Inn B+B: http://www.bbcanada.com/ambleinn What a great to end the tour!
There are a couple more gigs we’re waiting to hear on and I’ll post those as they come through. Hope to see lots of you out at these concerts. It will be great to connect up and share some stories and new songs.
When I get home from the tour, it will be time to dig back into the studio and record my new singer-songwriter CD : One More Song. It’s going to be a CD of new and near-new original songs – all of which you can hear at any of gigs listed above. We’ve installed a new recording system in the Watershed Studio and this will be its first production. After a decade with the Yamaha AW4416 stand-alone, we’ve upgraded to a Yamaha N12 Digital Mixer running into Cubase. The learning curve is still pretty steep, but the sound is wonderful – really transparent converters and head amps. So stand by for the new CD – it should be out in early summer.
Summer Festivals booked so far:
Vancouver Folk Music Festival, July 13-15
Folk on the Rocks, Yellowknife, NWT, July 20-22
That’s it until next time – our first flowers are blooming and it takes our minds off the 80 kmh winds blowing out there in the Strait.
Keep happy and stay warm as we roll around the corner into Spring,