Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 22 - No Jazz Fest gig

Well, my noon gig for the Calgary Jazz Fest was cancelled on 36 hours notice (I've sent them an e-mail reminding them they still owe me for the gig). I'll be at Mikey's tonight, however. How does a festival get in that kind of shape ? My intrinsic suspicion of Boards of Directors is somewhat aroused.

The past week-end was brilliant - dropped off one of my vintage instruments at Schifflett Guitars in High River, had a beans-and-cornbread dinner with old friends Mel Wilson and Ian Tyson (hardly any stories got told at all...), and played with my rhythm section at Carlsons On Macleod, a wonderful club in an old heritage building where the hosts, Don and Brenda, treat performers and audience alike as if they were honoured guests instead of employees and customers. A few hours sleep in a cheap room, and off to the Pincher Creek Cowboy Poetry Gathering where I performed two sets from the "When I Was A Cowboy" cd, visited with numerous friends I hadn't seen for a long time, and watched the afternoon's Ranch Horse competition (cutting/reining/ranch roping). I got back to Calgary just past midnight and was up at 8 to teach a guitar clinic and perform one mainstage set with my band at the Parkland SummerFest in South Calgary. The weather was gorgeous and the crew at the festival are superb...we had a great time (Howard "Schmenge" on accordion doing a great job replacing Ron Casat, my usual keyboardist) and so did the crowd. Dinner with my wife while watching "Shutter Island" and a few beers, and 9 1/2 hours of the best sleep I can remember in months.

The rest of this week : Mikey's tonight, solo; a session on Allison Demeter's cd tomorrow; Quincy's (downtown Calgary) on Saturday with my long-time bassist Suitcase James and the great Thom Moon on drums. Hope to see you there !

June 22 - No Jazz Fest gig

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sun-day indeed !

Finally the sun is out for a few days...time to take a coffee on the deck and watch the flowers grow (and the cottonwoods and carrigana take over the back yard). When festival season kicks into high gear next week-end I'll have to figure out someone to feed the cat and tend the flowers for the one road trip my wife is accompanying me on. Next Friday (June 18th) is Carlson's on Macleod in High River, a lovely music bar in a lovely old heritage building; Saturday is the Cowboy Poets Gathering in Pincher Creek, where I'll perform songs from the "When I Was A Cowboy" cd; and Father's Day Sunday I do a morning guitar workshop and a set with the Electro-Fires in the early afternoon, at the Parkland Solstice Festival, Parkland Community Association in South Calgary. My long-time keyboardist Ron Casat is away on the West Coast, so we'll be joined by ace accordionist Howard Chapman (anyone familiar with the late Back Alley John has heard Howard's swirling bluesy/cajun accordion chops). The following week it's two gigs on Tuesday under the banner of the C-Jazz festival...one on Stephen (8th) Avenue at 4-ish, and Mikey's Juke Joint in the evening. That festival features a great line-up this year with (among others) Poncho Sanchez and Cedar Walton. I'll be at the Last Chance Saloon in the Rosedeer Hotel, Wayne, Alberta that Friday-Saturday, maybe fitting in a game of golf in Rosebud, where I've often had to hold play while wild game of various sorts meanders across the fairways. The new instructional dvd on blues mandolin should be out (www.learnrootsmusic.com) pretty soon, and I'm working on the re-release of my "live" solo disc, "Evenings Among Friends" for release this summer as well !

Monday, June 7, 2010

The calm before...

Ah, one more quiet week to plant some flowers and hope they don't freeze, to finish the taxes and the arrangements for this summer's festival season. The Friday night mainstage at Vancouver Island Music Fest is looking like a great one, where I play with my band, the Electro-Fires (Ron Casat, keys, Mike Clark, sax, Suitcase James, bass, Kevin Belzner, drums) with friend and guitar hero Amos Garrett. We'll be joined by a host of other pals for a tune here and there, including Roy Forbes, Gary Preston, Dave "Slim" Harris and Lester Quitzau...should make for an entertaining 75 minutes to close out the Friday night mainstage. We'd better be good; we're following Roberta Flack !

This week it's Mikey's Juke Joint on Tuesday, a corporate shindig on Wednesday, practice the bajo sexto and button accordion, and prepare for some session work on upcoming recording projects. My new instructional dvd on blues mandolin should be coming out on www.learnrootsmusic.com in the near future as well.