Well, finally, a few days where the temperature rises above -23. January's turning into a fun month musically, however - both the Blues Can Jam and the 8th Annual Hankover (a tribute to Hank Williams at the Ironwood Stage & Grill) made Jan. 1st a cool one. A Saturday night at Mikey's Juke Joint on Jan. 8 marked the return of old friend and musical collaborator Ron Casat to my electric band (The Electro-Fires) after a 5-month hiatus. A pair of shows with the Front Porch Review (produced by Peter North) were wonderful, although the driving was a little hairy. Thanks to all the guys in the show (Stewart Macdougall, Ron Rault, Bobby Cameron, Crawdad Cantera, Thom Moon, and Dwayne Hrynkiuw) and to the staff at the Matchbox (Red Deer) and Festival Place (Sherwood Park) for such enjoyable gigs.
This Saturday I'm in concert at the Grandview Stage Resort, near Rocky Mountain House. Always a good time ! Greg Godowicz will be holding down the Blues Can Jam for me that day (Jan. 22), and I'll be back for the 29th, as well as playing the club Friday and Saturday nights (Jan. 28-29). Tuesday solo shows at Mikey's Juke Joint continue, plus on Wednesday Jan. 26 I appear with a group of storytellers at JT's Pub in the Tri-Wood Community Centre (7 pm show), and on Monday the 31st I am the first guest to play with the new Blue Mondays house band at Cantos/National Music Centre (7 pm as well).
When I Was A Cowboy, the theme cd I put out a while ago, garnered a very nice review in the current issue of Penguin Eggs, the Canadian folk music magazine. Still no word from Sing Out !, who requested review copies of the two most recent discs a while back.
Progress (finally) is being made on the blues mandolin instructional dvd ! No release date yet but we're approaching the absolute end of editing it. Speaking of instruction, my being listed as "confirmed" at a blues guitar camp at Whistler Mountain, B.C. is a little premature - they have until the 31st to send a deposit and a contract. I wish them well, and if it's a go I will be there.
February looks like a month of good and interesting work. Aside from the house gigs there's a house concert for Jeans Off ! in Red Deer on the 11th, a "dirty" blues Valentine's Day show at Mikey's Juke Joint, the Ironwood Stage & Grill on the 19th, The Blues Can with the Electro-Fires on the 25-26, and producing the second cd for the acoustic blues duo Hills & Lemelin (their debut was one of my favorite projects of the last few years).
Keep on listening, and I'll post again soon !