Friday, February 18, 2011


Minus twenty-one degrees Celsius. Is this winter worse than others or is it my imagination ? It could have to do with the passing of time...I've lived in Canada long enough that I no longer fear the winters, but I resent their harshness sometimes (maybe in that sense I'm just becoming more Canadian). Photos and mementos on the walls, from warmer places...Mexico, Morocco, Cuba, Australia...sometimes offer a little warmth. I leave in just over two weeks for a guitar festival in Zihuatanejo (2 1/2 hours North of Acapulco, Mexico) which is a welcome thought, although it would be better if my wife could accompany me. She's stage managing a show in Edmonton (brrrr...) and Victoria (nice) in that time period. Next time.

March will be interesting. Gigs in Calgary, Mexico, Edmonton, Demmitt (on the BC/Alberta border West of Grande Prairie) and Calgary again. Planes, planes (no trains) and automobiles. Tomorrow, Feb. 19th, is a two-gig day starting with the Blues Can jam, after which I take to the stage at the Ironwood Stage & Grill with the 5-piece version of the Electro-Fires including keyboardist Ron Casat and tenor sax ace Mike Clark. I don't often get to play in town with the bigger band but decided to roll the dice on the crowd tomorrow night because I like the sound of the band so much. This unit opened for ZZ Top at the Saddledome, and Lyle Lovett at the Blues and Roots fest a few years back, and was featured on CBC Radio's Canada Live this past summer.

April will bring a tour of Vancouver Island, with a kick-off gig on Hornby Island on the 9th, then the Duncan Garage on the 13th, Joe's Garage (Courtenay) the 14th, Port Hardy on the 16th, and the Victoria Folk Music Society on the 17th. Then back to Calgary for the Blues Can, Mikey's Juke Joint and the Grey Eagle Casino.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Chinook

Although it's set to go away tomorrow, we are still in the embrace of a Chinook wind which is melting the snow and giving a false sense that the winter is on the wane. Gigs in Red Deer and Sherwood Park last month were exercises in patience, outerwear and winter driving. I played a charming little gig last week for TALES (The Alberta League Encouraging Storytelling) plus Friday and Saturday at the Blues Can here in Calgary, then a "Blue Monday" at the National Music Centre (Cantos) with the new house band I helped them to recruit.

My Immigration card will be here on the 2nd of March (nice, sense I fly to Mexico on the 6th and it's hard getting back into Canada without it). Cat-sitting is arranged, now the only hitch could be changing planes in Phoenix with only a 50 minute layover. If you find someone in a good mood sometimes they'll check your luggage through to its' final destination (I've had it happen) which would be nice. Last time I came back from this same festival my guitar was lost at LAX (I eventually got it back - lucky !) and I had to proceed on to Victoria with a spare instrument and no deodorant.

Tuesdays at Mikey's Juke Joint continue to be a very fun solo gig (I was hired to do "a couple of Tuesdays" three years ago). If you're in Calgary on a Tuesday night when I'm not on the road, that's where you'll find me. This is the longest I've been off the road in a long time, since mid-August with only a few nights out-of-town. I'm enjoying the time at home but part of me (the road-dog part) is anxious to do some touring again. Next month will take care of that...check the calendar for March/April and you'll see what I mean !