Friday, May 27, 2011

Quick...Get The Ark

Time doesn't march anymore, it gallops like a Thoroughbred. I haven't updated this blog since before last month's West Coast tour, and lots has been happening. My solo Tuesdays at Mikey's Juke Joint and the Saturday jams at the Blues Can (both here in Calgary) both continue to be fun and popular. Although I lost a guitar camp at Whistler, BC this month (cancelled due apparently to poor advance sales) and didn't get a pair of blues festivals I was in the running for, there's always stuff to do around the shack (even in the endless rain) and projects to develop. Rehearsals are carrying on with the Western Swing band (we have a name now - The Hackamores) and our first public gig will be during Stampede (how fitting) at my usual Tuesday night gig at Mikey's.

The BC tour last month was a howling success, all but one room sold out and I ran out of merchandise one show before the end of the tour. The first date, at The Sandpiper in White Rock, was sponsored by the White Rock Blues Society, who are a great resource for touring musicians in their hood; next, after 3 days hanging with family in Vancouver, was the Hornby Island Blues Society...a concert which was also a birthday party for the wonderful Kathy Banky. After a 2 - day visit (and the gift of an incredible '60s Carvin head/Silvertone with Jensens cabinet) it was off to the Duncan Garage Showroom, the only dead night on the tour. First night of Stanley Cup play-offs, with Vancouver in the hunt. Sold a lot of cds (more than there were people in attendance) and one fan who couldn't make the show paid for my hotel room ! Joe's Garage in Courtenay was the following night, a sold-out show with Milo doing his usual great job as host/soundman/chef. Then up at dawn for the drive to Port Hardy (deer, elk and black bears littering the road) for 2 school shows and a concert (big house, great audience). Sunday was the drive all the way down-island to the Victoria Folk Music Society (always a fun one), through more deer, elk and bears, a night in a cheap motel full of the dying and the dealing (by the looks of it) and the long ferry/car trip home. Next morning in the studio to finish work on Carolyn Harley's cd, Mikey's that night, and a very long sleep.

I played at Locals Pub in Red Deer (thanks, Monty), The Grey Eagle Casino (the stage is on the roof of the bar...strange), a private concert in a house backing onto the Elbow River (swank !), in a converted service station for the opening of my friend Yale's Custom Cycle Shop, and for the annual Bob Dylan Birthday Bash at the Ironwood Stage and Grill (great players, great audiences and obviously great music). Tonight I play with the full version of the Electro-Fires (Ron Casat, keys/vocals, Kevin Belzner, drums, Suitcase James, bass, and Mike Clark, tenor sax), always one of my favorite things to do. For a guy who does so much solo work, I am truly blessed to have such great players to work with on band gigs. More soon (honest)...