Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Time It All Went For Shit

Sorry to be so long getting back to this blog...things have been crazy ! In my last post I was in Kelowna, mid-November, heading for Vancouver Island. The rental car had very used all-season tires and someone had set the brakes so hot I was afraid to sneeze in the driver's seat while piloting the car out to Merritt and over the Coquihala Pass the morning after the Kelowna Folk Club gig (it had snowed for almost 24 hours since my arrival in Kelowna. Ferry ride to Vancouver Island was beautiful, and a good crowd at the Dancing Bean in Chemainus, including old friends Nathan Tinkham and Stephen Sparks who dropped over after their show at the Theatre went down. Next day, off to Gabriola Island where friends Michael and Shauna loaned me a lovely house on the water.

After hooking up with the Steffanson brothers (Ken and Gerry) and Gary Fjellgard, I managed to lose the house key through a hole in a jacket interesting evening of meeting with the locksmith (thank heavens there is one on that tiny island) and listening to the wind howl. Power was out next morning, but I found the other key in the front yard, so now my friends have two. Packed the car and caught the ferry to Nanaimo, where I stopped at Fascinatin' Rhythm (one of the last real record stores left anywhere) and headed north to catch the ferry to Powell River from Comox. I caught the last ferry and had a visit with my son and daughter-in-law, then to bed, and the lovely experience of waking up with my grandkids.

After a nice visit, I was trapped in Powell River when gale-force winds shut down ALL the ferries. I had to cancel my Campbell River gig, enjoyed an extra day with family, and crossed back to Vancouver Island for a gig at the Cumberland Hotel, sponsored by old pal Doug Cox and the Vancouver Island Music Festival. A great night, and a drive up-island to Port Hardy for a sold-out house concert. Next morning I awoke to find a massive mudslide had blocked the Island Highway and I was stuck in Port Hardy. A sold-out gig at Duncan Garage Showroom had to be cancelled. After a day of BC Highways moving back the estimated opening time of the highway, I checked with the airport and they had added one flight which hadn't been sold out yet. Natonal Car Rentals, quite possibly soon my EX-favorite rental company, charged me way over a THOUSAND DOLLARS drop-off fee.

Flew to Campbell River, then to Vancouver, rented another car, dove to White Rock and played my gig...a group of regulars there got me a hotel room in town and paid for it...what a crew. Next morning I drove back to Vancouver Airport, turned in the car, and changed my ticket from Kelowna to Vancouver-Calgary, arriving home in time to change clothes and play at Mikey's Juke Joint. Got home to find my Sunday Brunch gigs cancelled, and a night in High River double-booked. Unless National coughs something back my way, I beat the shit out of myself for 2 weeks for a net profit of $250. National sent an e-mail 5 WEEKS AGO saying customer satisfaction was a priority and they'd talk to me soon.

Home and the holidays were a bit of a blur, with production of the new Miss Quiny cd and part of a cd for harmonica player Paul Saks, plus my own gigs and pre-production work on the Vertigo Theatre production of Stewart Lemoine's play, "When Girls Collide." A slew of in-town gigs and studio stuff this month, then Feb. 14 I return to Mexico for several gigs in Los Cabos, and on Mar. 4th I go to Zihuatanejo for a return appearance at the International Guitar Festival through Mar. 12th.

I'm looking at a swing through the BC interior in June...after the May long week-end during which I teach at Foothills Acoustic Music Institute in Bragg Creek Alberta. The Lethbridge folk club is scheduled for May 15, and I'll also try to make up the missed Vancouver Island shows.

August will see me playing with my band, Big Dave McLean and Greg "Junior" Demchuk at the Labatta Edmonton Blues Fest !