Well, it's been an interesting time (but then, aren't they all ?). After a flurry of late May gigsJo and I drove to California to visit family in Lancaster and Alameda. Calgary-Lewiston Idaho, Lewiston - Winnemucca Nevada, on to Bishop CA next day, then Lancaster. Visited with my Mom for two days, and had lunch with two brothers and a cousin (then evening with neices and nephews and their broods). 104 Farenheit with blowing sand and sagebrush. Then to the SF Bay area where we spent a day in the city with Jo's sister and kids. Coast route stopping in Sonoma County to buy some favorite wines, then Brookings for the night, just across the Oregon border. Giant redwoods and sensational coastlines. Next day Portland, and a few glasses of wine with brother-in-arms Robbie Laws, before driving to Sandpoint, Idaho for a final night in the US. I had probably the finest biscuits and gravy ever in a place there...even better than the old May's Diner in Diamond Springs CA. We crossed the border just outside Cranbrook BC, paying an outrageous extra penalty on our wine because BC is protecting its' wine industry (it's all they have left besides tourism). A set at the Pincher Creek Cowboy Poets Gathering (nice to see Allison Brock, Martin Hill, and other friends for a brief visit ) then home.
I had a bit of a cold/flu thing settle in, and then put my back out while hooking up a new printer. The off-shoot was that I couldn't breath after a few days, and spent the evening of the worst of Calgary's flooding in an emergency ward. After every test known to man, they agreed I simply had put my back out and had a lung full of crap, gave me half a dozen Percocets and sent me home (a marathon 90-minute journey around closed bridges and flooded streets). I'M FINE !
To the folks at The Works Fest in Edmonton and The North Country Faire, I'm sorry I had to miss 'em. Thanks to my buddy Paul Pigat for sitting in with my Western Swing band, The Hackamores, in my absence at NCF.
Next up, after a great bunch of gigs with The Hackamores over the first half of Stampede, we headed to Vancouver Island Music Fest for two performances of the play Big Mama ! (me as musical dire3ctor and Jo as stage manager) plus some workshops. The play was a howling success (I thought I was done with it at this point but we're looking at touring it more), and I got to shake hands with James Burton (totally one of my Telecaster and Dobro heroes) and sing with Terry Evans (check him out either solo, with Bobby King, or on any number of Ry Cooder cds). A visit with both sons and daughters-in-law plus grandkids Charlie,Vada, Jennings and Xavier, and we were home. Now it's play some local (nice) gigs while getting ready for Canmore Folk Festival and Foothills Acoustic Music Institute's August camp (teaching songwriting). Also I have to fit in hang time with my friends Greg and Mary from San Jose del Cabo, and hang out with Blind Boy Paxton, whose acquaintance I joyfully made on Vancouver Island. September brings a more intense tour of BC, and Saskatchewan is being planned for October or January. Lots more touring in support of the Blue Highway cd to come over the next months !
My heart goes out to my fellow Calgarians and those so deeply affected in High River after the floods...chins up and carry on.