Monday, September 26, 2011

Link to a video

Here's a video that was taken in Lillooet and posted on You Tube. I can't embed it, unfortunately, but I can link to it.

Thanks - fellow who made it on his ipad. I didn't get to meet you.

Tour Part Two – Mainland.

Ok, so I’ve completely broken my commitment to this blog page. Life had just become too busy to plug the computer in and sit in front of it for any period of time. I’m relying more and more on Oliver’s iPhone to get online these days – embarrassingly enough. The worst part is that I don’t know what’s going on in my friends’ lives anymore. I don’t like that.

So, as anticipated, the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues festival was absolutely fantastic. The festival runs like a well-oiled machine with some 900 volunteers, happy-looking festival staff and organizers who greet you pleasantly and take care of all of your needs as a musician, a wonderful festival grounds, very friendly patrons, GREAT sound people, delicious food, interesting vendors… man the list could go on and on.  Over 100 people showed up for our gig on the focus stage, which was better than we could have expected, as we were brand new to the Salmon Arm area. They were gracious and supportive in every imaginable way.

It’s so great to play music for people who have come to hear music; people who know what they want and come to get it, and then you give it to them and ya. It’s great.

After Salmon Arm and a side trip to Revelstoke where we camped and hung out with my visiting parents for a few days, we played a little venue called The Bike Shop Café in Kelowna. We stayed with some old friends in Summerland who it was very good to see. The Bike Shop Café was very sweet and a lovely place to play. It was a fairly quiet Thursday night, but we got to share the stage with Kelowna’s Leah West – which was a treat. Her set was beautiful. After the gig our friends took us on a tour of downtown Kelowna. Kelowna is actually a pretty cool place once you get to know it.

Our concert in Lillooet for the Music At the Miyazaki House concert series went very well. Another thing I really like is getting paid to play music for a bunch of people who 1. are there to hear you and 2. didn’t have to pay anything. The staff at the Miyazaki house were very kind to us and Lillooet is a lovely town. And what a drive it was to get there, and out of there. Beautiful scenery in both directions.  The mountains in the interior are so huge and majestic and wild. I had been needing a good dose of the interior.  On the way into town, the highway becomes a single-laner that edges along the mountainside like one of those crazy roads on the Roadrunner cartoons.

Our final stop was in Vancouver where we were taken by surprise by the number of Bracebridge, Ontario folks who came out for the night. It was a full house for most of the night, and a clapping audience, which is really all you can hope for at a restaurant gig. We had a good time.

We have learned a few things – some lessons that were hard to learn and some quite enjoyable.

First – Touring makes time slow down. Our lives seem to be racing by lately, especially as we work to build our home on Denman one little piece at a time. Months fly by, years fly by… but touring – seeing so many great places in a short amount of time, meeting new people and having new adventures every day – makes time slooooowwwww dowwwwnnnnn. Two weeks away felt like double that.  I suppose travelling of any kind would be similar – probably one of the reasons people enjoy it so much.

Second – There isn’t a lot of point playing anywhere unless you’ve got friends in the neighbourhood who are willing to get out and do some advertising and bring their friends out. That’s what went wrong at the beginning of the tour, and I don’t think we’ll be making that mistake again. It’s pointless. Even if the gig goes well, if you end up losing $100 on it, it’s just not sustainable.

Third – I should have gone with my gut and not booked any ticketed venues. Who the heck is going to pay a ticket price for a band they’ve never heard of?  I am all about pay-at-the-door, pay-what-you-can, and in towns where nobody knows us, that’s what I’m going to do from now on, or at least until we’re getting regular radio play of some kind… will that ever happen?

Four – Eating HEALTHY and taking our oil of Oregano is sooo important. And I think I’m going to start carrying hand sanitizer. We both got sick on this tour and that part really sucked.

We’re back home now. We’ve moved into a 10x10 cabin on the land where we have begun our quest for a farm of sorts. We’ll probably be living here for a few years. It’s nice to settle in to somewhere permanent. Move our stuff for the last time, make some cushions. We even bought a mattress – we are sleeping better than we have in years. The rainy season has begun and the West Coast is looking like a challenge for the winter. I’m getting back in to bathing with a five-gallon bucket of water and a wall of trees. Five-gallon buckets are pretty much everything around here.

Until next time


One of the views on the way from Lillooet to Vancouver

Tweener on the Main Stage at Roots & Blues

That view again, with Oliver in it.

This little cat crawled up a telephone pole and jumped onto the neighbouring balcony of our motel room, and then squeezed through the space under the privacy wall between balconies to come see us. He was super cute. He didn't want to leave when we needed to go to bed though.

Just outside of Lillooet

The road.