Sunday, September 30, 2007

Kincardine, ON

OK, I've decided to do the right thing and just nail this blog in right away. There's a gap between last week and this week, but I'll try hard to catch up over the next couple of days! After a great breakfast at the Hi-Fi in London, we had a relaxed drive up to Kincardine, ON.

Last night we were presented by the Bruce County Blues Society in a concert at the Sutton Motor Inn, Kincardine, ON. It's a classic, lakeside town on Lake Huron, and as I've played here a couple of times before I got to catch up with a bunch of friends at the show. Nice to introduce Dave. As always, he's a big hit, and is winning new fans everywhere.

Although the young sound techie got off to a rough start, the second show sounded pretty good, so we didn't beat him or anything. Actually, he worked hard, and will be one of those guys who will be a little better everytime out. The room was pretty full, and Dave and I played really well. We are definitely starting to hit our stride- I really like what we do together. We're getting into the zone in a big way. Sold a couple of tour jackets and a bunch of cds. Here's a couple of Kincardine blues people sporting their new tour jackets! We do a House Concert here later today, so we're kicking around town exploring.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The London Music Club

A typical Friday, southern Ontario, big road, big traffic drive from Toronto to London. This sign was about a block from our destination in London. Kinda makes ya wanna groove, don't it? As our hotel wasn't ready we went directly to the club where we were met by promoter Brian Mortimer, Rowan Poots, and some other helpers from the Great Lakes Blues Society and Karma. As always, the London hospitality is over the top! London Music Club owner Pete made us welcome and did a great job of getting the sound up quickly.
The London Music Club is definitely one of the better presentation venues in Canada. Great sound, great sightlines, friendly staff, good food and service. This place is slowly growing in stature. It's a room to watch, to listen, and play!

We had about 85 advance tickets sold on this show, so we were pretty certain of a good house. We were not disappointed. A great listening crowd in a full room! They gave us a couple of ovations at the end, and Dave and I got a chance to play dual harmonicas, which was a load of fun. All in all, a really, really, good night.

Here's the winner of the tour jacket raffle collecting his prize!

Dave was fighting a cold, so he returned to our hotel, while the Mortz and I retired to a backroom with some scotch to catch up on old times. London's been a great music town for a long time, and Mortz has been a big part of making that happen and keeping the scene alive. We chatted about my old band playing the Firehall back in the 80's, with Danny Brooks and Tom Wilson playing the other rooms at the same time. All the bands stayed upstairs... Yeah, some wild old times. I remembered opening for Carl Perkins on another trip through town. And the Home County Folk Festival- that was fun, playing with Mose Scarlett, Jackie Washington, Colin Linden... We stayed up way too late talking, but I had a great time. Thanks, Mortz, Pete, Rowan, and all of the Great Lakes Blues Society. You guys continue to make a difference! A great music town. Now, can somebody from that Home County Folk Festival offer us a gig for next summer??

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy Hog Roadhouse, Tottenham, ON

They call it Blues North and, so far as southern Ontario is concerned, they are probably right. This is a cool little pub about an hour and a half out of Toronto. It is little, and we wondered at first glance what it was going to be- but we were quickly made welcome and began to set up. Around us were pictures of many great Canadian blues artists who have played here over the last couple of years- Morgan Davis, Michael Pickett, Fathead, Jack de Keyser, and many other pals smiled down at us. Yup, this one would be OK!
Owners Garr and his charming partner provided us with the best Ontario hospitality. Here's Garr with us outside the club. We were well fed, and did three shows to their friendly crowd. Mo' Kauffey drove in from Guelph to hang out- always a pleasure to see him. We should of made him play a few tunes! After some wings with Garr, we're on the road by about 2:AM. We're looking forward to going to London in the morning.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Hamilton, ON, Only the Lonely

I had mixed feelings about this gig all along. It was a one-off deal to fill a date, and I wondered how it was going to go. I wasn't sure if the venue would be any good, or whether they would do anything to help promote the show. We pulled up to the Casbah in good time and met Brodie, the manager. This was encouraging- he had an office and seemed quite professional. We didn't seem to have much in common with the other artists advertised in the window, but I remembered that my pal Tom Wilson had played here before, as had Michael Pickett, so what the heck. The venue looked pretty nice inside. Good room with good sight lines. The house PA gear looks modern. There is a nice solid stage with big ass monitors all over it. The club is actually clean and comfortable! Hey- nice place!

Pete, the sound man arrives and does a great job of getting us up and running. We are told that the mainstream newspaper, The Hamilton Spectator, has made us the "pick of the week" for entertainment. This is pretty encouraging, and we start to feel good about the whole gamble. We order dinner, are well fed, and sit down to wait for show time.

We start the show half an hour late, as we wanted to make sure our audience was completely and happily seated. This was easy to do as there were only 30 of them in this big room. Dave and I played well, packed out quickly, and were on the road just after midnight. It's raining hard, and traffic is backed up as a big rock act has just finished playing Copps Colleseum. It sure wasn't the big night we might of hoped for. Coffees to go. Bye, Hamilton. Dave says "hi."

Monday, September 24, 2007

NOW Lounge, Groovy Monday, Toronto, ON

Back at my place in Toronto, ON, Dave and I are officially on one of our rare "rest days." Of course, this means we'll be out on the town, and tonight this means we'll be at the NOW Lounge for the Groovy Monday songwriters stage anniversary party! I'd been invited earlier, but wasn't sure if we were going to be in shape to make it. But Dave and I are feeling pretty good- we can still sing, or croak, enough to do a few tunes. I emailed Liz back at the last minute, and she kindly got us into the line-up for that evening.

Over at the club we met Richard Flohil, Speak-music founder Jennifer Claveau, Brian Blain, Mr. Rick, Howard Gladstone, Johnny Devil, Scott B., Ian North, Heather Morgan, Jay Linden,... So many more! Can't list everybody, so don't feel slighted. It's all a blur! Dave and I left home in a hurry with only one case each, instead of our usual bunch of bags and boxes. I find I have no slides. Dave has no harps. Hmmm... We elect to play solo sets instead of the duo thing. Dave wants to play before I go on. OK. He's so damn good he pushes me every single night, and tonight is no exception. Dave tears the house down with a couple of tunes including "Atlanta Moan." It's my turn next, and I know I must of put it in the Zone. Took a minute to get back in my body and off the stage afterwards. Sometimes that happens. That's what this is all about. It's more than music or just playing a bunch of notes in the right places. Thanks, Groovy Monday. See you next time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Carrigan Arms, Burlington, ON

Loading out at a reasonable hour, we drank hotel coffee, bought batteries and office supplies and cruised around town until we found a likely breakfast joint. An easy drive down the big highway to Burlington, ON, where we slept in the parking lot for a couple of hours. We woke to Halton Blues Society president James Anthony unloading gear next to us. Again, an easy load in- we've got it down now. The room seemed kind of quiet, a nice, big empty pub. But it was Sunday afternoon.

Start time rolled around, and it was still kind of quiet- maybe thirty or forty people in the room. James and the Halton executive had us wait another half hour, by which time the place was pretty packed with Halton Blues Society members and supporters. A couple of guys at the bar said they had seen us at the Harvest Blues and Jazz the week before, and they'd brought their friends along. Cool- still wishing more people had seen us in Fredericton- but we've got a good crowd here tonight.This is Stella. Seemed like a good idea at the time...

Our first show went really well, and we sold a large number of cd's between sets. The jacket raffle goes well, too. These are fun- we're enjoying this part of the Tour. Now we are autographing the jackets. They are going fast- I hope we have enough to last for the rest of the Tour.

Second show was great fun with James Anthony sitting in on mandolin and guitar. He nailed everything we tossed him- a top notch player and clearly a home town favourite. James has worked really hard to organize the Blues Society, and he's got a fine bunch to share the organizational load. We'll play some more in the future. Thanks for a great night, James. Anybody who lives in that part of the world might want to check out the weekly, Blues Society sponsored Jams at the Carrigan Arms. They get a big turnout most days, so turnout yourself and support the local scene!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mario's, Windsor, ON

It took us a few minutes to pack our gear from Place Concorde, but soon enough we were tearing across town to our next gig. Ted Boomer was leading us through town at a pretty good clip, but we made it- and the club had reserved a parking spot for us right out front. The staff at Mario's were waiting to help us load in and set up, so by about 11:30 we were ready to dig in.

It was a noisy, but appreciative crowd out to support the Blues and the Downtown Mission and we had a good time playing for them. During the second set a couple of hot young women entertained us with THEIR moves on the little dance floor in front of the stage! This portion of the evening played out much too quickly for me, but dinner was waiting, sans desert. After a couple of encore numbers we were escorted to a semi-private room in the back where we were treated to a truly wonderful Italian meal. Mario's is classic Italian, right down to the checkered table cloth decor and the impecable manners and service.
It's not good, but this is the only pic we've got. Maybe somebody can send us some good ones? Dave and Patti and I had a great time hanging out with Ted, Bernie, Little John and a whole bunch of other folks associated with the Canada South Blues Society. Such a good time was had that we almost forgot to get paid. But we were kind of tired, having done three gigs plus all the media today! A great day for Dave. Back to the hotel for a well deserved rest. Dave and Patti will be up early to get her off to the airport and home. I'm gonna sleep and sleep.

Oasis, Windsor, ON, Blues Museum & Hall of Fame

A quick trip to Windsor after leaving Grape Jam. We all had a good time at the festival and so arrived at Oasis, Place Concorde, Windsor, ON, in high spirits. Dave was to be inducted into the Canadian Blues Hall of Fame later this evening, so there were a couple of television and radio crews preping to do interviews. Dave ducked into the Brown Room to suit up for his first television interview, while I roughed out our gear on stage and met the tech guys.

Dave's interviews went off beautifully- he had the place laughing from the start. I hustled around, trying to get some stills of the whole thing, but my camera began giving the "low battery" sign. Jeez, we put new batteries in at breakfast! Cheapo crap, I guess.

We each did interviews with the local cable company. They have a show that covers musicians and their gear! I got to talk to a young interviewer about glass vrs. deep socket slides, Marine Band vrs Special 20 harmonicas- stuff like that. Heck, I didn't think anybody cared! Anyway, induction time rolled around quickly enough.

Ted Boomer and South Canada Blues Society president Bernie had given us the grand tour of the Museum. It's a huge, cool undertaking with seed money from Martin Scorsese. On the walls of the Blues Museum are signed photos from many blues greats, both Canadian and American, along with big blue stars documenting their induction and histories. The Museum also collects books, photos, recordings, and aims to create an archive that can be used by future researchers, fans, and players. Dave was thrilled and honoured to be inducted, and it was an honour to be there with him for this event.

The ceremony itself was fairly short. After a little intro Dave's star was unveiled, his bio read out. Dave then made an acceptance speech. Patti and Ted and I all wondered what he was going to say!! Great speech, Dave! You got away with it!

Most people reading this blog probably know quite a bit about Dave already. His friends up and down the line will know he's a pretty modest guy. It's good then, that we can all brag about him and celebrate his life and career. Dave has had an enormous influence on the music scene in western Canada. He's certainly known and loved all the way across this country. I'm honoured to sit and play beside him every night. Congrats Dave!!

After the induction we performed a one hour set for cable television and for members and friends of the South Canada Blues Society. Here's the stage, ready to go.

Merch was selling as quick as we could stock it.

Then it was off to our next gig of the night- a fundraiser for the Downtown Mission. A quick break down of gear, load out, we're off!!

Grape Jam

Up early and on the highway for an afternoon show at a the Grape Jam Acoustic Blues Festival, where we are headlining. It turns out to be a beautiful spot near Lake Erie- the grounds of the Smith and Wilson winery. It's about an hour and fifteen minutes out of Windsor. We roll in early and are treated to plenty of south western Ontario hospitality! Wine was flowing, if not freely, certainly in quantity. Anybody interested in quality, limited edition wines should visit this Estate near Blenheim, ON.

As we unloaded backstage I heard a big voice and was pleased to see that Paul Langille was up front. I've heard this guy on and off for many years- big tubes, and can sing anything. We chatted for a few minutes after his show. He's based in London, ON and is, no doubt, well known in that area.

Caught up with festival director John Gardiner annd his wife Carole. Always a pleasure to hang out with these folks, and they've done a great job yet again mounting this festival!

The show on before us was not an acoustic act, but John liked them and made an exception. Daddy Long Legs is a quartet of younger guys out of Kitchener, ON. Dave and I were pretty impressed by their mostly original tunes and by the delivery and musicianship. Also, they are all nice guys and serious about what they do. I don't know what their plans are, but I'd sure hope that they get some opportunities to play over broader territories. I told them I'd tell people about them. So, yeah, you promoters- hire these guys.

Our set was fun. The wine was probably having an effect on the crowd by the time we came out- they were pretty enthusiastic! After the show we sold a couple of tour jackets- one to a guy named Dave McLean, who was going to wear it to work next day! Actually there were at least THREE guys on site named "Dave MacLean." Never rains, it pours, eh?!!
The Green Room had a nice deck we relaxed on. That's the life, boys.

Then, on to what we do best! Showtime under the big tent for the Big Road Blues Tour!

Back on the road to make a 6:PM sound check at the Blues Museum. It's been fun. I wish I could hang out and sample more of the wines- but we've got a big night ahead of us yet.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Alibi's, Windsor, ON

Out to Toronto airport this morning to pick up Dave's wife, Patti. She's joining us for a couple of days around Dave's pending induction into the Blues Hall of Fame. It was a warm day for driving, and highway 401 across the bottom end of Ontario was fast. We got in a couple of hours early and checked into our hotel for a rest and a quick shower before sound check.

Alibi's is a nice room on the side of an international truck route. Tonight was a benefit to raise money for the Downtown Mission, an event sponsored by the South Canada Blues Society. Due to some snafu "full production" was not interpreted to include mics and stands, so the sound guy had to scramble to get us set up. Nor was the venue ready for an acoustic show- a tough time was had with the monitors, eq, and over all volume. Everybody involved did their best. We jumped in and worked hard for our two sets, well appreciated by the folks who were close to the front. We were, however, glad to meet the James Anthony band as they arrived to play the late show. If folks can't hear us, it's a tough time for sure. After the great show we had last night at the Silver Dollar, this outing was a bit of a let down. James, at least, sounded great, so we enjoyed his first set before heading back to the hotel for some rest.

It was great to meet Ted Boomer, Bernie, Commander Kim Kelly, and some of the other fine folks who keep it all going down here! Nice turnout by the Blues Society, and a testament to a good deal of hard work and planning. Plenty of young players coming up in South Canada!
I've since heard that people LOVED our show at Alibi's. So I guess our extra efforts were not in vain after all!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Silver Dollar Room, Toronto

The Silver Dollar is one of my favourite rooms in Canada, so we were very much looking forward to this show. As a special, early event we were wondering how it would work out. A great night! Dave and I had a ball playing this legendary club. Many friends from near and far came out, including quite a few members of the Toronto Blues Society. One of Dave's oldest friends, John McTaggart surprised him with his presense. The sound was, from our position on stage, world class, and allowed us to deliver everything we wanted to. Thanks Vlad! Sound at the Dollar is always top flight. Gary Kendall was on hand to deliver the Silver Dollar hospitality, and it was a good night all around. We sold way more tour jackets and cds than we had expected- that's a good sign, for sure!
Here's the lucky winner of the Tour jacket raffle at the Dollar show! We raffle off a custom made tour jacket most nights. These are way cool. You need one! Dave says, hi!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

CKLN, Toronto

Tonight we were featured guests on Lowdown to Uptown, a popular blues show on radio CKLN in Toronto. My son, Alasdair, came along as Tour Photographer and did an excellent job of documenting the show! Here's the playlist and what it looked like from a grade 5's perspective! Here's the control desk- cool!

Lowdown 2 Uptown
Wednesday 8-10pm EST
CKLN-FM 88.1
Toronto, Canada – streamed live

“23 years of bringing you the soul of the blues”

This is our host, David Barnard, AKA Dr. Feelgood. His playlist for the evening is also included below. We had as much fun listening as we did talking. David should record all the "off-mic" chat and gossip- always a treat, too.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2007
Musician – Song – Source – Label/Distributor
*denotes Canadian musician

NATHANIEL MAYER – Village of Love – (I Want) Love and Affection (Not The House of Correction) – Fortune/Vampi
NATHANIEL MAYER – Leave Me Alone – I Just Want To Be Held – Fat Possum

(At the Academy of Spherical Arts)
*SHAKURA S’AIDA – Getting Along Alright – Blueprint – Shakura S’Aida
(At the NOW Lounge/Free Times Café)
*LITTLE MISS HIGGINS – You Ain’t Done Nothing To Me – Junction City – Little Miss Higgins

BOBBY RUSH – Howlin’ Wolf – Raw – Deep Rush
HONEYBOY EDWARDS – West Helena Blues – White Windows – Blue Suit

(At Hugh’s Room)
*KEN WHITELEY – Lunch Counter Encounter – One World Dance – Borealis/Festival
*KEN WHITELEY – Everybody Has The Blues – One World Dance – Borealis/Festival
These guys look familiar.
(At the Silver Dollar)
*DOC MACLEAN with BIG DAVE MCLEAN – Angola Prison Rodeo – live-in-the-studio

*BIG DAVE MCLEAN – Atlanta Moan – live-in-the-studio
*DOC MACLEAN with BIG DAVE MCLEAN – Jimmy Lee Jackson – live-in-the-studio

OMAR KENT DYKES & JIMMIE VAUGHAN –Jimmy Reed Highway – On The Jimmy Reed Highway – Ruf/Fusion III
JOHN HAMMOND – Mean Ol’ Lonesome Train – Push Comes To Shove – Back Porch/EMI

Dave and I loved these recordings. Omar and Jimmie!!! That's a great cd. Go buy it!! John rules. Buy that, too!

(At the Silver Dollar)
*ANTHONY GOMES – Everyday Superstar – Music is the Medicine – Adrenaline
(At Healey’s)
RONNIE BAKER BROOKS – It Takes A Smart Man To Play Dumb – Take Me Witcha – Watchdog

(At the Silver Dollar)
MELVIN TAYLOR – Kansas City – Dirty Pool – Evidence
MELVIN TAYLOR – Dirty Pool – Dirty Pool – Evidence

(At Hugh’s Room)
*DAWN TYLER WATSON & PAUL DESLAURIERS – Cold Shot – En Duo – Justin Time/Fusion III
*DAWN TYLER WATSON & PAUL DESLAURIERS – I Will Stand By You – En Duo – Justin Time/Fusion III
Thanks for a wonderful evening. See you all tomorrow at the Silver Dollar Room!!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Travel Day 2 and a Rest Day

Off to see M. Timm in the AM. Extra gross (that's big here), extra black, extra hot, and the Big Road Blues Tour was back in motion. Later in the day we rolled through Montreal, where we visited Swartz's Deli for an early lunch and then took a run up to the Fairmont Bagel. We loaded up with a couple dozen for the road, and soon we were on the big highway, 401, blasting through Ontario toward the Big Smoke. We'll be back to Montreal in a couple weeks time.

Toronto is where I hang my hat when I'm not out playing. Here's Dave checking out some of my clutter- yes, it's a 1953 J.C. Higgens Colorflow.

We're going to be based out of my place for a few days, so we can bomb around in my '63 Galaxie. It's got a big motor, so it doesn't tour anymore. We took it out the following night to visit Julian Fauth, who was playing in the west end. Nice to hear him again!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Travel Day

Went by the festival offices this morning to pick up our merch and to say our good-byes. As Joe's was closed we got coffee from Tim's and hit the road. New Brunswick looks like this as it goes by the truck window. Soon enough we reached the Quebec border, and had a great time singing all the French words we could remember. I try to convince Dave to try and convince Holger that his next album will be called "The Milkmaid, She Sings Her Happy Song." As I am the ONLY member of this tour not on Stony Plain Records, I am quite naturally anxious to share my greatest marketing ideas with them. Dave is not convinced, but continues to sing the song hour after hour anyway.
Dave had never been to Quebec City, so we rolled in around dusk for a quick look at the old town. This used to be a great blues city- at one time there were several clubs and there were gigs seven nights a week. I was telling Dave how I used to do shows here with Colin Linden, Mose Scarlett, Champaign Charlie and others. We had some wild times for sure! On our visit it was pretty quiet. It seems more and more like a movie set with tourists wandering about. It would have been nice to stop off and play some shows, but for the second year in a row it was impossible to find a venue. There is one blues radio show out of Quebec City, and when I emailed the host to ask about venues he seemed to have no idea at all. None of the Quebec based blues artists I talked to were able to provide any info either. Dead city? I don't think so. Walled city? Yes, in more ways than one.

We blasted on down Route 20 to get into cheaper digs for the night. Here's Dave showing off a high quality, road room. At least the place was quiet as we were ready for some serious sleep.

Harvest Jazz and Blues, Day 3

Over to Hammertown for breakfast again today. Dave insists it's the best diner he has ever been in, and I'm pretty sure he's right- so off we went to eat like road dog kings once more! It's a cold, rainy day as we made our way back to pick up gear and get over to the Voodoo stage for the harmonica workshop that Dave is to host. Under the big tent things were pretty dry, all things considered. Our first surprise was that neither Mark "Bird" Stafford or Watermelon Slim was there. Bird was listed in the program as being the host, and although we knew that had been changed, we sort of expected him to be there. Actually, we totally expected him to be there. Dave gave me the "Doc I'll get even, you so and so" kind of look, because I'd signed him up to do the workshop. Now he was to be hosting it, solo, for the next hour and a half!

A good sized crowd was in the tent as John Campbelljohn finished up his slide guitar workshop and Dave stepped up to the plate. He had the crowd from the get go, blowing his cool, rack harp, to some Jimmy Reed tune. After a while he called me up to demonstrate how he'd back up another player. I had a chance to play 2 or 3 numbers, and then John Campbelljohn took my place to jam a little. I was backstage getting my guitar back in it's case when Bird and Slim arrived together. Dave had chosen this moment to be playing "Dixie" on his little, ornamental harp. Bird looked at me and said, "how long has THIS been going on?!" Slim came out to play a couple of numbers with Dave and John, while Bird climbed up on the drum kit to finish a great, crowd pleasing set. Big ovation for Big Dave. Things worked out well after all!

As it happens, it was good that we got to play at the Voodoo. After our Delta gig we rushed down to our night concert- it was a "TBA" in the program as we were a late add to the festival. But the stage was empty! No stage techs, nothing! Apparently we were rained out. Nobody had told us, so we humped our gear back to the street, called another cab, and took it all back to the hotel. Well, now we had the night off. It was no longer raining, it was warming up outside. We headed out to visit around with everybody. Here's a snap of us with some Festival volunteers. That's Dr. John's stage switched on behind us.

First stop was the Rogue to catch Matchstick Mike for a full set. This was a cool show as Mike called up two of his young guitar students to play. "Johnny Cash" was great, as was the young teen gal who got up and played a note perfect T-Bone shuffle to bring down the house. Good on you, Mike! Here's me with one of the Chain Smoking Alter Boys. Next we went around the corner to see Morgan Davis, met Slim, and Ross Neilsen. Ross and Slim sat in for a few tunes, and then we went over to catch the Dr. John show. Security would not let us in the backstage, so Dave and I bid Slim good night and headed back to our hotel. Not a bad day!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Harvest Jazz and Blues, Day 2

Well, we wimped out last night after our show at the Delta. Running on three hours sleep was not going to be good so we had a big rest and started our second festival day feeling great. First stop was Hammertown for breakfast at Joe's Diner.
Hammertown is across the river from downtown Fredericton and takes it's name from a murder which took place there many years ago. For all I know, Joe's may have been there just as long! It's a classic diner. The waitress was called Flo, they had homemade bread, jars of mollasses on the counter, beans on the breakfast menu... Dave and I pretty much ordered up one of everything they had and stuffed ourselves silly.

Back to the hotel where I thought I'd give a call over to my pals in the Workers- Watermelon Slim's excellent, excellent band. Michael Newbury answered the phone sounding the worse for wear- noon was way too early to be calling these guys! I settled into the hotel lobby to do some press releases for our upcoming Ontario dates. Nice not to be traveling today.

PJ's Lounge at the Delta is a comfortable little room with great food and a friendly vibe. Dave and I played a relaxed couple of sets. It didn't seem as though there were many, if any, festival people in the house. There was some sort of Baptist convention (I think) going on, so there were guys in dark blazers sipping pop and water. We had a great time playing for them- even if we are going to roast in hell for our sins! After the show Dave borrowed a big knife from a table so he could cut bagels in his room. As we walked through the lobby I was expecting security to jump all over us. Instead, we scared some lady in the elevator. I'm not sure if she saw the knife.

Off to the festival to catch up with Slim and the guys. Hung out in the trailer/green room for a while and got up to date. Brent Staeben, the festival AD came by for a visit. This Festival is great. The whole city is really into it, the locations are nice and are walking distance apart without too much sound leakage. Volunteers are all over the place doing a top notch job of making everything go. It's an exciting mix of international, national and regional artists. There are many great players based in Atlantic Canada, and what a treat to hear so many in the course of a few days!

Slim and the Workers delivered their usual knock down, over the top, leave 'em screaming for more kind of show. Watching from the side stage I know these guys are exhausted, but it's a secret. No one would ever suspect that to see and hear them lay down their show.
In my opinion this is the most exciting live show on the circuit today- and you won't meet a nicer bunch of guys. After the encore I'm off to visit Matchstick Mike at the Rogue pub, just a couple of blocks away. Mike is, of course, tearing the house down. He's loud and he's proud. He's got one of the tightest sections I've heard in a long while, and he's got Mark "Bird" Stafford from Toronto sitting in on harp. I've heard the Bird many times over the years with his own band, but I'd never heard him in such a ramped up band setting before- killer! This band was fun! Spoke to Sarah French briefly before heading back to the hotel. These guys were going to play all night. Dave and I have three shows on Saturday, so I'll want to be in good shape.