Saturday, November 3, 2007

Times Changed High and Lonesome, Winnipeg, MB

It's over seven hours of driving today, with a time change thrown in make the trip even longer- so we're up and off early. Dave threw his misguided watch away last night- stomped it away, actually- so we are relying on my cell phone to give us the correct time. Amazing how they do that, isn't it? I tried to explain to Dave how his broken watch was actually more acurate after he had stomped on it than it was when it lost an hour every day, but he wasn't having any part of it. Instead we reviewed some of the better jokes collected over the tour.

Today, our last road day, we re-visited some of our favourite CDs. Tim O'Brian- all the way through two albums. The Staple Singers. Fred McDowell and Johnny Woods. We decide that Michael Jerome Brown sounds quite a bit like Tim O'Brian. Michael has been on a tour as well, but we've missed each other by days here and there across the west... Anyway, before we know it we are rolling into Winnipeg. One last, beautiful day, gone by in a flash.

We check into a room at the Best Western, not far from the venue. Dave's wife, Patti, comes down in The Caddy to meet us for dinner. It's Dave's treat tonight- both the hotel room and the dinner- and I am thankful. Ribs and a really nice suite. After dinner, Dave and I hang out at my room. Patti will meet us later at the show. We suit up. We look good. There's not much left to say, so we repeat ourselves. "It's been great!" "Sure has." "I could do another 60 dates right now!" "Me, too." This is the best kind of tour. The gigs have been great. The money has been great. But in the end... there's two good friends sitting in a hotel room wishing this thing would go on and on. Friendship, respect, adventure, memories. We've paid dues for many years to get here. And we've been grateful for every single moment of this Big Road Blues Tour. It's been a blast! Thank you all for your love and support.

Times Changed is a small, but funky establishment that serves as the roots music capital of Winnipeg. Big Dave has run a Sunday jam session here for over 20 years. This is his home club as the Silver Dollar has become mine. Owner John Scoles meets us at the door and has us set up in short order. He's done hundreds of shows here, so he's quick and has a good ear for the set up. Dave and I repair to the Green Room for a few minutes, and then I tour the bar and am treated to some decent scotch by the friendly barman. The place is filling up. The girl at the door keeps saying, "I'm so glad Big Dave is back!" Dave's kids show up, as does his Mom. She's over 90, and you'd never know it to see her dance. We had a great chat before and after the show.

The room is full. Somebody says the punk bands squeeze in more bodies- but I wouldn't want to be there. The room is full, so far as I am concerned! It's a loud, Saturday night crowd on one side of the room, and a listening, concert crowd on the other. We are, of course, well received. Dave and I played our best show of the tour- mainly for each other. I know I was just simply enjoying all the songs and parts that we have made up over the tour. We're a pretty damn good duo now. It was good from the start, but here, at the end, it's really good. It's special. The night ends all too soon, as we knew it would. I got Dave's Mom up to sing with us. They have recorded a duet for Dave's next album, so I was teasing her that she'd have to sing at the Juno's next year. My new pals Susan and Jean kept me entertained for a few more hours, while Dave returned home. A fine ending to a great run of shows. Dave and I will do brunch in the morning and wrap down the Big Road Blues Tour.


Prague apartments said...

it is nice tour

Doc MacLean said...

Since the Big Road Blues Tour things have just been getting bigger, and better! You might want to check out my 2008 Tour with Michael Pickett, The National Steel Blues Tour (, or the upcoming, 2009, Century Blues Tour ( Big Dave McLean and I will be out for a cool 100, back to back shows across Canada with the Century Blues Tour. Given that we plan to play the arctic as well as the big cities, there will be a lot of miles/kms on this trip. Once we get on the road the blog will be updated daily.
So where are you European promoters and bookers? And what about Australia? Bring one of these Tours to YOUR territory! These Tour blogs should give you a pretty good idea. Hundreds of North American venues support these Tours because they deliver, and because I run a professional, reliable, and easy to work with organization. Let's talk.