Home again, where the groceries are stocked and my bicycle pedals remember the soles of my feet. I spent the first half of April rolling around and between Ontario and Nova Scotia, with a portion of that time spent on a VIA Rail train.
The On Board Entertainment Program has grown a lot since I last participated in 2011 and I was glad to bring a whole pile of new songs to the lounge car of The Ocean between Montreal and Halifax. Thanks to the fabulous crews both eastward and westward, and to all the passengers who hung out with us, sang along, and sent me emails and videos afterwards! Here’s a snippet of Devil’s Rolling Pin courtesy of Annie Leroux in PEI.
The Ottawa Valley shows felt like a sweet homecoming. I can’t believe it took me this long to play at The Branch in Kemptville. Cheers to Chef Bruce‘s mouthwatering brisket and an appreciative crowd. It was a treat to share the night with local gal Meredith Luce. I’m so proud of Jim and Ellen Carter in Ottawa for hosting their very first house concert as though they were seasoned pros. The room was full, the food was delicious, and the crowd hung on every word.
I made a surprise appearance as the opening act at my friend Manitoba Hal‘s house concert in Perth the next day. Thanks to Mark Mongeau and his family for welcoming us! Special thanks to Nicole Colbeck for shuttling me to and from the train station!
I had two glorious days off in Halifax after spending over 24 hours on a train, which naturally consisted of delicious food and walks by the ocean. Kev Corbett and Stephanie Domet were my usual hospitable hosts in the city and to them I am always grateful.
Kev and I played two shows together in Tatamagouche and Shelburne, narrowly missing almost all the stormy weather. Fables always feels like a second home. Many thanks to Chuck and Hanna. I’ll be back in 2014. While it hailed in Shelburne, the Sea Dog filled up with folks for the Friday night Hootenanny. Thanks for the encore, everyone – from owner Allan, to Timothy Gillespie who organizes the weekly shenanigans, to Nigel D’Eon and the fam, to the sailors from North Carolina who bought up all our CDs. A great last gig of the tour. And Pat and Celia Melanson graciously gave us a place to sleep it off.
I’ve got a couple more songs to complete to fulfill my Toronto Arts Council grant and then I’ll get thinking on how I’d like to record my next album. Meanwhile, I’m booking gigs for the summer and fall. If you’d like to see me in your town or if you want to host a concert in your home, drop me a line! The road is where I most want to be.