We're already a month into 2010...
I can honestly say, looking back on 2009 leaves me smiling and looking forward to this New Year.
This past year has been filled with lots of shows, recordings, festivals, new friendships/collaborations, grants, traveling, and just great great times.
A goal for my 2009 was to play at least 3 shows a month to just get out there and do my thing, and I can definitely say I surpassed that one! From one end of Canada to the other, I had the honour to share the stage with people like Adaline, Mani Khaira, Andrea Mattson, Los Lobos, Acres of Lions, Maurice, David Gogo, and Ken Lavigne. The shows never seemed to end, playing with Bill Johnson, Light Sweet Crude, Pauline Edwards, Mojo Hand, Greenlaw, Coco Jafro, Matthew DeZoete, Caroline Spence, The Gruntles, Gord Phillips, and Lush Life, I definitely kept busy this past year. http://www.myspace.com/mojohandcanada
The festivals were really a blast, as I was a part of Canadian Music Week, Junofest, BC Day Festival, Victoria Twestival (Twitter global festival), and the Capital Christmas Festival.
Thanks to my involvement with The Cornerstone Collective, I managed to receive a grant from the Fernwood NRG to help with the recording of a few songs with Hayden Cyr, so a BIG thank you to Cornerstone Collective for more than just the funding...for the support (musically and emotionally), for sharing shows, for the constant understanding from one musician to another, and for just being such a great group of people! Thank you!
From all the shows I put on in 2009, I developed a great media following as well. Being featured in Monday Magazine, Douglas Magazine, The Daily Show, the Goldstream and Victoria News, the CBC, Snap Victoria, and the Times Colonist was great and I can't wait for more publicity! More...More...MORE!! Near the end of the year I managed to put a small Christmas album together where all the funds were donated to the BC Cancer Society and I must send out a BIG thank you for all the time and effort put into this album to Hon Chow, Karl Oystensen, and Alan Hume. Everything turned out really well and I look forward to adding to this album next year!
Modeling and Movies:
A big thank you to Decade and Aleta Elisen for providing clothing and makeup for an awesome photo shoot with Darren Stone.
Also, thanks to Coultish Management for providing great jobs with great photographers like Darren Stone, Sandra Minarik, and Jeff Bartlett. Did tons of fashion shows, shoots, and lots of really interesting things I couldn't have done without Coultish so thank you!
I never thought I'd be in the acting side of things, but I could really get used to being in movies! Such a great job and it's so nice to be a part of a really great working team on set. The movies I was in that are coming out on TV series' this year are Seven Deadly Sins and A Murder Among Friends. Looking forward to doing more soon!
Coming up for 2010...
I am currently in the writing process and applying for grants to support the funding for my next album. Opportunities with Neil Osborne(54-40) and Steven Drake(The Odds) to work on the album are looking good and in the mean time I am recording at Blastoff Studios with Hon Chow and also with Jason Cook at Infinity Studios. Super excited for this year!
In March I will be featured in The Province Newspaper for a free song download to anyone! Be sure to check it out if you can.
Also in March I will be playing at Canadian Music Week and more info will be coming about that shortly.
For those of you who have followed my progress and supported me I would really like to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Honestly, it's you and music that I live for! So thank you thank you thank you! And I really wish you the best 2010 possible. May it be filled with love, laughter, good times, good health, wealth, success, and happiness for you and your loved ones.
All the best,
We decided to stop and sleep at another camp site before reaching Canmore and found a place called Premier Lake Park. It was a bit off the highway and we were near the mountains by Banff so it seemed to be a bit colder too. We get to the park and it is beautiful but a wee bit nippily so the first thing we looked for was firewood. There were some nice people at the site who gave us some wood and said it was only 1 degree celsius last night and that we were in for a cold one. We went for a hike and did some fishing at a nice little lake near by and Mike caught a perch (I think) which was cool. So later we made some dinner and cozied up to the fire. As we were eating dinner we heard this rustling in the woods and didn't know what it could be. The rustling got louder and louder and louder until it was right next to us, so Mike and I are both freaking out. Mike's got his knife in his hand ready to jab anything that pops out of the dense unknown forest. Sure enough something pops out and guess what it was....a skunk. Now because Mike has been born and raised on Vancouver Island he has no idea that running after a skunk usually isn't the first thing to do by instinct when you see one of these suckers. So he starts running after it and I'm yelling, "Don't run after the skunk!". Luckily no one was injured and no one was left skinky that night. But man that skunk was sure after our food! The morning was pretty chilly that's for sure..but we managed. Then it was on to Canmore... So we get there and the town is very nice. Small with big mountains around it. The Canmore Hotel said we'd get two nights accommodation there which we were looking forward to quite a bit for a good warm nights sleep. We walk into the bar and ask where the hotel part is and we got lost trying to find it because it's an old hotel with no front desk or anything and usually people don't rent rooms there anymore. So we get the key for the room and finally find our way up to the rooms. The whole experience was quite like a movie to be honest because it was such run down place and this old man with no teeth is going up the stairs before us. We look for our room and he's like,"Which room ya stayin in?" And by that time things were getting creepy, so we find the place and there is no bathroom, a sink and a bed with burn holes in the sheets and blankets. Mike was the one who said he wasn't staying there. I thought it was gross but I could manage. To be honest I think Mike was just creeped out by the whole place, and I don't blame him. Growing up on the road I've been to and seen many different and grosser places than that and still managed. But I definitely agreed with Mike and decided on another hotel to stay in. So we forked out $70 and stayed at a nice hotel with a shower and bath and tv and the works! Yay! Then we had to get there to do sound and talk to the band we opened for which was Maurice from Victoria as well and who were also doing a tour of their own. We did a one hour set and had a great time. The audience was great and attentive and by the time we finished we had two drinks and two shots waiting for us, so needless to say we got intoxicated that night. Maurice played a great show and we enjoyed hangin out with them and exchanging stories from the road. Then, at the end of the night I went to ask for the money the bar owed us and they said they didn't owe us anything. By this time I was already drunk so lucky for them I came back in the morning and we worked everything out. The sound guy was really nice too and gave us a ride to the hotel which was nice. We didn't have an extra night to stay in Canmore anymore so we decided to keep on movin to the next location the day after. And so we were off to Regina, Saskatchewan to visit my Uncle and Aunt.
So in the morning we packed up our stuff from the small little patch of gravel that we payed $30 to sleep on in Kelowna and moved on to Nelson. The drive was a nice one but a bit long. We got to Nelson around three had lunch, stopped by at the Cocoanut Lounge to scope the place out and then looked for a place to camp. We found a nice provincial park right out of town so we set up and left to go and play. We also found out that tourist season had just ended there as well so we actually only played two songs and left because there was only one guy there! I hadn't had the time to visit the radio station until the next day unfortunately. But the good thing is that we met the people there and got to know when the best time of year is to play there. It's all a learning experience right? So the next morning we stopped and dropped off a cd to the station and were on our way to Canmore....
The venue was really nice at the Minstrel cafe. But we found out the hard way when tourist season ends and we just missed it so we ended up playing to the staff. But it was fun and they loved it and bought us drinks and a nice dinner which was really nice...we didn't have accomodations there in Kelowna so we had to look for a place to stay before the show. Most of the trip we planned on camping so we searched for hours for campsites and came up with nothing but two campsites that were right in town which was kinda weird and so we actually ended up paying $30 to camp on gravel downtown Kelowna...it was pretty funny but we were just going to get up and leave right away anyway so it worked out. The next day we were off to Nelson to Play at the Cocoanut Lounge.
Alright, so this is the third time at my attempt to write this blog...my parents computer has a vendetta against me or something... To start off, the show in Victoria at Detour on Friday the 5th of Sept was great... Dallas (my guitar player for the Broadleaf Killers) opened and sat in on a few tunes. The audience was so supportive and generous. Great way to start the tour. Then we left on Sunday morning, just barely caught the ferry (over to the mainland) and drove to Hope BC to play at Skinny's Grille. Such a beautiful drive throughout the entire region. We arrived at Skinny's and they put us up in a nice motel and we went fishing on the Frasier River most of the day where I saw bear poo for the first time and we captured some neat photos of a little otter who came and said hi to us while we were there... That night we played with Adriaan (who runs the place with his wife), Davis, and Greg (both good friend's of Adriaan's). They sat in on the show and played along with us which was neat. Greag had the magor hard rock style goin on with his Gibson Les Paul and his distorion pedal, but managed to fit in quite nicely with us and Adriaan grooved along with bass and a bit of drums when Davis wasn't on percussion. All in all it went really well and we sat and had a few drinks with them after and listened to their detailed stories all night....great times! The next day we were on our way to Kelowna to play at The Mistrel Cafe. But first we stopped in Princeton to visit Mike's grandparents who were soooo sweet, and we had homemade peach jam and scones that were delicious...then it was to Kelowna...