Well I’m sitting at the Edmonton compound kitchen table. We’re talking about whipping up our Pork Tenderloin supper. This is our last night here. Sure has been a lifesaver having a spot to hang out in. Big thanks to compound manager Jeem for putting up with us so much on this tour. Here’s Jeem now,
Tomorrow we head to Canmore for the first of our last three western shows. Medicine Hat will be our last weekend out here when we rawk The Mainliner Pub. Then we hit a long drive to South River Ontario to play at The Cafe. Looking forward to that show, the drive? Not so much!
So we had another great, fun, run at Blues on Whyte. Got some good tracks recorded for a new live album we hope to have by fall (fingers crossed). Here is Scott Franchuk from Riverdale Recorders in the closet aka mission control…
After we packed up, loaded out and said goodbyes, we booked it right to Edmonton International to catch our plane to The Montreal Jazz Fest. After checking into the Airport we hunted down some breakfast. Five a.m. is when everything seems to open and we settled on a mexican joint (seems to be a theme these past weeks) for some bacon, eggs and margaritas. What? Yup Margs. They serve ’em at 5am so we figured, might as well! I don’t fly well so I like to have a couple drinks to take my mind off it and since this was our first time on a plane together as a band I needed extra reinforcement.
Well we didn’t die in a firey plane crash. We landed in hot Montreal to a fella waiting for us. We grabbed our shuttle, shared with Ron Sexsmith and his band, and got dropped off at our hotel. We checked into a highly organized Montreal Fest and immediately went on the look for eats. After food, a quick nap and string changes we were driven to our venue. The crew were awesome and friendly and we caught the last bit of Conor Gains’ set (very cool blues/rock) and then loaded on the stage. Here’s a pic of our stage and gathering crowd.
The crowd was double this size by the time we were in full action and they were VERY kind to us. What a thrill. I’m bad at guessing numbers but we figured a couple thousand peeps by the end of our set. Amazing. We had an hour break before our next set and chilled with fingers crossed that the storm would hold off. It didn’t. By the time we hit the stage we were rocking in a full on lightening and thunder rainstorm. It was EPIC!!! It did, however, kill the crowd but there were still three or four hundred rocking out with us in the downpour! We threw a few stacks of Redemption out to show our appreciation that they stayed! Great Peeps! Here’s a link to some footage of “Jelly Bean” from the first set….
Ross Neilsen – Can't Get Enough by vistadd
After our show we were thirsty and hungry. We hooked up with our pal Blake for a guided tour to food. Sadly most joints were closed by late night on a Sunday so we settled on Duffs for a Smoked Meat. When in Rome right? Not sure if it was ’cause we were so hungry but the sammies were deadly!!!!
The next morning we had a 6 am van call. That was rough. After a nice drive to the airport we were on our plane before we knew it. The flight staff seemed to get a kick out of us and were very reasonable on their gin and soda pricing! Thanks gals. Friendly skies indeed!
Before we knew it we were back in Edmonton wondering if that epic trip had even happened or not. Indeed it did. We were very honoured to be invited there and hope to return in the future. Big thanks to Frederic Lamoreau for inviting us!
Last weekend we did Red Deer and Nanton. Red Deer was a cool club with very few peeps. That’s how it goes though. We’ll hopefully return there and try and build a crowd. We were treated to a fish fry at a friends house pre show and got to see some really crazy clouds that made tornadoes in some near by towns! The Auditorium in Nanton is a wacky place. The owners are super nice and we love to hang there. Lots of pool was played. Gans seems to be reigning Pool champ. Here’s a pic of the master and apprentice from Red Deer…
So the tour is closing in (or at least the western part) and I’m stoked to get back east for a myriad of reasons. Really looking forward to our annual three nighter in St. Andrew’s at The Red Herring and of course returning to Quebec for the Donnacona Festival and The Levis Jazz Fest and how could I forget the Larlee Creek Hullabaloo and The Dooryard Arts Festival in Woodstock. I recently found out that I will be opening for Gary Clark Jr at The Capital Bar on Sunday Aug 14th. This is an early show, 8pm start, and I’ll kick it off with a solo set and then Gary will rip it up. If you haven’t seen or heard of Gary yet check out his website on the link above. He’s bad ass. Gonna be a great show! Thanks the folks putting it on and especially for asking me to be part of it.
All good times ahead! Ruby has been great on this trip. Wish her luck on our long journey home!
Yours in RAWK,