Hello there everyone!
Well as one of my favourite teenage-years- bands, CINDERELLA, would say, It’s been a long cold winter!!! Seriously. Every year winter sucks but this year, on my solo tour, I noticed people have actually been beat down by winter in a way that is right in their psyche! Lot’s of people ready for Spring. Myself included. Well, let me tell ya…SPRING IS COMING!!! How do I know? Well there are a few things that happen each year that signal it for me. one of which is the end of my solo tour and the gear shift into Band mode. As soon as I start thinking about Ross Neilsen Band’s spring tour i KNOW it’s right around the corner.
This past Saturday I finished a 15 000km solo tour of Canada. I played ALL DAY on PEI. I had a matinee in the afternoon with Got Blues? at The Factory in Charlottetown. A really good afternoon crowd and I had a ball playing with a band. Only got me fired up to Rock it with my own rhythm section. Saturday evening a performed at a house concert out in York. Again, killer crowd and SO. Much. Fun! Alas, that was the last show on my annual winter solo tour. I want to say a huge thanks to all the folks who came out to shows, who let me crash at their place, who booked me into their bar or home, who fed me and showed me kindness. A couple weeks ago I celebrate seven years as a full time musician. How could I ever do that without all the help I get every day?! So many special peeps out there that make my life so much easier/possible. Love to all y’all!
The solo tour was filled with nothing but good times (and nice weather believe it or not!) all over. As per usual. It’s hard to pick one thing that tops it all as there are so many fun nights…like hanging with Sean Burns in Winnipeg…
or reuniting with Shawn Worden in Lethbridge after two years…
….seeing old friends, making new ones. it’s ALL a highlight…There was one show, that stood out though, which would have to be opening for one of my favourite bands ever in a wicked rocknroll room in Toronto. I did a quick opener for North Mississippi Allstars earlier this month at Lee’s Palace. What. A. Time. I had a blast and was received warmly. The band called me up to jam later in their set. Blew my mind to be on a stage performing with a band I’ve listened to so much over the years. I can’t even describe how that feels. Meant so much to me.
Did someone say BAND??!?!?!?!? I love playing solo but I also REALLY love to RAWK OUT. Tomorrow I officially switch gears into “band mode”. I’m so stoked to fire up the band and get wood shedding. We’ll be rehearsing hard over the next couple weeks so we can sound good for our spring tour. The Spring band dates are posted right HERE if you want to see what’s going on. There are lots more shows coming down the pipes so stay tuned to the tour date page to know when we’ll be around you’re neck of the woods. We’re really stoked to get back out across the nation and rawking your town! There will be a couple new tunes in the sets this tour. Both originals and covers. First gigs are THIS WEEKEND at the Red Herring in St Andrews. Our home in the east. Looking forward to getting back down there to rock some tunes by the bay of Fundy!
In other news I’ll be playing the game a little bit, very briefly, on PEI April 3rd, the day before RNB tour starts. My album, The Shack Up Sessions, has been nominated for best blues recording at the ECMA’s (East Coast Music Association/awards) and I got a showcase to support the nomination with as well. Of course I’m conflicted about this, as always, but I’m going over to swing away for 8 or 12 hours and see where the chips fall. Wish me luck. I play Gahan house Thursday April 3rd at 7pm and then at the Globe for the Blues showcase at 10.20pm. Hope to see you there supporting!
Stay in touch this summer. We’ve got a couple of exciting irons in the fire and, as always, are looking forward to the future. More importantly, we’re looking forward to seeing YOU again at a show in your town!
Stay tuned. Big Love.
PS….Just before I go I want to mention it was almost a year ago that we lost, east coast rocker, Jay Smith, to mental illness. Jay was a powerful figure on the east coast rock scene and if there was any doubt of that, the fundraiser for his family only weeks after his death proved it. What a turnout of support. One thing I would personally like to see come of this, though, is more people talking about it. I think even MORE good could possibly come from this if we all tried to raise a bit of awareness. Jay’s death was a tragedy, as suicide always is. Perhaps being a little more open about things like this behind or in front of closed doors, with your friends, strangers or family, whatever…just keep talking about it. We can find strength in the most seemingly hopeless places and light in the darkest of rooms. We gotta help one another survive.
PPS….i took a lot of pics on my trip as per usual. head on over to my instagram and check em out. here are two of my favs.