It’s Harvest time. Finally.

Before I get into the meat of this post I want to say quickly that we just returned from what I think was our most successful tour of Ontario. It was short but sweet. Played some new venues, including a LAKE!!!!!

We had to get boated in…you know, cause it’s an island….

We got to hang with some old friends and I got to jam with someone I’ve been waiting to play with for a couple years….Donna Grantis.

If you don’t know of Donna, she is a Toronto based axe slinger and man can she play. She is Shakura S’aida’s main geetar gal and also fronts her own rocking trio which is poised to release a brand new kick axe instrumental record very soon. Keep an ear out for it. It’s all Led Zepp meets Hendrix kinda goodness!

Ok, so….lots of people wait all year for Christmas to come. My Christmas isn’t in December though…Mine is in September. Every year during the third week of September, Fredericton New Brunswick is transformed into a world class meeting grounds for Blues players and Blues Fans alike. I have been coming to Harvest Jazz and Blues for nearly two decades. I remember watching Big Sugar play, when they were still riding on 500 lbs (amazing album), in the parking lot downtown that is now called the tannery. I remember seeing Duke Robillard, Pinetop Perkins, Jon Cleary, Dr. John, Buddy Guy and so many others I’d have to rent more webspace to post them all. I’ve seen it grow from fledgling festival to world class. The past five years alone has seen Harvest jump to a world stage bringing in acts you’d see at any other festival. ANYWHERE. Over the years as a patron I’ve had many memories I’ll cherish forever (many i can’t remember too!) and over the last decade or so I’ve slowly been growing my musical self as well. In 2005 I won The rising star award at Harvest and began my real journey into my true career. Over the past six years Harvest has supported me time and time again, showing me that they believe in what I do by putting me, and me with The Bastards, on bills with Buddy Guy, Joel Plaskett, (almost Gregg Allman), and now Levon Helm and Jonny Lang. This kind of support means a lot to me and to be able to do shows of this level in our hometown means even more. You may recall in 2010, that Harvest sent The Bastards and I, to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge. That was the year our Brother Matt Andersen won the solo/duo category!

It was amazing to watch Matt in the finals in the beautiful Orpheum Theatre and even more amazing to watch the look on peoples faces as he destroyed the room with only three songs.

Well I’m honoured, again, to say that I will be competing with a few other acts on Saturday Sept 17th at The Barracks stage from 2-4pm to try and once again win a trip Back to Beale street to compete in the IBC. This time, though I’ll be going as a solo performer. Although I started my real music career as a solo performer over the years the Bastards have taken my focus as we’ve worked hard to travel the nation doing what we do. I’ve never stopped performing solo though, and I still do a winter solo tour every year. I’m nervous and honoured to be making this attempt to get Back to Beale all by my lonesome. So, here’s the kicker….as with all music contests these days, 50% of the vote is judged at the performance, and 50% is of course…ONLINE VOTING….booo, hissssss, I know, I know. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was pestering you for Taylor guitar contest votes? Well I’m gonna ask once more, friends that you help me Back to Beale and vote as often and with as many email addy’s that you can. This Monday voting begins on the CBC website. Rest assured you can visit this very site and there will be a link to the CBC page. I know it’s a pain in the ass but I’m only asking because I love what I do and I know some of you out there enjoy it too and are willing to help at the drop of a hat. So I encourage you, tell your friends, post on your facebook, tweet, text, talk about it! I’m humbly asking for your help but I’m going to be honest here… I Want To Win. I believe I can with your help. What do you say?

Stay tuned for the link and voting details. I’ll post them as soon as I have them. MUCH thanks in advance. Y’all rawk! Hope to see you at the Barracks this Saturday from 2-4pm, or at any of the Harvest events for that matter! What a week to be alive!!!!

MB