Pure Rawk Fury Update #1

Hello friends

Well we’ve been out for about three weeks. We’re currently in Lethbridge Alberta at the man with no name’s house. We’re chilling before we load into the Slice for tonights rawking!

We have had a great tour so far. LOTS of nice weather. Last trip we discovered a great way to get around northern Ontario and we did the same this trip. Nice and slow, stopping in little towns to play shows in the evening to kill our expenses and keep us driving short, day light, hours to the next show. It takes twice as long but in the end it’s much more relaxing and we’ve met some wonderful folks in these towns. After our second show of the tour we stayed another night in Lavigne to relax before we got into the meat Northern Ontario. We got a lovely tour du lac from Jo and Manfred. Again, it was a beautiful day on lake Nippissing.

The good weather didn’t stop there. We had low twenties all the way around Superior which prompted Shawn Bastard and I to take a dip in the Great Lake. It was cold, I can tell you that, but refreshing.

We played our way out of Ontario in a new venue for us, Shooters in Kenora. Fun joint. We’ll be back here again on our way home. After that it was a long haul to Regina for our show at the Gaslight. This one was way better than our last and we look forward to playing here again next tour. The road then pointed us towards Saskatoon where we always play the amazing Bud’s on Broadway. Mid week shows can be tough but we’re grateful to have them at all and we always have fun at Bud’s with the staff and patrons. Big thanks to Al from the blues society for wrangling a few folks out on a Wednesday. Thursday we did a house concert in Stoon in our pal, John’s, basement. We met John in Jasper last tour and hit it off. Before we knew it wed booked a show with him for this tour! Nice little crowd and a whole lotta fun. I went all out for this and rented a big amp specially for the show!

We were real spoiled all week in Stoon as we stayed with my cousins family and Kris’ home cooking was it’s usual amazing! We arrived for Thanksgiving and didn’t seem to stop eating great food till the moment we left! Thanks to family! So awesome!

After we vacated Saskatchewan our first Alberta stop was the Mainliner in Medicine Hat. We discovered the Mainliner through our pal Geoff Lightenin’ a few tours back and it’s become a real awesome spot to hang for the weekend. Great owners and staff and a real appreciative audience. We always have a ball and can’t wait to see them again in the spring!

After the Hat we cruised to Cowtown to hang with our pals from Fredericton at the Vista Commune. We got deep into a great HBO show called Game of Thrones and enjoyed one helluva nice day on the Vista patio. It was so warm the hornets were waking up and hanging around. The boys have a great view of downtown Calgary and in the morning you can clearly see the mountains. Nice foreshadowing for this week. We caught a great sunset too!

Last night we rolled into Lethbridge to stay with our pals who we know from Fredericton. These cats are always a blast and treat us with the hospitality that the Maritimes are known for. We had a wonderful night of telling tales and enjoying great alberta beef with some tasty wine!

Tonight we rawk the Slice and then move on to Canmore tomorrow. This part of our Alberta trip wraps up next Monday before we roll into BC. Looking forward to all the adventure and fingers crossed for more excellent weather.

Yours in RAWK,

Ross

PS….I posted a few new tour dates for our trip home. Check em out and tell a friend!

At The Helm

Hello minions!

Well as I type I’m over looking the lovely Davidson Lake. I’ve been out here on a mini “vacation”. It sure makes doing agent work easier and almost bearable. I’ve been coming here my whole life and it never wears off for me. recently I came out to do a painting I was asked to submit for the Brush of Hope Kideny Foundation fundraiser. They ask non artist to paint something for auction. I hadn’t painted in about 25 years. I used to paint with my mom, who is an artist. Needless to say I got some much needed coaching form moms. It was an honour to be asked and fun to do it! They’ll auction all the pieces off on ebay near the end of October I believe. Here’s the piece. I called it “No, No, No”.

So let’s see….What’s goin’ on?

Last week we had a killer run of festivals in Quebec and NB. We did the opening show at The Donnacona Blues Festival where we had nothing short of an awesome time. Played to a real great crowd and then had some more fun afterward at The Totem bar where an acoustic mysteriously appeared and I was convinced (jack daniels) to do a short solo set. Much fun was had. The next day we drove to Levis, Quebec where we played to a very appreciative crowd of what seemed like a thousand peeps! Awesome fun! Then on Saturday we hit the Dooryard Arts Fest in Woodstock NB to rock my old stomping grounds of Carleton County. What a great time it was and it’s nice to see the festival there really being supported by the community. We had a fun Jam with Newfoundlands Chris Kirby too! I handed him the guitar I usually keep in open “D” tuning and although I had thought I tuned it all up, one string was a full tone down. I tell ya, you’d never know. Kirby rocked anyhow. No flies on the boy!
Here’s a pic from Donnacona:

And here’s a video from the same night. I think this one is our version of BB’s “Thrill is Gone”

This weekend we head up to Perth Andover for the Larlee Creek Hullabaloo. One only need check the line up to know what kind of awesome Festival is up the Saint John River. Matt Andersen, Dave Gunning, Thom Swift, Carmen Townsend, Chris Colepaugh and MORE!!!! Gonna be a gooder. Bound to be some jams too! Saturday well wake up too early and no doubt be fuzzy headed for our drive to Charlottetown. We’ll be playing Hunter’s Ale House for the first time and really, really look forward to it. I know there will be some friends in town for the Charlottetown Jazz and Blues Fest so we’re hoping for some of them to pop in.

Recently I’ve been in conversation with the fellows from a new Fredericton based company called Timbre Collective. These cats build custom pedal boards, flight cases and more. After some emailing and discussion I’m very happy to say that I will be entering a sponsorship with the lads to endorse their cool products. My new board is being constructed as we speak and I hope to have it in time for Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival. These cats have their research down and are great about giving you whatever you think your board needs. I look forward to working with them. Here’s one of their prototypes

Did someone say Harvest Fest??? Well here’s two amazing bits of info for you to look forward to…ONE: we are currently reviewing the mixes for our new live album “What You Need Vol 2”. You may remember Vol 1 was recorded at Harvest during our Dolan’s run a few years ago and it’s on the site here for free download now. We recorded VOL 2 at Blues on Whyte on this past spring tour. It’s part of our fan series which means if you want this baby you gotta get to a show to buy it. It’s sounding good and features a lot of the rocking stuff from Redemption. We hope to have it for sale during Harvest and we hope you dig it!

TWO: Unless you live in a cave you may have heard that Gregg Allman had to cancel his Harvest shows due to respiratory infection. Obviously, being a huge fan, I was devastated by this news as I was scheduled to open the second show. Well The Festival Musical Director, no stranger to last minute cancellations after last years, did it again. In no easy task of replacing the rocknroll hall of famer, he upped the ante huge. He got TWO rocknroll hall of famers. Mr. Buddy Guy, who I had the pleasure of sharing the bill with a few years back and Mr. Levon Helm, back beat and vocalist for legendary group THE BAND. What a roller coaster for me. Heart broken right back to elated. I can’t explain how stoked am to open for Levon and The Family Band. The Band has been an amazing influence on me in my life and I can’t even believe I’m on this bill. Again, HUGE thanks to Harvest. So excited.

In between this weekends shows an Harvest we’ll pile into Ruby for what could very well be her last tour (if I can devise a plan to get a new van). We head out to Ontario on the 25th of this month with a quick stop at Pub St. Alexandre in Quebec City on the 25th before we dive into Ontario for a week. Check the tour page and find out where we’ll be next. We hope to see you Ontario folks out at the show!

FREDERICTON PEEPS: If you can’t wait till harvest we’re doing a free outdoor concert on my birthday, Aug 23rd, at Officers Square. Show time is 7pm. When we get home form Ontario we’ll play the KV Valley Jazz fest and then drive right up to Florenceville to rawk the Dooly’s there. Haven’t been up that way for quite sometime so it should be a bash!

So there it is peeps. Our schedule for the next little bit. You folks out west can look forward (or escape) a return trip in October and November too!

On a side note I’m listening to some Taj Mahal right now. Y’all know he’ll be at Harvest Fest too right? Oh it’s gonna be a gooder!

Stay good,

Ross

Day Five

Hey all,

we’re in Batchawana Bay which is about 40 minutes north on HWY 17. We’re five days into our tour and all is well We got away early Thursday AM to make our tour kick off in Quebec City. We played the Casbah and it was awesome! Great venue, nice people. We even had a look see at who was coming in the summer and look who we found….

Friday we trekked along to Ottawa for our show at the Rainbow.
It was maybe the best crowd we’ve played to there. We got to hang with our pal John Crowely as well. Thanks to Mr. Crowely for putting us up and the late night BBQ! Saturday found us back in Lavigne at the Lavigne Tavern. Guy and Judy have become great friends and we always enjoy playing there, not to mention the Pizza is the best and the pie and cake, well I don’t want to say too much cause then everyone will know, but some of the staff there are awesome bakers and we love the goodies!

Last night we played in Batchawana Bay

at the Voyageurs Lodge and Cookhouse. We discovered this joint a few tours back and like to stop for the amazing home cooking and Best Baked Beans in Canada!

This time we decided to do a little show as well and had a real blast playing for the locals. The folks who run the place are so nice and treated us like gold. It was a great time and I know we’ll be back here for sure in the future!!!

Today after breakfast we had a rousing match of Bocce.

Karl Bastard took home the trophy today but it IS early in the season so it’s still anyones championship. There will be more details on this championship in the coming days. All I can say is…shine up those balls folks….the challenge is on….Stay tuned for the official bocci challenge video…

Well, we’re off to Wawa now to play the local high school theatre tonight. I’ll try to keep the updates regular but up here in northern Ontario web service is here and there so be patient! Stay tuned,

Ross