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,