America Can Can

I always struggle on 9/11 to split my thoughts in two directions. One being obvious to the rest of the world: the tragedy that happened 10 years ago in New York City. Today I send my thoughts to the Firemen, Policemen and emergency crews that redefined the word HERO.

Less obvious to the rest of the world is another Hero of mine. Randall Cable. Former bandmate, best friend and brightly burning star. One of the finest songwriters I’ll ever have had the pleasure to work with. So much in my life would be different without having known him. Not sure where I’d be musically. We didn’t always see eye to eye but that’s the way it goes with intense friendship. Years later I see many characteristics in myself that drove Me nuts about Randy. I guess he was just that much father ahead than me. I understand him more now than I did then, that’s for sure. His battle with cancer was intense and inspiring. Writing and recording a “goodbye” album in a hospital and at home was no easy task. especially since much of it was during the bottom of his ninth with cancer, when vocal ability and energy were low. The circle of people in his life at that time, forever connected, can attest to his great strength and desire for them to carry on in life and to have a smile for everyone you love.

Today I’m posting a tune off of Randy’s posthumous released double album, Rise and Shine. The song is called “Soupbone”. Originally recorded in Vancouver , I believe, for a demo called BAKERS DOZEN. This was one of my fav songs to play in our band called NAKED DAYS. Somehow I think the words fit both directions my mind has gone in today. Happy 9/11. Remember today, now and then. Celebrate strength, life and love for all (and boobs and coca cola, for Randy). Live in the light and as we used to say…..cheers fuck face!
Soup Bone – Randy Cable

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

Day 19 (?): Edmonton Compound

Well hello there. I’ve been fairly delinquent in updates. Sorry ’bout that. It’s difficult to stay on top of while traveling. We’re in Edmonton at our Bastard Compound now for a few days of downtime so I’ll try and get caught up. Let’s see, we’ve played a bunch of shows and been through a couple provinces since I last updated…

Winnipeg: Got to hang with our pal Vince and his lovely lady. They were gracious enough to host us for the night. Since it was a lovely day we BBQ’d. Can’t be in Manitoba and not try farmer sausage right? So Vince grabbed some Farmer Sausage (not to be confused with some farmer’s sausage) and chopped her right up for the Q. It was good stuff! I think Vince even had a stop by his fridge in the middle of the night to have a snack…it was THAT good.

Regina: After a fairly nice drive we found our club for the night. The Gas Light is up two flights of stairs (BOO!) but other than that we felt right at home there. They have some sweet dinner deals for you while the Ladies dance the pole …not nekkid though.. : ( Unfortunately we were told by the Bartender right away that due to the Mosaic being that weekend in Regina we shouldn’t expect too much of a crowd. The Mosaic is a food fair featuring pavilions from around the world and it is highly attended. Our Bartender was right. It was a quiet night but we rawked ‘er anyway. Had a nice chat with the owner, Joan and got to re-connect with Dan from the Regina Blues Society. We look forward to coming back in the fall to try our luck again. Did I mention there is a tattoo shop in this bar???? How awesome is that?

After our show we had a few days off and thought it might be nice to do some camping to relax a bit before our next string of shows. We tried a place called Regina Beach but all the campsites were “full”. All that really meant was they didn’t want to rent to us. Seems Regina Beach has a bit of a party reputation and the campground owners assumed we’d get rowdy…..So after a beer and some sunshine we fueled up, got supplies and drove to Dundurn. We found the campground, which is just south of Saskatoon, and set up. Man. What a find. Totally quiet this time of year and RIGHT on the lake. Shawn Bastard tried his luck at some fishing…

and we got a great sunset too!

We had such a great night we decided to stay another day since it was sunny again. The beach was a couple KMs away so we played a “through the woods to the beach and back” game of Bocce. Lots of fun, a little sun burn and loads of little bug fly/thingys that we’re getting it on down by the beach. that part was a little creepy. It was a good bocce match. Shawn Bastard came out on top and now I think that means he is up 2-1 over Karl this tour. I, sadly, have yet to win a game….That night we cooked on the fire and relaxed and enjoyed another epic sunset.

The next day we hit up Saskatoon. We were due to play the following two nights at Bud’s on Broadway. We’ve played at Bud’s a lot over the past six tours and really love the place. Great staff and always a good time. We had some folks from the Saskatoon Blues Society out as well and it was good to see some familiar faces there to rawk! Here’s a pic of one of the full time residents int he Apt. above the bar….

His name? Yup, you guessed it…Bud.

The really great part about Saskatoon is we get to stay at my cousins place and hang out with family. The really, REALLY great thing about staying there is that my cousin’s wife is an incredible cook and she knows we love to eat so it’s a great relationship really! Here’s a pic of one of our great plates of food while there…

After our last show at Bud’s we drove overnight to Edmonton. We had a fresh shipment of T-shirts coming and wanted to make sure we were there to receive ’em. We only just got this re-order and are already finding ourselves ready to do a third order. Needless to say the T’s are selling well!!!! We played Stony Plain on the Friday and had a fun time. Great owners there that go out of their way for you. Always a treat to rawk the Stony Plainers!!!

Saturday we got up and had lunch at our fav little deli in Edmonton. “Care it Urban Deli” is home to some delicious sammies and yummy soup. We eat here a lot as it’s tasty, healthy and cheap. Three rarities in food when on the road. Before we knew it we were back on the road to one of our best gigs in Canada. Mikey’s Juke Joint. What can I say that I haven’t already said here….Mikey’s kicks ass. We always have a great crowd there with lots of old east coast friends and each time we play we make some new Calgary fans. This time was no exception. Here is some video someone took during the concert…

GREAT TIME!!!! Big thanks too, to our pals in Vista Heights for letting us crash. always fun!!! MAJOR THANKS to Justin for giving me a pair of sweet boots too!!! What a guy!

After a nice breakfast with our pals we hit the road to return to Edmonton for a few days off before hitting the mountains. We got to have a quick hang with our compound manager Jim and his son/helper/tough guy extraordinaire, Sean. We had a great time into the wee hours and before we knew it, it was Monday and we were making our patented Bastard Breakkie…..

Gonna get some rehearsing in tomorrow and then Wednesday we drive to beautiful Jasper for a few shows at The Downstream before heading into BC’s interior. Lots of fun coming up so stay tuned. There are always shows being added so keep in touch with out tour dates too. We’ve announced a couple shows that were under wraps including MONTREAL JAZZ FEST!!!!!! and a couple other fun Quebec Festivals! Mais OUI!!!

So i say to everyone, enjoy the long days and get some sun when you can. We’ll chat soon! yours in RAWK,

MB

Day Eight: Bocce, Bays, Bikes & BBQ

Typically for us, the drive up around Lake Superior is a giant, long grueling pain in the ass. Our relationship is bittersweet. The Lakes and sunsets are so amazing but it goes on forever….. I’m happy to say that after five previous treks cross country for rocknroll we may have finally figured out how to deal with HWY 17. This time we took the “slow and steady” approach. We gigged every day at little spots here and there. Sometimes only in exchange for food and lodging.

Tuesday we stopped at Thunder Bay to rawk the Apollo. T-Bay is always a tough on us. We’ve certainly had fun shows there but its a struggle to get folks out, especially early in the week. We always enjoy catching up with our hosts though and this time was no exception. We had our “regulars” there and a few extra. When we first landed in front of the club I was in the van chatting with Shawn about merch and in front of the van was a dude on a bike. I thought, “hmmm, that guy looks like our pal Ray from Edmonton”. sure enough the helmet comes off and IT IS Ray!
He went for a cruise on his bike and ended up in T-Bay for our show to surprise us! WOW! Surprised we were. Great to see him and catch up a bit. We’ll see more of Ray when we’re in Alberta!

Wednesday we drove to Wabigoon, a little piece of the highway near Dryden.

What a time this was. I found this gig through our pal Doc Maclean, when we dropped Doc’s backdrop off there last fall. Man! Great little spot with super nice folks there. Sold a load of merch and got fed and a place to sleep too! The venue is Pappy’s Cafe. It’s a tiny little room covered with posters from past perfomers.

Many of which we pals of ours. We played two sets to a very appreciative crowd and had a BALL!!! Attached to the cafe is the store. It had everything you’d expect from a country store with lots of supplies and such. I was cruising around the store when I saw something that caught my eye. I knew I must have one (two?). Boobie Buddy.

Yep. I know. Awesome. A headrest that attaches to your vehicle headrest and is shaped like a pair of boobs so you’re always getting a booby hug!

Amazing right?!!?! So I mention on set break that I was gonna get one and then at the end of the night some dude comes up and says “I got you something” and hands me a boobie buddy! WOW. What a week for fan kindness. Ray drove from Edmonton to see us and this stranger gives me the kindest, most thoughtful, gift. We’re truly grateful to these people.

Today (Thursday) we drove the short trek to Kenora from Wabigoon. Nice day too. Stopped in Vermillion Bay to have some lunch at Busters BBQ.

These folks smoke their own meat and have award winning blueberry BBQ sauce. We all had a beef brisket sammich and let me tell you, it kicked ass!

Karl Bastard bought some spices and sauce to try later. What a find. So sad we drove by it 10 times before getting to stop in. Looking forward to the drive home now!!!!

We’re just in our new, sketchy hotel in Kenora.

Apparently there may or may not have been a murder here. Oh well. It’s right by the water and it’s quite nice…outside….

We’re finally leaving Ontario in the AM(Friday). A show at The Standard in Winnipeg Friday night. Headed to Regina for a show at the Gaslight Saloon Saturday. After that it’s a few days off before our Saskatoon shows at Bud’s.

Hope to see y’all out there somewhere.

Ross

And They’re Off….

Hey all,

Well, what a weekend! We released our new live cd “Live at The Acoustic Grill” at The Playhouse in Fredericton on Saturday and what an amazing time. Thanks so much To Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, 105FM The Fox, and of course The Playhouse Staff and Crew.I don’t know when I’ve had so much fun. The folks that came out were such a great, responsive crowd. It really was a dream for us to have the release there. Thank, you all who helped make it happen! Click HERE to watch a couple video’s from the night

Here’s a pic for now….

Well, there is no downtime in the life of the Bastards. We’re shifting gear from Acoustics, Suits & Ties to Straight up, loud, dirty, blues rawknroll. We’re off to Charlottetown PEI on Thursday AM to rock the island. The East coast Music Conference is on and not only are we up for Best Blues Recording of the year but we are gonna be busy with showcases. I thought i’d send out a little post to let anyone who might be over there know where they can come shake em on down while on the island.

*All time listed are Latenight the day listed/early morning of the next day
Thursday April 14th The Alibi Lounge midnight-ish (late thurs/early fri) 77 University Avenue Charlottetown, PE – (902) 629-1651
Thursday April 14th Late night Molson Stage Delta Hotel 1.10am-1.40am

Friday April 14th MIAN’s Showcase Murphy’s Community Centre 11pm (200 Richmond St)
Friday April 14th Partnered Blues Showcase at The Haviland Club 12am (2 Haviland St)

Saturday April 15th Swamp Showcase at The Globe Restaurant 4pm (132 Richmond st)
Saturday April 15th Molson Canadian Rock Stage Delta Hotel 10.30pm -10.50pm
Saturday April 15th ECMA Member’s Lounge Delta Hotel 12.45am

So there you have it.If you’re gonna be in Charlottetown this weekend there is no excuse to not be able to catch one show!!!

Ive also posted the bulk of our summer Canadian tour HERE so check that out too! Looking forward to rocking with y’all again!