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March 11th and 12th – Guelph – Jimmy Jazz

photo by Shannon Lepere

2 shows in Guelph came at a crazy time. We kept traveling back and forth to Toronto during the day to attend the CMW panels, but then would drive to whatever city the show was in that evening. This meant we played in Guelph at Jimmy Jazz on the 11th, stayed up until 3 am, drove to Toronto at 7 am, then drove back from Toronto at 6 pm in order to play at around 10 pm that night, once again at Jimmy Jazz. This type of scenario had been going on for a couple of days, so I actually took the opportunity to take a nap in the car before the first show.

Banquet - photo by Shannon Lepere

That first night I played with Banquet and The Music Box. Both bands shared some similar members, but the difference in material was clear. Banquet was a folky, rootsy trio, while the Music Box brought a lot more rock, with a full band and drummer. My good friend Brent Coleman put on the show, and did a fantastic job (as usual). It’s interesting playing at Jimmy Jazz, because there’s no cover, so the people that attend aren’t necessarily there for music, but they’ll stick around if they like it. I was stoked because I managed to grab people’s attention both nights, and had them clapping along by the end of it too!

Robin Jools Wright from Texting Mackenzie - photo by Shannon Lepere

The second night I shared a bill with Texting Mackenzie, an eclectic indie/rock band that likes to blend genres (one of my favourites!). I’d been in touch with Robin Wright, the vocalist/guitar player for quite a while, as I’m stoked to bring them to Thunder Bay. They’d start a song with a campy feel, then switch into punk rock mid phrase only to bring it into something different right after that. That night we crashed at Shannon’s friend Sean Mackay’s place. He also hooked us up with a delicious vegetarian lasagna earlier that day, which we were late for because of crazy Toronto rush hour traffic (sorry again!).

October 6th – Guelph – Planet Bean Coffee

I dropped by Guelph again, but this time to play a coffee shop. I didn’t get there in time to have a dinner with Brent, but he did drop by the show and we hung out there. First up was a high school band, and it was the first time I’d ever heard a cello ripping blues solos. Kudos! THEN…another duo called Tiger Suit (that do a lot of school gigs) did some interesting things: they blended folk and electronica while throwing in different types of world music. In the photo below, the one guys is doing Nepalese throat singing while his partner plays jazzy keys, and would occasionally switch to singing in Japanese and playing one of their traditional instruments. Super cool evening!

October 2nd – Guelph – House Concert

The next day I headed out to my friend Brent Coleman’s in Guelph for a house concert. I stopped in at the UofGuelph to drop off a CD for the campus paper, but found them to be closed. However, I’ve always appreciated the beauty of that city, having been there several times now. Here’s an example of how nice and aged the campus looks (I’m sure it being fall had something to do with it too!).
The house concert went well, and I met up with some more Thunder Bay ex-pats, and ended up hanging out with Brent well into the night, talking about love, life and music. I also grabbed some mp3 files of some songs he had been working on around the same time I had finished my EP at the same studio. Solid stuff!