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Eastern Canada

April 3rd – Sudbury, ON

Things I love: music, and cheese.

Sudbury had both.

The Fromagerie Elgin was my host, and I’m so thankful to have met such wonderful people, who in turn handed me a platter of cheese and pate. Some of the cheese was even from the Thunder Oaks Cheese Farm just outside Thunder Bay, so it was like a little taste of home.

Cheese and pate platter at Fromagerie Elgin - Sudbury, ON

The concert was presented by River and Sky, which is a wonderful festival and collective of talented and knowledgeable individuals, and I was honoured to have sat in on their meeting before the show began. They’ve got an excellent lineup that they’ll be unveiling in the near future, so please have a look at riverandsky.ca for more info coming soon.

Eric Clancy at Fromagerie Elgin - Sudbury, ON

Eric Clancy was the opening act, accompanied by Chantal for a few songs. What a singer, and songwriter. He had a beautiful voice for quiet folk songs, and lyrically far more mature than his 18 year old contemporaries. He’s recently recorded an album, so you’ll have to wait for that, but it’ll be worth it!

When I took to the stage, I battled with some ongoing technical difficulties, but saved the day by doing the second half of my set completely a cappella! That’s what some folks were looking for anyway, so I indulged them. That, and I even jumped up on the tables for the grand finale. Thanks Sudbury, for being a wonderful end to the Year of the Loop tour. I’ll see you in a few weeks for the NOMFA’s.

April 2nd – Ottawa, ON

Jesse Nelson at the Rainbow - photo by Anthony Armstrong Photography

Monday nights can be kind of tough. However, Ottawa was great at the Rainbow. I’ve been there several times on a Monday now, but this was by far the best. Joined by my old friend Jesse Nelson (originally from Terrace Bay), we ran an early show to a great crowd.

When I first met Jesse, he was one of the Small Town Skaters in Terrace Bay, and responsible for bringing in bands through town, as well as raising money to get the skate park built. I had no idea he even played guitar. Man, he can play AND sing! Kind of in a way that reminds me of punk rock that’s been redone acoustic. He’s also an awesome photographer! Check out his website here.

Live at the Rainbow - photo by Anthony Armstrong Photography

His friend Anthony was also there, taking some sweet photos. You can check out his Flickr by clicking here.


April 1st – Montreal, QC

Poutine from La Banquise - Montreal, QC

Montreal. Poutine. Absinthe. 2 out of 3 were enjoyed by me. However, there were lots of people enjoying that third vice while at Bar L’Absynthe. Joining me on stage was my old friend Andy Stevens. Raised in New Brunswick, this was his last show in Montreal before heading to Edmonton. In his own words, he was “heading to Edmonton, where I’ll be reunited with my girl, then I’m going to marry her”. I didn’t realize he actually meant he was getting married NEXT WEEKEND. What a seriously romantic guy. He’s been working on some new music (which I’ve been fortunate to preview), but in the meantime, you can hear some of his older material on myspace.

There were lots of fun moments at the show. Joining in with Andy on a tune, having my gear fall apart but improvising a way to keep everything going (to much applause!), and making a new friend who lives in LA.

Afterwards, Shannon and I crashed with my friend Melissa, who conveniently lived on the same street as the venue. Sadly, Shannon had to leave the tour early and fly back to Thunder Bay the next morning. At least I was already awake, since parking is a nightmare in Montreal, and I had to get up around 7:30 (after going to bed at about 4 am) to start moving my car around.

March 30 – Fredericton, NB

Stage at the Capital in Fredericton, NB

I’ve played in Fredericton several times now, but only once before at the Capital. I forgot how friggin’ loud it is in there! It was just myself and Judicom (a disco/house DJ duo) that night, so we each did several sets throughout the evening. After my first set, Judicom kicked things up a notch by taking the party into the ‘dance’ direction. I was stuck. I had to bring the party. So I did a whole lot of improv interspersed with my written tunes, and had people dancing, clapping along, and even a punk rock inspired ‘oi’-style chant.

Then something bad happened. I started to lose my voice. It was probably the chanting, but it was on it’s way out. Luckily, a black fellow missing a tooth leaned over the railing on the stage and yelled out, “Yo man, can I spit some rhymes?”

“Hells yeah, do it!”

This whole thing could have gone in either direction: deadly hip hop, or random drunk guy mumbling into a mic. Thankfully it was the first option! Apparently it was Ceeb, one of the few hip hop MC’s in Fredericton, and notorious for jumping up on stage with random artists.

My friend Greg (who is working on a remix on one of my tracks) even caught the jam session on video. Check it out!

March 24th to 28th – Annapolis Valley

Running at Peggy's Cove, NS

I had a couple of chill, relaxing days in Annapolis Valley. Played 2 shows in Windsor, NS, including one at the Spitfire Arms, followed by another at the TAN Coffee shop. At the Spitfire, I signed 4 cardboard coasters for a group of young kids who were stoked about the show. A little later on, there was one young girl that was spinning around the room, dancing, clapping and singing. It was really cute – she was running around for a good 30 minutes!

I also had a ‘mini-tour’ of TAN Coffee shops both in Windsor and Wolfville. Kentville was supposed to happen, but didn’t quite pan out.

Ah well! Still had the chance to visit with Shannon’s wonderful family, and visit Peggy’s Cove. Unfortunately for some of us, the drive was brutal. By the time we got there I was on the verge of barfing, but tried to sprint around the rocks in order to get some more ‘fresh air’. Even then, the wind was so strong that some of us actually had to walk on an angle to avoid being blown over.

Rubber Hats at Peggy's Cove, NS