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March 12th, 14th & 15th – Oshawa, Toronto, Port Perry

March 12th I hit up Oshawa for a guest spot at the EP Taylor’s open mic. I’ve come to know a bunch of the Music Business students well over the years, and they’ve been coming out to the shows for a while. It was a nooner, but I still had the whole pub joining in. So far this has been my most interactive tour yet!

Toronto has been one of the highlights of the tour – despite having some issues with gear during soundcheck, I was first up at The Supermarket for the Agency Group’s weekly showcase night. Not only did I have the biggest and loudest crowd there, but literally had them yelling and screaming for more by the time the short set was over. Combine that with everyone singing along, lots of handclaps, and some very kind words, it was a blast. Big thanks to all the other bands that played as well, especially The Franklin Electric from Montreal! Otherwise, I spent a full day walking around downtown shopping for hoodies, power adapters, and a belt with Sam, a British osteopath who now lives in Kensington Market.

Earlier that day, I also did an interview for CBC Radio Sudbury – IN FRENCH. Now, while my name may suggest that I am French, my heritage is Flemish (Belgian). I CAN speak some French, but my English – even Spanish – are obviously better. Needless to say, I knew the questions, so I had prepared some answers, and double checked them with Google Translate just in case. I used the translator directly for the question “How do you make your music?”, and luckily I caught it because instead of saying “I build my songs piece by piece”, it would have been “I build my songs with trucks”.

“I build my songs with trucks” – that’s an infinitely more interesting show to see. I’ll post the interview link once it’s up!

Ribs at Salvatore's in Port Perry, ON

On March 15th I rolled into Port Perry to play at Salvatore’s and of course had to have my usual ribs. Ribs you say? How about gigantic slab of ribs! About as long from my elbow to the tips of my fingers (I’m 6’1, so I’ve got long arms). I’ll be coming back, but next time, it might be a house show – exciting!

Kitchener / Oshawa

Kitchener has usually been a gamble. In my other touring experiences, it was always rough, having spent a fair number of nights at the Circus Room (what a dive). This time though, I was at the Little Bean Coffee Bar, and it had a great little stage and a great sounding room for an act of my size. The people that showed up also stayed for the entire show (close to 2 hours), and we stoked about it, that we ended up chatting for almost an hour after that! Not to worry, I’ll be back, Kitchener. But now, it’s time for Oshawa.

Live at the Little Bean Coffee Bar - photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

I’ve never been to Oshawa, so this was as much of an adventure as we could get in southern Ontario. We showed up quite early, and literally sat at a Starbucks for a few hours. I was busy working on some composition works for Apple Wagon Films (maybe I’ll post samples of the music at some point – if not, there should be a demo reel eventually), while Shannon disappeared to find a bank, driving halfway across town only to realize when she returned that there was in fact one rig beside Starbucks!

Live at Durham College - photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

We arrived at the Durham college cafeteria for the show, and it’s pretty neat, because the students in the music business program have to run events throughout the year. This was an ‘acoustic night’, and it showcased a lot of the talent that many of the students possess as artists not just future members of the music industry.

Braeden Mitchell live at Durham College - photo by Shannon Lepere (www.shannonlepere.com)

Another cool thing about their program is that they have to volunteer at Canadian Music Week, but not just at a booth at the conferences; as stage managers at some of the venues. It was pretty neat seeing all those same kids two days later in Toronto!