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Live on BRBR

When I was getting ready for the European tour in November, I was pretty stressed with things to do, but when the TFO television show BRBR reached out about participating in an interview and some live performances, I couldn’t help but say yes! Naturally, everything would have to be done in French. Everyone already assumes that I’m francophone because of my first name, so my first thoughts were “great, now EVERYone will assume I’m francophone.” Not that that’s a bad thing! But there are only so many times that I want to get asked “parlez vous francais?” after introducing myself. Fun fact: I’ve even had people say that they heard a French accent when I sing!

The crew showed up on Thanksgiving weekend to film two songs in my living room, and they were incredibly professional and fun! Above is a live version of my song “Blue”, while below is the full episode, cued to a performance of my newest song “An Ode To This City.” Enjoy!

If you want to hear my speak poorly in French and give shoutouts to some TBay bands and venues, check out this quick little interview:

To see and read more about the BRBR team’s experiences in TBay, check out their blog entry.

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 19th – Charlottetown, PE

I finally picked up Shannon to join me on the tour!  Woo!

But then, phew, we had long drives from Ottawa throughout Quebec, and finally arriving in Riviere du Loup, we spent the night, but not after going for a walk and finding these glowing cones littered throughout a public park.

Shannon with 3 glowing structures - Riviere Du Loup, QC

We had some problems with both the GPS and the exhaust pipe sagging a bit, but I wanted to wait until we were out of Quebec to get it looked at. I just didn’t want to accidentally explain the wrong thing to the mechanic, and wind up with a bill for $500! We stopped in Edmundston and had it taken care of real quick!

Giving the tail pipe a lil' lift - Edmundston, NB

We arrived in Charlottetown, PEI, and grabbed some eats at Cedar’s, which is below the venue Baba’s Lounge. That night I was joined by a fellow looper (which was a surprise). Jordan Cameron played first and brought out some friends, which was a great introduction to the island. He used an RC-50 looper as well, but switched between acoustic guitar and ukelele, which was a very nice touch. We talked shop for a while before and after, and just overall had a great time at the show together. It’d be great to share some tour dates with him in the future!

The Beach at PEI National Park

We had some time to kill before heading out the next day, so we decided to do some sightseeing. First stop was the PEI National Park, because we had heard about the wonderful beaches. Being March, our expectations were low, but it was very reminiscent of the beaches on Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and the Truman Show.

Shannon at the PEI National Park

I’m not usually the kind of guy that does a lot of touristy stuff, but since Shannon was around, I made some exceptions, including an impromptu shoot at the park, and some jump photos.

One of us needs new shoes

After that, we made a stop at Green Gables – something that’s a big part of the PEI identity. Again, it was closed, but we DID get to see it!

Looking for Anne at Green Gables, PEI

March 19th – Wakefield – Black Sheep Inn

I’ve never been to Wakefield before. This very small town is just north of Ottawa but is actually across the border in Quebec. After maneuvering our way out of Ottawa, we found ourselves traveling through a mountain forest reminiscent of northern Ontario. We arrived to an already full house at the Black Sheep Inn, which is THE place to play in Wakefield.

Justine Lord - photo by Shannon Lepere

Justine Lord took to the stage first, doing a lot of vocal looping and sampling in a way that sounds like the more experimental side of Bjork. After 20 minutes, I entertained for 25 minutes, but not in a similar way to who was next. That 1 Guy is from California, and his one-man show lasted for almost 2 hours. He can entertain and leave an audience enrapt for such a long time that people were so tired from the late evening, but couldn’t break away from the performance. That 1 Guy has a unique instrument that he handbuilt (twice, the first one was built in 1998, and stolen along with his van in Montreal just 2 years ago) using piping and bass strings that he then plays with his fingers, drum sticks or bows.

Jean-Paul De Roover performing opposite the set-up of That 1 Guy - photo by Shannon Lepere

The show then proceeded to incorporate magic, a lightshow, laser beams, manic dancing, and every time that a song would finish the entire audience would howl like a unified wolf pack at his command. Beyond being a world class entertainer, he’s toured all over north America and Australia (where he toured with one of my new favorite bands, Karnivool), but he brought the party to Wakefield that night, and was a really engaging and down to earth person to talk with after the show.

fresh bread! - photo by Shannon Lepere

That night Shannon and I crashed at the Black Sheep Inn, waking up the next day just in time to get some fresh baked goods at several of the cute café’s and bakeries literally just a short stroll down the main street.