Peterborough, ON | On the bus

February 22nd, 2018

In many ways, this is day one of the Come Out With Me Tour. We did have a fantastic run through some old haunts and broke some fresh new ground in the West and South of the US and on the Rock Boat, but today is the first day we assemble the full touring cast. That cast includes Fortunate Ones, who’ll be opening the show and travelling with us till May.

Also joining us is our old friend Jaye who’s designed a set and light show for the next pile of dates. Many of you might remember Jaye from the GBS touring days as he was our one and only LD for almost two decades. In the past few years he’s been doing some big stuff working with The Lumineers, Simple Plan, and Dean Brody just to name a few. Can’t wait for you all top see what he’s dreamed up for this tour.

So, again, in many ways this is day one of the full team which bring with it a few hundred new cues to hit, new pieces of equipment to remember how to use, new instruments to play in different ways, and new songs to sing from a new CD. There’s a nervous energy in the air that only happens on day one. Lyrics are written to help commit them to memory. Volumes and tones of new instruments are questioned and tweaked. Knee jerk reactions from how we used to do it will lead us astray a time or two. Naps just can’t be had as minds just wont stop spinning to plot a course through it all. Butterflies that just won’t fly away.

But amidst all the question, there are reassurances. Tonight’s show is Sold Out and has been for months. Kingston and Montreal later this week are Sold Out to the doors as well. There are a handful left for tomorrow nights show in Kitchener and maybe two handfuls for the show in Ottawa at the wonderful NAC on Sunday night.

And then there is Massey Hall.

Massey Hall is Holy Ground for Canadian musicians. It is the most prestigious venue in the entire county. When I was a kid I’d hear of famous concerts there played by everyone from Billy Joel to Gordon Lightfoot to Bob Marley to Bob Dylan. When Great Big Sea got to play there in the latter half of the 1990s it was a dream come true. I think I saw every case loaded in. Watched every speaker pointed to the vintage seats and every light shone to the decorated walls and ceiling and ornate windows. I loved every second of it. I swore to those seats and walls and windows and ceiling, Massey Hall is getting everything I got.

A more seasoned Canadian music veteran once said to me. ‘You might sneak your way to the top of the bill in a theatre or two here and there, but you got to be a real headliner to headline at Massey.’ When GBS stopped playing and that mighty ship I’d been on for all of my adult life tied up, I wondered if my days as a headliner were over. It took half a lifetime to get to headline that stage once. I was pretty sure I’d ever be lucky enough to get to do it again.

Well, on Saturday, me and The Beautiful Beautiful Band headline Massey Hall. I was nervous when my manager Louis and my agent Jack said they wanted me to go for it I was nervous about taking on such a jump. At just under 3000 seats it is a big leap to make. They were convinced we could do it and I’m grateful to them for their faith in it all.

The show on Saturday is Sold Out.

I’m trying to think of a way to tell you how big a deal this is for me, but I’m not sure I can. Like I said, I could hardly believe it when I got to headline there in one incarnation, so to get to do it again, in another one, is almost overwhelming.

Thank you to all the AD team for making this happen for me. And most importantly, by far, thank you to all of you who bought the tickets to make this night possible for me and all the gang.

I’m nervous about it.

I can’t wait for it.

And Massey Hall is getting everything I got. Again.

Thank You.

Cheers,
Alan

Home

February 6th, 2018

A Dollar A Day Foundation

Today is a big day for Dr. Andrew Furey, Brendan Paddick and myself as we launch a new foundation to help Mental Health and Addictions programs and facilities across Canada. We three have been working on this for a couple of years and are excited to share the vision with you all and humbly ask that you join us in making the country a happier and healthier place to be.

It started like this.

For the period of about a month in the early 2000s while recording a Great Big Sea album, I used to walk the length of Water Street every day from my house to the GBS studio. I’d regularly pass a gent on the street asking for money. Just about every day I gave him a dollar. When the recording was done, I hit the road and did not walk Water Street for a long time. I thought about that fella and wondered how I might give him a dollar a day without actually handing it to him. A week later I wrote a cheque for 365 dollars to a local charity that services people with mental health and addictions issues.

A few years later, during the bustling lead up to the holiday season, Andrew, Brendan and myself met up at a social event on Water Street and as there were many people along the street asking for a dollar, I told them the story of the gent from years past. We quickly got to day dreaming about how amazing it would be to create a system where anyone who wanted to could give a dollar and help people like him right across the country. We imagined a new way of fundraising where there were no fancy balls or events, and no stressful deeps reaches into your pocket. We imagined a new group of donors who may have thought giving to be out of their reach but would happily donate their pocket change today, and tomorrow, and the next day. And we imagined a single place where we could gather all that spare change and put it to good work right where people like the original gent on Water Street needed it the most: on the front lines of Mental Health and Addictions services.

The foundation that would become known as A Dollar a Day was born that night.

The concept is a simple one. If you have a dollar to spare and would like to help with Mental Health and Addiction issues, we can put it good use for you. We’ll get it to programs and facilities across the country who are doing great work and who just need financial help to do more of it. We’ll do it today, and tomorrow, and for as long as you want.

I could tell you about the desperate need for supporting these causes and the multiplied reward for investing in and improving the mental health of a community, but I’ll direct you to our website for that.

www.adollaraday.ca

I’d love to keep you informed on what we are up to. I’d love it if you’d Follow us here:

Facebook

Youtube

Instagram

Twitter

Most of all, I’d love for you to join us and pledge a little per day to make a big change from coast to coast to coast. And why not tell people you did? Just post a short video like this and share it on your socials and tag us:

A few Regional Champions have jumped aboard already and I’m grateful to them all.




 

Thanks for your interest in this. And thanks for helping everyone with A Dollar A Day.

Cheers,
Alan

Beautiful To Me. A Love Letter.

January 30th, 2018

Myself and a wonderful group of people called The Magic Project are releasing a special video today.  It is a music video of sorts, I suppose, but not a conventional music video like we are all used to.  Rather this is a joint venture to show the Beauty of people.  All People.  And this song and video are both primarily a message from me to everyone that my concerts are open to all with love in their hearts.

I wrote the song Beautiful to Me with a pal Tawgs Salter in 2016.  I have written a few tunes with Tawgs and I explained to him that I wanted to write a song in response to some legislation that was recently tabled in a US targeted directly at members of the LGBTQIA2S+ community. What would become known as “the bathroom bill” seemed so regressive to me and so unnecessarily and unfairly aimed at a part of our population that I felt I needed to make a statement of some kind in their defence.  I suppose I just wanted the LGBTQIA2S+ community and everyone else to know, that I just want people to be themselves.  Their whole selves.  I want everyone to feel comfortable and be their happiest selves, and whatever gender, sexual preference, colour, race, or creed is welcomed and encouraged as far as I’m concerned.

If this video speaks to you as it does to me, I encourage you to share it as much as you like. There’s never too much Love in the world.

Smile
I wanna see you smile
Anytime
Your eyes meet mine
My song for you
Is be Easy and True
I’ll be yours
If you wanna be mine

My marquee is a Welcome sign
My arms and doors are open wide

Come one Come all
Come Big and Small
Let all the colours of the rainbow fly
Bring the fellas and the girls
And the dreamers of the world
And you can let your own light shine
I’ll tell you right from the start
If you’ve got Love in your Heart
You got everything I need to see
You’re Beautiful To Me

Time, don’t waste your time
Trying to hide
What you got inside
‘Cause I want you
I want all of you
My heart is yours
If yours is mine

My marquee is a Welcome sign
My arms and doors are open wide

So Come one Come all
Come Big and Small
Let all the colours of the rainbow fly
Bring the fellas and the girls
And the dreamers of the world
And you can let your own light shine
I’ll tell you right from the start
If you’ve got Love in your Heart
You got everything I need to see
You’re Beautiful To Me

I think about the lost and lonely
I think of all nights
We wouldn’t walk alone if only
We could love like stars can shine

Come one Come all
Come Big and Small
Let all the colours of the rainbow fly
Bring the fellas and the girls
And the dreamers of the world
And you can let your own light shine
I’ll tell you right from the start
If you’ve got Love in your Heart
You got everything I need to see
You’re Beautiful To Me

Spread the Love.

Cheers,
Alan

 

More info on the project from the great folks at Asterix Media HERE.

YYT-YYZ-YVR

January 15th, 2018

I had a few hours shy of a month Home for the Holiday Season and it was a glorious break with family and friends. I almost got used to sleeping in my own bed.

The last day or so have been typical of the last few days of a long break before the beginning of a long time away. Regular readers of this blog have heard me speak of this many times. The odd mix of excitement to hit the road and sadness about leaving those who love to have you around. You start counting the school drop offs you have left before you’ll go close to a month without another one. You walk your dog a little bit longer and hope he doesn’t know he won’t get the kind of walk he likes most for a few weeks. You linger at your Mom’s counter ten or fifteen minutes longer than you have reason to, just to watch your parents putter around the house and ask one more time, “where are you going this time?” Trying to commit the sound of their in-person voices to memory as they just don’t quite sound the same on the phone.

Then today comes. The bag gets packed. The cheeks get kissed. The furry heads get scratched and you make your way to the Air Canada Counter at YYT.

So here I am, somewhere in the sky between Newfoundland and Toronto. Flight #1 of the year, and the familiarity of my seat in row 13 tips the scales in the mix of emotions from melancholy to excitement. The joy of gathering the band at the airport gate. The smiles on the faces of the others who, much like me, can’t believe their luck. And that we get to fly on planes, jump on tour buses and cross international borders to sing and play for people.

Sad as Ever to Leave Home. Happy as Ever to Go on Tour.

The double life of every touring musician I’ve ever met.

I’m thrilled about the ticket sales and all so far, by the way. Sell Outs in Portland and Phoenix on this week, with a few more to come it seems. Looks like we’ll be jamming to great houses on both sides of the border.

Speaking of which, I feel compelled to say how grateful I am to be rolling to the US once again. I am Canadian for sure, but I love the US, and consider it nothing short of a privilege to get to cross the border so often to play and work in America. I think the relationship between Canadians and Americans is a special one. We may not agree on everything, all the time, but honestly, what good friends ever really do?

The Come Out With Me Tour starts Monday in Seattle. You’ll get to hear Donovan Woods open the evening with his awesome songs, then the band and I will romp through a set of songs from my latest album, A Week at The Warehouse, as well as songs from my other recordings, the Great Big Sea catalogue and the traditional music canon of Newfoundland.

The Beautiful Beautiful Band is on the go with Kendel Carson on fiddle, Cory Tetford on guitars, Kris MacFarlane on drums, Todd Lumley on keyboards and accordion, and Shehab Illyas on bass and impossibly beautiful Instagram Pics.

We’ve announced three legs of the tour which leads us ‘til about May. There will be another leg in the Summer which we’ll announce soon and will include the much asked about Newfoundland gigs, amongst other fun things.

For all info on the tour, check out the tour page.

I would love to see you out there.

Come on. Come on. Come Out with Me.

Cheers,
Alan