I saw my name on a T Shirt yesterday for the first time. It was on the Festival Shirt for the Ottawa Bluesfest, listed amongst the performers for the weekend. It was well down there, not far above the bottom, but it was on there nonetheless. It still feels a little weird to see my name, not a band name up there like that. Feels a bit too bold or something. Not sure. In any case, it was one of those moments that bookmark one’s career I’d say. You know, the first time you ever got paid to play, first time flying to a gig, or first dressing room or whatever. All undeniable signs that you are actually getting to sing songs for a living.
Its been a bit of a whirlwind few weeks since the CD came out a month and a half ago. The press blitz and tour led to welcome weekend with GBS in Cambridge that also had me dashing to the Niagara area to lay with the Jim Cuddy band. It was great to connect with the Mothership after so many days going it alone.
A day or two home and I was off to Croatia to host a flotilla of boats on the Adriatic with Hockey Night in Canada’s Ron Maclean, Chef Todd Perrin and Gold Medal Rower Adam Kreek. Now, I suspect many of you think this was not a very hard gig, just floating down the Croatian coast, chatting with and folks and occasionally singing a few tunes. And you’d be right. What a time we had and it was all for a good cause, as all the profits go to help Canadian Olympians pursue excellence.
I flew home on Canada Day and had only a day or so before nipping back to Ontario to join the solo gang for a couple of fun shows. The players from the Tour a few weeks back were all back with the exception of fiddle lady Kendel who had a previous commitment at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. Her good friend and Belle Star mate Miranda Mullholland jumped aboard and in no time t all had all the parts ready to rock. We were also reunited with keyboard God Mr Lonely, Todd Lumley who makes every band way better.
We had a great gig at the Empire Theatre in Belleville. Theatre owner Mark and his team are some of the most hospitable folks in the biz. A pint or two the most Awesome pub on the river, (is it called the Red Lion?) and we hit the sack to prep for he biggest gig of my solo life to date, at the massive Ottawa Bluesfest.
GBS has played the Bluesfest many times. It is easily one of the coolest and most diverse music festivals in North America. The variety is tremendous. Last night, I played my country rock songs right after a prog rock stoner kind of outfit and right before a Euro DJ fella hit the mainstage. All the while Brit protest singer songwriter Billy Bragg was belting it out on a side stage. If I lived in Ottawa, I’d have a Festival pass for sure.
We played and sang well, I think, especially considering the thirty plus degrees on stage as the sun set right on us. As often happens with these massive gigs, it goes by in a blur and it takes almost a day to recollect some of the details of the performance. I can’t recall the minutia of it yet, but let me say this; To stand in front of a crowd of that size and sing songs I wrote accompanied such a band of guns is a dream come true. Thank you everyone.
No post gig sleep in for me. I rose early to get home as soon as possible as I’m a day late with a B Day gift, hug and kiss for the Prince. Henry Thomas Doyle turned 6 yesterday and we’ll be having cake and candles when I get back in a few hours. You know how your folks used to say stuff like, ‘where does the time go?’ and ‘they grow up so fast’. Wow.
I’ve got a few weeks Family time coming up. I’m long over due as I think I’ve been on the road for 8 of the last 10 weeks. Time to unplug. Going of the grid for a few days in the woods.
Stay tuned for more stuff to come. New videos, gigs, and other fun stuff.
Keep you posted.