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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

Spirit of Canada

January 9th, 2018

Hey all. On November 19 last year, close to 50 of Canada’s most celebrated musicians gathered at the legendary Commodore Ballroom to help a dear friend– John Mann, singer for Spirit of the West. John has Early-onset Alzheimer’s which demands incredible resources, and the musical community rallied for an amazing show of support in one unforgettable night of music and love.

A makeshift studio was assembled in the building to record this song on the spot as a memento of the gathering and to help raise funds for John’s continuing care. Check out this new recording & video for “Home For A Rest” in support of John Mann:

Please share this link as far and wide as you like and give a little if you can.

Home

December 31st, 2017

Hey All.

A quick Year in Review.

January found me and The Beautiful, Beautiful Band in Vancouver for the recording experience of a lifetime with Bob Rock. The grin on Cory Tetford’s face as he shreds on one of the same guitars that fueled Mötley Crüe, The Cult, and Metallica solos is a picture I have carried with me all year. We all had a ball and it shows in the tunes I’d say.

In February, Cory, Kendel Carson and I, along with the most awesome Dustin Bentall, went South. Like, WAY South to Buenos Aires and Montevideo playing some concerts and raising money for Olympic Athletes with the Gold Medal Plates organization. I think it is fair to say we all felt pretty lucky to be there.

We hit the road in March for a few dates in Ontario, but mostly south of the border in the US. One of the highlights was the stop in NYC at BB Kings, where guests like Bob Hallett, Murray Foster, and some of the cast of Come from Away joined us on stage. After an Easter break in April, we got to open for Barenaked Ladies for a few US concerts in Ithaca and Burlington. Always fun to jam with the BNL Gents.

The highlight of May was a wonderful opportunity to speak at a Governor General’s Leadership Conference in Whistler, BC. What a thrill to be amongst so many motivated people. June found us overseas with stops in the UK and Germany while July kicked off with a great Canada Day gig in Moncton and a glorious week at Jackson-Triggs Winery and wound up with a super fun and sudsy afternoon at the Toronto Beer Festival.

My fav show in August was definitely in Winnipeg. As ever, the Winnipeg gang came out in droves for the Canada Games gig in the Forks. I can’t help but think how many of my Year in Review blogs have had a Winnipeg gig as a summer if not year highlight. What a town. Loves it.

Saskatoon is always a blast and we had a time at the CCMAs in September which led right into recording a new album for the Ennis Sisters. I can’t wait for you all to hear the new tunes and sounds that Maureen and the Ladies have come up with. Just a few days after that, a joyous reuniting of the Indoor Garden party gang took place overseas. I met up with Russell Crowe, Scott Grimes, Carl Falk and the usual gang with a special guest, the most awesome Lorraine O’Reilly subbing in for Pretty Woman Sam Barks. What a time we had in London, Leeds and Dublin.

After a brief break at home, it was album and book launch time in October. What a thrill to have both of them debut so strongly and especially to have the book still in the Top 5 on the bestsellers list. Somewhat of a marathon press tour took me through most of October and included many morning shows and nighttime literary events. They were long days, but it was so satisfying to have such interest in the sophomore effort as an author. Grateful, for sure.

One special day in the midst of it all was a stop in Vancouver to raise some funds for ongoing care for John Mann, Spirit of the West singer, who’s been dealing with early onset Alzheimer’s. What can only be called a dream cast assembled at the legendary Commodore Ball Room in Vancouver for a show of love and support like I’ve never seen. We recorded a special song and the mighty Shehab Illyas put together an incredible video that we’ll be releasing early in the new year. There should be a link of sorts to a donation page and we hope you enjoy the song and give a little or a lot to continue the cause.

And finally, December was all about the CP Holiday Train. For a fella who grew up in an all but train-less environment, it was amazing to ride the rails though the hills and plains and by the long and winding lakes and rivers of the West Coast of the Canada. Thanks to the kind folks at Canadian Pacific for having us aboard. Hope they have us back soon.

And that brings us here, to the last day of 2017. With snow covering the backyard rink that my neighbours unbelievably let me tinker with on their property, I am about to get dressed to head to Mallard Cottage to sing a few tunes with pals for a National CBC Special. Tune in tonight. You never know who you’ll see.

I looked at my flight segments on my Air Canada app shows that I took 106 Air Canada flights this year. By memory, I took one on West Jest, two on United, one on a South American Airline I don’t recall and one on Harbour Air. I have never done over 100 flights in one year and this year I did 111. Jaysus that’s a lot of flyin’. But a lot of fun too.

Much to come in 2018. The Come Out With Me Tour starts in Seattle in just a couple of weeks and should run for the better part of this year and maybe into 2019. All the Winter and Spring dates are on the site and we’ll be announcing Summer stuff real soon.

I’ll have exciting news about a Mental Health and Addictions fundraising project that myself and two friends have been working on behind the scenes for almost two years. I really hope you’ll jump aboard with us. So, stay tuned, I suppose for more news to come.

For now, I’d just like to thank you all as ever for the life I get to live. You are the only reason I get to do it. I am more grateful to you all than I can say, sing, or write. But, still, I’ll be out there real soon to show you as best I can.

Much Love to you all from Newfoundland.

Happy New Year.

Cheers,
Alan

Win Tickets to the Come Out With Me Tour plus a Merch Bundle!

November 20th, 2017

We’re giving away a pair of tickets to the Come Out With Me Tour plus a merch bundle! ENTER HERE