Life sure has changed in the last 15 months. 15 months ago the original Outlaw Band was on the Transgression Trail. Life was okay, I thought we were pretty cool playing great festival mainstages in Brandon Manitoba, Fort St.James, Winlaw and even the final Under the Volcano. We played 10 festivals and our long standing Calgary Stampede gig at the Palomino. We did 60 shows in 75 days in the summer of 2010 and earned some national aclaim. I thought we were cool playing gigs with the Re-mains, Buffy St.Marie and Fred Eaglesmith. Perhaps my bandmates were cooler than me when Fred Eaglesmith craftily swept up Steener and Zinger . The Outlaw Band was ultimately defeated.
I was working mostly nightshifts in the Downtown Eastside when an afternoon of CPR on a corpse was the final straw, I was a broken man by the time the fall of 2010 was under way. Leah and I managed to tour eastern Canada with the help of Joel Kaiser, Liqourbox and of course Scott Dunbar, Jamie Guitar and Dave Soehner (was it ever fun), but it was getting harder and harder to tour and maintain a normal life. I worked on David Roy Parsons new album Time and Travel, jammed with some bro’s, ran my radio show, maintained a monthly gig at the Railway Club while busking in front of the Liqour Store on Commercial Drive…but I wasn’t happy anymore and I really wasn’t a working musician. I felt everything I had worked for slipping away.
That’s when Luke Stackhouse showed up last summer, marooned from the Fred Eaglesmith Experience. With Luke, Leah and I made the final move to our lodge in Wells BC. We gigged a little but I felt a change happening. A peace came over me. I found it in the bush while Luke and I cut wood. I found peace in my marriage vows to Leah at the Artswells Festival as Geoff Berner ministered over our wedding in front of friends and our community. I found it with new puppies who loved me no matter what. I found that peace by killing a lot of great fish in wild rivers and canoeing Cariboo Mountain lakes stocking our freezer and photo album. We climbed mountains and earned the sense of peace we had in our hearts by pushing ourselves to go further than we have in years. I got a 4×4 truck and drove to peaceful places, Josh brought a snowmobile over for us to use and the snow of the BC mountains could not contain me any longer. I found work at Barkerville Gold Mines and my days became orderly and relatively ordinary. Wake up early, work, come home, eat, relax and fall asleep early.
Friends. I will be back. I will make another album. I will gig and tour again. But life is so simple and easy here, I just can’t tell you when exactly that will be. Thanx friends for all your support in making our life change, everything feels so much better than it did a year ago. I don’t think I would have survived the city any longer, I was drained and didn’t know who I was anymore. Here at 4000ft I know exactly where I am, who I am and why I love being here. Take it easy, but you better take it…joey