A personal review of our Vanouver concert at the WISE Hall. Plus details of my upcoming shows with Malcolm Maclean, Troll Telemark Festival and Canada Winter Games:
Thurs.Jan22: MALCOLM MACLEAN BAND with Joey Only, Rileys Pub, Prince George BC.
Fri.Jan23: MALCOM MACLEAN BAND – ROBBIE BURNS DAY, The Legion, Fort St.James
Sat.Jan24: MALCOLM MACLEAN, the Occidental, Quesnel BC
Sun.Jan25: MALCOLM MACLEAN, the Hotel Pub, Wells BC
Sat.Jan31: TROLL TELEMARK FESTIVAL, with the Joey Only Outlaw Band, Troll Ski Resort, Quesnel BC.
Sun.Feb22: CANADA WINTER GAMES, Mainstage/Civic Centre, Prince George BC
So the Vancouver show was a success. The best part for me was a lot about who I got to play with while so many old friends were able to come and say howdy. We partied like bastards at the WISE Hall and the crowd danced like time was short. My friend and mentor David Roy Parsons opened the show with top notch guitarist Paul Doherty and steel guitarist Steven Drake playing behind him. Steve Drake produced some pretty big albums including a few stints working with the likes of the Tragically Hip. Now figure that was just the opening act.
From there on in it was all a mish mash of the same players who would later make up the Outlaw Band that night. First Jeff Andrew played a wicked 30 minute set backed by Brin and Kenan. Then the Party On High Street kicked into action with 45 minutes of kickin hard funk. Because it was all the same players in the three final acts there was nothing to move on stage, everything changed over very quickly and the crowd was always engaged.
Next thing you knew the Outlaw Band was up with Mike Zinger, Kenan Sungur, Brin Porter, Travis Charuk, Adam Farnsworth, Jeff Andrew, Steve Drake, Leah Martin, Rowan Lipkovits and myself. Talk about an ensemble of mandolins, accordions, steel guitars, stratocasters, drum kits, keyboards, fiddles, tambourines and me. We played for more than 90 minutes and kept our shit together though the drinking was trying to interfere. What a pleasure to play with so many players who have all given their skills to my band in the past.
We had Chris Leuchte, who I think is one of the best stage managers I ever seen, running the show so he pulled the plug at last call, made sure we had beers, made sure the change overs were smooth and kept us all laughing. Mean while the best emcee in BC, Doug the Hug Koyama, did all the talking for us between sets. This was how we were able to keep the show running so smoothly. There were so many old friends in the WISE Hall that night. It was a real overwhelming musical homecoming of sorts!
Just as an example of what kind of week it was…At one point I was sitting in the dressing room talking with Donny Ducharme who plays bass with Buffy St.Marie and has his own band Whisky Jane. Next to Donny and his girlfriend Mardine is Travis Challord from the Rebel Spell, a band who has played with many of the greatest punk bands on earth. On my right was Steve Drake while Mike Zinger walked by just back from four years of working for Fred Eaglesmith. That was just one example of the amazing people in the music game we got to spend some time with that week. Even our soundman that night was Brian Else who himself has produced many of the best albums DOA, Hanson Brothers, Nomeanso and Dayglo Abortions did.
The after party was even crazier than the show!
It was a star studded week like that which included chit chats with folks like Gerry Useless, CR Avery and Chris Walter while witnessing Joe Keithley, John Wright, Jon Card, Mike Graham and more perform. That all took place at another special night we attended which I am hesitate to say to much about as it was a memorial for a fallen comrade. It was a real special night for us all though to say the least as we came together to remember Brian Goble.
We ate top quality sushi and got to party on a yacht with my semi-famous gold mining friend. I did two radio shows, rehearsed in the WISE Hall all night, caught up with a friend who works at the Safe Injection Site and head a whole bunch of his stories over numerous drinks. I got to see so many special friends and was even able to go to lunches and dinners with so many of them. I’d call that an interesting trip.
Fortunately the bad weather didn’t kill us on our trip to the city…and the speeding ticket on the way back won’t set us back too far. One thing that helped was the visits with our friends in Tax Free Liqour and Genghis Ghandis to break up the long drive to Vancouver. The weather was so terrible that driving for more than a couple hours at a time was very stressful and dangerous. We felt lucky to have safe havens to weather the storm at.
After all that travelling there’s hardly a moment to pause cause up next is a trip around the BC interior with my good friend Malcolm Maclean. We spent a few months up in the Peace Region building fences and doing cowboy sorta things together, it turned out he’s a real good songwriter. So we’re finally gonna get him some recognition in BC by bringing him down through Prince George, Fort St.James, Quesnel and Wells…with the chance that we’ll add some more shows to the trip. I’ll be his drummer and we’ll have a good old time of it, people in BC will be shocked to see I’m not the only outlaw out there. I can’t say enough about the kind of person he is, he’s a real deal Alberta cowboy who knows how to put a show on too.
The month ends with a party at my favorite place to snowboard on earth, Troll Ski Resort for the annual Troll Telemark Festival. Details can be found online at http://www.trollskiresort.com. We’ll probably start playing shortly after 4pm, so come ski for a day and then dance your snowboots silly.
As soon as we’re done playing at Troll the band is gonna have one thing in mind, getting ready for our big show at the Canada Winter Games.