Tag Archives: Joey Onley

A Week of Wax, MoM and DOA!!!


With Joey Shithead Keithley at MoMfest

Some tales of my last week.  It was a week that basically ended a run of 45 days that were pretty busy for me.  I had been to a bunch of festivals, played the lower mainland, been out to Alberta, Artswells, Camballah, Robson Fest…and now all this.  But what an end it was!

When booking agent Joey Balducci wrote me and asked if I were willing to do some shows with Wax Mannequin up here in northern BC…it was pretty much a no brainer.  I had known Wax for 11 years now.  That was long enough for me to have high praise for his art and his character.  In fact I felt real lucky to have the opportunity.  It really only amounted to three shows in between stints at Robson Valley Music Festival and Music on the Mountain Festival the following weekend, but it was a worthwhile venture.

Show one was to take place at the Jack O Clubs Pub in Wells BC.  This was a show that I wasn’t too nervous about even though it was beginning to feel like people everywhere were losing energy.  It was such a busy summer.  So many bands, so many festivals including the crazy one here in town.  I know a lot of people who have been drinking for months and were wearing out.  Nonetheless a pretty good crowd turned up and we turned it on.  By the time the night was over IMG_7484something resembling a successful show had taken place.

One thing I hadn’t counted on was Wax bringing his brother Mr.Money Mustache along for the ride.  Having no brothers of my own I was tempted to feel intimidated by this at first, but in my stubborn way I pushed through.  After all Mr. MM made it a little bit easier being a popular blogger and intellectual.  We certainly came from very different spectrums of lifestyle but that made for all the more interesting conversations.  We learned from each other and challenged each other, we were lucky to get that chance.

Success was less the case with Williams Lake the next night.  Although well intentioned on the owners part the show hadn’t really been sold in a way that caught the publics imagination.  Regardless of that we had been hired to do a job so we did just that.  We were rewarded for the effort by making new friends.  We found that despite the turnout the owner at CJ’s treated us really good.  She was open to new ideas and we both decided that she was the kind of person we could we could work with in the future.  It was a good experience.

Wax Mannequin makes some t-shirts Friday morning before we leave for MoMfest.

Wax Mannequin makes some t-shirts Friday morning before we leave for MoMfest.

In the case of our PG show ownership was not so forthcoming and honest.  What I can say about the Westwood Pub is the girls who work there are very good at their jobs.  The food was excellent.  There are lot of regulars who are loyal to the place and it’s easy to see why.  We realized at the end of the night that no cover charge was collected from ‘regulars’ and instead the measly pittance we were given was made squarely off the kindness of my friends who came to the show.  Despite the fact that I’ll

Lunch at PG city hall with Elissa, Chris Chevious and Mr.Money Mustache.

Lunch at PG city hall with Elissa, Chris Chevious and Mr.Money Mustache.

never play the Westwood Pub again so long as this is how they do business and reward their entertainers…despite the fact that I will recommend to other musicians not to book there…I can’t deny that we had a lot of fun at the show!  Wax was very good and we got to have Jeremy Stewart open.  Some good friends came and partied.  Because of those things I’m still glad it happened.  My next show in PG is on October 1st, it’s the CD launch for No More Trouble In The Peace.  I can honestly say for myself and everyone I know who has played the Legion in Prince George that they found it to be a good experience.  Come to the show!

We stayed at Elissa’s house, who is one of the organizers of the Coldsnap Festival and left around noon the next day for Music on the Mountain.  Friday was amazing there.  Dave Soroka had already started the Sorokathon, a 24 hour marathon of a concert.  I also had some friends come back to town in the form of the Give Em Hell Boys who gave me one of their shirts that says “bluegrass is dead”.  They killed it, and then we proceeded to kill each other with strong drink.  Soon the whole show was over for the night and

Dave Soroka is finished his 24 hour concert and enjoys his meal. He tells me he was about to give up when I came along willing to be the obnoxious jerk to tell everyone to tone it down.

Dave Soroka is finished his 24 hour concert and enjoys his meal. He tells me he was about to give up when I came along willing to be the obnoxious jerk to tell everyone to tone it down.

I was sitting in what was now a very loud Sorokathon…that was enough to piss me off sufficiently leading me to stand up and announce ‘why don’t you all take part in a Shut-the-fuck-up-athon, he’s been playing for 14 hours already.  You didn’t come in and listen all day but now you wanna come in and talk over top of his show!?”

Someone yelled, “we don’t like you anyway Joey.”

I retorted, “then I have nothing left to lose in telling you to either shut up or get out!”

At supper the next day Dave thanked me saying that when I spoke up was right when he started to really doubt he could play for 24 hours!

Soon I was in Darlene and Harold Prince’s bannock shack eating moose meat and drinking beers at 8am.  Sleep came hard and I was unable to party so wildly the next day and night.  I had a show of my own to put on.  We were on right before legendary punk band DOA stole the festival!  So we put a little extra jam into our show and DOA noticed.  I’m sure the crowd seemed to go off as well, but that didn’t matter so much to me.  Joey Shithead gave me a half hug when we got off and said ‘great fucking songs, great fucking show, great fucking band man!’

DOA killed it!!

DOA killed it!!

I’ll take that!

DOA was amazing next.  They played all the best songs from my favorite record of theirs, War on 45!!  They were hot hot hot!!  I don’t know what else to say about it.  Hippies were moshing.  I was pounding beers and in near tears.  It was a thing of beauty.  But it didn’t stop there.  I got to spent a little time with the band after.  It was just a real special night all around.  One of those days that reminds you why you sacrifice so much to keep at this music business thing.

The next afternoon was the One Last Show…when I get up on stage and pull together all my favorite singers and friends who are left at the end of the festival and put on one hell of an opry!!  Joining me on stage was Dave Soroka, Wax Mannequin, Raghu

The One Last Opry

The One Last Opry

Lokanathan, Iyan George Bruvold, Tax Free Liqour, Twin Peaks, Jeff Andrew, Party on High Street, Zonnis and yet more.  The stage was teaming with musicians of all sorts.  It was the 6th time I had done this at MoMfest but it just keeps getting better.  I think I’ll call it the One Last Opry.  We end every one with the One Last Song, I guess you could say after six years that it’s the unofficial anthem of the festival.

No sooner did the show end we got in the van and were gone.  We had to get our kids from our friend in PG.  Just like that I was home the next day…summer feels kinda over.  I think about this last 45 days, I’m elated sometimes and then for a moment am tempted to feel the depression.  It’s really hard to put out so much energy, but as I age I am aware of it and try to find good ways to process all the feelings I get from a trip like that.  The best way is simply to put it down in a blog, then forget about it and move on…it’s time to plan the next show.  Why bask in the glow when you could be making steps to get back to that happy place…to get back on the stage again.

with DOA!!

with DOA!!



This wasn’t intended to be a review…it was a message my country singing brother in Red Deer Boots wrote me.  He has a pretty ass kicking act himself known as Boots and the Hoots…so such high praise means something to me.  I asked him if I could share it and he said “I suppose I wouldn’t say it to you if I wouldn’t say it”.


BOOTS:  This has gotta be the best record you ever cut! (Maybe I havent heard em yet) Mikes pickin comes through in the first 30 seconds amd tastfully and hauntingly finds it’s place the whole way through.

I love the boogie on the Tom Connors tune and his solo/leads. Leah kills it on Trouble in the Peace especially, Like Bakersfield kills it! When is her album comin’ out? Whos this piano man? He’s got some old cajun man livin inside of him.

Dont even get me started on Joey, I have always loved how autobiographical you are. I don’t mean loose vague references to your experience but full blown first and last named anecdotes that are as witty as they are poignant. I certainly appreciate that style of story telling.

I loved when the steel came creepin in halfway through the album on ‘Noble Cause…’ I was sure to listen with headphones to appreciate the sTeReO effects haha. the sad songs brought me down as much as they filled me with a raucous punk rage, well done. I didn’t intend to review your album or even tell you how I felt about it but I am seriously impressed, when is the full band touring?

Three Wax Mannequin Shows and Two Festivals

Aug16: Jack of Clubs Pub w/Wax Mannequin, Wells BC
Aug17: CJ’s w/Wax Mannequin, Williams Lake BC
Aug18: Westwood Pub w/Wax Mannequin, Prince George BC
Aug20: MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAIN, Fort St.James BC **
I got one ridiculous week ahead of me.  It starts with travelling to Dunster BC all for the chance to stand on a big stage that faces gorgeous mountains and sing to the marvellous folks that are going to ROBSON VALLEY MUSIC FESTIVAL.  We’re all happy because it’s a 7pm set, the only time all summer we are scheduled to play early.  There will be kids there so don’t expect us to play that stupid fucking Andrew Neville song haha.
Then next week starts off by playing a set of three shows with one of my favorite performers, Wax Mannequin.  I met him at my first Artswells, to put that in perspective this past one was my 11th.  Already then I loved what he did, there’s no one else like him.  No one else writes songs like he does or commands the stage in such an epic yet silly manner.  Wax Mannequin is as good as it gets!!  I’m glad he’s my friend and I’m glad we’ve been able to work together so much over the years despite living 4000km away.
Then it all winds up for me at MUSIC ON THE MOUNTAIN FESTIVAL in Fort St.James BC.  It’s the lastival for nearly all of us, although I do have the Barkerville Cowboy Festival coming up in September.  We have the extreme honor of sharing the stage with the legendary punk band DOA!!  I mean come on folks, this is a big frickin deal.  We go 1-2 on the mainstage that Saturday night and it is sure to be a highlight of my year.
Then things slow down before I go on the warpath to promote NO MORE TROUBLE IN THE PEACE, our band new ass kicking album.  See you on the trail folks.

NO MORE TROUBLE IN THE PEACE: Online Release July 29

No Trouble In The Peace Album Cover low qANNOUNCING ONLINE RELEASE ON CD BABY and BANDCAMP: July 29th!!

Doing this to try and raise more capital for the project.  You can also donate at our GoFundMe page.

Also coming soon: official music video for NO MORE TROUBLE IN THE PEACE.  In editting and production right now, hopefully ready by July 29th as well.

Also coming up…official album launch…NO TROUBLE TOUR DATES including October 1st at the Prince George Legion, October 9th at Vancouver’s WISE Hall and October 15th at the Occidental in Quesnel!

Join us on facebook!!



Canadiana  outlaw country virtuoso and folk singer Joey Only and his band of Outlaws are hot out of the gates and ready to share their latest recordings. Fresh back from the Transgression Trail, Joey Only has a brand new full lenth LP, “No More Trouble in the Peace”. This album is about trouble and redemption with explicitly Canadian content.  The songs you will hear on this album speak about the restlessness of the heart, finding family, lost loved ones and overcoming unimagineable struggles.  Anyone who has heard the demo cuts already agrees, this record will be the best product Joey Only has ever created.

The title track ‘No More Trouble in the Peace’ is a joke song about the oil and gas companies trying to take over my friends ranch up in the Peace District here in British Columbia.

‘Beer League’ is a hockey song telling the story of the Big Dog Plumbing Team down in Nanton Alberta.  The last team unfortunate enough to have Joey Only staking down the wing.

‘North of Number Seven’ waltzes eloquently about the loss of the old rural ways.  It’s a lament about how things just never stay the same.

‘Walker Rock’ encourages survivalists to hit the bush when the shit hits the fan.  Live in the shadows, think like an animal…you will do what it takes in those life or death days.

‘Noble Cause of the Cowboy Soldier’ is mostly based on the true story of a fallen friend and his family.  The Alberta born young man went to Afghanistan and didn’t last a month there, the family didn’t want him to go but he believed he was doing the right thing.

‘Tempest Wind’ is the true story of our friend Tempest Grace Gales murder on Hornby Island BC, November 16th 2009.

I become widely known as a Stompin Tom Connors impersonator.  So I rewrote the words to Tom’s tune ‘the Don Messer Story’ and relabled it ‘the Stompin Tom Story’ and now open my Stompin Tom Tribute shows with this number.

‘Cold Wooden Box’ is an epic waltzing ballad that reminds us to not take life for granted because it is so short.  The only success I hope for is to have my songs remembered when I am gone.

Outlaw Band June Newsletter

We just played our first gig in seven months as a band.  If you recall bassist Ed Hanrahan had double knee surgery and has been on the disabled list since last year.  But we got to Sweetwater 905 Festival outside Rolla BC and hit the stage at midnight firing wildly in all directions.  Ed was so happy to be back.  We were so happy to have him back.  We were so happy to be back.  The crowd exploded with joy and so did we.  So we’re back!!  RickshawPosterJuly2016

That same weekend we also recorded 3.5 hours of footage for a 3.5 minute long music video that’s in production.  No More Trouble In the Peace will be the first official music video of this album – and with any luck it’ll be public midsummer.  Josh Trotter Wanner did the filming with us in locations such as the Sweetwater Festival, the Rolla Pub, the Peace River and more.

The album No More Trouble in the Peace is now mastered and the artwork layout has begun.  The album will be released in mid-September and we are currently booking the release shows which I ambitiously hope will take place in many towns across the BC.  More on that later.

We are still raising money for the record and desperately need support…all the money we raised so far has already been spent on production.  Please go to: https://www.gofundme.com/joeyonlyoutlawbandand give us your childrens college fund.  In return we’ll say a healing prayer for you or something

Upcoming shows!!  You can find us at the Haney in Maple Ridge on MapleRidgeJuly2016July 8th and the next night (July 9)  in Vancouver at the Rickshaw Theatre with a slew of great bands such as Devil in the Woodshack.  It’ll be a legendary show, all the bands involved are noteworthy!

There’s a rumour we’ll be opening for a famous Canadian classic rock band in July as well but no confirmation on that yet.

Then I’ll be in Bonnyville Alberta on July 23rd for Malcolm Maclean and Jeny Soucy’s wedding with Edmonton’s best outlaw band the Give Em Hellboys.  The rodeo is in town there that weekend so I’ll be playing a show there as well as another in Red Deer (which will be announced in two weeks time).

The end of July brings Artswells which I will play at for the 11th consecutive time.  I have now played more Artswells Festivals than any other singer songwriter. The line-up looks great again this year.

The next weekend I attend once again an annual private party called Camballah  before we get to Robson Valley Music Fest the next weekend on August 13th.  August 20th we’ll be at Music On the Mountain in Fort St.James opening up for the legendary punk band DOA.  My summer season always ends with Barkerville Cowboy Festival on September 10th.

From that point forward we start our CD release shows…details on that will come out next month!  Already I can tell you we’ll be at the WISE Hall in Vancouver on October 9th!!  This is gonna be a fun summer…but I’m already looking forward to the fall and our album launch.

Why I Largely Stopped Playing Left-Wing Freebie Shows

First of all I never intended to be a band leader, a folk singer, a songwriter or anything like that.  It all began back in the summer of 2001 when I decided to drop out of University and moved back north of Madoc to live in the old Dudgeon farmhouse.  I had already had a lot of experience in music up to that 21st year of my life.  I had played bass in punk metal bands like the Persecuted, Fart Bomb Appartment and Notwithstanding AE.  I was the music pastor of a small church in Hamilton Ontario for the better part of two years while in University but mostly played drums come service time.  I had experience singing and I was fine with doing it, let’s just say it wasn’t something I felt like I was real strong at despite having vocal control.  I had been the singer in my high school jazz band, did some guest appearances with Clifton David (Kirk Broadbridge) in Belleville and was the singer of a punk band for two years called Bloodthirst.

Despite all that, my heart and soul yearned to start another punk band so I could play bass.  However north of Hwy 7 sittin at the old farmhouse it became apparent I would be waiting a lot of years to get a fully operational band together again.  It also dawned on me that once civilization collapsed and the lights went out there would be no metal bands.  The lure of the acoustic called me once again and I started writing my own punky style of folk and country music believing someday I could tell those stories anywhere and anytime there were six strings on my guitar.

That whole summer of 2001 I had no job.  I made all my money by busking in Belleville.  As it was a 75km hitch hike to get there my chosen method to busk was to yell poetry at people on the street.  Belleville had never seen this before and I raked it in alright every week, taking time away to go back to the farmhouse or to go camping on some epic adventure in Algonquin Park.

When I decided to come west my identity was Joey Streetpoet.  I played and sang some but my inclination was that no one was gonna like my songs in and of themselves, that the songs had to have a purpose.  As a young politically motivated anarchist I sang ‘radical folk’ songs.  It was October 2002 when I finally landed in Vancouver and got the nickname Joey Only because of a misunderstanding with a reporter who liked my speech at the Woodwards Squat.  Soon I was playing the odd show as Joey Only and I became known as ‘the radical folk singer’.

So there I was in Vancouver, busking to get by every day.  Not because I thought I was gonna be a star but because I was poor and the idea of sitting in my 45square foot appartment playing my songs to myself disturbed me greatly.  I didn’t see myself properly yet.  I had no confidence in my material.  I truly believed nobody wanted to hear a song that was about ME, so I sang political ditties and old fashioned folk-country tunes.  I would go to the Drive and make $30, buy a gram of weed, buy a chocolate soy milk and sit alone at night with few friends to talk to.  Truly 2003 were dark times for Joey Only as a stage persona was yet but a newborn.

I used these talents and these old songs to bolster picket lines, play legal defence benefits and chime in at protests.  Pretty soon 2004 came about and David Parsons set me up to make my first album ‘Radical Folk of the Great North’.  I should add that before I had a recording my show had next to no value, the album was the first thing that made my show worth something.  For a little while sales were good while lots of opportunity presented itself and I used whatever money I made to fight a series of criminal charges I was facing.  It was May 15th of that year I found myself in a Montreal jail cell for what would be the start of a two year court battle.

In that way the government truly borned Joey Only for good…for until that legal battle in Montreal came up I never put much effort into getting paying gigs.  This was when I began to tour Canada just to afford to get to court.

It was also around this time though that I started getting disillusioned with my role in the community.  For the first while I was bitter at the Montreal organizers of the Westmount protest, I wrongly felt like I had been hung out to dry.  This began a time of travelling back and forth to Montreal, a time where I had to ask for some money to play my show just so I could get east and defend myself in court.  At this same time I started feeling like I wasn’t being appreciated properly in Vancouver as well.  I was getting disillusioned by the left on the whole due to infighting and inner struggles within the Vancouver protest scene.

Over the course of the next two years there were many times I was asked to come play at events put on by the Vancouver left.  However many times I felt like I came and did what was expected of me but wasn’t even thanked or paid…or in some cases offered a free beer for my services.  I got the impression the left wing community was willing to use my talents but didn’t take them all that seriously.  I remember after one show at the Alf House feeling very disturbed by how selfish the other acts were, I ended up leaving without playing a note or recieving any appreciation whatsoever.  I was bitter.  I felt like quitting that night forever.  I knew how depressed moments like that made me and I was scared that I couldn’t take that sort of humiliation.  I was pretty crazy at the time and I struggled to have meaningful friendships.

There were small examples of this dynamic not being true as the Palestinian refugee’s loved my song No One Is Illegal.  They had me play at a number of events where I was the only white guy, they treated me with dignity and respect.  But many times I played for the protest crowds and did not feel so warm afterward.

Still, time passed.  I felt like it was important to turn down more and more shows that didn’t pay to protect myself from depression.  At first it wasn’t about the money although I needed that.  It was more about the appreciation and I realized that if asked for a price, they might say no, and that would be fine cause they I didn’t really want me anyway.

Then in Dec 2005-Jan 2006 I landed in Whitehorse.  Soon the local musicians gave me shit for not charging the bars enough.  They explained politely how in doing so I was driving the wages down for all the local musicians in town.  I accepted this though when I made my own band still found it very difficult to set a price.  But we got better and better and more in demand and the price became a mechanism to turn down shows that would deplete my energy and my bands morale.

In creating the Outlaw Band in the spring of 2006 there was a noticeable change in my material and my show.  The show became less political and less directed to the left wing.  The concept of the Outlaw Band was to use wild western imagery to speak to the idea of freedom and revolution is our own era.  However I didn’t try to blatantly promote the revolution in the way I had before.  The Outlaw Band was not going to play coffee-houses, talent nights, protests or anything like that…we were gonna become a working band and we were gonna make bar owners want us.

I also knew by this time that left wing folk singers have an uphill battle to survive.  When professional political folk singer David Rovics asked for $500 for a show we did in Ottawa people were incensed, even though David was American and had a fairly arduous travel schedule just to attend the show.  They interpretted that as David not being for the cause, that he was in some way a representation of capitalism for having a bottom dollar.  Personally I had done alright playing union events but after I was blacklisted by Jim Sinclair and the BC Fed I only got the odd union gig for CUPW in places like Halifax or Calgary.  Playing the political folk music was not a good career choice if I couldn’t do it in my own province.

Part of this was my disillusionment with my role in the left and part of it was my desire to make music my living.  But another part of my changing was  a desire to speak to the working class of Canada on a greater level and not be some left wing freak show preaching to the already converted.  By speaking the common language I believed someday they would have a better understanding of why I am an anarchist and that my far flung ideas could be indeed normalized through tireless performances.  It largely worked.  I sang cowboy songs to the Albertans until they liked me and then by the nights end I sang a few tunes such as “Stephen Harper is a Nazi Douchebag and I Hate Him So Much” and the Albertans laughed and laughed at me.  It didn’t matter if they agreed with my politics, they liked me because I was one of them.  I liked them because they paid better than BC did.

I got better at setting a bottom dollar..however I wasn’t good enough.  Truly one of the main things that costed my that first Outlaw Band lineup of members, who did 200-450 shows with me, was how far and how long we travelled for how little we got in return sometimes.  There were blow ups on the road regarding money when band members found themselves too broke to eat properly or pay their rent once we got home.  Eventually a few of my members were picked off by Fred Eaglesmith, a professional, who could afford to pay them a gaurantee every night of the week.

The one thing that became apparent over the course of those 450 shows was that when we kicked it into high gear the bars sold a lot of beers.  Routinely we would outsell other bands, even if we played on a Wednesday.  Selling more than $3000 in beer was becoming common and we knew that the bars were raking it on off of our backs.  Still at that time we were struggling to build an audience and build our connections, we would play for less before we’d risk losing a show.  We demanded better and slowly starting getting it more and more often.  We were living in poverty despite playing so many amazing shows, we couldn’t do it like that forever.

When a promoter once told me that playing his show would be good for exposure I retorted, ‘I’m dying from exposure!’

Soon I quit music due to personal disillusionment, moved to Wells took it easy, started a family and soon got a brand new ass kicking band together.  Each member of the band now is a family person.  It can be very inconvenient for us to all get together.  Nowadays we require a lot more than I did 10 years when I was just getting started.  But the product we have to offer is a lot better now too.  I am 10 years more experienced as a band leader and when we come we come to rock it.  With families and things to do in life it is a lot of work for us to put on the show we do for you.

But now you know.  It’s often our job to sell beer and we know what that’s worth.  We know now that it’s okay to say NO to shows that will stretch your bands morale or make life harder for my players and their families.  Now I know that I don’t have to play every small town bar for next to nothing because we laid the ground work out.  Now I know that if it’s a fundraiser, or a show for a good cause, it has to be well promoted and we must be well appreciated for giving our time and energy.

The one thing I never want to feel again is anger leaving a show…or that feeling of despair because I tried so hard but people really didn’t seem to get it.  Now I know that low paying and poorly organized shows can tear a band apart quicker than any personal dynamic can.  Now I know that when bands play for next to nothing they drive wages for artists down across the board.  Artists need to be appreciated and they need to be treated nicely because most of what we do to prepare for our performance pays nothing.  So many amazing performers ran out of steam and quit altogether because it was not worth it for them to keep going.  Think of the talent we’ve lost simple because musicians were sick of being taken advantage of, sick of the futility of going nowhere and getting nothing in return.

I beg of you…if you have a band and you are willing to play for less than $100 a person, all you are doing is making it harder for professional quality bands to get what we deserve.  You are stealing our work like scabs and making it harder for us to survive.  We put in our time, we paid our dues…don’t undermine us.  Don’t allow venue owners to pocket thousands off of our backs, the relationship needs to go both ways.  Also, if your band isn’t ready to play a bar for a night keep practicing, put on house shows, get hot before you come play for free.  We put that effort in so we want you to do that as well.  Don’t drive down the quality of performance out there, when a crowd goes and sees a poorly rehearsed and shitty band they are less likely to take a chance on seeing us the next weekend…much less pay for it.

See yourselves as having value for the countless hours of writing, practicing, planning, travelling, setting up, playing, tearing down and travelling home.  That is what professionalism looks like.

I’d like to finish by saying that my disillusionment with the left and with my former role as ‘the radical folk singer’ is no one’s fault.  Although there are real critiques I could make of situations that affected my withdrawal from that role part of it was also a personal battle to find value in myself.  It’s taken me that long to truly love myself, believe in what I bring to the table and to see my role in the community for what it really is.

I demand more now so I play less.  But I get better gigs than I ever did before.  I created value for myself.  I try to balance that by behaving professionally, working hard, having a good attitude and giving what I can of myself without selling my players out.  If it only lasts a few years I’ll enjoy it, I’m in my hayday right now.

The Malcolm Maclean Pains, Troll Telefest, Canada Games and More To Say


One of the more exciting things to happen in January was when I welcomed my friend Malcolm Maclean to this part of BC for a four show weekend swing. Malcolm is the wily cowboy I was building fences with for the better part of two months last summer in the Dawson Creek district.  What was especially nice was having Allen Christie, a fairly good cowboy singer in himself, playing leads while my dear friend Lindsay “Bootsy Cline” Thompson played the double bass.  It had been a while since I was a drummer but I was right to think I could still do it.  By the end of the weekend we were a hot band.

The trip started Thurs.Jan 24th with a show at the recently re-opened Riley’s Pub then 1397531029_MalcomMacleanBandcontinued on to the Fort St.James Legion the following night for Robbie Burns Dinner.  The Legion event was complete with Lionel from Music On The Mountain Festival rendition of ‘Ode To Haggis’ and the subsequent serving of such things.  Guess I didn’t know I would like haggis.  Wasn’t so bad, I’d eat it again.  Saturday the 24th saw us end up at the Occidental in Quesnel and Sunday night we closed the trip up with a night at the Jack of Clubs Pub here in Wells.

I would call the trip mildly successful.  Malcolm was set him up with an important meeting, we introduced him to no less than 7 festivals board members, a major booking agent, a newspaper writer, two radio stations, the best sound guy in northern BC, photographers, bar owners, musicians, cowboys, farm hearted folks and the town of Wells. We got treated well and didn’t come close to losing our hats. Mission accomplished. We don’t mess around.



Due to the Canada Games Telefest was a little earlier than usual this year falling on January 30th instead of the first weekend in March.  The snow conditions have been nothing to brag about this year, but fortunately a half foot of snow fell the day before so there was lots of good riding to be done.  I did find however my favorite steep runs were already tracked out by the time I got to them.  Snowboarders got scared and put the brakes on but also succeeded in wiping the layer of powder clear off the crust beneath it, I came flying down there and realized I had no control…ate it a little and decided to stick to forest runs that were less chewed up.

IMG_5952By 2:45 I hit my last run from Silver T and rode all the way to the lodge, walked in, tuned up my guitar and pretty soon we were puttin on a show.  I did the whole show still wearing my snowboarding gear and managed to win a nice set of goggles for a door prize.  The room got dancing afte a while, a nice dinner was served, a good crowd stayed and beers were consumed.  We probably played for close to the three hours with intermittent breaks for supper, prize giveaways and the addition of a few guests on stage.  Leah opted not to sing the whole show but she came and did several duets with me while Mike’s 7 year old daughter stole the show with her country song medly which we assisted her with.

All in all, I gotta say, I just love Troll Ski Resort…family run operation, great snow, affordable, great atmosphere, lots of terrain, great verticle…everything you need.  We’ll certainly hope to stay a part of Telefest for years to come, three in a row just isn’t enough yet.



So we are on the mainstage of the Canada Games on Feb.22nd at 5:30pm.  Will be real neat to play right before the days medal ceremonies!! Gonna be a different sort of bunch backstage then I’m used to…might be a hard bunch to get smoking and drinking with us, might better just be on my best behaviour for a change. I have done it before.  Maybe one of them will let me touch their medal.

Another honor we have to announce is our participation in this years North Country Fair up by Lesser Slave Lake, Alberta.  It is one of the most prestigious festivals in the west to play!  What really made me blush was that they called us.  Most of you know, I don’t apply myself to things, or write applications, or grants or any of that shit.  So when we get asked to play a new festival it’s a real honor.

Troll Telefest poster

Troll Telefest poster

Not sure how many festivals we will be doing this summer, been busy playing 8-10 a year since 2008.  I got a second baby coming in May and this summer may be a write-off till we make adjustments in our lives.  For sure we are coming to Sweetwater 905 in Rolla BC and I can’t see myself missing Hootstock in Forest Grove.  Artswells you know we’ll be at cause it happens around my firepit.  Without any serious developments this will probably be our schedule this summer.  I have been asked about solo shows and I’m undecided.  My personal feeling is that we will have a new album out so I won’t want to play solo shows so much.  The band makes everything easier and it’s the band sound I want to get into your heads and living rooms!

Cheers for now…joe