Tag Archives: Tax Free Liqour

A Week of Wax, MoM and DOA!!!

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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!!

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Vancouver Show A Success, Busy January Ahead

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.WISEposter

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.


Lotsa Thoughts I Gots

STOMPIN TOM TRIBUTE SHOW TIME AGAIN

Click the link for all the details on my upcoming show in Prince George.  Once again I’m roped into doing the Stompin Tom tribute thing, but it keeps getting easier and more fun all the time.  This show is a fundraiser for CFIS Radio, it’s been promoted well and looks to be a really great evening.  I try to be sensitive to the memory of Stompin Tom in doing this, I don’t want to do a poor job and I want there to be a greater meaning behind it than simply my own financial gain…which don’t get me wrong is often real important for the sake of our family.  More than anything I wanna keep Stompin Tom’s songs alive and burn them into the memory of a whole new generation if possible.  I’d like to see upcoming alt-country bands cover less American songs and start learning the stories and traditions of the north.  I’m not sure I’m nearly as patriotic as Stompin Tom was, but I know I love the north and we don’t need another peoples songs.

MAMAGUROOVE HALLOWEEN SHOW WITH TAX FREE LIQOUR

There is some speculation that Mamaguroove might’ve just played their last show at the Occidental there in Quesnel this past Hallowee night…of course there could be a Robson Valley Festival reunion during the summer but it’s gonna be pretty hard for them to really gig as a band anymore.  Just the logistics alone determines that…Dave M is in Quesnel, the other Dave is in PG, Chris is in Edmonton and Seth and Shara live in the Robson Valley.  I guess Chris has five other bands in Edmonton he’s playing in too while working full time.  Still, that’s a real shame they didn’t keep writing more music.  When MG was really rockin they put on a totally far and cosmic show, heavy, crazy, trippy, dancy…they were like a hippified Mr.Bungle.

The show was fabulous, Barry wanted them to play his bar for Halloween and it paid off cause people were lined up out the door to get in.  Costumes were creative…except for mine cause I just wore a toque and carried a hockey stick.  I was a hoser.  But my apparent costume was part of a plan innitiated by Tax Free Liqour.  During their set they brought out a Steven Harper pinata and I used that carbon fibre composite hockey stick to drill his body off.

Astrid says ‘you were supposed to knock his head off’

And I says to the crowd ‘I like to torture them for a minute first’

Whammo, off came Harpers head exploding forth with such goodies as band stickers and condoms.  The crowd loved it scrambling for all the good things the Harper pinata had given them.

Tax Free Liqour is a pretty fun band, pretty far out themselves.  Definately punk influenced and they have been improving remarkably since I first seen them Halloween 2013.  They’ve switched some players around and people are playing the songs now like they own them.  Hopefully this will be a phenomenon in the Cariboo Regional District for a while to come.

So the party was hardy, I admit, I woke up at 3:30 the following afternoon.  Haven’t had a bender like that in a while…but it’s my favorite holiday and no family to be responsible with for one night.

Footnote, there were some big Halloween costume winners that took home tickets to a Canucks game.  Was glad to see our friends from Wells win, wasn’t crazy abou the Gene Simmons costume winning though.  I guess the guy wears it every year, and no one has bothered to explain to him that Gene Simmons is real piece of shit.

THE REBEL SPELL

Speaking of punk rock bands…have you gone to see the Rebel Spell on their tour across Canada.  Their latest album Last Run is so goddamned good I can’t stop listening to it.  I can’t even tell you anything yet, I have too many things to say about that record, I could write 1000 words!  Trust me, it’s good, if you like punk go get one on line today.  Google it, won’t be hard to find.

JIAN

He’s a goof, get it folks!  If you don’t believe 10 women don’t tell me you would have believed 1 if she’s come forward all those years ago.  That’s totally unfair.  There’s a lot of people in showbizz, politics, positions of power, sports teams etc who are parasites and vampires.  They spend most of the time trying to live out their crazy desires…they don’t care about anyone else but themselves.  You think Jian Gomeshi is an anomaly then you are sadly mistaken.  Republican House members are found guilty of rape, RCMP officers are found guilty of rape, Rob Ford is a douchebag, Justin Beiber is a spoiled fucking brat.  Oh yeah, turns out Bill Cosby is probably a rapist too, must be that brain damage he never quite recovered from…he seemed to insinuate only children had this condition but it was obvious when he opposed the Simpsons back in 1991 that he suffered from a condition much worse.  Gene Simmons thinks the poor owe him a debt of grattitude, he’s obviously a douchebag…him and Ted Nugent have been competing for the title of Biggest Piece of Shit in Rock and Roll History for a long friggin time.

….I mean, what, do you really think all them stars you love on TV are as nice as the characters they portray.

News flash!!!

Despite the overwhelming ability of vampires to suck up everything around them in the process of stepping on others to launch themselves to the top…there are some people who just through sheer intelligence and charm arrive where they belong and live successful lives and rewarding careers.  When I think of the artists I like I remember how magical Buffy St.Marie was to be around all weekend, or Geoff Berners righteous and scathing criticism of the insanity that surrounds us.  I think of Tanya Tagak and the positive role she plays in our country.  I have met many lovely famous people…but there are some real vultures circling around looking for whatever they can grab.