The tour is almost over. One trip to Hazleton at some point and possibly Kitimat. We are having talks about a Southern journey. We will see. Mark and Kiri added textures and moods that really made it something special. In Prince George after we had packed up, we had a few requests, so Kiri and I pulled up a couple of chairs and played while people sang along and banged on things. One young woman came up and told me how her mother would make them listen to me on family road trips when she was growing up. She was quite funny and we all had a few laughs. I am not the greatest traveller. Driving, rest, food, your own space are all needs you have to figure out. When you are playing a song and you feel and you know you are connecting with people - that is the magic. It's worth every km and worn out guitar string. People seem to be liking " Northern Waters". Yay ! See you soon !
The trip West to Terrace and Prince Rupert was a great success ! People requested songs from my earlier recordings and embraced the new ones. Long time and new support felt so good. Kiri Daust on vilolin/fiddle and Mark Thibeault on steel and electric guitar played so well. Very happy with the trio. They were painting icey landscapes and bringing Spring in with energy. We stayed at the Eagle Bluff, a wonderful B&B while in Rupert. I feel very fortunate to have such tremendous support in the Northwest. It looks like we will be playing at the Smithers Midsummer festival this year with the trio and rumors of us assembling " Northwest", our big band, for the Fall fair might be true.
Starting to come down after a fantastic, sold out Friday evening in Smithers at the Della Herman theatre. The 15th of April. I had talked to Alex Cuba and discovered his parents were coming over from Cuba while my release was about to happen. So we get his father, Valentin to make a guest appearance and Alex joins him. Talk about a bonus ! I was stageside with the other members of the band watching, listening and smiling. What a treat !
The band for Friday included Richard Jenne on Precussion, Marie Perry (aka mip) on bass and vocals, Kiri Daust on Violin, Mark Thibeault on Steel and electric guitar and me too ! This was a special night for me and there are so many people to thank for making it happen. We were communicating and the work between Mark and Kiri was just beautiful at times and a even a little erie here and there. Marie and Richard were terrific. It was pretty cool for me to play with our daughter. I booked the room many months before - it was the only date available, and the band as it was, had never played together before. Happy !
10 records. I can call them that. I will never acheive perfection. The key it seems is just keeping on. Just through trial and error some pretty cool things happen. The thread that links all 10 seems to be the songs that reflect on our area. I already have another one in mind and some songs to move forward with.
PERFORMACE VENUES & DATES
TICKETS are on sale now, or will be soon.
Hope to see you soon!
I get up too early. Strong coffee with some 1/2 and 1/2 cream and life is gradually beautiful again. Just listened to the final final final master of my new record," Northern Waters", last night. Are artsy things ever right ? A painter friend of mine, Dave Nehring, told me he has gone into places where his paintings were on display and wanted to take them off the wall - just to "touch them up". Funny, but perspectives change. I listen to some early editions of Springsteen songs and the attitude, lyrics and even melody changed over the years . Ya man, like now I am a metal guy ! Right.. I am thinking Steve Dawson and crew did some good work on this project. There are some beautiful, flawless records out there. This isn't one of them...BUT it honestly has it's moments..I'm really starting to like it again..yahoo !! Mid April release
This morning I start recording my 10th, a new project with producer Steve Dawson. Steve is a fantastic musician, who did a lot of playing and hanging out with my cousin, Jamie aka - Bocephous King. Today I am in a sureal world where songs matter for a few days . I hope to capture the vibe of them. This will be a very human record. I remember wondering if anyone would like my first "tape" and the thought of dying with 990 of the 1000 I printed..yikes ! Now with songs in the ether and people sharing them I wonder again what to do, but, moving forward..I trust people who like it , will support it.. Enough of that. New songs are cool. They are stories and "little movies", as the awesome Bob Hamilton of Whitehorse once told me. Okay no more coffee -I will be shaking all day. The airlines lost my guitar in Minneapolis..whaaat ? It will be here 2 hours before we start. In one piece I hope. Crazy ! As my terrific pal Rachelle VZ says " Onward ! "
Alive and well ! It is so good to hear the birds sing and be surrounded by green things. I played at a wedding with Scott Atchison for the first time in a while and it was fun ! Assembling a band for a genuine Glenwood hall dance on June 20th. After that - June 26/27 I will be doing songs of mine , new and old, as a part of a theatre production at the " Main Street Studio" in Smithers. Teo Saefkow is writing and performing an original work and it will have a Northwest flavour. A few private functions and the Fall fair set in late August will keep the summer interesting. I will be working with producer Steve Dawson on a new recording in November. Maybe, just maybe, you never know, something special might happen..
Great gig in Prince George. A packed house and a lot of people who have never heard me before. I started off the night playing " Black Ice" . With the temperature hovering around the freezing mark during the drive, it seemed like the logical choice. It was a rare solo gig for me and although i really enjoy playing with other people, it was a great experience. This troubador thing has been around for years. I'm just carrying on the tradition with a Northwest flavour. I am seriously thinking another record for the Fall of 2015. Why not ?
Playing Prince George this Friday, Nov. 21 at 8pm at Books and Company.
October 29, 2014
Drftwood schoolhouse, November 7, tickets on sale now at Mountain Eagle Books in Smithers.
Mark Thibeault will be joining me on steel and electric guitar. Kiri Daust, an outstanding young fiddler, so good he doubles as a violinist, will be joining us for some songs also. The Driftwood school is a great sounding and feeling room. Oh ya - be warned -outdoor plumbing..
October 6, 2014
October 24 Edmonton - Full Moon Folk club
October 25 Vanderhoof - Village Inn
November 7 Smithers - Driftwood schoolhouse
November 21 Prince George - Books & Company
September 26, 2014
Friday, October 24 I will be playing in Edmonton for the "Full Moon Folk Club", opening up for Ridley Bent. He is a great performer and it should be a fun night. The venue is - St. Basil's Cultural Centre, 10819-71 avenue, Edmonton. I will be bringing Mark Theibault with me. He is a fine guitar and pedal steel player and a great guy. He also happens to be the main man at "Rayco Resophonics" . He makes resonator guitars and other stringed instruments and people like Jerry Douglas use them. It has been many years since I have played Edmonton. I believe I got busted for jaywalking there once. Why walk to the corner ? I will post more confirmed dates soon.. :)
August 31 2014
BV exhibition was a great event. A rodeo, cows, chickens, sheep, vegetable art and oh ya, live music. Wow ! I played with Kiri Daust and he is a special player, a violinist who just returned from touring with the Canadian youth orchrestra 2 days prior to the gig. One rehearsal and we're on, and he is talented enough to pull it off.
We are playing the Telkwa Demolition derby this weekend with a full band "Aldermere". This should be a blast as they are great people to play with. We will step on stage for a soundcheck for the first time ever as a group this afternoon. We may have some issues with our synchronized dance moves..ya.
Fall bookings. I will be in Terrace Nov 14 or 15th . Should know later this week. Prince George and Kamloops November 20/21. Driftwood school gig early November. We'll see where else we land
August 10 2014
Bulkley Valley Fall Fair, Saturday August 23 at 7pm, I will be doing a 30 minute set with Kiri Daust. He's a talented young violinist who has been touring with Canada's national youth Orchestra this past summer. Looking forward to it !
Telkwa barbecue, Sunday August 31, we will be the opening act for a country show at the grounds. Our band will include Richard Jenne on drums, Madeline Lough on bass, Mark Theibault on guitar, Rachelle Van Zanten on accordion and slide, and I will be there too. Good people. Maybe we should call our band "Aldermere" ? See you soon !
August 4 2014
Terrace Riverboat Days was a blast. We assembled a talented cast of characters. Scott Atchison on guitar, Ian Olmstead on bass, Richard Jenne on drums and the great Rachelle Van Zanten on accordion and her new Rayco slide guitar. Every player is talented, musical and respectful and - we like each other. So much fun to be in Terrace again !
Just returned from Ireland. Live music everywhere was wonderful. Somehow I would like to hear more of it back home. We will be in Terrace August 3rd in the afternoon... Also the Smithers Fall Fair and possibly even the Telkwa barbecue may happen. I will try and give notice for Fall events a couple months before they occur. Hope you are having a great summer !!
Smithers June 24
We are putting together a band again for Riverboat days in Terrace August 3. Playing outdoors, if the weather holds, is special. Getting positive comments on new songs and will get writing more in the Fall. All the daylight is making me wander around our property looking at the work to be done - oh for a condo..The birds are singing - this is their time. Hope to see you soon !
Smithers May 27, 2014
Our son, Matthew's birthday today. A huge event in my life. Now he has just returned from a teaching project in Uganda organized by UBC. At his age my only association with Africa was probably a bad Tarzan movie. It appears with the internet and news one can be very global these days, if they so choose. I think most of us live within a much smaller world and it's complex enough. I will be in Kitimat this weekend and have a couple dates in Smithers in early June. I have a new song up on facebook but it's hard to find. It's on a site called "Oar & Ocean" , which is a journey two young friends are taking, rowing( !!!???) the inside passage. I recorded it in Alex Cuba's basement - my guitar and vocal - a couple takes and done. It's part of a slide show on their site that I'm honoured to be a part of. I will write some more and think about a very simple acoustic record. Breaking even on a project is getting harder..but I will search for something special and you never know, sometimes good things happen.
onward - peace - cheers
California in January ?
My wife, Jane and I are in California right now. Hollywood (#1) or living in a horsetrailer (#2) ? Yes it's choice # 2. Brought my guitar and hope to write and play a bit. I will return to Smithers mid February and be playing a few gigs and doing a songwriting workshop in Prince Rupert. Writing a few new songs and finishing up a couple because that's what I do. Ya I know, I can't shovel snow here BUT I can't ski out my back door either, which is what I love about winter.Tentative dates March 1 Glennwood hall dance, March 8 Hudson Bay mountain ski hill lounge and who knows....
Many great wishes to you !!!
Merry Christmas !
December 27 is the annual Driftwood school coffee house. This year will feature Rachelle VanZanten, mip, and Shaun Hunter McLean.. I will be there too. Oh ya there is no indoor plumbing in the old schoolhouse. There are outhouses..... Tickets are on sale at Mountain Eagle books. $15 each. Should be fun. Hope to see you there !
Returned from Cuba safe and fairly sound. We attended a friends wedding party in Nueva Gerona and then off to Havana for a few days. It felt like a city on the upswing . We had the privilage of spending a little time with Alex Cuba's parent's, Valentin and Maria, and also getting to know his talented brother, Adonis. All in all great people and music everywhere we went. Now back to picking up my guitar. Steel stringed.
I will be playing up at the Hudson Bay mountain ski hill lounge on Saturday Dec. 14.
Annual December songwriter night at the Driftwood School featuring our daughter," mip" and the terrific Rachelle Van Zanten and perhaps 1 more. Oh ya , I will be there too with a new song or 2.
November 5 at the roundhouse theatre in Yaletown -Bluebird North was a fine event. Shari Ulrich did an excellent job of hosting and the songwriters were a greatly diverse group so the night went well. Nov 6 I stayed in Vancouver and was fortunate enough to get a ticket to see Emmy Lou Harris with Rodney Crowell and a great band at the Orpheum. She is a treasure.
My wife, Jane and I are off to Cuba for a few weeks. Communication will be pretty sketchy - quite possibly non exhistant. We will attend a wedding celebration, do some bicycling, visit Valentin and Maria Puentes and hopefully catch some sun. The music will be great. I can do this. Tomorrow is Remeberance day. We are so fortunate to be Canadian. Take care ! mp
Good morning ! So I've done the unthinkable and joined facebook. This is probably a sure sign facebook is on it's way out. If you get an irritating friend request from me please feel free to delete me. Enough about that. So far response from people on the new cd seems to be good. Will be in Vancouver Nov. 5, 7:30 pm, at the roundhouse theatre in the Yaletown area. The event is called Bluebird North and is a songwriter in the round event . Afterwards it may be possible to find a beer nearby...and oh ya Emmy Lou Harris is at the orpheum Nov.6. That would be a thrill to see her. Cheers ! mp
So all is well. Burns Lake was a lot of fun. Great people live there ! Scott and I played at the Heritage building and with the help of a couple red light bulb's had a fine night. Rachelle Van Zanten, a person who I am proud to call a friend , sat in on the last few songs. She is a terrific performer and a lot of fun to hang out with.
Prince George - we had the band and another good night. We had great audience response and afterwards, talking to people, I am reminded again, live music matters. The band goes to the room for a couple beer and we played a new game - talking without using google references. Let's call the game "phone lockdown" ! Inexpensive to play and definitley challenging.
Vanderhoof rules ! As photographer/ promoter/ friend, Lorne Clark said afterwards, great energy off the top and it carried on throughout. Scott and I played in the back of "the Village Inn". Just driving into Vanderhoof I couldn't help but remember playing in "the Yellowhead Inn" in the mid eighties, with our band, Timberline. Back then we used to get requests like "Stayin Alive" and "Islands in the Stream", and watch a few fights break out as we played. For many years now, performing along the Yellowhead highway has been a huge part of my life.
Overall this tour has been a reflective journey. This troubador thing is a bit of work. The promotion/ booking thing - not the performance part - that is fun. Lately I've had the image of the late Alaskan songwriter, Buddy Tabor, in my head. Years ago, my daughter and I went to see him on a Tuesday night at the art gallery in Smithers. Maybe a dozen people were there. We really enjoyed it. He was great ! There were stories and images and a feeling that it was timeless. Somewhow I feel we are connected through the craft. I played at a wedding with our junior high school band over 40 years ago! Songs and performing has been a huge part of my life and I am so grateful. Hey - working on a couple new songs -onward..
September 20, 21..
Great start ! Smithers show was a blast. Always a bit nervous when playing a group of new songs for people. It's important to play older familiar songs while introducing new ones. We had a lot of laughs and audience participation and even some dancing at the end. It doesn't get any better than that...Prince Rupert was so fun. I always love going there. Great people. As I walked in the door I was asked if we would play " Queen of the North", my song about the ferry sinking off Gill island. Of course ! There were 2 people there who were on the " North" that fateful night. The band - Scott Atchison on mandolin, guitar and vocals, Richard Jenne on precussion and vocals and Gord Urban on upright bass. CD Baby will have on line sales up and running soon with the option of itunes also. Tou can order the new cd " People and Places" by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want it sooner...anyways...onward ...hope to see you soon
Getting close. cds arrived. Smithers and Rupert soon. Crazy booking gigs. Kamloops fell through. Somehow our night was double booked. Sorry to say but it was out of my hands. We will get there again!
Smithers turned 100 this year and the Alfred Avenue band played on a brand new stage on main street to about 1000 people. Beautiful weather and live music every night in the downtown area. Ole Johnson, a great guitar player performer came up from Washington state with his son Gabe. We had many laughs and it was so good to see and play together again. Keyboard player, Colin Spence came up from Nelson B.C., Scott Atchison played mandolin and sang great as always, Richard Jenne on drums and precussion and Ian Olmstead played bass.There's a couple pictures up on this website.
People and Places tour dates
Sept, 20 Smithers - Della Herman theatre-tickets Mountain Eagle books
Sept. 21 Prince Rupert - Art Rooney theatre
Oct.4 Burns Lake - Heritage building
Oct. 5 Prince George - Art Space
Oct .11 Vanderhoof - tba
Nov.5 Vancouver, Bluebird North - roundhouse theatre
Vancouver May 27 - June 1, 2013
Just finished a recording project in Monarch studio in Vancouver B.C. for a Fall release. Record is being mixed by Jordy walker right now and after some back and forths we send it to mastering and get artwork done. We recorded 14 songs and I expect to have 12 on the cd.
I will be doing a release tour in September/ October
Also looks like a Bluebird North performance in Vancouver November 5.
Anyways we had a great time working with some really good people. Stand up bass player John Walsh , drummer Leon Power, multi instumentalist Jon Anderson, my long time musical friend , Scott Atchison on mandolin , guitar and back vocals. Oh ya be warned there is some accordion, played by Tyson Naylor.
Jordy and I worked together on RR#7 and talked about another run at this silly business and so...
I will be playing in Smithers and area periodically over the summer. The August long weekend will feature the Alfred avenue band and we will be playing a street dance among other venues.
June 8 I will be performing at the relay for Life ceremony , a tradition I try to keep up.
see you soon
Hey I'm back.
I dissapeared for a bit in 2012.
Some things just become more important. Both my wife, Jane, and I lost our mothers last year and going through that takes it's toll. Looking back now we are very grateful to have been brought up in great loving and supportive family enviroments.
We were also lucky enough to see Bruce Springsteen live in Madison square gardens in the Spring and wow!! Great show. Walked around Central Park, saw a broadway show, walked across the Brooklyn bridge and visited ground zero. Amazing city and people. No _ I am not a Rangers fan now. We visited our daughter "mip" and watched her perform with her band at "Not My Dog" in Toronto. While I didn't tour too much in 2012 I did continue to write and sometimes that's the therapy I need. Working towards a new recording to be released in the Fall of 2013.
We are assembling the "Alfred avenue Band" for the town of Smithers 100 year celebration. The long weekend in August should be a ton of fun. I will be playing a dance set at the Driftwood (aka Glennwood) hall for New Years eve 2012-2013. In February I will be doing a gig or two with Scott Atchison playing new songs and planning a new record. I plan on a decent tour this Fall so stay tuned. I will be better at updating and changing up the site a bit more often. I greatly appreciate the notes and requests to play in your areas.
With a little luck and planning we can do more of this
cheers and onward