Jasper and Leonard

Well…

I am on the final run of my tour, which started in Winnipeg and strung itself all the way to Vancouver, tonight I finish up in Jasper, AB.

I am playing at the Sawridge Hotel, and am living in luxury, just hopped out of the shower, Ive got a robe on, laying in bed, the oilers game is about to start on TV, and Im thinking i will order some Nachos up to the room, what the hell I never do this, I dont perform until 9ish tonight..

Im not going to on and on about Leonard Cohen’s passing, but when I heard the news I was driving through the mountains at 1am, through the pitch black, somewhere between Radium and Jasper. My sister texted me the news, and right as I got the text I lost service on my phone, I couldnt respond, I coulndt pull over and see what was happening in the world at that moment.

For two hours, I drove, in silence before getting service back, for two hours I had the most peaceful drive I may have ever had, I will never forget that drive, full of gratitude and overwhelming joy for somebody that touched me so heavily.

I remember the first time I heard Leonard, it was on one of my moms oldies but goodies cassette tape, it was the song Suzanne, I remember my mom telling me how much she loved him, his voice and music. Id never heard anything like him, I immediately had to get my friend to burn me a disc of all of his early work. It gave me hope and a sense of the human condition I had yet to feel, all of this in my early stages of writing songs, I had maybe penned 4 or 5 originals of my own at that time.

I remember being in Nashville, and having lunch with Mary Martin at her local neighbourhood pub on the east side. I remember telling me how she had been the one to tape Leonards very first recordings, she was there, when he sung Suzanne in a bathtub because there was a nice natural reverb in the bathroom, Mary was there. I remember her telling this story as the words fell off her tongue, Im sure my jaw was on the floor as she shared her intimate moment with Cohen in the sixties.

I think of him often, and am brought to his music for many reasons on a regular basis. One of my all time favorite writers that I admire deeply and look up to with utmost respect. As I thought about all of this on my long and dark drive, I was not alone, I felt there was company with me. My heart is not broken, it is breaking open more than ever, and I am forever grateful for the man who wrote Suzanne. The man who spoke of universal truths, pain, love and death. If you have some time and get a chance to listen to “Tower Of Song”, I now understand what Leonard was talking about. And he has found his room in the tower of song.

I love you Leonard, thank you.

Tomorrow I head home, and have a wedding to play with a friend, and then a couple days off. I am road warn, its been a hefty amount of energy and miles, but I am smiling tonight.

Hope the oilers win!

Thank you for reading,

Joe

AFTER THE TORNADO: JOE NOLAN RETURNS WITH “BROKEN ANGEL,” NEW SONG OUT TODAY.

LISTEN HERE ON APPLE MUSIC OR SPOTIFY.

joe-nolan-burnside

“Drive south with the one you love,” John Hiatt wrote. In a new single, Joe Nolan taps into his own gruff exterior with a new song called “Broken Angel,” one that tells a story of love done and gone. “I drive myself crazy every time I’m passing through the city where you used to be mine,” he sings. It’s a very different kind of road trip.

Alberta’s Joe Nolan made his Six Shooter debut in 2014 with Tornado, an album that captured a dark road-worn mystery and rugged grace, learned and earned mostly on the highway between Calgary and Edmonton. Nolan’s songs tell of regrettable yet irresistible decisions in a voice that is equally ghostly and gravelly. The album received a WCMA nomination, national reviews and opened the door to Nashville, as it was produced by Colin Linden and recorded in Music City.

“Broken Angel” now takes Nolan into new terrain; the song was recorded with Hawksley Workman at his Muskoka studio. Hawksley has long shown a keen ear for emerging songwriters, and “Broken Angel” has a heftier geology, a rockier landscape over which Nolan’s voice traverses.

“Broken Angel” is out today on all digital partners and available worldwide.

UPCOMING TOUR DATES:

EDMONTON, AB: Brixx, Nov 4
CALGARY, AB: SAIT, Nov 5
VANCOUVER, BC: Guilt and Co., Nov 8
ROSSLAND, BC: The Flying Steamshovel, Nov 9
FERNIE, BC: Artstation, Nov 10
EDMONTON, AB: The Needle, Dec 8 (full band)
LLOYDMINSTER, AB: The Legion, Dec 9

Burgers

Hello…

Putting in a few words as I await a cheeseburger at The Capitol in Saskatoon.
At the beginning of a two week tour that started last night in Winnipeg, I am in support of Montreal band Krief.

Oh! Nevermind, my burger just arrived as I type… this is goona take longer to write now..

I mainly want to say that I am happy to be on the road again, I feel it is where I am most in my element, I dig the consistency and rhythm of it all. Last night I wrote a new song in the back of my van (Where I am sleeping) and I think it’s a good one!

Today I went to the pool so that I wouldnt feel as guilty about this 6oz patty topped with fries in front of me. Its my 4th or 5th time performing at The Capitol and the Stoon is feeling warm with vibe tonight.

I am most excited to announce some exciting news this Friday, Hawksley Workman have been working on some recordings and new songs for the past little while and one of them may or may not be released very soon!

Keep your ears and eyes peeled for that.

Thank you for reading.

Joe

This Fall

This Fall
I am going to give myself to the season
A new treatment
Like a Birthday or a New Years Eve party
When you wake up and It is suddenly over
And you wonder
What did I change?
What changed in me?
What changed around me?

I am going to take an hour walk everyday in September
Without headphones
Maybe a harmonica in my pocket
I am going to write
I am going to feel the soberness of it all
The symmetry
Of the non symmetrical
I am going to share

Sometimes if you want to see the light
You must step into the darkness first

And there

In the ghetto of a wounded soul
A butterfly hovers deep below
God came down and kissed my cheek
And opened up a world for you and me
Tell someone you love them
And tell it to yourself
You are magnificent and dazzling

This Fall

Sleepless in Liverpool

Its 3pm, Liverpool Time, the ones I think of are probably sleeping away back home, maybe rising, to the sun, morning birds, getting the coffee beans prepared.

Im having my first of the day, at a Starbucks I found near the waterfront. All of my stuff is still locked up at the hostel, about a 20 minute walk away. However, they are fully booked for tonight, everything is fully booked tonight, I cant find a place to rest my head anywhere, Ive searched for an hour online. People must be flooding in for this SoundCity Festival, all looking for an affordable place to lay there heads. I did find a Hotel that is available and its around 430$ Canadian. Its outrageously expensive here, average beer is about 10$, a simple Subway sandwich the same. I’ve been dropping pounds like crazy, money that is, and my appetite has been high which is good, but costly. I found a place to get some affordable fruit in the mornings at a marketplace near the city square. I have 15 pounds left cash, which is 30$ Canadian, then I suppose I will resort to my master card for the last few days.

Liverpool is exotic, and quite touristy in areas, more air to breathe here than London, I spent some time out on the docks yesterday and people watched, then I visited the museum and got the camera vibes. The seagulls are massive here, there was a fat neckless looking one that scared me yesterday when I dropped a chunk of my samosa on the sidewalk and it came right up and rubbed against my leg to grab the fallen crumbs. I have to learn to relax, like when I see a mouse for example.

Last night was the worst sleep here, up until then it has been quite good considering the odours and other things people can bring into a shared dorm room.

There was a guy in the bunk above me, and he came into the room at like 2am, woke me up, and then every 15 seconds would squirm about, as if he was kicking his legs against the side railings. Obviously the bolts in this bed were loose because every time this happened it shook my whole body around. As if I was in a ship, getting flopped around by the waves. Felt like this dude was getting up and coming down the ladder to take a piss with each movement, not to mention the awful squeaking noise that came with it. I already had headphones on and was listening to Radiohead to drown out the old man snoring from across the room, snoring louder than my friend Earl snores, now thats saying something, the kind of snorting that can clear out a room.

Of course, I just laid there for a while, hoping it would eventually stop. I literally couldn’t sleep this way, I thought to myself, is this dude sleeping and just having little spasms in his dreams, or is he awake and struggling with the snoring or something. It went on for a bit, at one point I aggressively grabbed the poles on each side of me and shook the bed back at him, hoping he would get my message, this didn’t work. I had to say something, I suppose my somewhat submissive demeanour held me back from this, but I had enough. I jumped out of bed, and said “Hey man, whats with all the shaking? I CANT SLEEP, you think it would be possible to try and lay still!!” and then I think there may have been a fuck sakes kind of grunt under my breath as I crawled back into my quarters. After that, there was not a single jolt, and finally I got some rest. Then I thought to myself, why did I wait that long to say something, why don’t I just deal with this stuff right away instead of letting it grind my insides for an hour, anyways, I hope you get a good laugh out of that one.

Tonight, I don’t know where Im going to sleep, Ive sort of been scouting out the city, looking for a nice patch of grass, or a cemetery of some kind where there wont be any traffic. My first plan is to show up back at the hostel later and wait for everyone to fall asleep then try and crash on the couch downstairs in the rec room. Would save me some dough on these final days as well. We shall see

Im reading the best book I have picked up in a long time, it is so fascinating to me, and a true story, called Just Kids by Patti Smith. It is bringing so much light and joy to me when I read her words and the way she writes. Really opening me up in a weird nostalgic way, like when I was a kid and the first time I heard Paperback Writer spinning on a record player. Hard for me to explain, but something inside of me feels like a flower budding when I read her. Its magic. Makes me feel ok about not being able to afford a fancy hotel for tonight. Everything is ok.

Tomorrow I play at The Cavern Club, which I didn’t know before my arrival here that it is quite a legendary veune. I told the lady who runs the hostel when she asked me what Im doing here and where Im playing, and I said a place called The Cavern I think, and she just laughed and sorta sarcastically replied, oh just a little place called The Cavern hey?.

Thats when I found out, it is the room that The Beatles first ever performed and cut their teeth in. I researched it a bit, and John Lennon would play there even before The Beatles had been formed. Pretty crazy! This is my second last show, then one more in London Monday night, i hope they end off on a high note. I haven’t broke any strings yet, not that Im very superstitious in that way, but fingers crossed. And even then, a little rain never hurt no one. The sun is shining high today. I might try to get to the infamous Abbey Road crosswalk before the sun droops beneath the trees.

See you soon

Joe

Gord Downie

I cant stop thinking about The Hip, and how precious life is, and how much beauty Gord Downie has made for us, and will leave for us, he has changed my life. I remember being back in high school sitting in the parking lot in someones car and someone started blasting some Tragically Hip from the radio and I couldn’t stand it, this happened all the time, a bunch of my friends were really into them and I didn’t get it. I couldn’t stand Gord’s voice, in fact, I hated it. And I hated how much they got played on the radio, made me so sick of hearing the same 4 songs getting played over and over again on every station which seemed like a million times a day. Ya know.. New Orleans Is Sinking, Blow At High Dough, 38 Years Old, Little Bones… we all know these sounds instantly when we hear them.

It was only until about 3 or 4 years later that it all changed for me, for some reason, and I didn’t know exactly where to pinpoint the explanation or the change, perhaps my ears matured somehow, perhaps i was listening to things in a different way, like when you hear The Beatles for the first time. I heard things I was missing before, things I didn’t care about or think about back then.

I remember picking up a DVD of the Hip playing live in Toronto, a full concert footage, I got it from the library in Fort Saskatchewan, probably when I was bored one day and wanted to get high and groove out and give them a real shot, aside from the radio. I remember going home and putting this thing on in my bedroom and how much I felt, how inspired I was, how much Gord killed me, and especially his singing and performing, his odd and enchanting stage persona, he killed me!

It took me a while to really get it, however to this day he has become one of my favorite singers and influences on the planet, a huge influence on my own musical style. His voice to me is that level of perfection and real purity, his own, it touches the naked, it’s powerful, emotional, unique, and all out guts and rock n roll, all out. Aside from that, I give credit to Gord Downie on making me realize how important melody is in a song. How endless the possibilities are of where to go with it, the unlimited creativity of it, regardless of the vocal range of a singer. Ive heard Leonard Cohen murder Celine Dion on a melody before. When I write, I experiment with the instrumentation and the vocals with a much more conscious and appreciative approach, until what comes out is what I imagined in my head. That comes from Gord, and his gorgeous melodies that I would have never thought about until I heard him. For example listen to the song Escape Is At Hand For The Traveling Man, Lake Fever, or Its A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken, Or Scared, Bobcaygeon, the list goes on.

Anyways, I could talk about this forever, I didn’t know I was going to feel this much, the news that has come forward makes me very sad, and not even for the fact or the thought of the Hip being without Downie, but I feel so overwhelmed imagining what he must be feeling. What anyone feels in that place or state.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Gord twice two summers ago, first in Toronto and then later on in Edmonton. It was the most eerie and ethereal experience, as if he had this glow around his whole body that walked with him, as if the special, the real special was shining through him and traveling by his side.
I love you Gord, thank you, thank you, I love you.

Everything has been going very well here, its been a bit rainy and grey, gets chilly on nighttime walks, I brought a toque with me but i realize every toque I’ve owned gets massively stretched out by my enormous head that it hardly even fits me anymore.
This past weekend was incredible, and was let loose into the streets of Brighton, and into the wee hours of the night. Brighton is beautiful, like a city out of the movies, cobblestone streets, beautifully old fashioned, it looks like Audrey Hepburn, amazing food, right on the ocean, the hotel i crashed in was like 600 years old apparently. Called the Old Ship.

I had two showcases on the Saturday that were both packed and went amazingly, I felt really good about it. This was part of The Great Escape, sort of a discovery festival for all up and coming bands and artists who are starting to break out a bit in the scene. Everyone said it was Europe’s SXSW. Bands and Artists and industry folks flooded the city.

On Saturday night I met a Scottish man named Phil who was at my second show upstairs at a place called The Prince Albert, after the show we had some drinks with my new agent Claire, and I met another one of his friends who used to play in a band called The Proclaimers. Ya know.. that song I would walk 500 miles.. I ended up going back to this guys apartment and jamming until 3 in the morning and sharing some new songs with them all, very cool people, I then capped things off with a dip in the ocean with The Velvatines and Alberta Music crew, Ive gone about two weeks without shampoo and am just letting it all fly, it was quite a salty shower.

That morning I had to get up at 8am, catch a train to Reading then from there take a bus out of Oxford to the countryside to play a festival called The Wood Festival, very earthly and had North Country Fair vibes but was a bit smaller. Made me miss home, and love home, and love here.
It was a rough and rainy day after a night of absinthe and the sea. When the bus dropped me off it was a 5 mile walk down a gravel road to get into this place, dragging all my gear and luggage, tracking mud on my tires, it was so fun, tough and sweaty. Truly walked through some fields of Gold. The clouds here are different, they are like castles or something, they are thick and have more structure, and definition to them.

That night I made it back to London at about midnight, and have been here since, found a hostel in Camden, which is a pretty cool district here. To be honest, Im starting to feel the wear of these places, and the sadness that comes with it. In the past I have found that the hostel life can be quite stimulating and exciting, a place to meet strangers and their stories that travel with them, just like you, just like me. However this time around, I feel and see more of a darkness, not so much in myself, but in the walls. It just seems like everywhere I go, all people want to do with their day is get wasted and fucked up, I don’t know how far the growth climbs up the ladder when travelling that way. And of course, I am one for a party, however not that way, Im on a different mission this time through, so it has been a bit lonely, I just don’t feel like being part of that scene here. That being said, its all ones perspective and can be carried two different ways.

I cant help but think of my Woody Guthrie here, his lyrics are every where I walk.
Walking down the Old Kent road, I was thinking of Varley and all the songs he wrote, on the back streets of Camden and through Hoxton Square, I felt it rising through me like a rose or a prayer.

A couple of days ago I spent an hour watching a man, spill words onto the sidewalk, amidst all the hustle and bustle of a mid-day London street, and all the traffic that comes with it. He was like a ghost in the middle of all these folks, and the busy chaos that comes with each of their days. Like a spider being trampled by the herds.

I read the chalk on the sidewalks, hours of poetry scribbled over pavement.
I didn’t shake his hand, but I wanted to, I wanted to feel the chalk on his skin, and then he shook mine, and I almost started to cry, he said thank you for the music.

“I am an Emperor, But
Hobo Style
I see opportunity with each
New mile
In my own peace I sit and smile
Thats the essence of living
Hobo Style
Drunk or sober stoned or straight
Theres many ways to the
Inner state”.

“Om Shanti Shanti Om
I think one last one and
Then am gone but thats
The rainbow warrior way
We only ever briefly stay
Then like the chalk we fade
Away
So
Om Shanti Shanti Om”.

Today I head off to Liverpool, well Im pretty sure, I’ve checked out out of this hostel now, just using there wifi in the lobby, writing this, Joni Mitchell is on, and ahhh so soothing. It will be nice to get out of London for a bit, and discover a new place, the home of The Beatles, lay me down on abbey road.

Oh my god, Neil Young is coming through the speakers now, needle and the damage done.

I am lucky, I am thankful, and I cant believe I have got to come here to sing and learn, it has been an experience, and I only have one week left, not even until flying home. Amy Winehouse is painted all over this city and forever loved, she will be my train music today.
Liverpool here we come.

I will leave you with a verse from Gord,

A mountain of hugs to you.

Joe

“For a good life we just might have to weaken
And find somewhere to go
Go somewhere we’re needed
Find somewhere to grow
Grow somewhere we’re needed”

First time in London

Hey friends,

Sitting on the couch in a hostel lobby that I slept at last night, it feels futuristic.. here in London.. currently 8:30 am… and I am starting my day.

Not used to this, being 7 hours ahead, I think my body needed this, my clock needed this, my nighthawk agenda. Instead of having dinner at 1am, I now feel like having a huge meal for breakfast.. I hope things stay this way, I imagine I am just a bit cuckoo thought from the flights and 24 hour travel day.

Surprisingly enough, I feel fairly rested, even though it was very hard to sleep last night, did not catch tons of zzz’s.

Im getting kicked out of this first place in an hour, its incredibly expensive for a 10am checkout, you think they’d give a guy till noon at least! Then Ive got about an hour walk to my next place, close to the venue I play at tonight.. according to google maps.

Im feeling lots of things, dont know what to expect yet, its so much different than Scandinavia here so far, the only other place in Europe I have been, Im hunting a second generation Woody Guthrie, there’s definitely lots of amazing music history here, this hostel hangs the famous album cover of The Clash’s London Calling.

Im goona take off these bed linens for these guys and check out here and start walking, perhaps a stab at busking today before my show at The Bedroom Bar.

More to come,

Cheers, (everyone says cheers here)!

rock n roll,

Joe

Thank you Toronto, Final show here of 2015

The Final and fourth show happens tonight, and I anticipate its going to be a big party and farewell show, until next time, which wont be in 2015. Im realizing how much fun it is to play with a band, how different it is, the challenges and rewards that come with it. Everything changes, all the dynamics and the shape of the songs, the songs originally written on an acoustic guitar can form into endless possibilities. The experiment is one I’d like to continue tapping into until that ideal sound is found and fitting for what we want to put out there, through our amplifiers, through the speakers and microphones. It’s a never-ending mystery, and beautiful wonder.

After tonight, I will start my journey home, I have no idea what the roads and weather are like outside of Toronto, it’s sort of a bubble here. A good bubble, except for when people think its the only place in the world, I dont dig that. However, I just mean, it’s hard to get out and explore the outer city when you are here encapsulated and busy on the inside. I miss the fields, and the country, every time. So I look forward to the drive, the silence, the peace, alone with my thoughts, music, coffee, long roads. I put on winter tires last night, it was a must, and just gives me piece of mind when I do hit some dicey roads! The place I went was hilarious, a 24/7 hour joint on the outskirts by the airport. The guy took cash only, 520$ all in, and later noticed my van had a bed, he asked jokingly if I was sleeping in there, and I said yes I am. I told him I was a musician from Edmonton, and he also told me he was a writer and rapper as well. He showed me some of his music, said he’d like to get out of the garage and do some more performing. He was an awesome dude and I know where I will go for an oil change next time I’m in town now.

I am not going to get all into, however I am missing my little baby blue guitar. After last weeks show, I went in a cab to get some food with my two sisters around 3 am. My youngest sister being in Toronto for the first time, she came to see us before she started her one way ticket adventure to South America! I was caught up in the buzz from the show, and the buzz of having my kid sis in town and seeing her. I totally forgot that my guitar had been in the trunk of the cab. Anyways, long story short, It is still missing, Ive done all I can and am continuing to call. My fingers are crossed that it finds its way back home sometime. I fucking love that guitar and it has really been a friend to me, like a best friend.
But Alas, the world keeps turning. Like a tilt-a-whirl.

I want to thank everyone here, during this trip, all the people that have come out to support live music. All the people, whether it was someones song I heard at a show, someone inspiring me in a conversation, strangers on the street, the Italian neighbours that yell at each other from across the street when I’m sleeping in my van in the morning. Just all the people who have been gracious and show me inspiration. Thank you, Its been a great trip. Oh and thanks to the YMCA, haha Ive never left more sweat somewhere, sorry guys.

Im looking forward to a beer when I get back to familiar places, haven’t had one for 36 days, and it feels good, mainly I’m pumped for tonights show, I also want to thank the fellas that have been nice enough to play with this old vagrant. Galen, Comeau, and Gcock, such great dudes and musicians and I’ve been lucky to share some music with them on stage!

Thank you to the Cameron house, and Six Shooter, Its been a hell of a time, Thanks to you for reading, I’ll catch you all on the flip side, probably wont be scribbling on here again till I get home.

Peace,

Joe

Monday

Woke up this morning, Its been 22 nights sleeping in the van.
It feels like it has been much much longer, yet, at same time, It has gone by so fast. Like the movie I watched last night in the back seat, “In The Name Of The Father”. Young Daniel Day Lewis stars in this drama of an Irish crew falsely accused of a Britain bombing and sentenced to life imprisonment. A film where the truth is masked by government and political corruption. I couldn’t sleep after it, or hardly at all last night. Its getting to be a bit cold for me, and its not even below zero yet. Which is weird.

I have been lucky enough to have stumbled into some amazing weather the first couple of weeks here, even a few days where I was able to walk around in a t-shirt.. but, alas, nothing lasts forever when it comes to the weather. I feel the coldness breaching over this winter warmth. And Ive caught a chest cold, I figure its from the obvious. I need more blankets or am gonna look into a space heater of some sort, or a little propane powered heater maybe, hahaha, might as well get a stove while I’m at it too eh, dream of coffee and eggs and cigarettes and breakfast in bed. I always thought I was a reptile for loving the cold, or at least the ability to sleep in cold places, I don’t really love the cold actually but will continue on.

I rented one other movie, my first week here, It was called “A Fuckload Of Scotch tape”. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, but its got a pretty cool backstory for the reason I ended up renting it.
I was hanging out in a bookstore on College, and there was this old school ghetto blaster playing something softly, high up on one of the dusty shelves. Then this song came on, and I needed to know it, but was too shy or lazy to ask the dude working, so I used shazam on my phone. The song came up as Tequila Vampire Matinee by a guy named Kevin Quain, never heard of him before.
I then went to a nearby coffeeshop, got on my computer and looked this guy up. I couldn’t find the song that I so enjoyed in the bookstore, but I found his website. He’s from Toronto it told me, what… and then I read on, this guy played a show at the bookstore I randomly walked into the night before! I then went on to check out a couple photos, and Im quite certain that the guy working behind the desk that day was Kevin Quain, that he works at the bookstore. I have been back twice and both times it has been a different employee. Anyways, I see he is playing at a jazz club called The Rex in the future, so I am going to go over there and check it out. His website describes him as a Singer, Songwriter, Playwright, Obscurantist, Ninja, Carny, Pirate. I know this story went on too long, but the reason I rented this movie, is because Kevin Quain does all the music for the soundtrack, which was the best part of the film. The movie was pretty messed up, but the music was haunting and perfect. Anyways, not really any of the tunes I heard are online, but I have spotified them, here’s one I dig though that is online. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1E-Qd_M4l0

On another note, my first Cameron House show went really well I felt. The place was pretty packed throughout the whole night. We even got a random pub crawl that came in briefly to check it out and shake it loose, but they were actually pretty obnoxious so its a good thing they ventured onwards, back into the streets for the night. The band was really tight for our first time all playing together. And we pounded out 18 originals, 6 of those songs brand new and never had been played before at all. Benj Rowland came out from Peterborough to open things up, I then went over to his hometown next on Friday night to open up for his group The Mayhemingways. All in all, the shows have been a blast. The first Wednesday at Cameron I sweated more than I ever have on stage, it felt so good but I was literally dripping, my whole shirt drenched. I couldn’t figure out why, but maybe its because Ive been swimming and not drinking beer but tons of water everyday instead. Which I haven’t done in lord knows how long ahah. Anyways, we will see what happens this week, looking forward to it.

I got myself a full on membership at the YMCA, at a low income, van living, musician rate, which is applicable anywhere in Canada and the States. Been going everyday, trying to get a run and a swim in each time. And a healthy rinse of course. I joined a water polo team, well not really joined but went and played last week. It happens every week, Tues, Thurs, and Friday. Michael the lifeguard invited me one day when I was swimming laps, told me to come sit in on a game. He looks like this old Russian war vet, and is hardcore and runs the water polo team. I was the youngest dude that played, there was a couple other late 20 year olds, then a mixture of about ten other guys from 35-65 years old. My favourite are the old dudes, they’re lifers and have been there since the beginning, day one. They know all the rules and how to bend them. I got myself a hat trick that day and they call me sniper now hahaha. I think I’ll go back tomorrow for another try at it.

Spending spare time in coffee shops and playing guitar late at night in the Six Shooter office. This new Jason Isabel song is playing through the speakers right now as I write, it sounds even better than the song I heard in the bookstore..

Im missing home, but am focusing on these shows, and taking them as they come.
Talk soon, peace, and hugs

Joe

Merry Halloween

Its Halloween,

Possibly my favorite holiday of the year, at least it was when I was a kid.. Ive got a pillow sack full of dirty underwear instead of candy this year though.
Im sitting in the laundromat waiting for stuff to dry, and stop spinning. Listening to “Straight to hell” by Todd Snider, The Hard Working Americans, cuz he talks about laundromats and hanging with his friends in this killer tune.

Its about 5 degrees above zero here in Toronto today, the streets are buzzing with all sorts of different characters and costumes, its Saturday night and October 31st in the big city.

I am on the fence about what to do, I think for the first time ever I wont be dressing up, at least not as of now. There is a Bruce Springsteen bash at The Cameron House tonight that my friend Greg Cockerill is fronting, he will also be joining me on guitar this month. So I think I will have to stop in there and get a dose of The Boss!
Or, part of me wants to just stay in the van, and let the ghosts haunt me, let the spirits come in and try and craft out some spooky tunes, maybe tonights the perfect night to finally sleep in a graveyard. We will see..

Rehearsing is going really smooth with this newly constructed band, and Im looking forward to bringing it all to the stage this month, its rocking hard and finding its way into the pocket. Hoping for magic and magic crowds. Its been a long time since I’ve done two full sets of original music with a solid band.

Getting used to living out of the van, I don’t have a name for her yet, either Big Blue or maybe something like Lucy. Has to be a girl. I bought a week permit which costed me 24$ and allows me to park on the street in a designated area and zone without having to worry or stress about getting tickets. I’m good to leave it all day, all night, which is perfect. Im sleeping on Grace street right now, just off College, between Bathurst and Ossington.. Its an awesome and central area. I’ve been walking everywhere. Close to the gym and pool, close to my favourite venues, coffee shops etc.. and its also in Little Italy.

Its amazing how many things you see and hear through these tinted windows, all the people that walk by that don’t see me as I’m perched in the back playing guitar or sleeping or changing into my new day of clothes. The bits of conversations I catch, the noises of the late night crawlers, the traffic buzzing, the street lights shining through the windshield. Two nights ago I could hear a dude vomiting in a back alley right beside me, that was nice, I moved out of that area. Last night I heard the 4am can collectors sweeping by in the dawn dragging there garbage bags along. Im enjoying it and starting to get into the routine of things.

The first two days here were complete non-stop rain storms and I spent my first night in a Walmart parking lot off of Dufferin. Was kind of tough to get around those days, the skate park across the street was flooded and overflowing. It was kind of neat though in a way I suppose, felt like Vancouver, I hate the grey though, in terms of the weather that is. I also found out that my van has a leak under the drivers side hood. Water drenches in through it and under where the brakes are and goes all over the drivers side floor every time it rains. Not sure how to fix that but at least its not in the back where I’m sleeping.. Wouldn’t be a vehicle of mine without a few little quirks right.

Alright, my briefs are dry, I’m loading up my sack and headed out. That sounded funny.

Playing a songwriter in the round show on Tuesday night in Barrie, and then Cameron house starts up with the first show this Wed, looking forward to it. Love and peace from the Big Smoke. Trick or treat and Happy Halloween to you, hope everyone has a good one, be safe and have fun out there kids.

ON TOUR

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