Hi from the back of a blue van

Hi friends,

This is by far the longest I’ve ever let this thing sit here alone, without words.
I suppose many things have kept me away from writing..

I am back, and I am here, and I am going to give you a little preview of this trip I have set loose on.

I have to start with today, because its too cool for me not to share right away. Well, I’ll start with last night..

I left Winnipeg around 4pm, after finishing a swim and run at the YMCA pool (my new place of showering), they also let me in for free, first timers get a complimentary day pass I found out.
I made it across the border, for the first time in my life it was painless, only took a couple minutes, the border guard was half friendly, and even gave a chuckle when I told him I was a full-time musician. Usually I have the worst luck with these things!

My plan was to hit the pavement until I made it to Minneapolis, about a 7 hour drive. Then I stopped at a Mcdonalds halfway, since I dont have any data/wifi while in the states, I stole some from the worlds largest fast food Industry, Mcdickkkss.
Bob Dylan is from Minnesota, he spent his youth in a town called Duluth and his teenage years in a small county town called Hibbing.
I grabbed a map, and went online to look how far away I was from this place, it was about a 6 hour detour total, I left the land of fries and had some hesitation as I was driving down the highway.

I wanted to check out Minneapolis, as its mentioned in some of my favorite tunes, including Waits’s “Christmas card from a hooker in Minneapolis”. One of the saddest and best Christmas songs ever written.. Plus Minneapolis was on route to Toronto.
But I had a flash of something calling me and telling me to steer towards Hibbing, so I did.

I drove over night, arriving In Hibbing, Minnesota at around 4am, Located Dylans old stomping grounds and his home, 2425 7 Ave E, where he lived from 1947-1959 (his high school years).

I slept on the street, in the back of my van and woke up in the morning to a scary, aggressive, barking dog, tied to a lengthy chain on the front steps of Bobs house.. haha.. I tried to calm him down but he was relentless, and I thought, fuck what a drag, this dog is here for a reason. To keep people like me away. So I went around back and knocked on the back door, a man pulled the curtain free from one of the windows inside, I asked him if this was Dylans old house and he shook his head in acknowledgement, and I asked if I could have a moment then he dropped the curtain and never answered. Then all of the sudden the barking dog returned, this guy let his dog loose from the chain and sent him on me! The dog got close and then I screamed at it with my foot in the air as it was a bout to rip a chunk of flesh out of my thigh, and it cowered away, knowing I gained my territory. I like dogs, but hate dogs like that man.

I went up to the front door this time and knocked a couple times, Stood there a while, then finally the door creaked open. It was an old grumpy man who was not very excited to see me. I told him that I was from Canada, that I am a huge Dylan fan, and asked him if I could just spend a moment looking around. His attitude changed to a more gentle nature, but he said Its a private home now, and there are no exceptions, and that he gets people from all over the world stopping by and he just doesn’t have the time of day anymore. He wanted to be at peace, and I respected that. I said thank you, and asked if he minded if i took a couple photos and if it was ok if I hung outside for a while. He said hang as long as you want man, and then closed the door, with the dog staying inside. I stood in the front lawn for longer than I expected and was in awe, and blessed with my feet in the dirty grass. Then i got back into my van and left town.

Duluth, Bob’s other childhood home was only 75 miles away, 519 3rd Ave E. So I headed that way, halfway through the drive I saw one of the biggest and most pure Bald Eagles I think Ive ever witnessed. It was on the other side of the highway, i thought it was one of those fake ones that people put up in trees sometimes. I had to make a u-turn. I got out and walked towards this dead coniferous he was perched in. Sure enough it wasnt a fake, his head turned, looked at me and then flew away. What a wing span, I like to think he’s still following me right now!

I pulled into Duluth, this house was a little harder to find, I asked a woman in the neighbourhood, she directed me. Did lots of walking around the hilly town and found the place. Bob spent his first 7 years on earth here, It was a tiny upstairs pad of an old duplex style home, mustard yellow. I rang the bell and knocked, waited ten minutes then tried again, no answer. So I went for a drive, bought some socks and carrots from Walmart and went back an hour later. Knocked again and still no one home. Or maybe there was and maybe it was the same case as Hibbing, where they didn’t want any visitors. Anyways i sat on the front steps with my guitar and just played for a while until I was ready to make a move out of town again.

I am so glad I did this today, it was worth the extra hours and almost getting whatever kind of rabies that dog carried haha. Its the closest Ive felt to being one with one of my favourite musical ancestors of all time. Feeling pretty thankful for having the opportunity to have the time and freedom to have done that.

Wow, ok, that was just today. I will try and summarize the rest of whats going on here in a more brief fashion, as Im in another Mcdonalds, this time in a town called Marquette, Michigan. Its closing in 15 minutes which means Im out of wifi again, which means I wont be able to post this till probably tomorrow afternoon.
As I walked in here, Crimson and Clover was blasting though the speakers, I’m now the only one in here, its nice. Tommy and The Shondells kill me in times like these.
Im breeching upon Sault Ste. Marie and then will be inching closer to getting back inside of Canada. Ill be able to use my phone again.

Ive zippered up and around Lake Superior and made my way through the Northern beauty of Minnesota country.. Ive learned this is the best way ever (for myself at least) to really learn the geography of this area and these places, and find direction in them. The wildlife has been sparse, I have seen two deer, just flirting with the highway from the ditches but not poking out far enough thankfully. I Have also seen two foxes, sporting there beautiful autumn fur, so so pretty. And of course, the Eagle today.

My shows leading up to this point have all been kind to me. Lloydminster, well I just love The Root and what they do for community and art and that town and all the travellers coming through. Saskatoon was fun, made some new fans and got to hear Michael Rault for the first time in a while, his sound is fuzzy and thick and bluesy and his band sure kicks ass. Winnipeg, of course you cant go wrong at Times Changed, though next time Id like to bring a band, that room can be hard to win, as comrade Scott Cook told me when we met in a Regina parking lot earlier that morning of the show. My friend Stu Reid was generous enough to host a House concert in Winnipeg the next night which was a highlight and thrill and helped me put some gas in the tank.

I didn’t mention yet, but I bought a 2005 blue grand caravan, I have slept in the back of it every night. I think this is night 7 or 8 for me as I tested it in Edmonton as well. Plan to do so for as long as I can before it gets too cold out here. Tonight is definitely the coldest night so far, I think its at least zero out. brrrr, gotta buy some long johns next maybe. I realized I forgot my winter jacket at home, of course I would..

They’re kicking me out of here. Ill put some photos of these houses on my FB music page.
I will be doing my best to put something up here on the regular as well.
Im doing lots of thinking, writing, down these open roads, thinking of home, hope the Oilers won tonight, Hope this finds you well. Goodnight

Joe

Tdot

I’m in Toronto,
I haven’t been here in forever, on this page, or in Canada’s big city.
No shows this time around, just jetted over for some business, planning the future, steering the freight train, one whistle at a time. Seems to be an ongoing endeavor for anyone I talk to these days, for the rest of our lives, trying to plan the unknown.
It’s been a queens age since I’ve played a strip of shows steady. I guess laying low has taken over for a few reasons.
Which brings me here, now.
I’m in the stages of planning a new record, lots of details involved with this mission, one thing I’ve got are the songs!
I lost my phone on Valentine’s day after driving home straight overnight, 15 hours from Winnipeg. It was a storm. The day of love my phone was long lost in a cab,I never saw it again, even after going down to the station. Fucking cabs!
Anyways, point is, back up your shit, to anyone out there, because I didn’t and I lost 137 songs, half of them were ideas, half of them were finished.
Luckily some of them I recovered from my memory but still a huge loss, and I still need to back up my iPad haha, once I figure out how to use SoundCloud. I feel like a monkey with technology, 8 year old kids can school me on these machines.

So, what I was saying, before I went on that rant, is that Ive got a bunch of songs and am either going to go a super rock n roll “Pettyesque” route, or strip everything right down and keep it naked. Whatchya think? It still a ways away.

Im going to go see my sister play here right away, and I need an effin Donair, hard to find in this zoo, hopefully visit again soon.

Let me be there with you in your dreams
Let music save your life for a song
Let yourself drown in the colors of a railway sky
Let the sun breathe fire through your hair
Let the night unleash the doors of wonder and curiosity
Let yourself wake up in ecstacy
Let me be there with you in your dreams

Drifting

It snowed this morning,
Maybe some people think finally or it’s about time. I think, wow, pefect timing for my 14 hour drive to Winnipeg tomorrow. Let the snow drifts begin. In all seriousness, I do feel like we have already won, big time, I don’t remember November ever being this dry, and sunny, and blue.
Since getting off of the road with Jeremy Fisher, not goona lie, been a bit in the slumps somewhere. Wound up finding myself run down and then a cold punched me yesterday, not the snow. I’ve been resting like a bear, and eating like one as well. My pairs of pants hardly fit anymore, shit, I’ve been a 30 waste size since grade 8. I don’t ever talk about my health or personal issues on here and maybe music and weather get boring to hear about, but I’ve always been a private person when it comes to those important things in life like that to me. Anyways, feels like many things are adding up, like when Pi is on that little wooden raft with Richard Parker and there is a storm brewing, the waves are rising, and the sky is boiling, will they survive.
Music and life go in droughts, sometimes it’s hard to tell if they are the same thing or two separate worlds, sometimes you pray for rain, sometimes to save a crop, do most farmers have faith, they must.

I’m a rambling, maybe it’s a fever, or the chills hitting me, I’ve got my window cracked in my little room here.
I am really looking forward to going to Winnipeg, the drive can be rewarding if I’m lucky, long drives alone can also lead to too much thinking, which Is my nature, must learn to control that shit. The reason I’m going to Winnipeg is to see one of my favorite artists right now, who I’ve only been listening to for a couple of years but am fascinated by his work, Mark Kozelek. Also known as Sun Kil Moon and his old band Red House Painters. He’s only doing one show in Canada, and it’s in Winnipeg on Remembrance Day, this Tuesday. I noticed this when I was on tour with Jeremy, we played at the same venue and I saw Mark’s poster up in the lobby, I think it is a sign, at least I thought it was at the time.
So I’ve arranged to do a house concert the night before at the Studome, a very cool guy and music enthusiast, Stu, who I met at Breakout West this year. I was playing at Times Changed and a man in the audience yelled out a request, “play Autumn Sky”… And it was Stu. So cool that he’s having me at his place on a Monday, big thanks to him, I’m looking forward to singing an acoustic show in a new home, and living room!
Also, it’s going to help fund the drive which is awesome.

That’s it for now, I always forget that I should remember to be more present on here, you know how it goes, thank you for reading and I’m sending my love to you..

Remembrance Day used to be one of my favorite days, when I was young, before I understood the heaviness of the occasion. Every year on this day I would go to my cousins farm and skate, and play shinny, on one of the biggest ponds you could dream of. The sound of my blade carving into that naked ice for the first time is about as pure a sound as I’ve ever heard.

Joe

Fox Cabaret tonight

Stirring in the lobby, my shoes are wet from strolling the streets of Vancouver. Hunting for lunch. This is our 2nd last show tonight at the infamous Fox Cabaret, which apparently they used to film and air Porn movies.. Hopefully not tonight, not sure what I’m getting into! Deep Throat was there most famous haha, no joke.
Tomorrow we are in Victoria, then I’m homeward bound. Mmmhmmm.
I’m pretty road worn at this point, we’ve put on a pile of miles, and smiles.
This is a quick one, as we’re going to hit the rain in ten minutes to take off for sound check.
What an opportunity, every show has been unique compared to the next one, and the previous one. I’m getting in front of lots of new people, faces, and stories. Trying to Make little waves one stop at a time. The street we stayed on last night reminded me of what New York looks like in the movies, though I’m probably way off with my examinations. But the lights here are vibrant and are turned bright all night, Granville street lights up the city.
Cheers to all of you lovely people. Tonight’s goona be fun. Maybe Bob Dylan will be in the room! I’m goona pretend he’s there anyways.
Muawwww

Joe

Thunder Bay

The road

I’m sitting in my hotel room, the econolodge haha, just got back from eating ribs at Montana’s, the poor waitress Kelsie got my order wrong so I got a free large order of ribs. She was new. I also got to draw pumpkins and turkeys with a black crayon on our table as we sat in the kids section tonight.
This tour is 3 shows in and it’s going amazing. Jeremy fisher, matt on bass, ryan on drums and Luke on sound have been nothing but generous, hilarious and very welcoming and comfortable to be around.
Our first two shows were packed! Starting in London, a beautiful hall and very receptive crowd, the most CDs I’ve sold in a while. Then the Horseshoe in Toronto, this past Thursday, where I got an encore! I don’t believe in encores, especially as an opening act, but was very flattered and of course played another song. However, when I listen to Neil Young’s live recording at Massey Hall in 1971… That is a real encore… And I’m saddened that the rare specialness, worth and earning of an extra song has been lost.. Nonetheless I’ll take me when I get em as I, down to play all night every night!
So Toronto was a real treat, much to short a visit though. But made the most of it, and got to stop into Cameron house and visit my family of new friends there again from doing a two month residency this past spring.
We then trekked to Sudbury, where to be honest, it was kind of a shot show. We loaded in at 530pm, then returned to the club at 930pm to sound check, sound guy didn’t show up until 11pm, I ended up playing my set at 1230pm… Crazy.. But there were a nice handful of troopers that sat and listened to my short repertoire for the night. Jeremy and his band have been sounding killer, really loving there show, songs and vibes, also learning a lot from the veterans.
It’s been hard to write, we drove 12 hours today to Thunder Bay, wifi is sparse and iffy, anyhow I’m getting up at 5am tomorrow and we head for Winnipeg!

I had such a great weekend in Winnipeg at Breakout West last week and going to be nice to be back already! And It will feel like I’m close to Edmonton. So feels like close to home. The sister city. Have a busy schedule and some cool plans as we have a couple days in the PEG, going to try and swing a visit with my “cuz” Scott Nolan, and do a couple radio interviews leading up to our show.
It’s turkey weekend, and I’m thinking of my Mom and her amazing cooking, wishing anyone who may be reading a happy, healthy, tasty, gravy thanksgiving. Peace and love I’ll be sending on the drive tomorrow.
I’ve got the oilers game on here in the hotel, it’s peaceful. I never get to do this, having a rib overdose, passing out soon.

Thank you for you.

Joe

From the step

Writing to you from 84 avenue in Edmonton,
Sitting on the front steps for a smoke before I crash. And for some reason tonight I’m feeling weird, I don’t know if it’s because the fall is approaching, or the air in the night, but I had a complete moment of silence fall over me that I haven’t felt for a while. Felt like one of those quiet nights in Sweden, where I’d be alone after a show, on the other side of the world and would listen to all of my surroundings and then coast into a deep sleep or a dream of some sort. Hard to explain.
I’m feeling blessed, Salmon Arm Roots and Blues festival was definitely one of my favorite festival I’ve ever been too.
The caliber of musicianship from art on stage was impeccable. The mountains as a backdrop. The respect that poured from each person onto another from everybody that attended the festival, to the volunteers, performers and all the music lovers was pretty special. I’m sure honoured that I got to be part of the line up this year. And got to be on some pretty amazing and positively challenging workshops with some heavy hitters. One of my favorite moments was singing “It’s Alright Ma” on a Dylan stage called “Positively Fourth Stage” where I was honestly in a trance, there was a spirit inside of me that took over my whole body and delivered the song. It was a magical moment and workshop, and everyone on stage gave me the biggest hug when it had finished. A couple of viewers came up to me after in tears and I couldn’t believe or maybe I had just forgotten how much music can really touch the soul, heal, and connect within myself and others. That was really special.
Also, getting to watch Josh Ritter close out Sunday night, I snuck in right beside the stage and had my eyes peeled on a master songwriter of today as went through “girl in the war” “temptation of Adam” “Kathleen” and some new ones just and captivatingly beautiful.
So all in all it was a wonderful experience to be part of, a big thanks To Peter North, all the staff, organizers and volunteers who made that festival happen!

I took my little Toyota, with 318000 km on it all the way to that little town in BC and back, I can’t believe it made it, but as I was pulling into Edmonton I had to pull over on Gateway Blvd because my engine light had been on and then the thermometer light came on, the car started overheating and was not going any more miles.
So close to home…
I secretly had a grin on my face because I’ve been waiting for this day for so long, the day my car dies! But in all reality, it doesn’t work that way. I filled it up with water, putted it home the next day then brought it into our family mechanic, Frank the man. He fixed it right up with a new water tank… 167$… But having a car on the road right now.. Priceless.. So the little piece of shit is still putsing around until the next thing happens. And hopefully I can save up some change for an upgrade when my silver baby goes down, cuz right now it’s my only option to keep it on the road.

I have a few big, and scary, and exciting shows coming up. In about a week I get to play at the Jubilee Auditorium, oh man, opening up for Melissa Etheridge in Calgary and Edmonton. Also after that I’m playing a big show in my hometown of Fort Saskatchewan at the Dow Centre theatre which I haven’t played since an old CD release in 2011 haha. Lots to prepare for, looking forward to these shows, I hope they turn out ok. Take one at a time.

Goodnight,
Thank you for reading, peace,

Joe

Salmon Charm

In Salmon Arm for the first time ever, well, without passing through it a few times on the way to Penticton or Vancouver or some lost trail.
Tonight I’m living in style, bought a cheap motel room. 79.99$ was the best price I could roll the dice on, it’s on the outskirts of town, of course, and it smells and looks just as you would imagine. I’m sleeping on top of the covers and blankets tonight. But hey, in all honesty, I actually love places like this. The kinds that aren’t all decked out, the kinds where the walls have stories and you have to sleep with one eye open.
It was a long drive with my little Toyota, on my own, which I am used to. But I had to pull over and take a nap halfway though the ride between Golden and Revelstoke at one of those little roadside semi pull offs on the shoulder of the highway. I woke up to some trucker pissing right behind my vehicle. The sound effects were heightened as I don’t have a back windshield. The drive was beautiful, I saw an eagle, a fox, and a family of about 9 mountain goats along the way. Not at the same time though, but that would have been nuts, like Noah’s Ark.
When I arrived I treated myself to a buffalo chicken sandwich, mmm, and then went to a movie, there was a theatre right beside the boston pizza. So it was a skip and a hop away.
Trying to find this motel in the dark after was awesome, the moon was brighter than I’ve ever seen it in Edmonton tonight. Which was very enjoyable to the eyes.
I wrote and recorded a little song here in my room, sitting on the bed strumming my lil blue guitar. Starstruck by beauty. Beauty by those who can see us and love us through darkness in ourselves, which is a real special kind, and I felt that driving here today.

Tomorrow I have two solo sets, both at a tattoo parlour slash art gallery which I don’t quite know what to expect yet, and then 4 workshops over the weekend at the actual festival with some pretty neat people.
Josh Ritter is playing this year which I’m very excited about!

Got to spend this past weekend at Edmonton Folk festival which was a real treat. It’s one of those times that I look forward to every year and want to continue attending each year ahead. The hill, the candles, the side stage magic, walking around, overdosing on onion cakes. Thanks to a Terry Wickham for running a standout festival and being so generous to me.

This is my final festival of the summer, and I’ve heard such great things about it. I’m a pretty lucky dude getting to come out here and do this one more time around in another new place and setting.
I’m goona shut down the lights and hopefully the bed bugs don’t bite. Goodnight

Joe

p.s.
Was reading up on the symbolism of Salmon, known as the power animal, symbolizing wisdom.
I liked what I said here…
http://www.shamanicjourney.com/article/6112/salmon-power-animal-symbol-of-wisdom

Summer

The best time of the year is here,
It’s 31 degrees in Edmonton today, I’m finally in town for more than 3 days, which seems like all it’s been the past 3 months..
Every weekend has been a festival, or driving, or flying, and it’s nice to know now that the rest of the summer is pretty open to allow me to work on the things that I struggle to find time to do when it’s highways and shows.
Winnipeg folk festival was amazing, and it was such an honour to be a part of.. For the most part it was rainy and cold, but it didn’t matter. When I got to play a tweener on main stage the final day, Sunday night, it made up for all the mud and wet socks. I could literally see my breath as I sung on the big stage, my hands were numb so I had to stick to strumming. Looking out and seeing families huddled together underneath big blue and orange tarps trying to stay dry from the downpour, hearing them cheer and dance and smile, we were all in it together, it was pretty special!
Getting to meet Joan Baez right before I walked onto the slippery platform to sing my songs.
Sitting right beside John Hammond and seeing his fingers skate across the fretboard singing songs about trains.
Watching Ani DiFranco made me tear up, she was so graceful and grateful and told stories about when she played the Winnipeg Folk festival 20 years ago when she was my age.
It was definitely a surreal weekend, hopefully I will get to tell stories back there in 20 years.

Wild Mountain Music festival, is such a cool place to experience. Props to Jason Williams for running such a smooth and relaxed weekend of music in the mountains. It sure is a magical place.
Interstellar Rodeo was this past weekend, and I’m so proud of Shauna and the Six Shooter team for their guts, hard work and ability to overcome any obstacle. They had to make a call Friday afternoon to cancel the festival do to heavy rain showers that carried through the day, it was amazing that in the span of a few hours they kept their heads, stayed positive and extended the weekend to a Monday night concert with Corb Lund closing it all out. My favorite of last night was Tom Wilson, he is the quintessential version of what any performer should exude. He is so honest, himself and open to letting his heart out and all at the same time and rock and roll harder than anyone with his acoustic guitar plugged through a deluxe reverb!
All in all things have been busy, and there’s lots to talk about, and sometimes I just have little to say, I’m looking forward to laying low up until Salmon Arm roots and blues festival in a couple of weeks. I hear it’s a beautiful place to walk, dreaming of it.
I’m on my way out to head out to the dugout for a dip and cool down,
Peace and love and happy Tuesday.

Joe

The Final Round

This is it,
I’m sitting in the Six Shooter office, all by myself, right behind the Horseshoe Tavern, on the 3rd floor of a non air conditioned building, however the chandeliers that paint the ceiling make up for it.
I’m sweating like crazy, literally my shirt is wet and I’m dripping salt fairies on my iPad as I type. It’s been muggy… But for some reason I like it, I guess it’s the same as how I love the coldest day of winter, the struggle to get warm, to find heat, the challenge enchants me I guess. Almost like the Gods are tempting us in a weird way, but this is the opposite now, and there is only so much clothing I can take off before somebody walks in here and catches me half naked.

Tomorrow is my last night in the big city, Toronto, also my last show. The drill has been a two month residency stint at the legendary Cameron House, which I have said in past notes, has become a new home. I’m finding out that there are people all over the world with the same mind sets, and sometimes it takes longer to find them than expected. But when you do encounter a community or person with a similar approach on life as yourself it doesn’t take long at all to connect. And such has been the case over a few spilled beers, and cheers with the Cameron gang.
It’s be nine long weeks to be honest, playing every Monday night. Originally starting out with nobody in the room at all, thinking what am I doing here, but nothing happens over night, and I can’t believe tomorrow will be the final show, which I’m hoping the people I have met along the way will show up and celebrate. It’s been hard work, but worth it for sure.

As I drink my tall boy of old style Pilsner I’m shaking my head and smiling at the thought of coming home, and the craziness of the cycles I’ve gone through being away. I will be sad to leave and finish of this residency, it’s been an amazing opportunity of growth as an artist and human, and I’m continuing to learn new things each day, like skipping a stone, the more patience, practise, persistency and time, one will be able to know the river.
My plans fell through for tonight, as I was supposed to record over at Aaron Comeau’s place, and lay down all of the songs we’ve been playing as a band, but Pat Phillips drums are locked up in the basement of the Cameron, which we just realized doesn’t open until 9pm tonight, so looks like 8am we will all meet tomorrow instead.
Anyways, that’s ok with me, because there is a Gordon Lightfoot Tribute show tonight, starting pretty soon actually. Featuring Tommy Wilson, Harlen Pepper, and Ronny Sexsmith. Plus it’s outdoors, plus I got this box of tall boys sitting beside me which was supposed to be for our session tonight. All is well on these final days in Toronto.
I’m looking forward to being home, and am sending my love to those out there reading. To anyone who stumbles upon here. Thank you.
See you soon,

Joe

Mondays at Cameron

Where do I begin to describe this most recent journey to Toronto, it would be hard to put down on paper. Just the same as trying to capture the moon in a photograph, you really can’t. The picture is never the same as being there in reality, which makes it hard to describe the actual moment.
So much has happened here, it has been so busy, but at the same time I have had lots of down time to wonder.
Some days feel like the clock stops moving and I just want to be at the end of the month already and home, and other days there is no clock, and I find myself engulfed by the whole scene, the beauty, the music, the people, the parks, the sounds, the street cars and I’ve thrown myself completely into it, full throttle, head first.
The Cameron House has become my new home, I’ve got to know the staff very well there, and see the regulars, and everyone has welcomed me in gracefully. I love how they operate, how the music comes first, bar second, how they fill it full of art every night, where you can catch a different style of music each week depending on the night. It’s perfect.
My June residency, where I have moved to the later slot has made much more of an impact echoing into the streets than the early slot. It’s hot, it’s loud, the band is gritty, people are diving in and digging it, and the crowds have been spectacular so far. Small but attentive, and I still can’t believe I get to be out here doing this, each Monday night.
The band, Aaron Comeau on bass and Pat Phillips on drums, are two friends of mine that I have met just from crossing paths, circles and scenes through tours and music these past couple years. They have been fantastic, first met Pat as he was playing with Carolyn Marks at Pembina River Nights I believe, probably 4 or 5 years ago. And I met Aaron at the Rosebowl in Edmonton a couple years back when he was on tour with Jack Marks, first thing I said to him was that he looked like a young Tom Cruise haha. Anyways, it’s been a real pleasure getting to make vibrations with these two dudes on stage, I’ve learned a lot from the change of dynamic playing with these two as opposed to solo.
Tonight we do our 3rd week, I’m real excited, and am going to head downtown soon to prepare.
I’ve gotten to meet some amazing people this trip around. A woman named Tonni Maruyamma has been coming down to shows, she works with Tom Waits and is his Canadian Label called Anti Records, isn’t that nuts!!
Also, I’ve been lucky enough to be hanging in the same circles as Ron Sexsmith and have hung with him a few more times, I have challenged him to a ping pong match for our next hang. And last weekend, I met one of my favorite singers, Gord Downie!!
He was playing at a festival called Field Trip, and I actually got to hang in his trailer and he gave me a hug, one of the coolest moments ever.
I could go on and on…
This week I have a great show coming up on Thursday night, I’m playing with Jim Cuddy, Lindi Ortega, Lee Harvey Osmond, Whitehorse, Harlan Pepper, Alejandro Escovedo, Sam Cash and Whitney Rose for a NXNE showcase at the legendary horseshoe tavern, all in the same night!
Then I go straight to the airport and fly home, land, and drive right to beautiful drift pile for the North Country Fair!!!!
I really really can’t wait, as much as there have been some real highs here in the big smoke, I do go a little crazy in my head, being away from everything I love at home, so the anticipation is tingling in my bones and soul.
This is it for now, gotta head downtown, also change my shirt, it’s fucking humid as hell in this little cafe on Gerrard street, plus with my coffee, I’ve got salt bullets dripping from my head. And some real nice pit stains rocking.
See you later,

Joe

ON TOUR

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