Tuesday, February 1, 2005

My first post of 2005! (Actually I had a January post written up but it was still sitting in my outbox - unsent...) Best wishes to my friends and (may I call you) fans! Anybody that's made their way to this page has probably taken some interest in my musical aspirations and adventures.

If you've been following this blog for the last couple of years you've been watching me struggle to record my second album. We started recording on Dec 22, 2002 and I'm happy to report that we finished mixing on January 11, 2005. Yes, it's done! (insert applause here)

Some of the team have ceased to believe that it would ever be finished (they say I have completion anxiety).

In addition to the mixing (which we did in Montreal at Fast Forward with Rob Heaney at the helm), I played my first gig of the year in Lennoxville, Quebec, a stone's throw from my birthplace, Sherbrooke. I played the Church Street cafe to a great crowd who were most attentive and appreciative. Look at the nice message I got after the gig:

"You are something else!!!! A truly enjoyable, entertaining evening it was Friday at "The Church St. Cafe" in the Gertrude Scott Hall of the United Church in Lennoxville.... Just wanted to let you know that you gave me a few smiles and laughs which I think I needed just about then."

A new fan! Now if I can just get it together to put her email address in my database (I have been remiss, lately)

I did a showcase at the Blues Summit, a national conference for the blues music industry - or what there is of it. I was also the MC for the opening reception (Dawn Tyler Watson did a couple of tunes) and I kicked things off with my "State of the Blues" song - Blues is Hurting:

Blues is Hurting, Blues is Hurting/My favourite club is closing, CD sales are down/And to get a decent paying gig you've got to drive way out of town/Blues is Hurting, Blues is Hurting/The Blues musician's wages haven't changed in thirty years/And there's still clubs downtown expect the band to play for beers/It's enough to make a grown bluesman break down in tears/Blues is Hurting, Blues is Hurting/If you ask any kid on the street who he'd like to hear sing/They only blues singer he ever heard of is B.B. King/What about all the great bluesmen still out there doin' their thing/Blues is Hurting, Blues is Hurting/But those of us that love it we know it's here to stay/And we're not discouraged if the blues is having a bad day/Blues is Hurting.

I got a lot of great comments all week-end about that tune. I couldn't hang around for the whole party because I had taken a gig at the other end of town and had to race ovewr there. It was the "Acoustic Harvest" Concert Series and I didn't expect there would be too many people but the place was packed. It was an older crowd but they got a kick out of my tunes.

Back at the Summit next day, I took part in a panel discussion on the "digital revolution" and looked into my crystal ball - actually I had asked around and I predicted there will soon be a price war in the cost of song downloads. We'll see.

Saw some great showcases - and played a great showcase too. I felt good about it. I think it was the only showcase I attended where the house was quiet and the audience was paying close attention. I think I got the interest of a few western festivals and Bruce Iglauer himself was in attendance. Next day I saw him and he said "I liked your set...a little on the folky side for me." I'm thinking..."this is a good thing" considering I'm on my way to the Folk Alliance Conference and will be trying to make an impression on a lot of hard-core folkies.

A couple of nights ago I attended three CD launches in a row...Fathead had an early launch at the Silver Dollar and they had a good turnout but the other two were dismal. Not just Blues is Hurting! It makes me wonder if I want to do an actual CD launch party. I better start thinking about it, because this album is mixed andf soon to be mastered. And today I meet with "a man" who is considered the guru of CD design and it looks like he will be taking on my project.