The boys and I made it home last night! I apologize for my lack of update during the tour - half the time it was hard to find internet service and the other half of time was spent setting up for the show or exploring the town we were in, but I will give a brief about each of the unique spots we played in for those interested in reading!
Banff: Adam, Paul, and I left our GLORIOUS hotel in Kaslo to trek back over the mountains into Banff, however, we learned a good lesson that google maps and GPS don't add up in knowing the best routes through BC's wild territory.... so I bought a map - I still can't believe that we didn't have one with us before we left.... We ended up arriving two hours and some later than planned but were greeted by extremely laid back and friendly people. Our show was in the bar of a giant hostel! I've never been to a hostel before - I was so excited to sleep in one haha! (top bunk!). The private dorm we were given reminded me of junior high band camp or the place to host a family reunion.
Twin Butte: We continued travelling back west to a town near Lethbridge, that we almost completely missed on the highway. The General Store we played in brought half the town at our show (town of 12 people haha!) but the support and enthusiasm levels were so high - we were treated like gold! My favourite part about that evening was the barn loft my band and I slept in. The wind was travelling over 100 miles an hour (Paul's glasses were ripped from his face as soon as he walked outside!), and the entire barn loft was shaking somewhat violently throughout our stay. The couple that hosted us were really interesting - they hail from Canada's far east coast and told us stories about their split adventures between working in southern AB and living out east during the winters. McNally's beer was introduced to us in the cozy, rickety loft which is definitely my new favourite brew.
Calgary: Through the same way I booked my "Couch Concert Series", I arranged to have my band play at a family's house in Calgary. The family of 5 that hosted us were some of the most interesting people I have ever met: Rick and Tanya took their three little boys (at the ages of 4, 6, and 8) on a 14 month bike ride from Calgary to Mexico and back - homeschooling along the way! These kids were soo energetic, artistic, bright, helpful, and good-humoured. I feel so inspired by this family's healthy and creative ambitions. The show rocked that night too! The entire neighbourhood showed up for the party and shared their home-cooked dishes and wine with my band and I. Rick's boys helped pack up our gear, bright and early the next morning. It was re-juvenating to be part of a young and excited family for an evening.
Kamloops: Back through the mountains! The Art We Are (the venue we played) reminded me a lot of the venues and shops on Whyte Ave in Edmonton, which was a reviving. This was the first city I returned to post my "Couch Concert Series" which was exciting for me because I got to see a lot of the people I had connected with the first time through! There was no shortage of new faces either which really added to overall positive energy during the show. My host from the "Couch Concert Series" generously had the three of us for the night which was unbelievably appreciated. Thanks Justin!
Salmon Arm: Another outdoor show! And it was HOT outside. After enduring the barrels of rain on the first two days of tour, the heat was welcomed (by me at least - not super convinced Adam and Paul were loving it). We set up our gear on an outdoor stage known as the "Lunchbox Stage" during the summer. It's such a cool idea to bring a community together through having live music in a park during noon hour! We had the evening off, so the guys and I spent time exploring Salmon Arm (which I have heard so much about because my roommate grew up there!) and visiting with our good friend's mum who invited us to spend the night at her place. There is something so comforting about being in the home of a family - I feel so taken care of! Thank you, so much Jodie, for inviting us into your home for the evening - it really meant a lot to the three of us. You make KILLER waffles!
Revelstoke: The next town that I re-visited from my "Couch Concert Series". I was soo excited to see some of the friends I made the last time through! It was also nice to have a sound tech for the show. Most of the tour's sound was done by Paul, which can be a difficult task to gauge how the room sounds when you're on stage playing. The Last Drop Pub also offered us a room in the hotel attached and a weighty bar tab.... Revelstoke and I have only had extremely late nights together...
Penticton: It was my first time in this city! Paul, Adam, and I agreed it's very much like the "Miami" of Canada haha! What a dream to live in a town completely surrounded by lakes and beaches. We set up our stage at a place called "Voodoo's" which is a venue with a character of it's own. The attendance of the show was one BUT it was by far the best sound we had all week. My band and I had fun taking turns calling out tunes to play for our petite audience, and really soaking in the amazing sound the room was offering. That night we slept on a cherry, walnut, peach, apple, and pear orhcard! Tammy and Sascha (who booked and accommodated us) made sure the next morning we didn't leave with any shortage in fresh cherries and walnuts. I'm still not too sure how we fit them all into the vehicle because our leg room was already non-existant.
Kelowna: The Minstrel Cafe! This was my favourite show of the whole tour. We cramped up onto a beautiful little stage and played for an enamoured audience. Post sound-check we had a scare though because Adam thought his lung was collapsing (as it had about 9 months ago), but he decided to drum through the warning symptoms and resulted in feeling okay by the end of the night anyways! A wonderful article was written up about me in advertising this particular show. Here's the link if you're interested in reading! http://www.kelownacapnews.com/entertainment/161291795.html The Minstrel's vegetarian pizza was....... heavenly! I recommend! It felt unexplainably good to play with Paul and Adam after making music with them every day the past week. I am SOOOO grateful and lucky to have such supportive, and musical companions.
Winfield: Our final show of our first tour. We stayed with Dan, a professor at Kelowna's university, whom I met at the very FIRST "Couch Concert" I played in April - and what a welcome we received from him! Two homemade breakfasts, private rooms in a gorgeous house, a patio with an audience to play for (with, AGAIN, familiar and friendly faces!!), pot-luck, directions to the beach, and the company of an over-all music/life enthusiast! Thank you Dan!! After we cleaned up from the house concert, the four of us watched live videos of Tom Waits on a big screen TV - it was the most wonderful way to end such a memorable week.
The last twelve days are already melding together to form some sort of blissful blur. There were definitely a few moments of tension, stress, uncomfortability, and tiredness but overall, I can say with confidence that the first tour my band and I embarked upon was a complete success! I am SOO grateful and in awe of all the generosity and support and excitement people along the way shared with us. Thank you so much for all the email responses, interviews, beds, food, donations, beer, wine, mailing-list emails, directions, attendance, encouragement, and stories. My biggest thank you goes to Paul and Adam - you two are oustanding and beautiful people. I have not laughed as hard and as much in the past 23 years as I did over the last couple weeks. I really REALLY do mean it, from the bottom of my heart, that I feel so honoured and humbled to have such true/amazing friends in such musical and inspiring players. What a time!!
I am so blessed.
Filled with love!