My new record The Summer of High Hopes will be released in Canada on September 26, 2006.
now onto other business...
it is 10:30 when we arrive at the Toronto Thin Lizzy extravaganza, where I am to make an appearance and perform 'Running Back'. the air is thick with rock n roll. dee immediately and rather unexpectedly runs into Handsome Joe from Leitrim. "i know all your uncles" he has been known to say. billy recognizes jimmy coup from his L.A. days in the dungeon. a brief story ensues about observing Jimmy in his boxer shorts on Scott Humphrey's treadmill, packing in the laps at full speed. roger greets me and is a most cordial host, we share a story or two about Phil Lynott's wonderful mother. a very loud band with the Can-Filipino Queen Of Guitar Shredding takes the stage and i have a vision that she might leave the gig with her jeepney spitting fire and visions of Jesus from the exhaust pipe. There is much ruckus when they roll out the upright piano for me, and I feel partially like a diva for making them do this for one song. I play, i give away some CDs and jet off into the night.
after a few days of summer relaxation, which include
- a Dead Daisy meeting on the banks of the swimming hole
- watching C-Pan arm-wrestle grown men with phD's
- observing dee fine-tune her CV between bouts of tanning
- watching the storms roll in over my town
- reading about World War III - IV and beyond
- downloading about a zillion songs
i take off to see Royal Wood play in Hamilton. for a brief time I believe I am going to have to endure a metal band from Montreal to see our latest DDR signing...but it turns out I am in the wrong part of the club and Royal is actually busting his genius in the lounge. Mike Kic (you may remember him as the businessman in my Beautiful Things video) turns up to help sell CDs, and we realize very quickly that patrons cannot stop giving him their money on the way in the door. "You are a money magnet," I announce, and ponder hiring him.
The room is chatty and I fear the worst as Royal takes the stage. The minute he starts to soundcheck, the room quiets down, and by mid-set he has them in the palm of his hand. A truly amazing voice on this lad...and we are all thrilled to be working with him. His new record, "A Good Enough Day" will drop January 2007.
The date for the Mont-Tremblant show has been changed from August 12 to August 13th, just to give you that extra day to travel to Quebec. Happy to announce the band for this show will be Dean Stone on drums, Jordan Kern on guitar and Terence Gowan on keyboards, accordion, and glockenspiel. We will roll out some of the old and some of the new, some of the borrowed and some of the asianblue.
Listening to Canada's newest rockers The Midway State. Check em out http://www.myspace.com/themidwaystate ...
Just a short note to say we are all over the moon here as we welcome Royal Wood to the Dead Daisy Records family. Dead Daisy Records with Outside Music will be releasing Royal's forthcoming album. To find out more about Royal and all his greatness, and to listen to music visit www.royalwood.ca and www.myspace.com/royalwood ... Hurray!
ruby sessions on tuesday and i am warned about low attendance post-oxegen. happily, the room turns out to be full. Jack L comes up to duet with me on his song Happiness, and it is a show-stealer. lots of love to Conor and Niall for featuring me so much during this month on Ruby Sessions, they really bring an excellent night to Dublin every time they host Rubies.
no trip to ireland is complete without a gig on Moon River - the boat that sails up the Shannon from Carrick-On-Shannon. the last time i played on a boat it was a drunken and doomed sail up the polluted St. Clair River in Sarnia, with ex-members of Moist. there were unfortunate airings of Pat Benatar then, when you COULD hear, which was rare due to the boat engine roaring close to the PA. so my expectations were mildly low for another concert-on-the-sea, but everything turns around when Neosupervital take the stage, and stun everyone into either silence or disco-dancing with his synth-hits. i play, simon guests on guitar, cormac on piano and brian busts the Suzuki omnichord with which I am in love. in the middle of "see the sea" there is some kind of power burst and brian and I recover semi-seamlessly. MM says he sees a heron on the river at this point in the night. The heron is the official bird of this record in case you hadn't guessed, as there is one who is always out back behind the house on the river keeping watch and devastating the fish population. in true cruise-ship fashion, I play 2 sets, each ending in its own delicious and debaucherous way, where you're not quite sure where anything is going but somehow with enough perserverence it all works out. the last set ends with folks coming up to the mic to sing and showcase "Carrick spoken word". There is also a dedication to Catherine Reynolds, aka Queen Reynolds mother of Dee et al, who suggested i "only play upbeat songs" on the boat. Much to her dismay, I reveal her love for The Prodigy ["i love those thumpin beats" she has been known to say in her Carrick accent] so Brian busts the drum machine on the omnichord complete with the raddest drum machine fills anyone has ever experienced on the Shannon with the wind in their hair. as Owen Drumm confesses, the Moon River is an experience not to be missed. "Imagine Def Leppard on the Moon River," says another seasoned boater.
over to Sean Reynolds' yacht for further discussion and slumber partying. there are swan sightings, include swans with what look like a 3rd leg growing out of their back. egads! turns out this is not a product of some ill-fated, E-induced bird orgy, rather an illusion which occurs when young swans decide to clean themselves.
the long drive to cork lies ahead. drummski has provided the best soundtrack of all with his mixed cds, and i am wowed by his fabulous musical taste. MM proves to be an excellent seat-dancer and in 5, 6 hours' time, we arrive at Cyprus Avenue.
Matt Lunson is drinking beer in the sun with Kieran, the soundman. We set up in no time and Matt and Cormac, who have named themselves One Day International wow everyone with their mellow and rich set of new songs. Super-captivating. I play and later meet lots of great new folks, a couple of rad bands from Cork and some old faces, including Megan formerly of The Nutley Girls and Vinnie of The Cork Living Room Show. I field a few drunken questions from others, including, "what is a songwriter like you covering Dearg Doom for?" why not is my silent reply. I also meet a group of French folks and my Quebecois french binds us together, or at least i think it does.
to quote my brother, not sure if we are heros or fools, for driving back to Dublin after the show. i learn about the new functions of headlights and i keep to the left side of the road. simon takes over when Nathan's no-name Advil fails in keeping my headache under wraps.
we picnic in the park to celebrate Dee's going-away. the sun goes down too fast, and no amount of football can warm us.
brianx1 and i spend the better part of sunday at the bookstore searching for a band name for his Oxfam project. i get Gavin Friday on the phone and he has ideas of his own. reading through everything from Rimbaud to Betjiman gets me inspired and i feel like more songs are on the way. brian buys me The Tipping Point.
on my last night in dublin i make the acquaintance of a Canadian producer, Pierre Marchand. Pierre was responsible for a mess of amazing records, but most importantly he produced Sarah McLachlan's "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" which, in the dark haze that was 'my time east of Adelaide St in london Ontario' was one of my most-loved albums. dark and lush and full of minor keys and gorgeous melodies as many of you know. He also produced "Poses" by Rufus, which I love, and countless others. so to meet him is a trip, I am honoured, we have some good laughs and one day i will trick him into recording me.
i say bye to my dublin pals, comforted that i'll see some sooner than later. i know i won't see some of them for a long time and it's a hard reality to deal with.
up early to get to the airport and before leaving the house, find out all the taxis are on strike. I'm told by dee that taxis who drive to the airport could get their windshields bashed in. Hmmm. There results an inconvenient combo of taxi + bus and once at the airport I learn the flight is delayed. i've decided someone is trying to keep me in the country.
home now in what feels like Zaire. the heatwave is upon us all. culture shock is dulled by a few stops on the way home, to survey the landscape, and see familiar faces. no air conditioning here though but have not melted yet.
off to bed...happy to have experienced ireland YET AGAIN but happy to be back in Ontario.