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Book Reports

Oct 01

October 1, 2008

Back from the first Canadian tour in over 20 years! It was good...Mo Kauffey, picked me up in Lewiston,NY where I was visiting my friends from Blues Beat Magazine who recently honored me with a MUDDY, blues award! Along with John Hammond, we both received the award for Acoustic Blues Musician of 2008! Check them out...http://www.wnyblues.org/store.php

I left "The Bus", with Rich & Sharon in Lewiston. Mo and I drove the 3 miles to the Canadian border, crossing without incident. The first gig was in Toronto at HUGH'S ROOM. It was a classy club that is a favourite among musicians and fans. Good sound, great food and cool staff. Mose Scarlett, a musician I have respected since meeting him 22 years ago at the Winnipeg Folk Festival was there to see the show and it was cool to catch up with him. He's a 'talker', and we had to stop each other to get a story in!

Mo Kauffey opened all the shows and drove me around. He is a fine songwriter and performer and was a pleasure to hang out with. And a fine driver as well...I was a little nervous when he was monkeying around with his new GPS...do-dad, which thankfully did help find the way for us............ http://www.mokauffey.com/

The show at FOLKWAY MUSIC, in Guelph, was sold out and I had a ball. Mark the proprietor and his staff were very hip to vintage guitars and had some monsters there. I did play a 1930 Gibson L1 for my open tuning numbers. It was very similar to my SS Stewart guitar. They also had a very cool Recording King.....sort of a J-55 Gibson/J-35 model...not a Ray Whitley. It was amazing. Not really suited to my style, but truly amazing. Check them out!......http://www.folkwaymusic.com/

After a few more excellent gigs, Mo brought me back to pick up the bus and I headed to Cleveland where I left the bus and caught a plane to Calgary to continue the NORTHERN NEIGHBOR TOUR...

Tim Williams a major fixture of the West Coast and the Canadian Blues scene for over 40 years met me at the airport. Check him out... http://www.telusplanet.net/public/belzners/main.htm

Tim opened up all the shows and was really an amazing player and entertainer. We had good crowds, did a CBC Radio show, and I do believe that I will start to include Canada in my touring schedule next year.

We did have a 12 hour drive from Edmonton to Penticton in BC which was amazing. Driving thru the Canadian Rockies is always fantastic. We saw Big Horn Sheep, Goats and Elk as we meandered thru the breathtaking scenery of the mountains, lakes and rivers of the West. And then we did it again the next day. Heading back to Calgary, A bunch of cars stopped to take pictures of what we assumeed must have been a bear, but we sped by, anxious to get the long drive over with.

The trip was really worth it. The Dream Cafe, my last gig was fantastic! Pierre and Deborah have such a beautiful club and restaurant and are wonderful hosts!The food was great, the place was packed, they had an excellent sound man and there was a beautiful apartment upstairs for the musicians. It was definitely the perfect gig.

We made it back to Calgary in about 10 hours. Tim amused me with stories of touring with Hoyt Axton, hanging out with Steve Mann, gigs with Robert Lockwood and his take on the entire early 70's music scene in California which he was a part of. I did my best to spin a few yarns myself and the long drive didn't seem as long as it could have...

Hotel by 9 pm, airport,at 6 am Chicago, Cleveland, and back to The Bus...and glad to be here! So that's what I've been up to....until next time....

Bye For Now

Roy