road tales

March 2012 Saskatoon

BRIER SHOW MARCH 6.... It's a Tuesday, and our first show full band since new years eve. To this point in the new year I had only done 3 shows. Jan 7 in Swift Current (4 songs solo at a SCMA show), Jan 28 CD release for the Lyric theater CD (house band only one song), and March 10 in Chaplin (solo 4 songs at a SCMA show). My regular bass player (Vern Nixon) was unable to make the shows this week so I had my comrade Irv Fines filling in. He's done shows with me before so no worries.

This is one of those festival style shows with full production and backline provided. Giant screens so everyone has a good seat. The full "rockstar" treatment. Wish they could all be that way.

The weatherman was oddly correct in his predictions and we woke up that morning to a blizzard. I mean the mother of all blizzards. Saskatoon is only an hour drive up the highway and that old saying always comes in....the show must go on. So we set out for the gig around 1 pm for a soundcheck at 4, and a 5;30 showtime. The one hour drive took us over 2 hours. About 60 kmh and white knuckles the whole way. I mean, no sane man was on the highway in this.

We checked into the hotel and after a few minutes of looking for our reservation at the Travellodge (I hate it when that happens) we were off to the gig, room key in hand. after finding the place to be, we began unloading my rig of 4 guitars and other miscellaneous (but necessary) toys. the regular loading doors were plugged with 4 feet of snow so the walk to the backstage area was a long one. This venue holds 4500 and we had to traverse it all, so you can imagine. 2 trips and the gear was in.

Shane and Irv were already backstage hangin out. Dee went to the mile long bar to grab us all a beer since the backstage rider had not yet arrived. I quietly set up my rig on the stage. We had worked with this crew before at the World Women's Curling Championships in 2010. Great bunch of guys.

me and the boys went over the potential set list. Jammed a couple of my songs backstage to refresh memories. Soundcheck took only a few minutes.

Roger, the promoter came backstage to BS for a few minutes and before we knew it...2 minutes guys.

there were about 2000 out there for us. Not a full house but a helluva crowd. from the first second it just felt good. Except for the silence and darkness that followed the MC's amazing introduction. I started to launch into John Fogerty's "old man down the road" (a bit of an impromptu guitar intro that I do) but had no sound from my guitar....don't panic...think.....volume pedal was off. Only a few seconds of "oops" and we were off.


SECOND BRIER SHOW MARCH 8 

this one drew betwen 3 and 4000 (best estimate) we hung out at the venue for a while just sipping beer backstage and jamming a little. just as we're going on Irv says "uh oh I might have to piss before this set is over. Do you have something you can do if I need to slip out for one?" I said "yeah I'll do "Simple Man" by Skynyrd"... around mid set Irv comes to me and says "how about Skynyrd" and I immediately thought of "Sweet Home Alabama" and launched...Irv comes back with a painful look and says "no I meant I have to pee"...oops too late... he's a pro, he made it
The people loved my rendition of the song...I loved doing it...and if Irv didn't have to pee I would not have done it. The Pee song. Cool moments come from odd places. The video of it is a little out of sync but oh well.

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