A Different Venue, A Different Drummer

This past weekend we had to really be on our toes. On Thursday night we found out that Cortney would be unable to make it to our show in Creston. We certainly didn’t want to cancel, but Mike and I didn’t want to play the whole show without a drummer either. We immediately tried to contact a few friends in the area to see if they could fill in and come along for the ride. Luckily, our former schoolmate Keenan said that he’d be able to leave Banff and meet us in Creston in time for the show. Keenan is a great drummer and he likes our music, so that seemed like a perfect solution.

When I got off work on Friday evening I checked my phone and found a message from Mike saying that Keenan was no longer available. At that point we had 27 hours until the show. I went to a cafe, got out my address book, a notepad, and a pen and just started calling everyone I knew who might know a drummer. I called former teachers, acquaintances, friends of friends - I even waylaid a guy who walked through the door holding a guitar. Some of the folks I talked to were connected to really top notch session players, so I was getting to the point of having to decide whether we should pay a big chunk of money out of pocket just to make this happen. Fortunately, the friend line pulled through. I finally got a hold of another former classmate, Nathan Wilson, who lives an hour away from Creston. I’d never really played with Nate, but I knew he was a solid drummer and a considerate person, so it would be decent at the least.

Nate met us at the venue with his wife and two-year-old daughter, and we spent about twenty minutes jamming to get a feel for things. When show time rolled around we opened with just Mike and I playing The Strangers, then introduced Nate and started into Long Distance Operator, unsure of what was about to happen.

It was great. Nate was an even better player than I had remembered. I had a ton of fun interacting with him and cuing him throughout the performance. When I nodded to the snare he came in with the backbeat. When I ducked, he dropped. When I kicked my leg he followed along with the shots. When I lifted my headstock he hit the ending crash. We were really impressed. Even more than a musician’s skill or technical execution, that kind of listening and ability to follow are admirable.

The venue that housed our musical experiment was the Snoring Sasquatch, a dedicated arts space and listening room. It was a thrill to show up after our dinner break and find the couches full of people who were there for no other reason than to hear good music. We could tell by the posters on the walls that quality of performance was something they’d grown accustomed to. Thanks largely to the support of the volunteers, we were able to meet their expectations.

When we show up to a new venue we never know what we’ll find, and often have to deal with managers who really don’t care about the music. That is definitely not the case at the Snoring Sasquatch. Louise in particular was very welcoming, accommodating and committed. Despite it being the evening of her wedding anniversary, she made sure we had everything we needed before she even considered leaving for dinner. From introducing us to the audience to managing sales to helping us connect with important people she made sure that we got everything we could out of the night. Meanwhile, the audience listened quietly, sang along, joined our colouring contest and gave us valuable feedback after the show. Folks like this have built a community-minded arts venue that should make Creston proud. The Snoring Sasquatch is our favourite venue we’ve played this year.

I've posted new fan artwork from Saturday's colouring contest.  The winner, Carol Schloss, turned out to be a professional artist.  She currently has a pastel show running in Creston at Kingfisher Books until Wednesday, September 15th.  You can see more of her artwork at www.carolschlosspastels.com

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