We are back to each of our weekly grinds again this week after a jam-packed three gigs in the past four days. We had the pleasure of playing a local gig at the Shamrock Hotel Pub in Inglewood last Wednesday with the A.D.s and Michael J Copley. One of our prospective new members surprised us at the show and ended up sitting in on almost our entire set. He threw down some tasty fiddle licks and had a great ear for when to jump into the tunes despite having never heard most of them before. Unfortunately, my bad luck with breaking strings continued at this gig as I broke a string in the first bar of the first song we played. But as luck would have it, Copley’s guitarist had an extra string on hand and kindly restrung my guitar as we recovered from my blunder. After the show we got to chat and network with the A.D.s and are looking forward to playing another gig with them.
On Friday, winter arrived in Alberta. I was up early enough to avoid most of the traffic but Calgary ground to a near standstill as the first snowfall of the season hit southern Alberta. We feared the worst, recalling our misadventures last year in touring through more blizzards than we’d seen all year that winter in Nelson in a matter of weeks. But mother nature smiled on us that afternoon as Ben and I cruised north towards Stony Plain on dry asphalt. We arrived at the Early Stage at 9 and rushed to set up and play. Cort’s family and friends came out to welcome us warmly and Amie Osness even joined us between sets. It was a calm night but lots of fun despite my breaking yet another string!
We got the opportunity to relax and enjoy our escape from the city the next day as we were afforded the luxury of staying at Sandy’s house again. “This Old House” remained as peaceful as ever while we stared out the windows of the fire-warmed cabin at the birch trees and watched dozens of varieties of birds feed from Sandy’s homemade bird feeders. Or “cat feeders” as I’ve taken to calling them. We tinkered and jammed with Sandy’s antique acoustic instrument collection all morning. I took Ben for a driving lesson (Yay!) that afternoon before we crossed the North Saskatchewan river to Thorsby. That night we were joined once again by family in the audience and on stage. Rick Osness and his band opened for us with some classic Canadian rock and we backed up Amie again between sets. I had new strings on my guitar at this point and finally got through a night without any incidents! Everybody seemed particularly attentive during the final set which felt really great. Cort’s other brother, Mike, put us up that night in the gorgeous home he has built. Seems like everyone around here builds their own houses!
It was quite the trip but well worth it. Thanks to everyone who came out. We are focusing now on playing with more potential members and can’t wait to see how the next few weeks unfold. We have numerous rehearsals coming up with musicians of all sorts. Our next gig is at the Blind Beggar in Calgary on November 18. Come out if you can!