Wednesday
Sep292010

Home from sea...



Hi all!

Wow, I've been slack with the updates lately, on account of having a busy busy summer since my last post. Zigzagging the province by land all July and August, and now in September, circling the island by water in the Ocean Nova with the great travel company Adventure Canada. In the last two weeks I've visited Garia Bay, Ramea, Francois (hiked the Friar twice!), Conne River, St. Pierre, St. John's, Fogo, Battle Harbour, Lanse Aux Meadows, Woody Point, Cox's Cove, Halifax, and Cheticamp! What a tour! We arrived safely back in St. John's yesterday, and I'm enjoying a short visit here before returning home to the west coast for a few weeks of relaxation at home.

On a more sober note, we got the very sad news this morning that our travel companion on this latest Newfoundland Circumnavigation, the legendary Newfoundland and Labrador geologist Hank Williams, had passed away overnight at his home. I'm still feeling in shock about it. Hank was a tremendously endearing man with a warming smile and a wealth of tunes on the banjo, which he brought on each trip. He spent his last days travelling the land telling the story of his life's work deciphering the geology of the eastern seaboard of North America, Newfoundland and Labrador in particular, and helping to create the theory of plate tectonics, a revolutionary concept when it was first introduced. He also charmed us with stories and songs late into the night, smiling and strumming on his banjo, and making people smile and laugh with him all the while. I'll never forget him, or this last voyage together. Rest in peace, my dear friend Hank Williams.

Monday
Jul052010

St. John's Bound! Sound Symposium!

Hi all!

Hope the summer is treating you all great!  Was in Cow Head over the weekend enjoying the annual Lobster Festival, where my father performed for the first time in 37 years with his band Rock Cut.  It was a very special evening, beautiful music and passionately played.

I'll be in St. John's from the 6th to the 10th enjoying and participating in the Sound Symposium!  See EVENTS to see when I'm playing!  Hope to see you out!  Have a safe and fun week!
Wednesday
May192010

Tales, Trails and Tunes in Full Swing!!!

Hey everyone, just checking in to say that Tales Trails and Tunes is off to a roaring start! If you're in range of Norris Point, Newfoundland and Labrador, I highly recommmend that you pack up the car/van/jeep/hot air balloon and get yourselves down here for a look before it all ends this weekend! Check out the festival schedule here!  Over the weekend we enjoyed wonderful music from musicians all over the island and Labrador, and there was music at the Old Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital (now a beautiful Hostel / Community Centre) till late in the morning.   Come down and say hello!  
Wednesday
Apr282010

Emile's Dream in the Air!!!

Hi All,

A couple of cool videos to share with you!  The first is from a couple of days ago, aboard our flight from Goose Bay to Labrador City.  We were itching to get the fiddles out and play; here we are in the middle of touring a show about Emile Benoit, who loved playing his fiddle on board planes, and we thought "we are telling this story every evening, we HAVE to get the fiddles out and actually DO it!"  Everyone on board was game, so sure enough we broke out the fiddles and in very tight quarters played an impromptu set of tunes to an appreciative audience.  How fun! We play Corner Brook tomorrow night, then Mainland and Black Duck Brook the next day, and finish in Stephenville, so it'll be great to finish the tour in Emile's own backyard!



The next post is from Juno week in St. John's, it's a couple of flute tunes, again tunes from Emile.  I'm playing my Windward flute, made by my good friends Forbes and Yola Christie.  Check out their site at www.windwardflutes.com.  I had fun playing this set, I've been messing around with singing while I play and I you can hear a bit of in the second tune, The Meech Lake Breakdown (which I play on guitar on my first album Chain - check it out in the Shop section!).  The first tune is the Reel de la Pistroli. Thanks to Justin Burnett for this video!

Wednesday
Apr212010

Emile's Dream Tour kicks off tonight!

1962_emileHi All!  We're touring Emile's Dream, a three man show recounting the life and music of Emile Benoit, one of Newfoundland and Labrador's best known and loved fiddlers.  Joining me onstage will be Kelly Russell and Phil Churchill of The Once.  Emile's Dream is directed by Jillian Keilley with a script transcribed directly from Emile's own words, sewn into a play by playwright Robert Chafe.  Hope you can make it as we tour the Arts and Culture Centres around the province!  Click the photo above for the tour schedule!