The Long Train Home
We said goodbye to our van dwelling friends and caught the train dark and early (it wasn't bright and
early because the sun wasn't up yet). We located our room and
immediately went to sleep, we were going to be on this train for 3
days, so it was time to catch up on rest.
The shows on this leg of the journey are kind of running together in my mind....I know we played to lots
of enthusiastic folks. Some were there for all 6 shows we played over
the 3 days. We had the great fortune to have lots of other musicians
around to play as well, one “official” musician doing the same
thing we were (Corin Raymond) and a couple of other folks just
getting from point A to point B. We met a singer/songwriter from
Virginia, Devon Sproll, she was a great player and an even better
person, we had lots of fun and drank lots of smuggled wine with Devon
in the dome car.
Playing with all these singer/songwriters has really left me wanting to rock out, I'm really
excited for the Gordon Gets Lost shows we have coming up when I get
back. Owen takes into account that he will be playing with a perc
payer, so he changes up his rhythms and tempos, but to play with 4
different song writers was getting a little boring for me by the end.
I'm going give my conga's and drum kit an awful session when I get
home! Our neighbours are probably wondering what happened to the
noisy guy that lives upstairs....
Back to the tour....like I said the train shows were becoming almost a songwriter's circle kind of deal,
and the last night before we hit Toronto we all got together in the
economy class activity car for one last show. We completely packed
the place (about 25 people) and ended up playing from 9pm until
almost 2. It was an awesome last night of the long train voyage, and
I highly recommend you guys to check out Devon Sproll and Corin
Raymond, I got their cd's and will post a couple of their tunes when
I get home.
So we chugged into Toronto to once again, a rainy and cold day. Me and Owen split up and spent the day
with friends. Meeting back up at the Local for sound check with full
bellies and good spirits. We played at The Local on our last tour and
had a great time, so we were excited to play on a familiar stage.
Toronto is definitely a home away from home for us, we have lots of
friends that live there and we always have great turnouts.
We played an alright set with not so great sound, the bartender was doing double duty as sound man, so we
really weren't given the attention that we would have liked. But
everyone enjoyed the show and we sold a bunch of cd's. Another great
night and one step closer to home.
I got up the next day and said my goodbye's to Nicole and her roomies, and after narrowly avoiding
being hit by a car crossing the street to make it to the street car,
I transitted my way down to the station. It has become the custom on
the tour for Owen to be running a little behind, and me being too
early, ying and yang. This day because we didn't stay at the same
place, it left me at the train station by myself, then I was in line
for the train by myself, then I was on the train by myself. I've
really learned not to get stressed out by this....Owen always manages
to be right on time, every time. After being on the train for about
20 minutes, 5 minutes until the train was supposed to leave, Owen
saunters up to the train, stashes his gear and plops down beside me.
The tortoise and the hare were together once again.
It was a short train ride to Ottawa so we didn't even have to play, we were delayed for a bit and got into
Ottawa a couple of hours late, with Owen's cousin Catherine and the
one and only Sara Burns waiting at the station to pick us up. The
show that night was at the legendary Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield,
Que (about a 40 minute drive from Ottawa). After a shower and some
tasty pops with Catherine and her husband Bruce, we picked up my
friend Deborah and hit the road.
Our whole tour people all over the country had been telling us how much we were going to love playing at
the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield, Que. I definitely had excitement
shivers/butterfules as we were driving to the show, and even worse
when we showed up at 830 to do sound check and the room was already
full of people. We unpacked our stuff and got some weird looks at our
set up. We then noticed a hulking bearded figure in the shadows; Sir
Jamie Steel! Owen's dad had driven up from St Andrews, NB to see our
second-to-last show of the tour! We ended up having so many familiar
faces in the audience that night, Owen's aunt and uncle drove from
Kingston, Francie Morgan was in town and came to the show with my
buddy Tristan, it was like being home in a room full of strangers.
After a quick sound check, we ordered food to be eaten after the show, had some giggles with friends, then
off to work. The crowd was a bit more raucous than usual but Owen
quickly let them know that we were worth listening to. We even had a
table of drunk fellas right at the front of the stage wait to do
their tray of tequila shots until our set was done...haha, true
The set went over really well, Owen and I (grammar police) were pretty much locked in at this point in
the tour, the songs almost playing themselves at times. The crowd was
really digging it, and we had the biggest encore call of the night.
We ended up selling around 15 cds and being invited back anytime we
want! A great night at one of Canada's best known venues. I can't
thank everyone enough for coming out and supporting us; Sara B and Mr
Steel especially, that's a long drive!
Our next show in Montreal would be our last of the tour, besides 2 train shows.....the real, REAL last shows
of the tour. We got into the venue early met the friendly bar staff
and set out to explore the City. I had a great talk with some Hare
Krisna's, listened to their sidewalk chant music and ate a delicious
outmeal cookie given to me by said Krisna's.
We were opening up the night at Grumpy's for Jadea Kelly, and her band Tim and Lucas. The show went
well, we played facing the bar because we're not all that bright. The
show was not our most memorable performance, but it was the last step
towards the east coast. We stuck around to listen to Jadea and crew,
had some pizza, then taxied our way back to the crash spot for the
The next day we got up, had some expresso, then some bagels, then headed out to the best thing about
Montreal; Tam Tam!! We weren't really sure that it would be happening
so early in the year, but the sun was shining and there were a couple
hundread people there drumming, dancing and enjoying the day. We had
a great time with our tour guides Julie and Roxanne, and they left us
at the train station wishing we had another day in Montreal, or at
least a couple more hours at Tam Tam.
We caught our train home 5 weeks and a day after we chugged out of Halifax. It really had been an
experience; there were highs and lows, but I would do it again in a
minute. The amazing people that we met or got to catch up with on the
tour really made me believe that this is a path that I want to
continue on. I really look forward to getting out on the road again,
and doing it by train I think might have spoiled me a bit....thanks
again to everyone at VIA Rail that made this trip possible.
I hope everyone that bought the cd is happy, and everyone on the east coast look out for release dates near
you! Cheers! Mumble out.
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