Oct 2, 2014 - We left Ottawa bright and early to head out on our two month tour of North America:
It was a very long drive to Chicago where we will sleep tonight before heading to Minneapolis for our first show tomorrow.
Oct 3, 2014 - The rest of the drive to Minneapolis was a breeze after the 14 hour marathon yesterday. We arrived at Famous Dave's and we were treated to this delicious BBQ feast (ribs, pulled pork, chicken, corn on the cob, fries, corn bread, baked beans!):
If that's not the perfect way to start a tour, I don't know what is. The show was fun, and some great folks from the area came out to cheer us on!
Oct 4, 2014 - It was another monster drive today back into Canada to play at the Saskatchewan Cultural Exchange in Regina.
Fortunately, I had time to "unwind" in the hotel pool before the show. Yep, that's a big ol' water slide!
Oct 5, 2014 - On to Calgary today, down the never ending highway...
All the way to the Ironwood Stage & Grill.
Oct 6, 2014 - This morning we woke up to this great view of Calgary:
And, after a much shorter drive to Edmonton, we got all settled in for our week long residency at Blues on Whyte.
Getting all set up!
This is what I'm looking at this week...
When we played here last year, the real highlight was the friendly, fun staff:
Can't wait to hang with these great people and play a LOT of music!
Oct 7, 2014 - Today is the official Canadian release date for our new album "Belmont Boulevard"! We celebrated by playing 3 hours of blues.... Just kidding, we are doing that every night!
Live at Blues on Whyte!
Oct 14, 2014 - This week we performed for 23 solid hours, made some new friends, caught up with some old friends, and even had time for a trip to the water park at the Edmonton Mall! The highlight of the week, though, was when our friend Darren joined us on stage and started rapping in one of our songs!
Live... all week long!
Darren joins us on stage...
As fun as the past week has been, it is time to move on!
Oct 15, 2014 - We drove through the spectacular Rocky Mountains into Banff today to play at Wild Bill's.
Oct 16, 2014 - Jamie and I got up early this morning (in other words, 10am), to go on a mountain hike. It was so beautiful!
We saw these huge Elk just hanging out by the side of the trail.
Every corner we turned we said, "this is the best view ever!" Only to find an even better view a few steps later!
Oct 17, 2014 - We played at the Blue Gator tonight, which is a pretty cool venue where it seems like anything can happen. Everyone danced all night.
Oct 18, 2014 - This afternoon we enjoyed another scenic drive into White Rock, BC where we performed at Blue Frog Studios. I mean, I'm assuming it was scenic; we could not see more that 2 metres in front of the car because the fog was so thick!
I've never seen fog like this in my entire life!
Luckily, we made it to Blue Frog Studios in one piece. This venue is normally a recording studio, but they put on theatre style shows from time to time.
(in the lobby)
The audience was so receptive and enthusiastic.
Oct 21, 2014 - After two relaxing days at Mario and Tina's home in Vancouver (thanks for having us again!!)...
We spent the day trying to drive as close to San Francisco as we could. We made it to Chico, California after about 12 hours....
Oct 22, 2014 - With a short drive into San Fran, I enjoyed the unfamiliar California landscape.
We performed at biscuits and Blues tonight, which is a pretty cool venue in downtown San Fran.
Oct 23, 2014 - Jamie and I got up early this morning to explore downtown while JW went to a radio interview.
We found this cool statue which I read about online a few months ago. There's a bench across from the statue, and when you sit on the bench, the statue sits down too!
Also, this 1707 pound pumpkin....
Oct 23, 2014 - We arrived at the Torch Club, in Sacramento this evening.
Charlie Baty, of Little Charlie and the Nightcats fame, came out to play with us tonight. We regularly cover some of Little Charlie's tunes (like Percolatin'), so it was pretty cool to actually get to play them with him.
Also, an old friend/teacher from back in my theatre days came out to see us play, since she lives in Sacramento now. It is so great to catch up with old friends who I otherwise would never have the opportunity to see!
Oct 24, 2014 - We met up with Little Charlie today to get some breakfast at a great mexican place. He drove us there in his cool old car.
After breakfast, we were off to San Jose to play at The Poor House.
Yep, we played "San Ho Zay" in San Jose.
25, 2014 - On to San Pedro to play at "Godmothers" which is in the LA area.
More interesting California scenery...
Oct 26, 2014 - Tonight, we played in Long Beach at Malarkey's Grill. Malarkey's is located right on the water, and I had time for a bit of a walk before our early gig.
Tonight's show was a special one, because Kid Ramos sat in with us. We have been performing one of Kid Ramos' tunes, "Let it Go" for the past year, so it was really cool to get to play it with Ramos.
Here's our version of "Let it Go" from our performance at the Rainbow Bistro in Ottawa last summer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4oHO2hRT_Q
Oct 27, 2014 - We are still in LA, and we had some time to wander around Hollywood and Beverly Hills this afternoon. I saw some interesting things like these lamp posts:
And then, as we were heading to dinner, (at a Vietnamese place called 9021Pho.... hahaha), we basically walked right into Paris Hilton. Before I even realized who it was, Jamie said hello and asked if we could have a photo. Paris didn't say much, but she agreed to a photo, and even let JW pet her dog.
We performed at the Maui Sugar Mill Saloon in Tarzana this evening. We had another very special guest tonight - Jimmy Vivino. He's the band leader and guitarist/singer for the Basic Cable Band on the Conan O'Brien show.
We played some really cool tunes with Jimmy, and he even requested to play a song off our latest album - "Watch Your Step". He added some awesome slide guitar to the mix!
Check out some of the videos from the night here:
Oct 28, 2014 - Today was pretty wild. Jimmy Vivino invited us to attend a taping of Conan O'Brien. He even got us into the backstage green room. When we first arrived, we hung out in the green room until the taping began. We were standing right in front of Ashton Kutchter and Krysten Ritter's dressing rooms. Andy Richter even walked by and said hello.
We watched the show, and it was really funny, and exciting to see it being filmed. The Basic Cable band played some killer up beat tunes on the commercial breaks.
After the show, we were lead backstage again, and there was Conan just hanging in the green room. We stood there for a few minutes wondering what we should do. Conan looked busy. Then Jimmy Vivino came by, and introduced us, and we even got a picture.
And we got to meet Max Weinberg too, because he happened to be appearing on the show that day.
It was a brief meeting, but very cool. We hung around the green room a little longer, and suddenly realized we were standing next to Miley Cyrus and the Flaming Lips. They were getting ready to film something for a future show. I watched them rehearse and film the tune. It was very cool to see how it all works from behind the scenes.
We left the show to drive to San Diego.
Oct 29, 2014 - We had a day off in San Diego today. We heard that the zoo there was pretty great, so we went to see it.
They had lots of interesting creatures from monkeys to zebras to polar bears. Also lots of animals I had never heard of.
After the zoo, we met guitarist Laura Chavez for dinner and pool. Overall, a very fun day off!
Oct 30, 2014 - Jamie and I went to explore La Jolla Cove, which is a beautiful beach. We went snorkelling there and saw tons of fish, and even swam along side sea lions!
Those black dots on the rocks are sea lions!
Tonight we performed at Tio Leo's, a mexican restaurant with a nice big stage. The show was organized by Rosa Lea who has also been our amazing host over the last few days.
Read a review of the night here!
Oct 31, 2014 - We drove to Tuscon, AZ to watch Candy Kanye and the Palladins on their Halloween show.
We made a short road side stop to hang out with a huge cactus...
When we arrived in Tuscon, we made a quick stop at a 99 cent store to purchase costumes on the way to the show.
Unfortunately, at 7pm on Halloween night, the options remaining at the store were pretty slim. We each figured something out, though:
I think the prize for tonight goes to Jamie Holmes, and his chair cover turned shirt. Although, the best part of the costume was watching him try to pull it over his head.
Nov 2, 2014 - Last night we played at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix, Az and now we are on our way to Austin, TX, but it is just to far to drive in 1 day. We drove to El Paso to spend the night, and tomorrow we will drive the rest of the way.
Nov 3, 2014 - We arrived in Austin late tonight, and went out almost immediately to eat some BBQ and see some live music.
We walked down 6th street, and it reminded me a lot of Nashville. There were bands playing in just about every bar, only in Austin it's all blues instead of Country.
Nov 4, 2014 - Our show at the Continental Club in Austin went well. We even had another guest singer - Travis Green. It was really fun having him join us on stage.
I don't have any pics of us performing with him, but here's some he took of us!
Nov 7, 2014 - We spent the last few nights checking out some great live music in Austin. We had to leave today, which after 4 nights was starting to feel a bit like home. On our way out of town, we stopped to visit Stevie Ray Vaughan's statue.
Then drove to Houston to play at the Shakespeare Pub.
When we first arrived, we found the venue in a strip mall, and I wondered what kind of night it would be...
But the audience was amazing. They seemed to enjoy everything we played, and stuck around till the end of the night dancing and cheering.
Our new friends Nena and Steven put us up in their lovely home, and treated us to some amazing post gig snacks, and breakfast the next morning.
And I got to hang out with their cute kitty...
Nov 8, 2014 - It was another great show tonight in Houston at The Big Easy. Everyone at this bar was so friendly!
Again, we were treated to another fun guest performer. Annika Chambers joined us for a few songs on stage. She has got some serious pipes! Check out some video from the night here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bPvqgjMsmA
The last two nights in Houston have been really great - our new friend Chris came to see us both nights, and after becoming friends online, it was fun hanging out with him in person! He's a real supporter of live music, and we need more people like him in the world!
Also, this is a cool armadillo...
Nov 9, 2014 - Our third and final stop in Texas was at the RBC in Dallas tonight.
We were joined by guitarist/singer/harmonica player Hashbrown who opened the show for us, and then played a few tunes with us as well.
Singer Miss Marcie also joined us for a few. We are really lucky to play with so many awesome musicians on this tour!
Nov 10, 2014 - With a day off in Dallas, I did a bit of exploring. There is a lot of really cool art here....
Nov 12, 2014 - We arrived in Lincoln, NE to play at Zoo Bar. A lot of people have asked me what it is like to play in a place like Nebraska and I have to say...... it's awesome! Zoo Bar is a legendary club that has had just about every great blues artist perform there (Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Otis Rush to name a few).
Nov 13, 2014 - We played in Omaha today at the 21st Saloon, which is a big venue, with a huge stage, and a great blues-lovin' audience.
Just about to set up...
Nov 14, 2014 - We are now in St.Louis, the final stop in the US on this tour. St.Louis has to be one of my favourite cities to visit. So much live music, and cool things to do, and all of the people I have met there are so friendly.
We played at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups this evening.
We ate an incredible dinner there, and then performed for a great audience.
Nov 15, 2014 - We had an "early" show today starting at 1pm (that is really early for musicians!!). Blues City Deli is a really unique venue and one of the coolest places to play. It's a small room, but people line up down the street to eat one of their amazing sandwiches and check out some live blues.
After the show, we got to enjoy some sandwiches too. Seriously, if you are ever in St.Louis, go eat at Blues City Deli!
We went back to the hotel for a rest after our "early" morning. Then, Jamie and I went to the City Museum. We went last year, and I've been basically looking forward to going back ever since!
The City Museum is a converted shoe factory and is less a museum and more of a fun house. There is a 10-story slide, hand-made caves, and all kinds of structures to climb and explore...
Nov 16, 2014 - We drove back across the border to Canada to play in Sarnia.
We were treated to a delicious dinner, and then a really great gig at the Trinity Lounge.
Nov 17, 2014 - Not only are we driving home today after a fantastic tour, it is also my birthday! I am so excited to see family and friends... but not for long, next Monday we are flying to Key West, FL!
It really was a great tour. Thanks to everyone who cheered us on, fed us, let us do our laundry, gave us a place to sleep, and who supported us the whole way!