I headed out to Vancouver Island and played four nice shows with my pal and pedal steelist, Dylan S Keating. It’s always nice having someone with you on the road and splitting things up a little bit. We played in Banff, Kelowna, Victoria and Port Alberni.
We had a $200 bar tab in Banff at the Elk and Oarsman, so I treated myself to some hefty elk steak, some nice wine from the Pellee Island and some cookies and cream cheesecake (believe me, as a musician, I usually don’t have such luxuries)
The next morning we made a completely unhealthy decision and enjoyed some of our favorite pizza in Banff as we drove out of town to Kelowna.
We always listen to an audio-book while driving. I’ve made some bad picks lately as a good audio recording doesn’t just need to be a good book, it also needs a great narrator. We listened to The Sportswriter by Richard Ford. I love this book so much but I felt like the narrator was too abrasive and part of the charm was lost. It was Dylan’s first experience with the book and I don’t think I sold him on it.
I remember an interview with Owen Wilson from years ago in which he said that the character from fiction he would most like to play is Frank Bascombe from The Sportswriter. I think he would have to step up his game, but he could do it.
The Kelowna show was alright, it was a good little crowd and we played at The Minstrel Cafe. Kelowna has kind of been bumming me out lately to be honest. I find it’s a mixture of great people (like my friend Robyn) and a bunch of shady folk. I would love to play at the Streaming Cafe next time. I hear that’s great. So as per usual, we stayed at our friend Robyn’s place, which we have been doing for years now. It’s always great to see her. She’s such a calm, easy-going person who always has some good stories on the back-burner.
After waking up in Kelowna we decided to pull an old touring trick I had discovered. We hit up a hotel continental breakfast despite the fact we were not guests. It was an awesome scam that works every time. A free meal is a great way to start your day. Thanks Holiday Inn Express.
It was Dylan’s first time on a ferry so we walked around up top and drank some coffees. We stumbled upon the on-board arcade and got hooked on Donkey Kong. What an awesome game. It’s challenging, fast and fun. I can’t stop thinking about it!
We played a nice little show in Victoria at the Solstice Cafe with Kristia Di Gregorio. She is a great jazz/folk fusion player with a hell of a voice. We had a nice little crowd and sold some CD’s and made some good connections. Later that night we had a bit of a runaway in Victoria and slept in my car in a parkade.
We were supposed to play the market in Port Alberni the next morning but it was raining so hard we had to cancel. That was a bit of a bummer as last time I was there and I did fairly well by playing on the small stage at the market. I ate some amazing seafood the previous trip but the rain sort of changed our minds on that.
Our actual show at Char’s Landing wasn’t until 8 and we arrived into town around noon so we had a little time to read and chill out in our band room. Dylan had some family friends in town so we went there for dinner. Everything they cooked was right out of their garden and we drank a couple beer for desert. It was great talking to them about Island life and gardening.
Char’s Landing is a beautiful old church converted into a community building spot and live music venue. It was my second time playing there and it always feels like a house show. Really great sound and warm people. I told a lot of stories and we stuck around and chatted with people for awhile.
The next morning we had to get up early as I had to get Dylan back for work on Monday. We made it through the drive thanks to the audio book and our favorite podcasts.