only in saskatoon

The SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival started this past Thursday and it looks like it is going to be a lot of fun. It makes downtown Saskatoon look like one big party, with people everywhere. On the weekend one thing that happened struck me as being very uniquely Saskatoon. I could not get a parking space near where I was playing so I dropped off most of my equipment on a corner and went and parked the car about a block and a half away

After parking the car I walked back and all my equipment was where I had left it. People were everywhere walking by it and all of a sudden it occurred to me. Only in Saskatoon can you leave a bunch of equipment on the street corner and come back to found it untouched, unstolen. What a great place to live.

peace

Prince Albert Street Fair

I went to the Prince Albert Street Fair last weekend and I had a wonderful time. All of Central Ave was shut down and there was music, people and excitement everywhere. It was my first time at the Fair and I was not sure what to expect, but it was more than worth the trip. I drove up from Saskatoon, and from the amount of people who visited me I was not the only one who had the same idea.

There were literally thousands of people coming and going all day, a steady stream of new faces all day long. I had no idea the event was so well attended. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised considering all the activities, and sales. There were 3 open stages with all kinds of music and dancing, the First Nations dancing is by far my favorite. The people were amazing very friendly and welcoming, in fact much friendlier than when I lived there in the late 70’s. Of course maybe people were nicer because I was not as big a dick as I was in the 70’s, because as a teenager I knew everything. Not sure what happened because I definitely do not know as much now.

I also took some video while I was there and I’ll get it on my YouTube channel soon as I get a chance

Any way I want to thank Lucy James and the other people who worked so hard organizing and putting on such a first class event . I had a great time and I’ll be coming back next year. Hope to see you there.

peace

Rebellion Brewery co

I was down to Regina this past weekend to play at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival and it was a great day. Very hot, lots of people and I really worked up a thirst. What better way to end the day than to have a nice cold beer. So we stopped into the Rebellion Brewery co and had one of the better beers I’ve had in a long time, Oatmeal Stout

Made in house, absolutely awesome and smooth as silk. The only thing that kept me from trying a few more of their tasty beers was the fact that I had to drive back to Saskatoon that night.

Fortunately I’ll get another crack at their menu as I’m booked to play there in July later in the summer. So come down, enjoy one of Rebellions  tasty beers while I entertain you with some music and a couple of tall tales.

’ll be playing there the afternoon of July 7….be there or be square

peace

a lady sings the blues

I was finishing up a set and this unassuming young lady who had been sitting on a nearby bench commented that she really enjoyed my playing. I was humbled and I thanked her for her kind words, and then she blurted out “I can sing.”-“What kind of music do you sing “I asked, opera she said.  This got my attention  because opera singers always have good pipes.” I don’t know any opera, do you song anything else I asked”?

She named a few Jazz tunes and of course my ADHD kicked in and I couldn’t match the names with the songs. Finally she asked me if I knew “Lady Sings the Blues”, frantically searching my brain, I could not match up the title with the music so I asked her to sing a few bars. She opened her mouth and started singing…. well her voice filled the entire street. I swear… the birds stopped singing, people stopped talking, it was like a surreal movie. Her voice carried over everything, it was like slamming an incredible soundtrack on real life. It was like listening to an Ella Fitzgerald album with that extra electricity you get when it’s live.

Well I (and everyone else) was blown away. I had to stop playing for more than 30 min just to process it all. After that we got to talking, and it turns out she is a voice teacher at the Saskatoon Academy of Music.  Absolutely amazing.

That’s what I love about what I do, it keeps opening me up to these amazing unexpected moments.  Keep your eyes and heart open, it could happen to you.

peace

Cathedral Village Arts Festival

Well I’m starting to get booked up and I’m really looking forward to the coming season. I just got confirmed to play at the Cathedral Village Arts Festival Street Fair on May 26, 2018 in Regina SK.

(GREG PENDER/STAR PHOENIX)

As I mentioned earlier in this blog the Cathedral Village Arts Festival is one of my favorite festivals. It has music, artists, artisans and all the creativity that come with it. 12 blocks of artisans showing off their very very cool work.  Definitely worth the trip, with events scheduled all week and finishing with the Street Fair that runs from 10-5 on Saturday. So come down browse the creations, enjoy some great eats, and listen to a few tunes, and don’t forget to say hi.

peace

summers arrived

What a great weekend, One minute it was winter the next it was full on summer. Spent most of it shaking the dust of the strings, and playing a few tunes. I don’t mind admitting that every year when I first start playing I get a little sidewalk stage fright. I think what makes you (me) think that anyone wants to hear me play. To get around it I always pick spots where people are not forced to listen to me, and after a while I relax and forget where I am. Especially as people are so kind to me.

The other thing I love is running into other buskers. Some are old friend and some are new, and this past weekend I ran into a few great players.  A little sunshine, music in the streets it’s shaping up to be a great summer. If you see me out there come say hi.

peace

I have a First Nations friend of mine who is a starving artist, ( I know who isn’t) . Anyway I love his work and I think he has a lot of talent. His name is Lee Cooney, and beside the piece I have on this blog you can find some of his other work on Facebook @ LeeCooneyArt.

He sells prints and originals, and sometimes you can see him working down by the Bessborough Hotel. I know he’s also planning for a show in the fall. If you like his art or are interested give him a shout out myn8ivert@gmail.com.

See you at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Well its official. I was accepted to play at the Edmonton Fringe and words cannot express how happy I am to be a part of it again. If you are looking for an absolutely awesome time come see me and say Hi. I’ll be playing from August 16 to august 26. It’s a first class event, and if you like live theatre you be absolutely amazed at the creativity and the level of professionalism.
peace

Chalk it up

There’s an old guy I know that has the answer. Whether he wants to greet you, fight you, or just let the world know he’s still here kicking he’ll holler chalk it up“.
That’s it. simple honest and direct “chalk it up“. It’s seems to work, people like to see him, he doesn’t get into many arguments. No matter the question, no matter whats in front of him, his answer is always ” chalk it up
It was that spirit that led me to write the track chalk it up.
give it a try, next time life throws something at you just holler chalk it up and see what happens.
peace

wild wild wild

Last August I was in Edmonton playing at the fringe. It’s a gig I truly love because of all the creativity the artists bring. They really put it out there, out of the box thinking, inspiring, risk taking, showing no fear. So in the middle of all that I took a chance and wrote the song I posted today “wild wild wild”. I got a little more confidence when the food truck vendors who were forced to listen to me for hours, (thank you for your patience) started singing the chorus in the truck. I guess we all want to be a little wild wild wild.