Day 2-5, hobson’s choice tour :Nova Scotia

We took two days to drive from Montreal to Harbourville Nova Scotia in the Annapolis Valley. During the drive we subsided on our bagels and other groceries, listened to a lot of great music and comedy. We stayed with our friend Becky at her house right overlooking the  Bay of Fundy and with the drive into Harbourville after seafood at Paddy’s Pub in Wolfeville, we felt like we’d arrived on the coast.

On Wednesday we spent the day driving around the valley, stopping in at various stores, cafes and look offs ( Frenchy’s, The Union Street Cafe in Berwick). We even checked out a couple of venues in the area that we’d like to play at next time we tour this way.

The whole experience at Sutton Oak Farms where the Coop is located, was amazing. Tim, Angela, Michelle, Kaylen, Toby, and Russel are  a  lovely family and welcomed us with warmth and enthusiasm. The venue in particular is amazing, it’s an old converted chicken coop with a new concrete floor and one very hot wood stove to heat the room. Although only a handful of people came to the concert, we got to meet everyone and we had a fun party after and drank a lot of proppeller beer. (We we’re excited to try their honey wheat, porter, and IPA.)

We recorded the Coop show and we’re planning on sending it to Danny Schwartz, who’s interviewing us for his radio show in Ottawa. He had asked for some live recordings to include in his show. We haven’t listened to the recordings yet, but we suspect that they captured the warmth and intimacy of the Coop.

Yesterday we arrived in Halifax in time for our soundcheck at Stayner’s Wharf. It was a beautiful day so we went and had lobster, mussels, and scallops at Murphy’s restaurant right on the water.

The Stayner’s Wharf show was good, well attended, but as we were warned it was kind of the loud pub gig on the tour. It’s challenging for any band to compete with a loud room of talkers, and it makes us realize how little we’ve really had to do those gigs in hobson’s choice. It was a boys night out for  alot of the local musicians though so it was a pleasure to play for a our fellow players of music. Our friend Geordie Haley from Toronto came out, as he has recently moved to Halifax with his family. Gigs like our show at Stayner’s Wharf have a particular function on a tour in my mind, because they finance the rest of the activity so that we can go to a farm and play for ten people, or in a small cafe in Montreal for gas money.

Stayner’s was also a full night of music so it was really fun to play through a bunch of our tunes, three sets worth. The music is really starting to reach that point from touring where the band feels like one dynamic organism.

Felicity picked up an unfortunate bug right at the start of the tour that she has been battling, and it seems to have progressed to her chest, we’re hoping she’s on the upswing and can give her best and enjoy the rest of the tour.

We’re off to play another full night in Moncton NB tonight at Cafe Aberdeen. But there has been talk about oysters for lunch, we’ll look into this prospect further first.

Stay tuned for more…

hobson’s choice

Day 1- hobson’s choice June tour- Montreal.

We packed the van yesterday and embarked on this summers tour. First stop Montreal, we made good time driving, didn’t hit much traffic, but a bit of rain. The talented Adam Kinner (tenor saxophone) and Hans Bernhard (bass) opened the show at Montreal’s Shaika Cafe. They played a short set of very beautiful pieces, mostly improvised, and then ended with a swinging and uplifting version of “When you’re smiling”. The two of them played intuitively with ease, displaying an incredible musical rapport. Their set was a perfect way to start the tour.

We had some troubles with the sound-system at the club. It cut out during the intro of our first tune not once but twice. However, there was a mysterious sound guy in the audience who isolated the problem right away and we played the rest of the set without any more technical difficulties. Thanks again to that dude. He wouldn’t divulge his secret fix though? strange fellow….

Evidently, we decided to start with a different tune, as it seemed like the universe was giving us a sign to play something else. Michael was ecstatic that his vibraphone motor was working perfectly again. Slow tremolo = heaven. The lonely night it spent outside can now be forgotten. Harley was excited to debut his new homemade pedal board. He made it with his own two hands.

Shaika is a very nice room, good for our sound and the people there are really cool. We’d definitely play there again.

After late night poutine at La Banquise we retired at Adam’s beautiful apartment for some rest. Harley’s poutine kept revisiting him sporadically through the night. Felicity had no trouble switching to sleep mode though. Michael, Harley, Rebecca and Adam had a late night chat about border crossings, sketchy unmarked navy blue vans, and the absurdity of those in power. Fun times! Thanks to Adam and Rachel for their generous hospitality.

We took our time leaving Montreal today and had a nice brunch with  Harley’s parents who came in from Ottawa for the show. We wrote a reggae song on my ukulele about our conquest for good bagels, and then enjoyed said bagels on the way out of the city.

Thanks for reading, we’ll chime in again soon.
hobson’s choice