Pigs and Moose and Goats, Oh My!
The East Coast Freedom Tour was a wild 3 weeks!
We kicked off the tour in Prince Edward County, Ontario with a radio spot on 99.3 County FM as a part of their 8-day Radiothon to raise money to 'pay down the loan' which was taken out to start the community volunteer-based radio station 4 years ago. Stations like 99.3 are a fantastic resource for their community small businesses as well as an avenue for independent artists like myself. If you want to help their cause over at 99.3 you can donate here!
The first Black Suit Devil show to start the string of 20 dates was at The Agrarian Bistro & Speakeasy in Bloomfield. It always feels like home at the Agrarian. I've played there many times since starting Black Suit Devil and the crowd and atmosphere in the room are great- and the food is too!
You'll notice our promo graphic has a 'I Brake for Turtles' sign and sure enough we had to put on the brakes on our way up Highway 37 heading for the show in Cobden at Whitewater Brewing to save a turtle from oncoming traffic. It's always a great feeling rolling into a town and seeing your name on a billboard. It was unfortunate to hear that The Pig & Pint closed down in between tour dates and I didn't get to play a second show, but I am glad I had the opportunity to play there.
On our way into Kemptville to play at South Branch Bistro we saw this mural on the outside and had to stop in to Class Axe Guitars! They had a cool selection of vintage instruments and gear.
There's just something about Perth on a Tuesday night...
It is a really nice town with a lot of history and the Tay River running through it really adds to its beauty. Of course if there's any chance I can score a great used vinyl I will be there. We had some time before the show so we popped into Gore St. Antique Flea Market and while I didn't find any records I was looking for this time, all of the shops had some really cool pieces and it was nice to chat with some of the owners while we were there.
This was the second time that I played at The Golden Arrow Pub on a Tuesday night. Both times the crowd has been absolutely awesome and we've had a lot of fun! That night it was suggested for a second time that I should cover "Nothing Compares 2U", just might have to do it.
Montreal is a beautiful city and it was great to be back at L'Escalier. After a strange AirBnB experience just north of the city, we decided to drive to Quebec City a night early and stayed at the Hotel Maison de la Madone in Trois-Rivières. It was great to see some familiar faces in Quebec city and it was awesome to see my friend Michael who was visiting from New York. We had a much better AirBnB experience in Quebec City and hung out with a great little cat named Leo. We also did some sightseeing and bumped into a fellow musician who I had played a show with when I first started Black Suit Devil.
When we said goodbye to Quebec we headed into the beautiful northern New Brunswick to play at Bistro Coeur d'Artishow. in Petit-Rocher. We were looking very much forward to being back in Petit-Rocher and I am grateful to everyone that we met there, especially Michel & Karim for the hospitality!
About an hour and a half away from Petit-Rocher is the town of Lamèque just outside of Shippigan. It is home to the Aloha Cafe! We had an extra day in town so we drove out to see the lightouse and the sand dunes but it was such a windy day so we didn't really get to explore as much as we wanted.Thank you Janie for having us and we hope to see you again! (P.S. we stopped into Sackville,NB and it is a great little town! Popped into Dave's Rock Emporium :) ) We also stopped in to Dixie Lee for fried clams & scallops. After a good night's rest in the chicken-coop-turned-cabin, we headed down to Amherst, Nova Scotia to play a set at Duncan's Pub.
In Amherst we stopped into the Dayles Grand Market which is a really great historical building that now houses about a handful of cooperative local small businesses and we had a great conversation with Kathy at Copper Tree Boutique who told us about the history of the building. Another great collective in Amherst was found at the Food Court on Laplanche St. that was home to Flutterbye's Jamaican cuisine, Gourmet Dumplings, & Piano Tea Room. The people were so nice and the food was delicious!
About 45 min. from Amherst, back in New Brunswick we stopped in to Old Triangle Alehouse in Moncton for a show and I met up with Jeff for an episode of Jeff's Musical Car! We chatted a bit and I sang "I Blame Us All", so look out for that video sometime in June.
Not sure where we were going to stay in Moncton we did a last minute search on AirBnB for cheap accommodation. We found a spot that was well within the budget. A Treehouse! Hosts Kathryn & David had converted an old deer hunting blind into a treehouse for guests behind their farm. I didn't snap any photos of the Goat family that lived there or the Chickens, or Mischief the family dog but they were hilarious and followed us everywhere! Thanks to the Pizza Mill for making the late night delivery for us.
After a quick stop into the Long & McQuade in Moncton we were off to The Living Roots Music Festival 2018!
Last October during my first East Coast Tour I was put in touch with Eddie of Roots & Soul Music. He set me up with a few shows at Grimross Brewing and invited me back for the Festival. So i booked this Tour around playing the Living Roots Music Festival.
The festival was an awesome community of independent artists and music lovers uniting for the sheer love of music. It was a great chance to not just showcase my work but catch some great up and coming new talent and sound.
Some great bands I recommend checking out include
fellow Ontarians: Old Man Grant Ali McCormick Rory Taillon Brooklyn Doran
West Coasters: Bad Strangers
Maritimers: Colin Fowlie The Crossroad Devils
I've added some tracks from a bunch of Artists that we met during the festival to my Spotify playlist "Friends in Good Places"
There is some really great original stuff out there, help support artists, find your new favourite jams, check it out!
We had a lot of great CDs for our drive home after the Festival and I grabbed an awesome Handmade Crossroad Devils tye-dye shirt.
Then it was off to Halifax for a show at the Gahan House which is in a beautiful historic building down at the waterfront. I stopped into Taz Records to check on my album, it was pretty cool to see my own header card!
It was a long drive back up to Bathurst, New Brunswick but the people and the reception can't be beat in northern NB and we had a great show at Au Bootlegger. Thanks again Eric!
We stayed at an AirBnB in Tracadie-Sheila which was about an hour East of Bathurst. The views of the moon were incredible here and we arrived to check in around midnight. Our host was not home and had left us a key to get in to the house. We opened the front door and came into the first hallway. It was a large heritage home and it was pitch black inside and being that we hadn't stayed there before we didn't know where to find the lights. We opened the second door and heard grunting, clicking, and squealing! At first we weren't sure what to think or do. After looking around for a few minutes for a light we found on and met Charlotte, the resident pet.
We were really hoping to see a moose on one of these trips and given the fact that we travelled long distances on logging roads we thought our chances were pretty high. It wasn't until we were quite close to leaving New Brunswick that we finally saw a moose, luckily, it was walking on the side of the road, and we stopped to watch it as it ate some leaves and crossed the road.
I successfully put about 6,000 kms on my Volkswagen on this this trip passing back through to Bistro Pape Georges in Quebec and Whitewater Brewing before finally settling back into Ontario. It was a long trip but a great one and I am grateful to all the venues for having me, to those of you that shared the show dates with friends and family, and for the experiences we gathered along the way.