We drove almost 11,000 kilometers. We pulled at every inch of road heading west. The insidious rumble of tarmac has been grafted to my brain. Now being home for almost 3 weeks, my legs are still rubber and in the mornings I’m confused about whether or not I’ve actually left the van.
Touring is a peculiar way to spend your time. You are always moving, but mostly sitting in the same spot. Limbs are atrophied, your organs begin to shrink– along with your vocabulary. A juvenility sets in and when you are about to lose your mind the audience sings along, or you stand in front of a stretch of gold canola, or you get to chat with Buffy Sainte-Marie and feel lucky. We were confronted with many memorable moments on our tour of Western Canada. Some furnished by grandiose landscape, some encountered with inspiring strangers, some comforted by whispers of nostalgia; so many familiar faces, recognizable truck stops, friendly sound people, delicious venue food, etc.
Here are some highlights:
– Calgary Folk brought late night pizza and a happy reunion with Taylor, Mika and Simone of Timber Timbre.
– Having Lisa Bozikovic join us on a number of stops on this tour. Her music is beautiful and it was such a treat to have her come along.
– At The Icelandic Festival (Islendingadagurinn) in Gimli, Manitoba, Anissa and I screamed for our lives on a midway ride called “The Brain Buster”. Our show at that festival was definitely a highlight, as members of the audience jumped around on stage and sang along to “The Woods”. Thank you to Robbie for showing us an outrageous time.
– At Regina Folk we ate some of the best food we’ve ever had at a festival. We also befriended the band Ghostkeeper from Calgary. Check them out at: http://www.myspace.com/childrenofthegreatnorthernmuskeg
– In Regina we played an amazing workshop with the boys from Calexico. They showed us that seamless musicianship mixed with charisma and charm make for an inspiring performance.
– We stopped in Clearwater, Manitoba for 3 days to write in an old school house run by the Harvest Moon Society. The population of this town is ,I think, 67 people. We were humbled by their generosity and kindness. Please check out their amazing work at: http://www.harvestmoonsociety.org/
A big thank you to Gavin and the rest of the Gardiner family for helping to arrange our time in Clearwater and for showing us a great adventure at their cottage. I think we all have scars from water skiing. Ok, well maybe just Anissa and Jenny….oh and Ryan.
– Salmon Arm, BC was breathtaking. One of the most hospitable festivals in Canada and we are so grateful to the organizers for inviting us.
– When you’re on tour you have the opportunity to meet many memorable people. While in Canmore, Alberta, a couple named Mike and Sharon, presented us with six individually wrapped gifts with our names on them. Each package contained a book that they thought we might enjoy reading while in the van. We were so touched by their kindness. It was the nicest surprise and we were so grateful to meet them.
Looking forward, Ohbijou is traveling to Dyer’s Bay for a series of writing sessions. We are containing musical ideas, melodies, harmonies and sounds and hope to complete a new record in the upcoming year. Thank you to everyone for your support and hopefully you’ll be hearing new music from us soon.