If I Had A Rocking Lawnchair
Well, I’ve done it again and allowed too much time to elapse between my journal entries and now so much has happened that I am almost rendered mute with the wealth of it all. Where should I start? How about the fact that I got to tell Bruce Cockburn during a rehearsal in our hotel room for our appearance with him on the Edmonton Folk Festival main stage (that concept still reeking of the surreal) that back in 1984 when I was 12 years old, I thought he was singing about the possibility of owning a “rocking lawnchair” and that this wish seemed somewhat incongruent with the simultaneous desire to “make somebody pay”. There are no words that will sufficiently express what it was like to sing and hang out with a Canadian legend who is still producing vital and glorious music some 40-odd years after the start of his musical career. In some ways I felt like we should have been dressed in beaver pelts, drinking maple syrup while we were on stage singing “If A Tree Falls.” Ahhhh….
Some more fabulous musical moments? Sharing the stage with K’Naan, Sarah Harmer, Lynn Miles. Watching truly momentous sets and songs courtesy of Steve Earle, Mr. Cockburn, Neko Case, James Keelaghan, Jay Farrar, Alejandro Escovedo, The Roches, Oh Susanna, Nickel Creek and Son Volt to name only a few.
There were shows that made me acutely aware of the real reasons I make music and why we travel far and wide to sing songs (Bainbridge Island), festivals absolutely saturated in good vibes and peace (Kate Wolfe), and festivals so well-executed and welcoming that they made me think the organizers should be running the country (California World, Sandpoint and Edmonton).
Things I’ve learned: your plane can get struck by lightning twice and still remain airborne although your level of continence might take a bit of a nose dive; no matter how much I tell myself I will not eat chips with every meal in England, it still happens; the first class lounge is like a wonderland and the memories of my one fluke afternoon in there will forever haunt me; there are very few things in life that rival both the enjoyment and extreme hazard of picking wild blackberries; if the world’s police forces really want to crack down on crime they should start recruiting the people who govern traffic flow in front of airports; music is the best method of reminding you where and who you’ve been and spending time with songs from your youth is an unparalleled joy; I don’t like HP sauce and I don’t know why I keep trying it.
All in all, the past few months have been quite intense in their pace but extremely rewarding at times. We’ve been working hard to get new songs up and running in a live format (from Firecracker) and as usual, trying to keep up with how quickly everything moves these days. The reaction to the album has been very positive and we’ve been interested to see how everyone has been responding to our growth and the new directions we have taken. I’m still kind of perplexed that people think “Some Good Thing” is a country song as I am the least likely to purposely write anything of that nature, but there ya go. Anyway, I’m happy to hear that many of you are still finding good things in the music. Must go start packing in another futile attempt to be ready more than 10 minutes in advance of leaving for the aiport. I will leave you with this one thought. It’s important and I think you should know this about me. If I had a rocking lawnchair, I would retaliate.