Lullabies, BBQ, Graceland, Aaron Neville, Clogging, and Raw Kashi 

We’re home for ten days…after almost seven weeks! Still coming down from the exhilaration and exhaustion of the last stretch, which ended with two shows on ‘A Prairie Home Companion’.

It was an eventful tour. We played 23 shows in 32 days and stepped foot in 17 states. We recorded two lullabies in Montreal and then flew to California for less than 24 hours. We ate BBQ in Memphis, added our names to the Graceland wall, partied something serious in Northampton, recovered something more serious in Barrie, took some bad pictures, jammed it up in Park City, drove a lot in the Midwest, ate Jamie’s home-made ice cream in Hamilton AND Boston (we love you Jamie) hung out with our dear friend Mike Morgan (we love you Mike – see you in AK in February) and his lovely friend Mary in Utah, almost missed our show in Park City due to cancelled flights, had a blast on ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ in Wolf Trap, Virginia, discovered ‘Legacy chocolates’ in Menomonie, Wi, rocked out to Neil Young’s ‘Live at Massey Hall 1971’ in the van, and played to the most supportive of audiences, in Hamilton, St Cloud, St Louis, Barrie, and Boston, just to name a few.

Grant, our faithful road manager and sound-man, mistook raw kashi for breakfast cereal on our first morning in Montana and then proceeded to giv’er like never before for the rest of the tour. Does eating uncooked grain really sustain you for longer? Jeremy (aka J-Diz) found many experiences, food items, and luggage products to be of exceptional quality and gave them the highest honour of ‘Penner certification’. Nicky tried to convince us all that her suitcase (kick-drum) is red, not pink, and discovered the beautiful art of violent meditation that is playing the drums. Heather brought Aaron Neville back into our lives with her uncanny impersonation and immediately lived to regret it. I conjured up a male German blow-up doll during one legendary ‘stupid photo’ session and will never live it down (stay tuned for pictures). My banjo suffered a broken neck from a fall in transit and Jim at Mouradian guitars (Cambridge, Ma) fixed it overnight. Nicky, in search of a ukulele that would play in tune (huh?) bought a new guitar instead. Heather introduced us to her lovely parents, as well as her Grandma, who came all the way from Florida to see our show in Manchester. Jeremy and I experienced the unrivaled hospitality of the O’Donovans in Boston (we love you guys). Nicky, Grant, Heather, Jeremy, and I each went to the gym at least once on the tour.

The shows are feeling so great…working with Heather and Jeremy is an absolute pleasure. Heather’s groovin’ on the bass, Nicky’s rockin’ on the drums, and Jer’s wailin’ on the mando. Me? I work on my clogging routine every night after the show, in the private safety of my hotel room. Someday I will get up the nerve to unveil it to the world.

~ Ruth