Touring with Tots, Cockburn, and A Prairie Home Companion
Holy moly, it’s been a long time since we last checked in and a lot has happened in those months. As you can well imagine life on the road (life in general!) has changed dramatically since we’ve started touring with the boys and the last few months have been exhausting, exhilarating, challenging, inspiring, you name it. For Grant and me, it’s been a lot of trial and error to figure out how to travel with babies and still remain standing! Fortunately, this band is chock-full of supportive folk; devoted, patient nanny/road manager types (Tracy), fellow goofball parents (Jeremy), willing, singing experts of unforgettable childrens’ songs and baby-crazy hams (Ruth and Heather). We have a good village!
And on the practical side of things, of course, travelling with infants does not come without an immense amount of stuff and an even more detailed commitment to making sure said stuff is the most efficient and safest gear around. I’ve invested what seems like thousands of hours researching baby travel gear and food, so if anyone out there needs tips on how to travel with kids, just ask me!
While getting the chance to tour with my family ranks at the top of the list of great life opportunities, the Jennys have also been fortunate in the realm of pinnacle career moments. Singing with Bruce Cockburn again was an honour and a thrill – it was nothing short of magical to be part of the tribute concert to him at the venerable Massey Hall in Toronto in June. Also, as a former film studies major, getting the chance to sing “Goin’ Down the Road”, a song from one of the first Canadian films I ever studied at a time when Bruce was simply one of my musical influences, was one of most surreal moments in my life. A good reminder that strange and great things can happen in life that you can never predict or imagine.
We were also lucky enough to perform once again on the Winnipeg Folk Festival’s main stage but this time, we played before Emmylou Harris and were stunned to see her sitting in the wings listening. The idea that a musical hero can be even remotely interested in hearing your music is pretty exciting to say the least. She was lovely to talk to and we all walked away a little lighter from that experience.
We also visited our Prairie Home Companion family once again and had the pleasure of hearing the likes of Brandi Carlile and Hilary Thavis. As usual, we were learning several songs last minute and so for me, whose brain is somewhat compromised from chronic lack of sleep, a lot of those shows were spent with fingers crossed! They went well, though, and I enjoyed the rare chance to get more than four consecutive hours of sleep before returning home to my boys!
As always, we’ve been treated to beautiful scenery across the continent and have had the chance to talk to so many of our fans across North America. We really couldn’t be luckier. You all show so much enthusiasm and share so much with us, we can’t help but feel all of that when we get up on stage. And I have to say that as a mother of crazy little toddlers who sometimes shows up to venues a little bleary-eyed and spent, I couldn’t keep doing this if our shows did not leave me feeling energized and inspired. So thank you to all of you. You keep us going!