Long Live the CBC! Random radio playlists featuring my new songs.

It always make me happy when I see that one of my little songs has been played on the CBC.

This week it was CBC North.

Friday January 31, 2014

Music Playlist January 27 – 31, 2014

  • Strangers – Amelia Curran w/ Oh Susanna
  • I’ll Wait – Sweet Alibi
  • New Morning Sun – Blue Rodeo
  • She Got Kick – Charlie Musselwhite & Ben Harper
  • Treasure – Bruno Mars
  • Moon Shine – Tonya Kennedy
  • Candy – Wake Owl
  • Bitter Rain – Declan O’Donovan
  • Goodbye to Cowley – Kate Weekes
  • Sweet Dream Sleeper – Don Brownrigg
  • Grandpa’s Spells – Two Piano Tornado
  • Living a Long Way to Go – Del Barber
  • The Morning Light – Ron Sexsmith
  • Dreams Slip Away – Wendy Demos
  • Scar Tissue – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Are You Happy Now? – Trevor Rogers
  • How’d I Ever Think I Loved You – David Myles
  • Not Giving Up – Royal Wood
  • Turn, Turn, Turn – Pete Seeger
  • Into the Light – Danny Michel
  • Living Out My Dreams – Roch Voisine
  • Millhaven Bay – Harmony Gates
  • Green Icy Mountain – Blue Warblers
  • New Inheritors – Wintersleep
  • This Old Car – Pete Seeger
  • Ride On – Strumbellas
  • Throw a Penny in the Wishing Well – Jennifer Gasoi
  • Royals – Lorde
  • Black Mirror – Arcade Fire
  • Monday, Monday, Monday – Tegan & Sara
The Morning Edition Playlist for Wednesday, January 29, 2014The Retrievers – “Waiting For The Leaves Vol. II”Fionn MacCool’s GuelphStan Rogers – “Bluenose”
On this day in 1946, the Bluenose sank just off of Haiti.Meggi Faye – “Between Your Fingers”Trevor Rogers – “She Only Likes Talking to Me (When I’m So Far Away)”

CBC Radio Show Program Logs
Radio Show Index >  Radio Show Dates >  Radio Show Log
Date: 2014/01/28
Time: 15:05:00

RADIO ACTIVE THEME Duration: 00:00:52

WAIST DEEP IN THE BIG MUDDY Duration: 00:02:54


Local 107.3FM Top 30 For the Week Ending: Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Week/Last Week/Artist/Title

1 23 The Pack A.D. Do Not Engage
2 1 Dog Day Fade Out
3 24 Rebekah Higgs Sha La La
4 re Paper Lions My Friends
5 30 Esther Grey Collected Works
6 19 Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra Fuck Off Get Free We Pour Light On Everything
7 27 TV Freaks Two
8 – Mode Moderne Occult Delight
9 5 Tough Age Tough Age
10 21 Wet Denim Wet Denim
11 3 Freelove Fenner Do Not Affect A Breezy Manner
12 9 Basia Bulat Tall Tall Shadow
13 17 Like A Motorcycle Motorpool
14 28 PUP PUP
15 26 Shooting Guns Brotherhood of the Ram
16 7 Sebastien Grainger Yours To Discover
17 20 Howl Howl
18 12 The Balconies Fast Motion
19 – Matt Andersen Weightless
20 14 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings South
21 – Trevor Rogers Are You Happy Now?
22 re Greg MacPherson Fireball
23 – Coeur De Pirate Trauma
24 6 Yamantaka // Sonic Titan Uzu
25 10 Haim Days Are Gone
26 2 Fiver CanCon Lost The Plot
27 11 The Sadies Internal Sounds
28 13 The Deep Dark Woods Jubilee
29 15 Sigur Ros Kveikur
30 29 SIRR Prize!

scop – Toronto
Top 30

For the Week Ending: Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Other scop charts: Top 30
TW LW Artist Title Label
1 8 Club Thunderbolt CanCon Band Website City of Salt Chieftown
2 5 Trevor Rogers CanCon Are You Happy Now? Self-Released
3 re David and the WoodsCanCon David et les Bois Self-Released
4 9 The Stormalongs CanCon The Stormalongs Self-Released
5 re Corey Isenor CanCon Hollowbody Self-Released
6 6 Crissi Cochrane CanCon Band Website Little Sway Self-Released
7 2 The Belle ComediansCanCon Charlotte Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
8 re Nudie CanCon Remember This Self-Released
9 25 Old Cabin CanCon Old Cabin Self-Released
10 11 The Royal Oui CanCon The Royal Oui File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
11 re Mathias Mental CanCon Mathias Mental Self-Released
12 12 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings CanCon Band Website Band Twitter South File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
13 16 Downchild CanCon Band Website Can You Hear The Music? Linus Entertainment Label WebsiteLabel Twitter
14 re Makar Funeral Genius Self-Released
15 re Francois Couture CanCon Band Website After The Rain Self-Released
16 re Ocha La Rocha Ocha Lives Jaxart
17 3 Barzin CanCon Band Website To Live Alone In That Long Summer Monotreme
18 13 The Woodshed Orchestra CanCon Buzz Self-Released
19 4 Sugar Brown’s Sad Day CanCon Sugar Brown’s Sad Day Self-Released
20 7 A Montreal Paul CanCon Awaiting An Awakening Self-Released
21 re Wet Denim CanCon Wet Denim Self-Released
22 re Brendan Benson You Were Right Readymade
23 26 Ghosts Of Sailors At Sea The Skeleton Coast Self-Released
24 1 The Pack A.D. CanCon Band Website Band Twitter Do Not Engage Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
25 re Daedelus Drown Out Anticon Label Website Label Twitter
26 re The Pinecones CanCon Ooh! Reel Cod Label Website
27 15 First Base CanCon Band Website First Base HoZac Label Website
28 14 The Civil Wars Band Website Bare Bones Sensibility
29 Rueben DeGroot CanCon Rocket Surgery Apple Crisp Label Website
30 The Gories The Shaw Tapes: Live In Detroit 5/27/88

New Brunswick

Here are the latest Local 107.3fm charts for the week ending Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Following this link you can also find our top ten charts for Hip Hop, Loud, Jazz, and Electronic.

This Week/Last Week/Artist/Title

1 — Nap Eyes Whine of the Mystic
2 — Bad People Bad People
3 — Various Psych Pop 2
4 — Noise Level Dub Knowledge
5 — Reagan’s Rayguns Excellent Party @ Reagans Rayguns
6 — Cavern/Anthesis Cavern/Anthesis Split
7 — The Olympic Symphonium Chance To Fate
8 1 Wooden Wives Dead Peasants
9 re Cellarghost Troubles
10 — Walrus Glam Returns
11 — Pine Tarts Wolves Named The Moon
12 re Trevor Rogers Are You Happy Now?
13 — Kandle In Flames
14 — Thus Owls Turning Rocks
15 re The Balconies Fast Motions
16 re Hand-Drawn Party
17 — SIRR Robopocalypse
18 — Elephant Skeletons zazzerzaz vol II
19 25 Wet Denim Wet Denim
20 re Earthbound Trio Lettuce Turnip the Beet
21 2 Les Paiens Carte Blanche
22 3 Old Man Luedecke I Never Sang Before I Met You
23 — Ryan Hillier Midnight Revelation
24 22 Matt Andersen Weightless
25 — Zebra Pulse Heh, Vay Bae-Bays
26 — Sexy Mathematics Electronics
27 — Wildcat Wildcat
28 15 Sherman Downey And The Ambiguous Case The Sun In Your Eyes
29 28 Rebekah Higgs Sha La La
30 9 Mode Moderne Occult Delight

scop – Toronto

Top 30

For the Week Ending: Tuesday, March 11, 2014

TW LW Artist Title Label
1 4 Crissi Cochrane CanCon Band Website Little Sway Self-Released
2 5 Trevor Rogers CanCon Are You Happy Now? Self-Released
3 3 Club Thunderbolt CanCon Band Website City of Salt Chieftown
4 2 Barzin CanCon Band Website To Live Alone In That Long Summer Monotreme
5 9 Blackie And The Rodeo Kings CanCon Band Website Band Twitter South File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
6 23 Del Barber CanCon Band Website Band Twitter Prairieography True North Label Website Label Twitter
7 26 Middle Sister CanCon Middle Sister Famous Last
8 1 The Belle Comedians CanCon Charlotte Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
9 8 A Montreal Paul CanCon Awaiting An Awakening Self-Released
10 6 The Pack A.D. CanCon Band Website Band Twitter Do Not Engage Nettwerk Label Website Label Twitter
11 19 Cory Weeds Quintet featuring Steve Davis Let’s Go Cellar Live Label Website
12 10 The Woodshed Orchestra CanCon Buzz Self-Released
13 12 Sexy Mathematics CanCon Band Website Electronics Self-Released
14 11 Pete Mills CanCon Sweet Shadow Cellar Live Label Website
15 13 Sugar Brown’s Sad DayCanCon Sugar Brown’s Sad Day Self-Released
16 30 Matt Andersen CanCon Band Website Weightless True North Label Website Label Twitter
17 16 Countermeasure CanCon 14 Characters Self-Released
18 7 The Royal Oui CanCon The Royal Oui File Under: Music (FU:M) Label Website Label Twitter
19 17 Russ Dawson CanCon The Go On Self-Released
20 14 Load CanCon It’s True Self-Released
21 29 Jillian Rae Heartbeat Iron Bull
22 28 Molly Thomason CanCon Columbus Field Self-Released
23 Against Me! Transgender Dysphoria Blues Total Treble
24 The Howlin’ Brothers The Sun Studio Sessions Readymade
25 re Mode Moderne CanCon Band Website Occult Delight Light Organ Label Website Label Twitter
26 20 Alden Penner CanCon Precession Self-Released
27 Sleepy Sun Band Website Maui Tears Dine Alone Label Website Label Twitter
28 Mason Porter Home For The Harvest Self-Released
29 The Perms CanCon Aberdeen Hugtight
30 25 Matt Watson CanCon From Riches To Rags Self-Released


I’m still on the 30 day free trial period and leaning towards paying the 10 dollars a month after that. All the music of the world at your fingertips for the cost of a couple of cappuccinos?

It is pretty amazing but it bothers me how little the artists get paid. At least they (me) are getting something!

Yesterday I listened to a lot of Pete Seeger and of course clean up time with the kids featured “Get Lucky”, the extended mix by Daft Punk. Usually I just dial-up a genre and try to discover something new.

Lots of African High-Life was listened to the day before.

There’s a funny little website called Forgorify.

It seeks to give all the songs on Spotify that have never had even a single play at least one!

Currently listing to “Life In The Finland Woods” by Calum MacLean – on the album “Scottish Accordion Hits Volume 2”………Just doing my part to make the world a happier place….

Pop The Cork!

My album is #19 at Ryerson in Toronto!

Meeting Jay Z and Beyoncé for lunch! Things are looking up!



The Stormalongs Self-Released


Faded Out Fundog


Old Cabin Self-Released


First Base HoZac


Can You Hear the Music? Linus Entertainment


Hollowbody Self-Released


Roar Self-Released


Mathias Mental EP Self-Released


David et le Bois Self-Released


After the Rain Self-Released


Funeral Genius Self-Released


City of Salt Self-Released


Occupation Nation Self-Released


We Were Right Readymade


Ocha Lives Jaxart


Charlotte Nettwerk


The Afterlife Blues Self-Released


Remember This Self-Released


Are You Happy Now? Self-Released


Lost & Undone True North


Buzz Self-Released


The Royal Oui File Under: Music


Wet Denim Self-Released


Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere Ernest Jenning Recording Co.


Mission Collapse in the Twin Sun Megaverse Self-Released


It’s True Self-Released


Little Sway Self-Released


South File Under: Music


Awaiting An Awakening Self-Released


Drown Out Anticon




From a scrap of paper in my drawer

Fingerpick e flat suspended (4 bars)
C sharp suspended (4 bars)

I would like a theramin
Such a pretty sound
Could I borrow your theramin?


It’s always fun to wonder where your music might get played after the writing/recording is done. And who might be listening in some far off corner of the world. Or over in Virginia…

Ray Manzarek

Wow! What a life this man lived passing away today at age 74.

To my mind, there was no band cooler than The Doors in 1986 when I was eighteen. I had a friend that had a couple of albums on vinyl and I had a couple on cassette. I pretty much wore out  my LA Woman cassette. Of course, it’s not very hard to wear out a cassette but you know what I am getting at…I listened to it all the time!

The “OK, I guess it’s time to find myself” trip to Europe the next year was that much sweeter as my friend and I took the obligatory pilgrimage to Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris to see Jim Morrison’s tomb.

I wonder where Ray will be buried and if people will seek his grave out to?

The Doors had such a unique and instantly recognizable sound; Jim’s bluesy/haunting/maniacal vocals, Robby’s melodic jazzy/jammy solos, John’s sometimes mellow/sometimes frantic drumming and of course Ray Manzarek’s  quasi-classical keyboard playing usually utilizing a Fender Rhodes and a Vox Continental combo organ, oftentimes simultaneously. My preference was the mellower stuff but I liked it all.

Long live The Doors!

Now where’s my LA Woman cassette…



The Great Canadian Band Sloan!!!

One time during a set break at a show in Salt Lake City, three members of my band came up to me and said excitedly “Sloan is here!”
I was like “Really? Cool! I like that band!”
I looked around and didn’t recognize any of the guys.
We started back up again and I thought to myself, I better sing and play well for the rest of the night.
We finished up and I was talking with members of the audience when a guy I know named Sloan came up and said hi.
We had met the last time we were in town.

The Clapton/Harrison Duel

This would have been interesting to watch: “In 1973, Clapton renewed his ardent pursuit of Pattie – climaxing in an extraordinary ‘duel’ at the Harrisons’ home. “As Eric walked through the door George handed him a guitar and amp and for two hours, without a word, they duelled. The general feeling was that Eric had won.” I wish we solved all the worlds problems this way…


Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk

I cannot tell you how much I LOVED this album as a kid in the late 70’s! I wasn’t really a big fan of Star Wars but somehow I ended up with this and it received endless rotation on the Rogers family phonograph. One time I was watching the David Letterman Show and they had a sub bass player filling in for Will Lee. His name was Neil Jason. I read his bio online and it turns out he played bass on the Star Wars And Other Galactic Funk album! Living in the internet age, I found him on Facebook and wrote a little note telling him how much I loved it back in the day. He was kind enough to write back. What a world we live in!

Getting Around To Finishing Some Songs

I’ve had ten songs on the go for over a year. My friend Tyler Thompson spent a week recording them at my parents house and are mostly finished. A guy I know in Vancouver said he would add some overdubs and finish mixing the rest this fall. This song, “Are You Happy Now” could be the most annoying song I have ever written but the melody has been stuck in my head for years now so it was time to write some silly lyrics and finish it off. I think it still needs bass guitar but it is getting close to being done for the masses (me and my friends and family) to hopefully enjoy.


It’s The End Of The Band As We Know It (everyone is using this headline…) ~ R.E.M. Calls It A Day

Man did I ever love them from the first time I heard “This One Goes Out To The One I Love” way back in 1987. I loved the droning E string solo on the electric guitar that became one of their signature sounds along with Michael Stipe’s vocals and obscure lyrics. It was such a unique sound at the time. Peter Buck described a typical R.E.M. song as “”Minor key, mid-tempo, enigmatic, semi-folk-rock-balladish things.” They were soon referred to by Rolling Stone magazine as “America’s Best Rock & Roll Band!” I’m not sure that I would go that far but they did stand head and shoulders above most of the rest. Great shampoo by the way.

Like most people. I really got on the bandwagon in 1991 when they released ” Out Of Time.” I pretty much wore out that cassette. I remember a musician friend came over one time and we listened to it over and over until 6 in the morning. Of course “Losing My Religion” was the big single and the album sold over 12 million copies. “Automatic For The People”, “Monster” and “New Adventure’s In Hi-Fi” sold 10, 9 and 5 million copies respectively. They were huge! What today’s artists wouldn’t give for those kinds of sales. Then came the massive contract with Warner and things started to go a little downhill. Slowly but surely…

I was really hoping that they would stay in the mainstream like U2 has somehow managed to do. I saw R.E.M. on Austin City Limits a few years ago and they looked and sounded great with a bunch of killer new songs. But it didn’t really catch on with the masses for whatever reason. However, I feel pretty comfortable stating that I don’t think we will be seeing any of  the members of R.E.M. in a food bank line-up anytime soon.

Band statement:

“To our Fans and Friends: As R.E.M., and as lifelong friends and co-conspirators, we have decided to call it a day as a band. We walk away with a great sense of gratitude, of finality, and of astonishment at all we have accomplished. To anyone who ever felt touched by our music, our deepest thanks for listening.” R.E.M.

Bocephus King Has A New Album Out!

I’ve known this sweet guy for a long, long time.

I think the first time I saw JP/BK play was when we were both still teenagers in a pub in Tsawwassen, BC that has long since shut down. The second time I was painting a house (poorly I might add) in the summer of 1991 in East Ladner and his band at the time was rehearsing a few doors down. I remember they played an amazing version of  Stevie Wonders’ “Superstition” among other classics. I guess I didn’t actually see him play that hot summer day but I could clearly hear the music.

I was really impressed those first few times and I still am now all these years later. So happy to see a friend loving life, raising beautiful children and continuing to play music!

iTunes link~

Here’s the newest video: (ps: that’s my dad driving the bobcat…)

Sincerely yours and no longer painting unless I am forced to,



I wonder if ol’ Wolfgang ever thought that his music would be still be loved centuries later.

Or how it would be listened to in the year 2011…

Shifting Mediums

A family friend bought the little guy a cassette recorder.
Levi was loving pressing play and rocking out, but after a couple of minutes he went to the shelf where we have our last few remaining cd’s and grabbed one. I think it was “How To Learn Spanish.”
Didn’t fit.
Eventually went back to the Raffi cassette. At full volume!
He’ll probably try jamming in a flash drive tomorrow while he’s waiting for a viable alternative to legally stream online here in Canada.
Is it just me, or is the technology around here changing quickly?

Music @ The Biltmore

The other night I opened my apartment door, walked a dozen paces to the elevator and pushed a button that took me down to the lobby. I then walked another dozen paces to the front of the building where I met up with old friend Conrad. Together we walked another hundred paces. No we were not following a sunken treasure map, we were heading out to see music at The Biltmore Cabaret. Did I tell you we live close to there?

Having a popular bar nearby can get a little loud at closing time, but I think it brings a lot of vitality to the block. Especially a live music venue that brings in a lot of great music.

I had heard about the show a few days earlier when I bumped into a musician friend at the neighbourhood play gym. (The children were playing, not us.) First up was his band Maria In The Shower. They were very entertaining, and demonstrated a mastery of their instruments along with some great vocalizing.

On second was a duo who were celebrating the release of their new CD. I can’t remember their name and right now don’t feel like looking for it. Both children are under my care and are currently sleeping but may awaken at any time…

They sounded good but after such a high energy opener things felt a little too subdued. They did have some talented guests on auxiliary instruments but perhaps they should have gone first. Earlier crowds are normally more comfortable with the “sit down and be quiet” thing. Sure it’s their CD release party but does anyone really care about a new CD anymore? I think it all comes down to what makes for the best evening out for a patron that has a lot of other options as to where to spend their time and entertainment dollar. Perhaps you will recognize them from the picture and look online to purchase their new recording.

To close the show was the always charming and entertaining Carolyn Mark! She was playing with a full band and had local luminaries Paul Rigby and Ford Pier sitting in. Paul’s link is him playing with Neko Case on Letterman. Ford’s is his website. A beautiful homepage for sure, but it’s one of those pages where you need to randomly click on an image to get the information to pop up.  Yes, it looks artistic but it takes time for people to find the info they are looking for: Bio, Gigs, Photos…etc..

In todays world it seems the online masses are likely to click away if it takes longer than 5 seconds to find something or a page is slow to load. But I guess only a fan or interested music buff would actually take the time to type in the domain or follow the link, so they might be willing to wait or wallow through it. I’m not saying the new online paradigm is my cup of tea, but we are living in a WordPress world where web design is simple and easy to navigate.

Getting back to the music, the overall sound was a little loose but in a good way. Carolyn sang a song about playing a show or having a party where no one came and unfortunately it was appropriate. Most people had left by the time they got on to play. Believe me, after playing a couple of thousand shows all over North America with my band, I know what that feels like. Somewhat deflating. But they kept the energy level high and I really enjoyed the set.

Me & Karly Down By The Schoolyard

A catchy title when sung to Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard, but a more accurate title would be Me And Karly Warkentin & Steven Drake & Dave Devlin Down At The Biltmore Performing Together To Raise Money For Karly’s Walk Across Swaziland…

It was so much fun getting the music together for the show. Super casual but everyone was committed to the songs and to making them sound as good as we could get them sounding. Karly has a beautiful voice and has written some amazing tunes. Steven is super intuitive musically. David has a great vibe and an informed perspective on what serves the song. Not quite sure what I had to offer. All I know is that it was so much fun to just sit back, relax and enjoy the music as it unfolded.

Strumming My Six String

No, not on my front porch swing in Margaritaville, but at Checkers on Davie street in Vancouver’s West End with Dave and Duane from the Town Pants. When they aren’t on tour with the band, they have a duo called Smiling Politely that plays mostly cover tunes. Every Sunday, they invite someone to sit in with them. I think it’s a great concept. It keeps things new and exciting for both them and the audience. I sang five or six of my favourite songs and threw in a few originals for good measure. The rest of the time I sat back, played percussion and had fun watching the boys sing, strum and banter with the crowd.

Amanda and our boys came down later and sat in the back. It was super cool to see Levi bobbing his head in time to the music! All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

The Beatles Are Finally On iTunes?

‘I am particularly glad to no longer be asked when the Beatles are coming to iTunes.’— Ringo Starr

Ringo has always had such a way with words. In fact, I think I like him even more than the legendary Yogi Berra!

It’s kind of amazing The Beatles held out this long. I guess they really don’t need the money.

It’s hard to believe that The Beatles have sold 600 million albums! Wow! I know two of them are still on the bookshelf in my old room in Ladner. I loved listening to those blue and red greatest hits albums as a kid.

I can still recall playing Paperback Writer over and over and over again after I heard it for the first time. It’s kind of nice to see vinyl making a limited comeback in some circles. The Beatles still sound magical as a digital download, but there sure is something special about dropping that needle down on vinyl!

Arcade Fire On Saturday Night Live

Wow! Pretty intense. Visually there was lots to look at and the sound was fantastic, certainly helped by the fact that I had the headphones on (so as not to wake the sleeping babies) quite loud.  They played We Used To Wait for their first song. If you have a minute check this out. It’s a cool interactive video featuring the song We Used To Wait.

The Sony Walkman~ An “Anachronism” and “Limited To Elderly Users?”


You’ve got to be kidding me. It’s a darn good thing they will still be making them in China. I may be going out on a limb here, but I predict a resurgence of the Sony Walkman similar to the current preoccupation with vinyl records. I loved my Walkman 4 back in the day. In my town, there was nothing better to do in the early 80’s but slip in your favourite cassette, adjust the headphones and cut the lawn.

“Sony is sending its cassette tape Walkman into retirement in Japan as demand for a music player dwindles to a tiny niche in the era of digital technology.

Company spokeswoman Hiroko Nakamura says Sony stopped Japanese production of the portable music player in April and sales will end once the last batch disappears from stores.

Sony has sold 220 million cassette Walkman players globally since the product’s July 1979 debut that changed lifestyles by popularizing music on the go.

More than 30 years later, the cassette Walkman has been rendered an anachronism by MP3 players and iPods.

Demand for cassette players in Japan is now largely limited to elderly users.

But Sony will continue production of the cassette Walkman in China to accommodate users abroad, including in the U.S., Europe and some Asian countries.”

© The Canadian Press, 2010

Clumsy Lovers~Ten Day October Tour Of Montana & Idaho

It seems that every time we are in Montana, no matter what the season, the scenery is stunning. This time was no exception. The weather was surprisingly warm in the daytime with the temperature rising every afternoon to the 70’s, cooling down to freezing at night for crisp, starry nights. On this swing through the state, we played in Missoula, the Paws Up Resort, Chico Hot Springs, Billings, Bozeman and the one and only Historic Uptown Butte. The shows were really fun and it felt good to connect with old and new friends. Given that we will be playing far fewer shows in the coming year to spend more time at home, a lot of people took the time to tell us how much our music has meant to them over the years. In fact, there were a lot of tears as people expressed memories of particular shows in particular places. Maybe someone was following us around peeling onions every time we got out of the van. At any rate, it was nice to hear all the kind things everyone had to say. We played the weekend at John’s Alley in Moscow Idaho on the way home. Always a good time too.

Montana Highway

The Wheels On The Bus

When the little man wakes up, it will once again be time to saunter over to the community centre to sing children’s songs with other children and parents.

I sincerely think “The Wheels On The Bus” may be one of the most under-rated compositions of the Twentieth Century; A timeless melody. Thought provoking verses. A spine-tingling chorus. Truly evocative in almost every way…

Memphis, Tennessee


It was pretty exciting to walk over to 706 Union Avenue from downtown Memphis on Saturday afternoon to Sun Studios. So much amazing and iconic music was recorded there by so many amazing and iconic musicians in the mid-fifties: Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins to name a few. There are so many songs to choose from but “That’s Allright Mama” and “I Walk the Line” would be in my top ten for sure!




Watching Ray Lamontagne on Jay Leno tonight I was once again reminded that even with all the paradigm shifts in the music industry, the cream always seems to rise to the top.

Google Translate

For some reason I ended up reading about the history of the Irish language this morning. It’s quite a compelling story.  Afterwards, I plunked some random lyrics from one of my songs into Google translate and this is how they ended up looking. Quite beautiful and timeless looking all of a sudden. Perhaps I’ll track down a hammer and chisel and etch them into a stone somewhere.

Ní féidir leis an mbóthar romhainn, go dtógfaidh tú ar ais

Chun áit a raibh tú roimh ré, tá mé cinnte faoi sin deas

Is féidir linn siúl aonar, nó taobh le taobh

Ach is féidir leat a bheith cinnte mo chara maith mé taitneamh as an turas

aisling faoi amárach, ach tá sé go hálainn inniu

gach duine eolas agat agus grá

Tá an ceart anseo in aice leat anois, breathnú ar cé chomh cóngarach agus atá tú ag teacht

beidh áit a mbeidh tú anocht, nuair a bhíonn an lá a dhéanamh?

d’fhéadfadh a bheith ar an mbóthar romhainn, de chineál ar fad

Ach más rud é nach é, beidh orainn nuair a chailleann tú do imithe

Bellingham/San Juan Island

We had played this weekly summer concert series at the amazing Boulevard Park once before in the year 2000. We must have made quite an impression~ They only waited ten years to have us back! The sweet organizer Amanda remembered us back in 2000 as carrying on before the show like Van Halen or Aerosmith in their heyday. We think that she may have been thinking about a different band. We party more like the Osmonds! Ok, more like members of a Slo Pitch League living it up after a victory…

It was a spectacular summers evening. A few thousand people showed up to enjoy the scenery and the music. Chris and I had our little ones there too so that was pretty special. Great night. We’ll be back in 2020.

The San Juan County Fair is another event that we played a long time ago. It reminds me of various fairs that we’ve played over the years. There was an amusement park, a livestock area and a stage set up for music. We had a little time so we did the following:

-Went on the Zipper

-Went on the Tilt-O’-Whirl (Amazing as usual. If I ever win the lottery I am buying one for my backyard)

-Watched a 4H animal auction. (The sheep command a much higher price per pound than the cattle it seems)

-Ate fair food and drank lemonade

-Petted farm animals

-Played a rock and roll show

-Caught the last ferry home

What A Sunset!
Levi And I


Cracker At The Biltmore

David L

The band sounded in fine form last night. Lead singer David Lowery has an amazing voice- plaintive with just the right amount of raspiness. He’s got a voice that I think I’ll call South East Congress. He would sound terrific any night of the week at the Continental Club in Austin Texas.

Long live Cracker


Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire is performing on the Jon Stewart show as I write. Top of the charts in America, Canada and the U.K. Must be nice. Go Canada!

But to quote Fred Willard’s character in A Mighty Wind “Wha Happened?”

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind selling 156 CD’s this week, but it’s hard to believe 156,000 units sold get’s you #1 in America these days.

For comparison purposes I consulted with old friend Clive Davis. Or a Google search. One of the two.


1. The Beatles, 1 (11,499,000 copies sold)

2. *NSYNC, No Strings Attached (11,112,000)

3. Norah Jones, Come Away With Me (10,546,000)

4. Eminem, The Marshall Mathers LP (10,204,000)

5. Eminem, The Eminem Show (9,799,000)

6. Usher, Confessions (9,712,000)

7. Linkin Park, Hybrid Theory (9,663,000)

8. Creed, Human Clay (9,491,000)

9. Britney Spears, Oops! … I Did It Again (9,185,000)

10.Nelly, Country Grammar (8,461,000)

Cue Archie and Edith:

Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the hit parade.
Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.
Didn’t need no welfare state. Everybody pulled his weight.
Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. Those were the days.
And you know who you were then, girls were girls and men were men.
Mister, we could use a man like Herbert Hoover again.
People seemed to be content. Fifty dollars paid the rent.
Freaks were in a circus tent. Those were the days.
Take a little Sunday spin, go to watch the Dodgers win.
Have yourself a dandy day that cost you under a fin.
Hair was short and skirts were long. Kate Smith really sold a song.
I don’t know just what went wrong. Those Were The Days.

Anacortes, Washington

The Little Man In The Van

It was another whirlwind weekend down to Washington State. Friday night we were back at the Watertown Pub in downtown Anacortes. I think it’s been nine or ten years since we played there last.  We worked our way through three long sets to an appreciative crowd, said our goodbyes and it was off to sleep at the cozy Anacortes Inn.

In the morning we checked out and had breakfast at a really cool diner/bowling alley. I guess the theory is that after you eat a stick to your ribs breakfast, you then burn it off bowling. After the diner, we headed on down to the Anacortes Arts Festival. There sure was a lot of art there, tent after tent after tent…Lots of interesting and quirky stuff. Unfortunately it was raining and a little cold so after five or six hours of wandering around I think we were all looking forward to playing.

A local band called Spoonshine played before us on the main stage. We’ve known the mandolin/guitar/singer Jacob for quite a few years. They were really rockin’ out with lots of awesome solos. Seeing as how Jacob had his stuff already set up, we invited him to sit in on mandolin.  It was really nice to hear the banjo, the fiddle and the mandolin playing together at the same time. It rained a little but everyone had a good time. Thanks to Tim Carey for filling in on bass and my two intrepid roadtrippers Amanda and Levi for making the trip extra fun!



Kinky Friedman At The Biltmore

Texas troubadour Kinky Friedman was at the Biltmore on Monday night. You gotta’ love the Biltmore! What a place to see music and it’s only a 30 second walk from our apartment. It’s surprising I don’t go there more often but I guess it’s understandable considering that the Clumsy Lovers have played 2700 shows, and probably 2000 of those have been in nightclubs, roadhouses and honky-tonks…

When I’m in Vancouver a bar is generally the last place I want to be. But the Biltmore feels more like a music venue, similar to the Doug Fir in Portland, particularly on this evening as it was set up like a listening room with chairs on the dance floor like they do at the Tractor Tavern in Seattle sometimes.

Levi, Amanda and I had met Kinky briefly before the show. We had been out for an evening walk and he was on the sidewalk in front of the venue smoking a cigar and greeting early arrivals as we walked towards home. We went back to the apartment and put Levi to bed and I headed downstairs to check out the show.

The first time I had heard the name Kinky Friedman was back in the late 90’s as our former mandolin player was reading one of his novels in the van. He has written almost 30 novels, recorded a dozen or so albums and is well known as a political commentator and former candidate for Governor of Texas. He is a gifted storyteller in the Mark Twain tradition.

Before every song was an anecdote or a funny quip and even a chapter from his newest book. Kinky knows everybody. He knew Kris Kristofferson when he was a janitor in Nashville, chummed around with Townes Van Zandt, and even got some sage like advice from fellow Texan Willie Nelson before he left on tour: “Kinky, if you insist on having sex with an animal, make sure it’s a horse. That way you will have a ride home in the morning!” That was about as raunchy as it got and oddly enough, as much as he is well known for some really silly songs he’s also written beautiful heart-wrenching masterpieces in the Townes Van Zandt/Steve Earle/Guy Clark tradition of Texas singer-songwriters. Truly moving.

Throughout the show I was recalling my own Texas memories. We’ve been to Austin, Houston, Dallas, El Paso and a bunch of small towns but I was thinking of San Antonio in particular. Our first time there about ten years ago Rusty and the Casbeers crew took us back to their place for a late night acoustic jam under the stars in the backyard. Local entertainment writer and radio DJ Jim Beale was there too. He later put us in his top ten concerts of the year. He apparently wrote “any band willing to wear wool suits in Texas in July deserves to be in my top ten for the year!” Or something like that…

That night it seemed everyone had a beautiful song to share as we passed the guitar around. Rusty and his crew go every year to the Kerrville Folk Festival, where Kinky happens to be from. I’m sure they all know each other. It is a small world after all. And it keeps getting smaller every year I’m blessed to be on the planet.

So on this Monday in Vancouver, I might as well have been in Texas. I hope I make it back there again someday soon. Nice to meet you Kinky Friedman.

Open D Tuning

Levi really digs the open D with the capo on the 5th fret. It’s hard for him, or anyone really (just ask Dolly Parton) to go wrong.

Everything sounds somewhat melodic, or dissonant in a cool sitar-like way. Levi hits the guitar like a bongo, loves accidental harmonics and recently started strumming with a pick as I voice the chords. Although the pick usually ends up in his mouth…

I’m just happy he loves music!


Vancouver Jazz Festival

Amanda, Levi, Rebecca and I walked downtown today to check out the Jazzfest. We met Chris, Rachel and Henry there to watch a friend and talented violinist by the name of Ben Powell. Ben and his quartet sounded amazing! It was great to run into Ivonne Hernandez and several other old friends too. Vancouver in the summertime is pretty hard to beat!


I finished the lyrics tonight for some new songs I’ve been working on. I’ll more than likely dislike them tomorrow but right now they are in my good books.

For me, the melody always comes first. Sometimes I wake up humming something and if I don’t forget it during the course of the day it stands a chance of becoming a song. The bath is also a good place for creativity as is a nice bike ride in the rain or a walk through the city. Lately I’ve gotten better about recording melodies on my computer or cell phone so I won’t forget them. Eventually I’ll go back and figure out just what it is that I want to say.

There’s usually something that I want to convey when it comes time to put pen to paper. Generally I like to tackle the universal themes of love, loss, redemption, the passage of time, ever-changing perspectives, the seasons, sun, rain, faith, hope…etc

The problem I find is that I’ve normally said all that I really want to say in the first verse and chorus. But I come from an era where most songs have at least two verses. That’s when songwriting can become a little tedious. I sometimes feel like i’m back at university trying to stretch a thousand words into the required three thousand.

Like most people, I respond to deadlines so that’s why I’ve spent the last 3 hours completing my thoughts as I’d like to finish these songs before I turn fifty. With this album, I’ve tried to abandon the notion that every song needs several verses, a chorus, a bridge…etc

So we’ll see how it all ends up. It does feel good to complete a task. Especially a task that is artistically fulfilling and might possibly evoke feelings of some kind in others as well.

Recording Is In It’s Final Stages

It’s been really fun and relaxing recording ten new tunes I’ve been working on. Tyler and I have been squeezing in a few days here and there over the last couple of months and we are now about a day or two away from finishing off the vocals and a couple of other musical parts.

Having such a portable studio set up has made it easy to record in different places. We’ve done most of it at my parents’ place and over at my friend Rob’s house as the noise/music would have been a bit much for my neighbours here in the city.

Now that the music is safely secured in two separate hard drives, it feels really good to have the songs exist in some place other than just the inside of my head.




Clumsy Lover Olympic Show

Shows close to home rock. That’s for sure. So much better than waking up at 4 a.m. to drive a thousand miles to the next show in Lincoln, Nebraska or some other faraway place.

The only problem I find is that it’s sometimes hard to go from the guy that just unloaded the dishwasher, changed a diaper, watered the plants…etc… to that other person that has made it his occupation to strum a guitar, shriek into a microphone, invent a weird dance while trying to sing from the heart at the same time. I generally find it easier when I’m removed from my normal life. The ten week tours we used to do sucked in many ways, but at least my focus was on the next gig.

But seeing so many old friends and family and enthusiastic strangers all gathered together in one place ensured I could wave goodbye to the pre-gig jitters and slip into the moment. It was effortless. Tonight, like most nights it was smooth and natural and it felt good to be a part of the awesome spectacle that is the Vancouver Olympics.


Boise, Bellboys and Burritos

This phrase pretty much sums up last Saturday night in Idaho. Boise was the town  we were playing, the Bellboys opened up the show and a bean burrito was what I had for lunch earlier on in the day. The Knitting Factory is a top-notch venue we’ve been playing for the last few years. A big stage, killer sound and lights make it a full-on rock and roll experience for sure. That being said, some of our longtime supporters miss seeing us at smaller venues around town where it can be easier to establish eye contact and thereby have more of an intimate connection with the audience. I like both situations. In my opinion, we generally do a pretty good job of connecting with the audience with whatever situation we are presented with, but there are always exceptions. Tonight wasn’t one of them.

When there is a lack of connection with the audience, sometimes it’s something as simple as having the lights shining bright in your eyes. It’s kind of like having a tractor trailer truck with its high beams in your face for a couple of hours. Poor sound can also really quash one’s mojo. Or maybe you’ve been up early and drove all day through a snowstorm and your last remaining nerve is pretty frayed before you even get started. Or maybe you are feeling homesick, or just plain old sick, or your new pants are too tight, too much wine with dinner, or you’ve got a cramp in your calf…but generally speaking, all of these things are put aside once we fire up the clumsy engine.

When playing a larger venue, there is the need to have lots of people come through the doors. The doors opened and lots of people came in. We played long and loud, threw in some spontaneous things and before we knew it, it was time for the doors to open and let everyone out into the street to resume their lives. Ten years later we are blessed to still feel the Boise love.

New Years Eve

Grand Ronde, Oregon

After a month off, it felt good to be back in the van heading south. Getting up at 5 didn’t feel quite so good but as we all know, the traveling lifestyle involves a lot of late nights. And early mornings…

It was a slow wet drive to Oregon along the I-5, but we arrived at the venue mid-afternoon and set up for the show. We’ve played a lot of different situations on New Years Eve over the years: Clubs, theatres, and various events but never a casino so we weren’t quite sure what to expect. After partaking in the massive buffet, we loosened our belts, strapped on our axes and were ready to ring in the New Year Clumsy style.

The band was in good spirits and it was fun to play again. We’ve been trying to make the shows more interesting and ever-evolving by adding new music and medleys as well as digging way back into the Clumsy catalogue to dust off a few crowd favourites from yesteryear. By and large, things are coming along and sounding pretty good. We knew some folks in the crowd but it was mainly everyday people living it up Las Vegas style on the last day of the decade. We did a countdown at midnight, busted into Auld Lang Syne for a while then finished up the evening with a long medley. There it was: New Years Eve 2009! That decade sure flew by.

2009 has been a very exciting year. Having a self-imposed lighter schedule has allowed us to slowly re-integrate back into civilized society. We still played 150 or so shows all the way to Kentucky and back, but we also had plenty of time at home to see family and friends, get married, have children, exercise, practice, pursue other interests and projects…things that have been lacking in the past. More of a balanced life for sure. Deepak Chopra and Dr.Phil would both approve.

Hope everyone has an awesome and inspired 2010!


With all the time we’ve had off lately I’ve been trying to focus on the baby and the love I’ve always had for the guitar. Almost every day I give Levi a twenty minute private concert and I play a lot in the evenings when he’s sleeping. He’s literally a captive audience in his crib! He’s only cried once. That was the time I broke into “Positively 4th Street” by Bob Dylan. I played a verse. He cried so I stopped. Just to see if it was a fluke I played it again. He cried. Tried it one more time. He cried once more. So I switched to something else and he was all smiles. There’s either something about that song, or my version of the song that he really doesn’t like. Maybe it’s the C# minor that kind of comes out of nowhere after the C major. He does love “Don’t Think Twice” though so if I ever meet Bob Dylan I’ll mention that, not the other.

But getting back to practice, it’s supposed to be fun and it has been lately. Wayne Gretzky apparently loved practicing. It shouldn’t feel like work. If it does maybe it’s time to develop a new  pastime. It’s fun to play music with and without an audience. My older brother showed me a simple blues progression when i was 10 or so, and my awesome camp counsellor Ed (who I’ve recently found on Facebook) introduced me to Rocky Racoon at summer camp on Vancouver Island when I was 11. I played it over and over and over….And it went from there. I’ve always had a guitar nearby or in my hands. Never really got great, but good enough to express myself. There’s still much, much, much more to learn. Plenty of room left for improvement that’s for sure. Lots of songs left to play. Songs to write. Songs to finish…

Years ago I remember an old English prof telling our class that it was a sad day the day he realized he won’t be on the planet long enough to read all the books he would like to read. It’s kind of the same with music.

New Music In The Making

With the band traveling a fair bit less lately what with new babies and such(really, how does 300 days a year on the road sustain itself in a healthy meaningful way anyway) I’ve been trying to muster up the motivation to untie the baby grand piano from my lily-white Canadian posterior to record some of the melodies that exist in my head. It’s a labour of love for sure. I don’t plan on getting rich recording songs that I’m not sure anyone really want’s to hear anyway but having said that, so far I like them. And that’s the most important thing as far as I’m concerned. Lets face it, if even one person outside of your social circle likes your music then you’ve already succeeded. You probably weren’t going to be the Beatles anyway. Doesn’t mean that you can’t be passionate about whatever floats your boat and take whatever comes your way for what it is.

We’ll see if the end result sounds anything like those songs I hummed when I was riding my bike on the Vancouver seawall last summer…but I’m willing to give it a college try. The baby seems to be grooving to it so far. But he’s a captive audience when I’m holding him in my arms:)

The paradigm for most musicians has definitely shifted in terms of the ability, depending on one’s willingness to assume that your music probably won’t, for better or worse contain the audio sensibility or the studio trickery of your favourite album of yesteryear, to create reasonably good sounding music from the comfort of your own home, car or skateboard for that matter…That was a long sentence. Did I really study literature at SFU when Kurt was dominating the airwaves? I guess that really was a long time ago. The authorities will want to burn the diploma I so proudly keep in a box in a closet at my parents place beneath the Bachelors of Square Dancing certificate I was presented with in 1979…Go Johnny Go Johnny Go! “Yes we’ll all join hands and circle to the left…”

But this is a blog. Don’t even need to proofread if I don’t want to:)

Sure, when recording at home there isn’t the requisite filter of knowing that you need to be succinct and precise and as well prepared as one should be in the studio as it’s costing you a hundred dollars or fifty dollars or thirty  dollars or five dollars an hour. Or even worse, that you might be wasting someone else’s time.  There may not be paid professionals to help you with your quest to re-write Abby Road. And with millions of musicians doing the same thing, how will you find an audience…….etc

The bottom line is, if you’ve got a song to sing (or something to communicate and put out there no matter how seemingly insignificant it is…fill in your own metaphor. Or was that a simili?) why not sing it as best you can?