Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tour Picks Up Steam

I just saw this picture in the file and thought I'd share it with you. Big Dave and I at the Maples after our Big Road Blues Tour. That's Dave's Lifetime Achievement Award. I can't tell you what a thrill it is to be going out with Dave on the Tour again. It's such a pleasure. The Bad Boy Tour is going to be such a blast! I can hardly wait.

Island Audio in Victoria, BC is designing the roof-mounted speaker system for the Lincoln, while Wendy Walker is designing the door-wraps and decals in Toronto. Believe me, when the Blues rolls into your Town, you will know!! Big fun, and we're going to promote the Blues like never before.

I've now got about 45 of the target 65 shows booked for the Tour. It's interesting how the trend to long range booking seems to be developing. Who would think that you'd need to book a little cafe in a Nova Scotia village over a year in advance? It's true. And it's not the only one. There are a few places this Tour has never played, largely because they are out of sync with the ongoing road schedule. The logistics are a little crazy this year, largely because I've got to move the Lincoln across Canada to start the Tour, and because I've got to fly Big Dave in and out of the Tour a couple of times for special events. I'm not happy about the rising cost of fuel, either. But really, there are probably not going to be many more trips across the continent dressed in two tonnes of chrome and steel. These big rides are going to vanish like the buffalo. So we'll enjoy it this year. It might well be the last, big ass ride.

The schedule is coming together pretty well. I'm doing a few solo dates here and there while Dave flies in and out. That's actually pretty good, as I am using the opportunity to visit with some smaller venues that the whole Bad Boy Tour might of missed otherwise. The one swipe, west to east Tour looks like it will accommodate 65 good shows pretty nicely– but I do miss the zig-zag, play everywhere groove of the past National Steel adventures. I guess, on the upside we'll play the BC mountain areas at a better time of year, and with any luck at all we'll miss the winter driving of previous tours. It was pretty extreme last year, to say the least! I'm going to miss being in the Maritimes for festival season, but with any luck I'll be invited back to these next fall.

And Facebook. I'm still not sure what the heck is going on with it, but I have a profile, or a page, or whatever, and so does the Tour. In the first day I seem to have attracted about fifteen "friends" or people who want to be my friend, or something like that. I'm still not sure what that means. I notice that some of these people have hundreds, or even thousands of "friends." That seems like a lot. Could be a lotta email? On the upside, I booked two shows through it. People just posted out of the blue. I can handle that.

Twenty more shows to finish the bookings, and a good number of these are pending already. As in previous years, I'll keep booking right down to the wire. If you want a Sunday, Monday, Tuesday house concert, I may have one for you! I said 65 shows, but I hate downtime– so let's make Big Dave work, eh?

Big news coming in a few days time when I announce NEXT year's tour and my very special guest for it. We may well beat out the Century Tour record for consecutive shows... people are already trying to book this one AND the Bad Boy Blues Tour at the same time! That's really nice. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the support across Canada. I've had a lot of hungry years in my time. I'll never forget those hard days, take anything for granted, or be less than very thankful to everyone who shares in this great, National Steel adventure.

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