Thursday, May 26, 2011

Picking Up the Pace, Black Smoke Moan

'Nuff said, eh?? Too cool for school. The Lincoln is running smoother and faster than ever, but failed it's Ontario "clean air" test yesterday. Go figure. Well, I'll just open the hood and keep on pouring in money until it does pass. I'll be busking Toronto's Queen Street today. Maybe I'll take it down to the Crossroads and burn it at the end of the National Steel "Bad Boy" Blues Tour... Be plenty of black smoke comin' off a bourbon stoked fire like that. And it certainly would be bourbon stoked.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hello!! Checking In to Say Hello

Hello!! Here's one of the speaker horns being readied for mounting on the roof of the Lincoln. IS IT LOUD ENOUGH?? Bringing the Blues to Your Town... one night only! Step right up to the Legion Hall!! Bad Boy Blues!!

It's always exciting to look at the map and the list of stops before rolling out onto the highway. I was telling my son that with the high costs of fuel, this may well be the last big road trip made inside two tons of glittering steel and chrome. These big girls will be gone like the buffalo. The touring won't stop, it will remain interesting, but the means will certainly be evolving. I've spent the majority of my life criss crossing North America by road. We bought gas by the gallon, and it was cheap. We bought and sold beer by the bucket, and it was cheap. The liquid economy has changed. We no longer float the music business on an ocean of beer. There's a cover. We take vitamins. We get up early. Dave and I call home.

Speaking of big cars, here's a snap of the first Tour vehicle. Colin Linden and I swapped a Martin 00-18 guitar for this cool set of wheels when I was sixteen. When the brakes finally went back in 1979, I parked it. The "Duck" spent the next 32 years in storage. Just last week I lost the garage space, moved her out, and slapped a "for sale" sign on her. Flathead six, used to give us 26 miles to the gallon. Probably about the same as the new Lincoln! I don't know why I kept it for so many years. I guess I've travelled most of this time, and it's been forgotten except for the occasional mailing of cheques for the garage rent. If I had my own garage and yard I'd keep it and repair it. But now it's got to go. Time's up! 1948 Dodge Special Deluxe. Suicide doors. A bad thing for a boy to bring home!

Finally... The Tour. This Tour. I've not filled many dates since my last Blog here. I've got odd dates open in all parts of the country. House concerts, in the schools, theatres, cafes, blues societies, folk societies, gas stations, casinos... This could be you! No venue too big, too small, too posh or too homely. Read the Tour sidebar and post me if you'd like to bring the Blues to Your Town. I must fill every night! Make me an offer!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Tour Mostly Booked- Now the Gaps!!

Well, the bones of the Tour schedule and route have taken shape. We're about seventy-five percent sold now, from coast to coast. Some regions are booked more heavily than others. My task now is to network as needed to fill the remaining down days on the Tour. I've been beating the bushes like crazy to try and find new contacts to fill the holes in the schedule. This is pretty much the pattern every year: anchor dates in, then develop the route and the rest of the spaces in the smartest ways possible.

The Facebook thing is strange. I've "lost" the page I set up for the Tour, and now I just seem to have my own page. It gets dozens of emails every day from people wanting to be my friends. It sucks up time. On the plus side, several offers of bookings have come through on it, and I've been able to network through some of my "friends" to ask about regions where I require more contacts. I guess I need to look at it as the web alternative highway. Some people don't or won't communicate anywhere else. This probably includes venues of a certain age as well!

Meanwhile, the work goes on here at the virtual office. If there is anybody out there thinking about a house concert or a show in your town... the idea could work! The time is now! The high price of gas this coming season is going to carve big hunks off the bottom line, and clearly we're going to have to make this up through adding more shows.