Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Canadian Tour Begins

We're back!  Kat and I just started our third new-bard-style tour, crossing most of Canada.  It's summer, the weather is great, and we're looking forward to three and a half months of playing shows, hitching, couchsurfing, and general exploration.

We met up in Montreal two weeks ago at my aunt Marcia's house.  She and her cats (Ten Carrots, Prettyface McTavish, Tony Baloney, Mickey Wickey Wishbone Pushpins, Whispers, Max, and a few guest stars) made us feel very welcome as we spent several days practicing the songs (it had been seven months since I had played them) and booking more shows (we were only 2/3 booked when we arrived).

We played two shows in Montreal, and both were a good time.  We did an atypically great job of promoting them: we brought people through radio spots (we did two interviews before the shows), internet promotions, a post on, and through word of mouth (thanks for bringing friends, Marcia!).  However, we made an atypically tiny amount of money: neither venue paid us much, and we were competing against huge free shows on both nights (jazz fest and others).

The couchsurfing post actually brought more people than any other source.  Does everyone already know how much I love couchsurfing?  I hope so.  In addition to being a huge database of hospitable hosts, it's also a guaranteed way to meet friendly people in any city that will join in on any fun events/concerts/city explorations.

Our Montreal couchsurfing friends included Joanne, a feisty redheaded Polish girl that loves to dance, and Francois, an easygoing French-Canadian guy that introduced us to our host in Ottawa (where we arrived today).  We spent several evenings with these guys and others, going to Jazz Festival events, drinking in bars, and relaxing in various Montreal locales.

Like I said, we arrived in Ottawa today, and there's some big hullabaloo brewing about Canada's national holiday, which is tomorrow.  Apparently Bare Naked Ladies is playing a free show tomorrow.  Also, Queen Elizabeth II is here (she's the queen of Canada too, eh?) so I'm going to ask our host if she has her phone number.  Stay tuned to see if we manage to line up a private concert.