Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Capital Bound

I need to get better at blogging. I thought I would thrust myself back into 365 days in 2011 but I've missed almost 3 full weeks of time, now - and as we all know - blogging is time sensitive.

The houses are whipping by my window right now, here on train 46, and the speed of their passing is forcing me to think about my life. Where am I going? Where have I been? Who really knows me? When will I decode the secret key that helps me to answer these questions?

This month, I hope to log a lot of hours and make some steps toward paying off debt and still pursuing passions.

Stay with me.

Location:VIA Rail

Sunday, November 21, 2010



After losing touch for over a decade, old friends and musicians JD Edwards of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Matt McKechnie (Graven) of Port Hope, Ontario were randomly and mystically re-connected. JD has been a furious soul-poet workhorse of the Winnipeg folk scene for years and has shared the stage with the likes of The New Meanies, The Weakerthans, JP Hoe and many more. With a wailing voice that stirs up dust from the heart of the hardest working man, JD is never afraid to play his guts out to room of 5 or 500. Having gained his first taste in shoegazer anthem rock from some early millenial jaunts to Halifax and recordings with his friend & producer Charles Austin (producer of Joel Plaskett, Matt Mays, Buck 65), Matt McKechnie has honed the Graven sound many times over and is not afraid to tread over new musical terrain. Having played live with Dave Marsh (Joel Plaskett's drummer), The Wooden Sky and Kirk Comstock (Madhat, Air Traffic Control), Matt has earned college radio and CBC respect from a unique voice and a sonic range of country, folk and a self-described cottage rock sound. Also teaming up with the two man train for a chunk of the BC leg of the tour is rising folk queen Trish Jamieson ( - Oddly enough, Trish also just happens to be another old friend of both of the lads whom they had also lost touch with for over a decade. 

You wont want to miss the eclectic JD, Graven and Trish on their upcoming Friends, Fears and Prairie Fires Tour coming to a town near you this November! Sounds will blend and old friendships shall mend.

DATES (* = with Trish Jamieson):
11/03 – Breeze Bar, Osoyoos, B.C.
11/04 – The Chop House, Whistler, B.C.*
11/05 – Minstrel Cafe, Kelowna, B.C.
11/06 – Howe Sound Brew Pub, Squamish, B.C.*
11/07 – Cafe Deux Soleils, Vancouver, B.C.*
11/08 – Duncan Garage, Duncan, B.C.
11/10 -   Black's Pub, Whistler, B.C. (open mic)
11/11 – The Pemberton Hotel, Pemberton, B.C.*
11/14  -  The Crystal Lounge, Whistler, B.C. (open mic) 
11/15 – The Cellar, Vancouver, B.C.*
11/17 – Beatniq Jazz and Social Club, Calgary, AB
11/18 – Verns, Calgary, AB
11/19 – The Times Changed, Winnipeg, MB
11/20 – All Citizens, Bruno, SK
11/21 – Caffe Sola, Saskatoon, SK



Saskatchewan Sounds

Well - it's come to this.

JD is back in Winnipeg. Trish is back in Whistler.
And I'm here in lovely Saskatoon finishing up the tour
as a solo performer. Luckily, I have been able to stay
with and re-connect with some old amigos (Mac and Lin)
who live out here. They have been awesome, welcoming
and warm. Faces from home are always welcome on the
road. And to top it off, I even saw an Ottawa friend (who
actually plays in the full Graven band) named Landon
at Amigos in Saskatoon the other night. It was awesome
seeing him.

Bruno is a beautiful (but tiny and isolated) town and
the show at All Citizens was a major highlight of the
tour. A man named Tyler Brett moved to Bruno a
while back and decided to open a music venue/art
consignment store/coffee joint and hasn't looked back.
On a snowy eve, I brought a few friends from 'Toon
(about an hour drive down the road) and Tyler managed
to put the word out and got another 8 or 9 folks from
the community to come out (along with himself and the
current artist in residence - Kerri Reid). The crowd
was so quiet that it was almost eerie - but they were
listening. In a room that only holds 20 or so, there were
about 15 folks there. What a beautiful space. The
show actually took place in a new building that Tyler
just took over called the Bruno Arts Bank (it's actually
an old Royal Bank building complete with a vault in the
back and everything - sweet photo opp).

I'll be posting some pics and videos from that show
very soon. Stay tuned!

Tonight is the last show here in Saskatoon at Cafe Sola.
It starts at 830 pm - spread the word if you know
anyone in the region! After tonight, I'll be spending a
day decompressing here in Sask and then flying home
to Port Hope (via the Toronto airport) on Tuesday.

'What a rush. What a ride.
Door is open. Step inside.
Walk on by and never know.
One day summer. Next is snow.'

Monday, November 15, 2010

Update - last leg of BC beauty

Hey there. Yeah you - I'm talkin' to you.

The tour has gone really well and we have actually had some
extra shows thrown in visa v a few Whistler open mics (where
we sold/gave away some cd's). JD and I have enjoyed Whistler
immensely as Warren and Trish have been dynamite 'hosts
with the mosts'.

Tonight marks our final show in BC as we are playing at the
Cellar Jazz & Social Club in Vancouver (for more info on
the event, click here). It will also be our last show with Trish.
Playing live with the three of us has been a real trip down
memory lane mixed with a great blending of musical maturity
that has taken place since we last saw each other. So if you're
anywhere near van or have friends or family in the region,
please let them know about tonight's show (starts at 830 pm).

Tomorrow, JD and I will begin the long trek back east.
Wednesday the 17th, we play at Beatniq Jazz & Social Club
in Calgary.

Think of us as we brave the cold (and hopefully un-icy)
November roads.

Thanks for all of your texts, messages, emails, phone calls
and support along the way. Keep em' comin!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Long Overdue

So gang - you'll have to forgive me. I know I said I'd write often
but, on the road, ya know? It messes with any schedule
or woulda-shoulda-coulda. You just go. You move. You live.

I'll try and sum up the past few days.

After Osoyoos, everything has been pretty peaches and cream.

NOV 4 - The Chophouse, Whistler, BC

Setting up our own sound (which we had to lug up 3 flights of
stairs!) seemed a big task but the payoff was huge (not to mention
that we had only seen Trish for about an hour before the show
and it was the first time JD had even seen her in 10 years! (I had
my decade plus catch-up session with Trish last summer). There
were a good chunk of folks out in the intimate space of the
Chophouse. We had some amazing craft beers and prime rib
pizza (low-carb, obviously!) given to us and played a really fun
and collaborative set. Even more mind-blowing was the fact
that neighbours of mine from 20 years ago showed up (7 of them)
and cheered and glowed from the crowd. Amazing people, too.
Hearts of gold, that Davis-Hoppe clan. Great to see all of them.

NOV 5 - The Minstrel Cafe, Kelowna

Luckily, after a great sleep, Trish decided to bomb across the
mountains with us from Whistler to Kelowna (a stretch of
highway that is called 'The Duffy' and is 428 k but takes over
6 hrs to cross) which meant we could rip across it in her GMC
Envoy as opposed to putting JD's van through its paces. AND
we got to have the lovely, honey-voiced Trish to sing and
play with us for another night. The room was packed -probably
70 people were out for dinner and we played our darndest
(and maybe one of our finer sets of the tour). We even
cracked out a rousing version of 'Rollin, Rollin, Rollin'
which was a lot of fun to play and have Trish and JD sing
and play on. The staff and manager were very cool and
we grabbed some Burger King to celebrate before sleeping
in Summerland, once again.

NOV 6 - The Howe Sound Brew Pub, Squamish

Some of the best beers around have to be from this place - If
you're ever in the region, I suggest the 'Total Eclipse of the
Hop' variety. Beautiful. Great venue. Lots of wood. Pubby.
They make their own beer. Nuff said.
We jumped into our set after some lovely food and brew
(and after showering in our complimentary hotel rooms!)
and rocked the Squamish night. The crowd was a bit spread
out but those who stuck around, had a great time and told
us about it. (You can even read about it in the Squamish
local rag - The Squamish Chief - you can read about it here).

NOV 7 - Cafe Deux Soleils, Vancouver

The little nook of Cafe Deux Soleils, set right on 'the ave' in
Vancouver, is a cool spot with a nice sounding room. We
played to a decent crowd for a sunday night (maybe 30 or
40 folks - about 80% full) and it was a fun night, complete
with Chocolate vegan cake. We said goodye to Trish and
Warren (our road compadres) and hit the trail for the island.

NOV 8 - Duncan Garage Showroom, Duncan

One of the oddest but most beautiful venues I've ever seen.
Theatre seating - uber-pro sound set up. You can even
watch the whole thing online! Longevity John is a character
in every sense of the word. The only shame was that 2 or
3 people showed up. Oh well. Island demographics.
Never easy to predict!

NOV 9 - Laying low

JD and I find ourselves at an old camp friend's pad in
Vancouver. It is nice to be somewhere with a massive tv,
real floors and beds for us.

On to Whistler tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Breezin' by The Breeze Bar

JD and I awoke this morning at the clean but weird Banff
hostel and hit the road around 930 am. Drove through mountains.
And mountains. And mountains. And even MORE mountains.
BC and Alberta are unlike anything you can imagine, driving-
wise. Mist. Massive mountains. Green blue lakes and rivers.
Tight turns. And they never really stop until the okanagan
and even then, they are still there - just not as snowy. Beauty
in rugged form.

Tonight we played our first show. Got to Osoyoos around 530
pm. The Breeze Bar owner and staff were curteous and served
us some great grub and frosty microbrews. I kicked off the
night and felt pretty good for a first show (minus the heckler
in the ten gallon hat who, when I sung 'All I wanna do is get
out of this town' in my song Harsh, yelled 'Go then. GO!'),
JD played a great and soulful set but the heckler pursued him
with gusto. Old arse. JD did a great job of not ignoring him
and trying to play songs he wanted to hear. JD is a much kinder
man than me. I kept calling him Roy Rogers to his face and
he didn't seem to care. At the end of the night, I asked him where
he was from and he loosened up. He said he owned a bar in
Alberta so I told him if I ever show up there, I expect free
drinks because of all of the crap he gave us tonight. He laughed.
And then I forced a cd on him and he bought one. I told him
I'd give him one for free and he said 'No, no - I'll pay ya. How
much are they?' '8 bucks' I said. He gave me 5.

But all in all, it was a fine night. JD sold a cd and I sold 2 and
there were only about 6 people there. Good percentage.

Lookin' forward to Whistler. Staying with some of JD's friends
in Summerland. Amazing part of the country. The Okanagan
valley is truly God's country. Summery mountains and a
massive lake.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Beautiful Banff & Cozy Canmore

Dead-headin' across this pretty country. Makin' serious time.
We got all the way from Winnipeg to Saskatoon yesterday and
caught a very cool beat-poetry show at Lydia's. Saskatoon is
a large and lovely city - very different than what I was expecting.
Stayed with some friends of JD (Ewen and Matt) and I collapsed
on a pull out couch and was sawing logs in seconds. Got up
early today and booked it to Calgary (and we booked it so fast
that we got a speeding ticket in Drumheller. Fudge!), Canmore
and now staying at a cheap & clean hostel in Banff. Can't
sleep. Tomorrow is the first show of the tour in Osoyoos BC.

More to come!