I’ve been wanting to say something about the Trout Forest Festival in Ear Falls, because it hardly seems fair that Red Rock, which was just the previous week, and only 500 km down the road, got such a poetic write-up. The truth is, I had a really good time in Ear Falls, despite or maybe because of being a late addition to the line-up there.

The problem was that by the time I got there, I was in some kind of zone I can barely describe. Considering I had spent the previous two weekends on the road in Nova Scotia, then Thunder Bay, with flights and two full weeks of my day job in between, that’s perhaps understandable.

Then I got bumped off my flight from Toronto to Winnipeg. Then I got to Winnipeg without my luggage, including my guitar. Then I drove through the night with my old buddy Charles to get to the festival site at about 5.30 a.m. Then it was sooo foggy and weird around, it felt like we had beamed into some bizarre nether world.

Notwithstanding, it really was a great festival. The Saturday in particular was incredible- the fog lifted as the sun rose, and with a belly full of bannock and bacon, I managed to get 2 hours sleep before starting off the day of playing.

And what a day! I wound up in a blues workshop with Ken Hamm, Mo Kauffey, Doc MacLean and Colin Linden, much to my surprise. Even more surprising, it turned out great. Hooray. Later I got slotted into the New Voices workshop, which also went really well, although my voice is really not new… it’s just that not so many people have heard it.

I could list thousands of highlights from that one brief weekend, but I’ll just add one other: doing the Morning Coffee workshop with Ian Tamblyn, Rodney Brown, Marcel Desolets, Ben Sures and a bunch of other coffee-shop types.

I finally got to play the song I wrote that was inspired in part by Ian’s pond, with Ian right there. He liked it alright except for my mentioning the Leafs. We had some pretty pointed banter about Leafs vs. Sens onstage. A great moment and a tremendous weekend.

I’m going to sum this all up, though, with a brief note to myself: Take it easy out there buddy. Ear Falls was great, but getting there, while still maintaining everything else you do, (already too much) took you to the limit of what you can accomplish in a 2-day weekend. Don’t push that limit.

Play safe!

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