New song: "So long L. Cohen"

Leonard Cohen has passed away.  I spend the first hour after hearing the news listening to his music.  Songs that have influenced me so much over the last few decades.  Then I picked up my guitar and this song flowed out.  One of the quickest songs I've ever written.  I hope you enjoy it, I have placed the lyrics under this video if you'd like to read along. Please let me know what you think in the comments

Softly a la Belle province
tremulous refrains
tomes underneath each arm
Lorca and King James

From last lament of Joan of Arc
to quiet servitude
From the wars against disorder
To suggest or allude

that it's not long Marianne, I shall see you soon

The highways are empty now
in New York and Berlin
yearning sound from synagogues
beckon from within

Suzy yells “it's closing time.
The wait staff are all vexed.
I wish you could sing one more song.
Of love, or faith or sex.

But it's not too long, Marianne. We shall see you soon”

I hope you passed near a forest
somewhere near your pen
I hope you passed in loving arms
with letters from your friends

I swore I heard them singing
all the way from Clinton Street
I know they'll lock the Chelsea now
Drop the keys at your feet

It's not long Marianne, I shall see you soon

Song Stories: Love Death and Other Ailments

I don't play this song all that much, mostly because it's performed on a baritone ukulele, and I don't really cart one around to gigs (although it was written on guitar). This tune was heavily influenced by Leon Redbone, and the intro was added very late in the game, giving it more of an old timey feel, as if sung by Eddie Cantor or something (quickly describing an experience I had in India, driving an auto rickshaw down the west coast). The line "Will I come back as a sea shell?" is one of my favourites, and one I spend a lot of time on. In the end I sent 4 different possible "re-incarnations" to artist Jessica Rae Gordon, and she helped me settle on the my final life destination! (it could have been "Snow Fox" or something).

Enjoy this video I made using only an i-Phone and a Bombardier Aerospace Q4000, courtesy of Porter Airlines (probably).

DJ Set Playlist

About a month back, me and my friend Erin Klassen did a DJ set at Evergreen Brickworks for their winter market.  We chose the theme of "Great Music From Great Women", and I think it went really well!  Luckily Morgan Yew was there to record it, and now, if you're looking for a fun playlist, you can listen to all 3 hours below!  (Side note, I meant to start the set off with Fleetwood Mac's Christie McVie led "Little Lies", but accidentally started with the Lindsey Buckinham tune "Big Love"... )

If you're looking for more great DJ sets by a diverse range of people, please check out the other sets Morgan has recorded (and performed) here:


February gigs and Bowie blog

Hey there friends!  It's a new month, and a new... bunch of shows....

Feb 6th: Tranzac club, Toronto, with the wonderful Abigail Lapel, 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Feb 13th: Apple Annies, Orillia, with the equally wonderful Matthew Hornell, 1pm to 4pm
Feb 20th: DJ Set!  I return to the Evergreen Brickworks! Spinning from 2pm to 5pm

In other news, earlier last month, I got together with. Will Whitwham (Wilderness of Manitoba), Skye Wallace and the boys at the I Quit My Job Podcast, to talk about the late, great David Bowie.  It was really great to talk and hear the different ways in which Bowie had affected everyone.  You can listen to our talk by clicking the photo of Mr. Bowie, below

Top 15 Albums of 2015!

So I'm a little late on this, but here's my Top 15 of '15!!  These albums really made an impression on me in one way or another, and I think you should check them out.  If you click on the pictures it'll send you to a spot to listen, I tried to find full albums, but no luck for all of them, at least you can get a taste!  (at least one of them sends you to a page were you can download the album for free!)
Let me know what you think in the comments, tell me what your favourite albums were!

15. The Young Novelists - Made Us Strangers

14. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Asunder Sweet and Other Distress

13. Shamir - Ratchet

12. The Del Fi's - Crowd Pleaser

11. courtney barnett - Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just SIt

10. Benjamin Hermann - Windows Wide Open

9. Daniel Romano - If I've Only One Time Askin'

8. James Bunton- Ceasura

7. Kendrick Lamar - How To Pimp a Butterfly

6. Jessica Pratt - On Your Own Love

5. Kamasi Washington - The Epic

4. The Weather Station - Loyalty

3. Nils Frahm - Solo

2. Natalie Prass - Natalie Prass

And the number one album of the year was an album that came out right at the end of 2014, but managed to stay on my ipod for the whole 365 days,

1. D'Angelo - Black Messiah

Top 10 songs about Toronto + Nov/Dec Shows!

Hey friends!  First thing first, check this out!  BlogTO has put together a list of their top 10 folk songs about Toronto, and lo and behold, "Tranzac Club" is on it!  Read more by clicking the pic below! 

Now how about some shows?  Here's what's coming up

NOV 6:  Burdock, Toronto, opening for Jos Fortin and Ptarmagin
NOV 8:  Artword Artbar, Hamilton, with Megan Hamilton, Anthony Damaio, Daniel Dell
NOV 21: Harmony House, Fingal (near London), House/church show with Leah Morise
NOV 28: Tranzac Club, Toronto, with Melissa Marie and Baanya

CANCELED!!  DEC 4: The Fox, Barrie, Nilsson/Newman Tribute with Stonetrotter, Brett Caswell and Jerry Leger
CANCELED!!  DEC 5: Burdock, Toronto, Nilsson/Newman Tribute part 2!  Same lineup.



Tribute shows? Sure, why not!

Hey kids, how ya been?  Just thought I'd check in, and let you know about some upcoming shows, including a couple tribute nights!

Next up, you know who I love?  Tom Petty.  I really started rediscovering his work on my last tour with Sarah Beatty.  I picked up two of his albums for the road trip, 1995's Wildflowers, and the 96' soundtrack "She's the One".  Aaaaanyways, his music has become my new obsession, so on Friday October 23rd, I'll be performing a Tom Petty tribute at Burdock here in Toronto!  I'm lucky to have backing band The Bad Apples

(Graydon James, Myke Mazzie, Noel DiTesto, Jason Lapidus and special guest on the keys, Alli Sunshine!)  Come share some great music with us!

And finally, another tribute night, actually 2 nights!  It's going to be a joint Toronto/Barrie tribute to Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson!  It will feature performances by myself, Jerry Leger, Brett Caswell and the Marquee Rose, and Stonetrotter!  First night in Barrie, December 4th at the Fox.  Second night in Toronto, December 5th, again at Burdock!

In between, I'll be going to this year Folk Music Ontario conference, if you're attending, let me know!  It's a great time for anyone who wants to see what's up in Canadian folk music!

Hope you're all good.  Talk soon!