Eastern Canada—Summer 2001
June 26—on the road to Quebec city to sleep before pushing through to Fredericton for the first gig of our one week east coast swang. Night now and we roll on over un-even roads. Do I need this? Hurling along in a flurry of travel, and set up, and play, and celebration. Day after day and it feels okay. Stopping can be a testy experience if circumstances are less than sympathetic. I pace around the house wiping the countertops 187 times and using the phone to frantically re-connect with all my posse. By day three of being off tour my face looks familiar in the mirror and I bolt from bed at 7:45 am like clock work with vim and vigor to tackle a truckload of tasks. Going east is a nice change for us. Successive shows will whip us into shape for the summers festival fun that's a' coming down the pipe. We numb in brain and bum. Sun will fry the foolish worms that lie too late in the dawn's roadside dew.
June 28—Moncton, N.B. Last night in Fredericton consolidated alot of loose elements in the 'Wrongs both musically and socially. We played a fun show to a good bunch of folks who came out to the University pub that happens to be open past the end of the school year (for the first and last time). Business has been really slow, we were told upon arrival. Thankfully there was a nice turnout for us to kick off the start of this east coast experience. Our drive today to Moncton was highlighted by a stop for all- natural ice cream! They used real maple syrup in their maple/walnut! I'm freaking out on the lady for her dope shit ice cream and Dan walks in and calls me 'pickle tits'. She frantically searched with her non- scooping hand for the security button. I bought Dan lemonade and we made good our escape. I am surely going slowly insane with joy.
July 29—Moncton. Well, I'll tell you what, the show was alot of fun in both N.B. cities. We were joined by our old compadre Justin Bird, who opened both shows. His voice is amazing and his songs wind and whirl around the room. The 2nd night Cam, Sean, Burke and Dan joined him for a song or two, much to the crowds delight. After our set we went with a kooky woman and the record label feller over to her house and partied down 'till dawn. Burke, Dan and I played bluegrass tunes on the dobro, mandolin, and guitar the whole time. Dawn broke like a good joke and we wheeled'er home to bed. Great fun.
June 29—Halifax The Marquee. Our first 'Wrongs show ever in this rainy town with the biggest harbour around. We are blessed by the bad sister, Oh Susanna who is playing with us tonight and at the Festival this weekend in Canso. Her loveliness knows no boundaries. She stirs all the hearts in LW & the W's. Suzie's company is heavenly. Her show was riveting as she shared her music with big crowd of fans. We floated like Muhammad Ali the bumble bee onto the stage for our set that just got wilder and wilder as the night went on. It seemed like people just kept showing up. We had been featured on the front page of the clubs flyer of events for weeks and the staff were very friendly to us all night. My head was swimming with the beauty of it all when we finally retreated to the dressing room. A little incident worth repeating occurred near the end of the night, well after the show. Buddy bar employee burst in the dressing room with a fly girl and they went straight for the bathroom, him turning at the door to say, "don't fuckin' let anyone in here!!". We, of course stared blankly at this apparently very dangerous apparition. High? Well, when Sean Kelly came in the door to take a pee break from his rigorous, post-show given'er, he banged on the door and yelled, "get the fuck outta my bathroom!!". We in the peanut gallery looked on in horror. That meatball in there may cause some serious harm to our friend. I quietly yet extremely efficiently explained the situation to Sean who nodded once and high-tailed it back to his new friends deep in the heart of the nightclub. Dan Curtis, as well unaware of the drama unfolding, sauntered into the room just as pscho-boy burst forth from the toilet completely enraged and mistakenly targeted Dan as the mouthy guy. Well at this point, as being awoken from a dream, the couch potatoes leaped to Dan's rescue and convinced the crazy, violent guy that it was 'another' weirdo that had yelled at him and that that guy had jumped into a cab just now and was probably fleeing straight to the airport. Whew!! Crisis narrowly avoided, we retreated to our hotel for the 2 hours of sleep that we had coming to us before we hit the windy road to the Stan Rogers folk fest in Canso.
June 30—Canso, N.S. El Dubya wheeled 'er for most of the drive whilst everyone slept. Oh Susana was with us and had the first performance of the day that set the stage for us arriving just in time. The weekend was magical and I knew we were onto something good right away when I walked in the hospitality room to see the lovely and talented Jenny Whiteley talking with the Burns sisters (from Ithaca, N.Y.-these wonderful women have a place in my heart for all time). The happiness and hootenanny held me aloft for 48 hours. It certainly wasn't sleep. Our first performance was in the (get this) 'New Country' workshop with George Fox, who Burke plays with from time to time. George is a very nice fella and we worked our way through an enjoyable hour of mellow tunes. The Waifs eyed us up and later Vicki Waif said, "well you guys sure have established yourselves as the party boys". Little did she know how our fatigue was responsible for the Rolling Stones deathly pallor that we radiated. Anyways, we sure all fell for the Waifs hard; just like everyone else they meet I'm sure. They knocked the audience's socks off the next night when they played the main stage. Our next show (the 2nd of three that day) was to perform the Wall in it's entirety to a jam-packed tent full of smiling people. Not too tall of an order, eh? That sure went well but by the time we finished and mingled and shook hands we realized that our main stage set was 40 minutes away and we had to move all of our gear across the festival site and the no helpers were around with golf carts and our van was far away and we were screwed. Desperation set in and we just made it on stage in time to play thanks to Cammy running and getting the van. Turns out the helpers were on their dinner break and it had slipped through the cracks that we were going to need help. Poor Burke just needed more time to set up his stuff so it didn't quite come together musically due to no monitor check and the panic factor of the entire band. I jumped around alot, grinning like an idiot. Thankfully the crowd was entertained enough that we didn't have to hang our heads in shame. We recovered enough to help Burke get on the road back to Halifax where he was catching and early flight back to Toronto. The rest of us stayed on and did alot of socializing with the many musicians and local folks. Dan Whiteley was there with Jenny and they did some great playing together. The Holmes Brothers kicked out the jams and that was the highlight for me. Nothing held the crowd back from taking all the music in. And the weather was a pleasantly hardy blend of east coast, meteorological favorites. I really hope we get asked back another year. Loves the whole eastern feel, yup!