Hello friends, and welcome to my long overdue update! As winter blew through Toronto it brought a few changes, and I took a little time to climb up some learning curves and shift some gears.
Payback time. One of the projects I took on this winter was to teach large gaggles of school kids how to play ukulele. I first learned to read and play music the same way in New Brunswick – in grade 5, at lunch, with 25 other ukulele-wielding kids (read: loud!). Setting up these groups across Toronto is an initiative of my pal Melanie Doane. Now Mel and I have always known the uke rocks, and I still play my flying-triangle ukulele at shows every so often. But teaching and conducting big ensembles of kids is a new thing for me – I’ll admit, it ain’t always easy to wrangle a large bunch of youngsters armed with small 4-stringed instruments. But in the end, to hear them all play and sing arrangements together as a band is pretty sweet.
In addition I spent some time setting up a new home studio and great new rehearsal space. Most recently I’ve received FACTOR grant money to record one of the tunes I’ve co-written with Ron Sexsmith. I’ll be working with producer Chris Stringer on that one.
This month we play a show with Toronto indie singer-songwriter Bob Sheppard and his band Then It Hit Me – in support of their new cd release “Back Road to Hereafter”. We’ll be kicking off the evening at The Piston on April 19th.