Well, before embarking upon my next big touring adventure, I thought I would drop a line and get up to speed on the past few months. As you know, the release of “Classic” in Canada came in November, to a whirlwind of cross country promotion. I was able to take a lot of much needed time to myself to reconnect with my regular life in October, so by November, I had recharged and was ready to get out there and let the folks know about one of my proudest recording achievements to date. After nearly 20 years since I started my first studio album, it’s always exhilarating to finish another one, however this one was special to me in so many ways. Family, Opry, Tootsie’s, and a tribute to the artists that inspired me. Having Reba, Dierks, Jann, Tanya, and Dean share in that joy brought it all together in so many ways, and reminded me once more why I began this love affair with country music 30+ years ago in the first place. I never tire of speaking about my family’s musical history, living room jams, my grandparents’ stories about playing in the Montreal clubs with Johnny Cash and George Jones, and my Grandpa’s all night bender with Little Jimmy Dickens back in the day. Maybe it was two drinks, but by the time the story made it to me it became an “all night” card game or something- you know how that goes. Little Jimmy just smiles and nods when I talk to him about it…not surprised if he doesn’t really recall…but Nanny and Grandpa talked about it for years just beaming with pride…that’s all that matters.
After the cross country appearances on numerous morning news shows, mall events, club signings, store singings, and radio visits we headed back into reality and the holidays. I slept for about 3 weeks straight and woke up in time for Christmas dinner. Ok I may be exaggerating just a tad. I spent the holidays with family, and old friends in Canada, just visiting, watching a little football, sleeping, eating…you know, the usual.
Immediately following the holidays I met up with the band in Toronto and rode to play a show at Casino Rama in Orillia, ON. It had been since late August that we had done a show as a band, and of course that made us a little nervous. We debuted our new fiddle player and harmony singer Ali Raney at that show and she knocked it out of the park…we all had an absolute blast and it was like we never took a break. Saw a few fan club members after the show and had a fun time with them. I then flew out to Los Angeles to meet up with Dean Brody for a video shoot for the next single “I’m Movin’ On”. The weather was freezing, super windy, and cold, but…sunny, go figure. They all blamed the “Canadians” for the coldest day in LA in 20 years. It’s always our fault, eh? Dean was just a pro and sweet as could be and I really appreciated him taking the time to do the video with me. We had the same director (Margaret Malandrucculo) as the “Gypsy Boots” video, which I loved, and this one also turned out great.
I played the Opry in January again, and we did “Two More Bottles of Wine” from the Classic record which was a blast. The band is rehearsing a whole new show for the upcoming Spring tour that will consist of most of the songs from Classic, and some really cool audio/visual aspects as well. We are very excited to get to play so many new songs in this set. It will have its own dedicated segment in the show, for the most part, and I am pumped about it. I normally don’t do a slew of songs from a new album but this one is different as so many of these tunes are already familiar to so many people. If you hate country music, this ain’t the show to come to. We will be doing the Opry again on March 5th before hitting the road for the tour, and I will be signing copies of “Classic” after the performance.
We are booking a few US tour dates for the summer, and mostly the late fall. Please be sure to stay tuned to the tour page and facebook for details as we will announce them as soon as possible…..I do know there is Michigan, Iowa, Oklahoma, and Washington in the works, and many more to come in October-November.
I hate to end on a sad note but we have lost some near and dear friends and fan club family members recently. Bob Dhorman, and Michelle “Blue” have both recently left us, unexpectedly, for their next mission. It makes me think, and really treasure you all that much more, knowing when I see you could be the last time, as none of us are invincible…it brings my heart joy to know that I made some small difference in someone’s life through the gift I was given, that formed new bonds and friendships, and that is what being on this planet really is about. Loving one another, and bringing joy to another soul.
I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and I hope to get to see some of your faces out in the crowd in March and April. I will not be doing autographs after these show as of now. The last tour lead me to laryngitis, and cancellations as the night after night of singing, and cold air killed my voice midway through the tour, so I am really going to pace myself this time, and limit talking. It’s gonna be so much fun and we can’t wait to get out there.
ps- To the nice people who brought dog toys to the last show for the pups…..thank you. They lasted 3 minutes and 40 seconds.
Take good care of yourselves everyone….