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So I have a few New Years Resolutions of my own.  I don't want to make a list because it may suggest, even without numbers, a hierarchy where one takes precedence over the other.  I suppose they could all come under one big heading BE BETTER

How do I measure being better?  I guess it starts with taking stock and seeing where I am now.  Give myself a grade perhaps.  I haven't tried to calculate a grade since I was a junior high school teacher over 13 years ago. I remember my last set of assigments to be marked.  They sat on my desk for close to two weeks.  I knew I wasn't coming back.  I knew who had failed and passed. Hell I knew that much by Xmas time except for those few students who really pulled it together those last few months.  I remember the day grades were due and that stack still sat on my desk, unmarked.  Ashamedly, I walked them to the trash can and threw them away.  I never did take a look at them.  And now I want to grade myself?  That's like the RCMP investigating their own officers.  Plain stupid.  I think I'll leave the marking for now.

There's lots of things I could be better at:  Listening before thinking, thinking before conversing, conversing with consideration for other's feelings.

The thing that I've been a little obsessed with lately though is a resolution to learn claw hammer banjo.  I traded a guitar last year for a Deering Vega Senator.  She's a beaut.  I'm looking to name her if anyone has a suggestion....


HAPPY 2014

I stumbled upon this online.  I could sure adopt a few of these New Year Rulin's



This was my first time in Labrador.  It won't be my last.  Hopedale is up the north coast and a village accessible only by plane or boat.  The bay is beautiful and the old Moravian missionary buildings sit right on the water's edge.  This time of year the village, at least to an outsider like me, seems a stark and barren landscape of rock and the occasional scraggly two foot Charlie Brown Christmas looking tree.  Some patches in the mountains above shimmer with Labradorite, it is that abundant.  The people are warm despite the climate and the smoked Arctic Char is worthy of an addiction.

I was in Labrador as part of the 38th Annual Labrador Creative Arts Festival which really is focused around dramatic arts but each year they bring non-theatre artists to do workshops in their expertise.  Not that I'm an expert but I was there to write songs with the kids of Goose Bay and the Inuit and Innu kids of the north shore.  I have done similar workshops but never in an area so starving for the arts.

There are too many highlights.  The bottled moose and caribou, the smoked fish, the cold that goes on forever, the kids… really was quite a week.  This is the village of Hopedale.

These are the K-3 students who wrote the infectious song, "I Went To Hopedale"  Catchy!

 The Labrador Creative Arts Festival was truly a life changing experience...



Ontario shows, CFMA nominations & breakout west 

How do... while currently in New York, I will be returning to the Great White North on Monday and playing a double bill with the awesomely awesome Jon Brooks at Hugh's Room in Toronto on Tuesday, October 1, and Oakville and London on Wednesday and Thursday. Check dates for deets.

Just found out I got three nominations for the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards. Yay me.

I'll be playing a set at Calgary Folk Fest's new home Festival Hall on October 4 at midnight. Come, I'll have my new electric with me...