Friday, September 14, 2012
Harvest Jazz and Blues, Fredericton, NB
The Festival has the greatest volunteer network I've ever seen. One of the services they provide is an on call shuttle which will drive the performers between hotel and festival locations. Leaving the Lincoln at the hotel, I'm taken to Queen St., where I'll be setting up. There's something like 400 performers at the festival, and 27 stages. And there's stuff going on all around the edges.
Through some glitch I didn't appear on the schedule- it just reads TBA- so I'm pretty sure I'll be meeting a new audience tonight.
Darkness comes. The lights power up. These are tanning lights, for sure. I mean these are close and these are hot. And these are bright. I've got my dark glasses on and my eyes closed. I can't see my guitar or my hands. Interesting, and a little painful. I sure can't see anything looking out! But there's a pretty good crowd out there by the end of my set. CDs are sold and signed. Thanks are given. I'm packed and off to adventure!
My first stop is the Snooty Fox to see Morgan, but he's got a line up outside the club which extends half the length of the block. The doorman won't let me in even with my festival tag ID and instruments. (This is a pattern repeated at other venues over the weekend, with other performers as well. Stupid not to let us in, or to demand a cover charge. We're coming by to sit in with our pals, to introduce other musicians. The coming and going of festival artists is what makes these nights exciting. If the venue wants every seat for retail sales all of the time, they are shooting the goose that laid the golden egg...). I go around the corner to the Lunar Rogue where my pal Matchstick Mike is playing. Here, there is no cover, and they think I'm part of the band anyway. I'm in. Above I hang with one of Maritime Canada's most storied blues/rock/soul singers. Good to meet you, Sam!
Sam sits in for the better part of two sets. He's actually Mikes featured guest for the Festival, and they've spent some time working on arrangements for these tunes...
Posted by Doc MacLean at 9/14/2012