Wounded Animal

•November 22, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Wounded Animal

November 19, 2015

What can a wounded animal do, but

scratch, bite kick and then

bleed all over you.

Though it’s howling speaks volumes,

pain doesn’t go away.

But creeps up your spine and whispers

it’s here to stay.

Still, you might be okay.

You’ll know it’s over when there’s

nothing left to say.

Cannon Climbing

•November 14, 2015 • Leave a Comment


November 12, 2015

I wanted to be shot from a cannon but landed in a pool.

Now that urgency is over, I can see.

We are in it as much as we are it.

There can be no question.

And climbing into cannons is an integral part of the game.

But we cannot be pushed out of the pool.  (Only in.)  So we much climb out and choose again and again, whether to fall, jump, dive; sink, swim (and then) climb out again or to


Renegade Release Tour (Ontario) – Week 2

•October 29, 2015 • 1 Comment

Hello from wonderful Winnipeg – my favourite place to come home to.  Here’s what you missed from the rest of the Renegade Release Tour (Ontario edition) with Claire Bestland.

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Did I mention how great it is to have family and friends on the road?  Well it begs to be mentioned again.  Before we sent ourselves off to Peterborough, we were treated to a super awesome family dinner in Newmarket.  Any home cooking is the best thing ever while travelling, but being in the midst of great company is luxurious.

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The Garnet in Peterborough is a lovely place where flakes are welcome and folks are oh so supportive and encouraging of music and musicians.  Before the show, we had an amazing dinner at Hot Belly Mama’s in our own cool private booth.  The food is delicious and the people and atmosphere are just great.  If you’re ever in the area, do yourself a favour and eat here!

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The next morning, we headed off to play the last event of the tour at Ottawa’s Rainbow Bistro.  What an awesome, historic venue with great staff and good friends.  The thought of making music here with my whole band in the future makes me drool.  Ottawa’s bridges over water, parks and nature were all more beautiful than I can describe.


The next day I hit my energy “reset” button by attending a Tai Chi class in Ottawa.  And not just any Tai Chi class, one with a great instructor who once knew Fung Loy Kok’s founder – Master Moy.  Great words were spoken and received and tremendous energy moved by some fantastic members I thoroughly enjoyed meeting.  Ever wanted to try Tai Chi?  There are classes all over the world; I highly recommend checking it out. (taoist.org)


That eve, we visited Ottawa’s National Art Gallery with some friends and enjoyed returning home a bit earlier than had been the norm for the rest of the tour.

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Claire’s cousins (who had opened up their home to us) were so generous and kind.  One of them even decided to serenade us with French folk songs late into the night while we enjoyed being audience members and having some celebratory end-of-tour beverages and big laughs.

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We had a beautiful drive from Ottawa to Newmarket, staying far from Toronto traffic and choosing to instead stick to side roads and highways with a better view.  It was an awesome way to say goodbye to Ontario, along with one last game of pool in Newmarket.


Overall, it has been a great year.  I went on four separate musical excursions and performed in more than twenty individual locations, visiting several places multiple times!  I did Tai Chi in Regina, Newmarket and Ottawa.  I visited some truly gorgeous places.  I shared the Renegade album and companion book with so much of Canada and could not have made it happen without the help of some truly wonderful people.  The list is long, but I must at least send heaps of gratitude to my family, friends, Keith, Claire, venues, promoters, sound techs, home openers and all the amazing people I’ve met on the road.  Thanks to all the community organizations I work with locally and to those I’ve met in other Cities.  I would not be doing what I’m doing without all of you!

There is a Buddhist saying: “The mind is everything.  What you think, you become.”  I’ve lived these words for many years now, but they’ve never rang so true in my mind.   This year I became more of a Renegade than ever before; assessing the tools within my own hands and choosing to create something new with them, in a world that would so often prefer I make something else.  And for this tour, I was able to do so along with a fellow Renegade, Claire Bestland.  (Please check out her music and videos to see a truly authentic rockstar artist in action.)

When I came home this time around, the print edition of The Manitoban had a glowing review for this new project of mine that made my heart sing.  You can read it online HERE.

2015 has been a wonderful beginning to a season of sharing my art with as much of the world as possible.  I can’t wait to see what awesomeness 2016 will bring!

Thanks for listening.  There is so much more to come…

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Renegade Release Tour (Ontario) – Week 1

•October 19, 2015 • 1 Comment

Hello from Newmarket, Ontario & welcome to the first installment of this tour blog!

Before Claire Bestland and I hopped on a plane headed for Toronto from Winnipeg, I had two nights in a row of performing our music.  The first was at Shannon’s Irish Pub with my whole band; a night that left me feeling grateful at 3am and a bit bagged in the morning.  But I managed to pack up anyway & head out to Claire’s album release event where I opened the night and then sang with her awesome band.


(All thumbnails are clickable!)




They tore the roof off of The West End Cultural Centre and I felt like I had the best “seat” in the house, singing along on stage right.

There were a few hours of sleep in there, then some early morning packing and the aforementioned flight before we landed in beautiful Ontario.  The fall colours are in full force and there is so much beauty to notice, everywhere I turn!

The family and friends I have here are extremely great to be around and open their hearts and homes to us so openly that it makes me glow with gratitude.  After soaking in a bit of that warmth and catching up on a bit of sleep, we headed to London to rent some equipment and play and chat with Jan Saddy of Organic Grooves on CHRW Radio (Western University’s awesome campus station).  We also visited one of Claire’s friends who has a beautiful country property with peacocks and a restaurant called Beertown that had taps at the tables and mouthwatering homemade burger condiments.

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The same day, we high tailed it to Guelph, where we had a lovely time exploring before performing at The Red Brick Cafe.

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The Red Brick is a wonderful place with a warm back room to make music in and we had way too much fun making noise while The Blue Jays big win happened.

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The next night we played at C’est What? before The DoneFors, who are a fantastically groovy band with equally fantastic people who were nothing but friendly and supportive and wonderful.

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We were grateful to get back to the amazing place where we’re house sitting, with an amazing cat.  But after more sleep catch-up, it was off to MahTay Cafe in St. Catharines where friends of both my Mom and Step-Mom were able to join us.  The art on the walls is by one of the staff there named “Taylor” (whose last name I wish I would have caught).  Please go see it and buy it if you are in St. Cath.  She and her art are just great.

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After a day off on Saturday, we headed to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) yesterday in Toronto, where Claire was in her happy place the whole time and I found a bit of mine too.  Then we visited The Rivoli for dinner and stopped in at The Horseshoe, where the bartender grabbed a guitar off of the wall and Claire played to a delighted Sunday night crowd.  I had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last time she played there.  We also found our Toronto gig listing in Now Magazine!  And once back in our house-sitting glory, there was a game of pool that was won by the cat.

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That brings us up to date!  There was so much to tell, but overall, this experience has been more wonderful than ever expected and we’re enjoying every bit of it.  If you’d like to know what we’re sounding like in this new duo tour arrangement, please check out the below video.  And if you know someone in Peterborough or Ottawa, please tell them we’ll be there soon!

Thanks for following this journey of mine as I expand and take over the world one City at a time while making art and helping others do the same.  It is a dream come true to do what I love and I know it’s only possible because I am surrounded by awesome people like you.

More to come… ’til then – thanks for listening.


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Any Judge

•September 17, 2015 • 1 Comment

Any Judge

August 19, 2015

Outside and in.  Around and through.

Such awkward gymnastics aren’t easy to do

when the goal is unclear but the purpose is you.

And you’re all you need to be.

So open your curtains, go outside, be free!

Find all the good things life has for you to see.

Especially those that hide below debris.

They are always the most worthwhile.

For you never know when your very own green mile

May sneak up on you like it’ll soon be out of style

Despite what you’ve been told, there won’t be a trial,

Any judge would find us all the same.

A Corner Called Calm

•September 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Ideas have been hatching in my notebook that I haven’t been posting.  Here are yesterday’s musings.

September 1, 2015

I wonder which would seem bigger, if your right and my wrong stood back to back, walked in the same shoes or rode in the same saddle.

There is no need to fight and every reason to express.  Perspective lies beneath the comparison, beyond what is true and irrespective of desire.

Your wrong and my right would take long walks together, sharing interesting stories and pointing out every good thing on the road to uncovering.

There is no perceived danger here, except neglecting to seize the opportunities that wait around a corner called calm.

A Corner Called Calm

Make Your Own Rules (For the Young Music Makers)

•August 24, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Two summers ago, an artistic vision of mine materialized in the form of a program called “Play & Record”.  When I was learning how to make music, there were few opportunities for me to compose and develop new ideas with other young music makers.  So, along with the help of some wonderful people, I invented a free and creative environment for youth to explore these possibilities.

In August of 2013, Winnipeg’s young music makers were invited to The West End Cultural Centre to jam, form groups, attend workshops, express themselves creatively and record their own new music… in five days.  The result was a CD of three songs, presented at an event the following week and memories that would hopefully last a lifetime.  I wrote a blog containing some of my own reflections from this experience in my notebook, but it was never posted.  (*Until now… see below.)

This year, Play & Record took place for a second time from August 10-14, 2015.  I learned so much from our participants and from fellow artistic coach, Matt Epp.  And. remembering the blog, on the last day of the program I shared the final point with everyone: “make your own rules”.  One participant suggested I write a song about our program.  So I considered the then-unposted blog, it’s last point and all of the stuff I regularly endeavour to communicate in all of my music programs.  And a new song was born for Play & Record, which I shared as part of the “songwriters circle” portion of our wrap up event last Thursday eve.

Make Your Own Rules

. . .

I believe that making music can be a part of anyone’s life, throughout their life, any time they want it to.  And those of us who already know this to be our fate are also keenly aware of music’s powerful effect on our lives and that no moments spent in pursuit of it are wasted.

I believe that living a creative life means making something of our choosing with what life has offered us, to the best of our ability from day to day.  Finding and using our voice while letting ourselves be heard is an irrefutable and integral part of this work.  And we are capable of so much more than we know.

Thanks to those who support me in pursuing making art and helping others do the same as two of my major life goals.  It fills me with more purpose and meaning than can be expressed!  And it reminds me every day of our ability to make the world a better place, in all of the little ways that we have the chance.

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Play & Record 2013-2015

P&R CDs / poster


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