My friends and Renegades,
It has been a strange and beautiful whirlwind since the Renegade Release Concert (on May 28); followed by three days at home and then being on tour in western Canada since last Tuesday!
Let me bring you up to speed.
Here’s about a hundred or so photos you can flick through from the launch event at the West End Cultural Centre (all of which are by Dwayne Larson).
When I figure out the “gallery” settings on my new website, these will show up there too.
It felt like a wonderful, magical dream to perform with such awesome musicians and for such a great crowd at the fabulous West End Cultural Centre. From the grand piano to the megaphone and back, things just felt so… ME! I am beyond grateful and one very lucky Renegade.
The following weekend was full of good things and seemed to fly by in an instant… before I hit the road for this release tour, which has just been getting better and better every day!
I love so many things about being on the road: all the thinking time I get while driving, feeling the freedom of the open road, seeing the beauty of new surroundings, unpacking, repacking and the ever-changing “Jenga” game that is loading and unloading in every new City. My Mazda & I are enjoying every one of the 2318 kms that google tells me we have travelled. And we’ve been learning and experiencing the fullness of our resilience along the way.
Before I left Winnipeg, I had the good fortune of discovering that my car needed a new ball joint and control arm and a shop I trust was able to squeeze me in to help “Blue” and I get road ready.
Then, on the way to the first gig in Saskatoon, I drove through the most incredible bug storm, which I initially took as a good sign (a nod to the album song, “Bugs”) but it made things pretty intense driving westward into the setting sun. (And my front bumper still has yet to fully recover.) When I got to The Capitol, I found it was full of musicians and singers who were all incredibly friendly and welcoming! I played a later set and connected with many of these fabulous music makers, one of which played drums along with my last song and another who traded CDs with me. (Thanks “Jen & John”)
Next, I drove to Moose Jaw where I met some of the coolest drama students at RuBarb Productions. (We’ll be making new music together – writing some songs on my way back home next week.) Then I headed to Chiller’s, where more cool people crossed my path, including a local artist who also ended up being my sound guy… and trading me for another CD of cool new music! (Thanks Brodie / Pandacorn)
When I started heading westward again, a strange “banging” sound caused by the strong SK wind caused me to pull over in Swift Current to get good ol’ Blue looked at again. After a slight delay, I was freshly zip tied with no more noises and headed for Medicine Hat, where I had the great fortune of staying with Piet and Ina – possibly the most lovely hosts in all of Western Canada. They welcomed me to what I referred to as “a musician’s paradise”. Aside from just being a beautiful place to be in general, their home is a gift, a house concert venue and an inviting stop for travellers of all kinds; but mostly musicians. What I enjoyed most about connecting with these two is hard to pin down but I think it is the fact that I couldn’t out-give them! Every effort I made in the direction of appreciation for the many kindnesses they lavished upon me was returned with more generosity. I told Ina I thought my heart would burst (at the kindness of folks who were strangers the day before); and when I exclaimed that I wished I had more to give back, they exclaimed (in unison) “you gave us music!”
Performing at Inspire Cafe was also a wonderful experience that resulted in a delicious home cooked meal, more connections with cool new people and also with an old friend I haven’t seen in years. While catching up, we had some great conversation surrounding life, love, music and spirituality. I felt this really helped me articulate some thoughts on the process I’ve often referred to as “losing my religion” and his pastoral perspective was surprisingly in synch with many of my current views, which reminded me of many of the important things that have not changed on my end. (Like love, truth, acceptance and the power of our human creativity.)
I could have conversed with Piet, Ina and my friend for days and days. When I left for Calgary and then Airdrie, Piet spontaneously picked a small flower from a bush near their house and tucked it under my windshield wiper, where it still lives.
Before leaving Medicine Hat
2 days later in Lethbridge
I stayed with friends in Airdrie who had dinner with me and offered every conceivable luxury in their home, including a big breakfast the next morning with their awesome family. It was a joy to be with them and many more great conversations were had.
On the way to Lethbridge, it seemed as though my car was consuming more oil than usual and I topped it up. I played a couple of fun sets for some super cool people at Owl Acoustic Lounge, who also made me the most amazing salmon linguine to enjoy afterward.
The stage at Owl
Here I wrote “War of Heat”:
The sun was hungry.
Before it went down for the night, it devoured everything in sight… and then some.
It left nothing for the moon, or all of the wild things that so enjoy it’s company. And even when darkness settled in and the coolest breeze seemed inevitable, there was no sign of deprive from such powerful heat.
So we did what any insane person would do: we lit a fire so great, so hot and so consuming that no one noticed.
The road to Banff is where things got really interesting. Now super aware of Blue’s oil consumption, I topped up in Nanton and… well… I may have overfilled because when I hit the highway, thick smoke began coming out of the back of the car! Experimentation led me to believe that I was not stranded, could still drive slowly and so I made my way back to the gas station where I had just bought the oil. I was referred to a local maintenance shop, who were closed on Sundays and then found my way back to another gas station on the highway. I realized the smoke seemed to be dissipating and the engine seemed to idle better and better the more I moved. A couple of really nice Spanish guys came to check on me and after chatting with them and some other nice folks, I remembered that I had come across a similar situation with the motorcycle when the spark plugs had become wet and I wasn’t running on all cylinders. The solution was to rev the engine until the excess burned off and everything opened up again.
Long story short: I got lucky. :)
What could I do but head north, toward Calgary, in hopes that I’d either find help if needed or maybe, just maybe, even make it safely to the gig in Banff. With hazard lights flashing, at about 60km/hour (which is insanely slow for the #2 hwy), I took it easy at first. But once the smoke dissipated even more, I continued to inch my speed upward until I found I was going the limit of 110. By the time I got to Calgary, I was able to fully accelerate while merging into traffic and things seemed to be… “normal”. (And have been since – knock on wood.) So I made it to Banff – a triumph in itself that was rewarded with MOUNTAINS!
I’ve felt connected to and enthralled by these mountains since I first met them as a teenager. So many aspects of this journey have been a real blast from the past and the new experiences have been great too, but being here in Banff has brought me so much joy that I’ve nearly forgotten all about the persistence it took to get here.
I love being on the road and I feel like I’m built for it. But this has been an awesome opportunity to have a little recovery time and enjoy such a beautiful part of Canada before today’s long drive to Vancouver. It didn’t hurt that The Elk and Oarsman filled my grateful belly with a steak dinner, scallops, calamari and sangria at the gig last night. All of which helped me sleep through drunk outdoor partying last night and garbage trucks this morning just outside the apartment window where I’m sitting now, with coffee and long, mental lists of appreciation for a tour that is not yet done!
I’ll be in Vancouver by this evening and tomorrow, I’ll be picking up Mitch at the airport so we can rock The Railway Club with Angela Inglis! It’s going to be an awesome show and I couldn’t be more excited. There are still two more great shows after that and the aforementioned songwriting workshops. I’m so happy to be making such great memories and learning more about myself (and my car) in the process.
If you’ve read this far – thanks for listening, reading, caring about and following as I move toward all of the wonderful things Renegade has to offer as I share it with the world.
Speaking of which… if you’d like to do the same, you can tell people where to find me (www.lindseywhite.com) or share the link below where folks can listen & purchase the album!
RENEGADE ON CD BABY: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/lindseywhite4
Looking forward to sharing more stories with you soon as things unfold. ’til then – today is yours & mine, my dear Renegades. Hoping you can and will enjoy every moment.
Rocking forward furiously,