Friday, December 28, 2012

2012 Retrospective

What a year it's been.

I love this time of year. Looking back over the past. Looking forward to the future.

I love resolutions and plans. And every year I get better at taking time to absorb and appreciate the good things that have happened, as well as the lessons I've learned.

This year was full of happy shows and fun times visiting with friends, new and old(er) in the Nova Scotia music business.

Some of the most special shows were in intimate settings, like Fables in Tatamagouche. I played a show there in February for Freedom to Read Week, where I challenged myself to fight off my inner censor and sing some of the songs that scare me. I was really nervous, but the warm crowd at Fables cheered me on.

I also played for the first time at Cove Music in Sandy Cove, NS. I had never been to that part of the province before and was moved by the friendliness of my hosts and the beauty of the spot. I can hardly wait to go back when I have enough to time to continue on down Digby Neck to Brier Island.

I had a great time playing at the LaHave Folk Festival and helping to organize the Pennybrook Folk Festival. At Pennybrook Festival, I heard one of the greatest things I've ever heard: Adam Iredale-Gray of Fish & Bird playing a fiddle-to-cockadoodle-doo-et with Pennybrook Farm's rooster.

I also played some truly awful gigs this year. If I learned anything, finally, it's that I'd rather play fewer shows than pad out my schedule with gigs at restaurants where the audience is talking loudly over me and the staff wouldn't dream of asking them to take it down – just by 30 or 40 decibels to let the people who want to listen do so. I've had enough of that to last a life-time.

No, it's listening audiences for me!

Like the beautiful audience of over 90 people who packed out the hall in West Dublin for my CD launch show. We had a full band on stage with me, Jude Pelley, Jordi Comstock, Jim Bell and Liam Finney. My beautiful friends and neighbours, Pennybrook, opened the show. We had a whizz-bang celebration to launch Blackbirds, my 3rd CD, that had started months before at The Old Confidence Lodge in Riverport. People are still talking about that show.

I'm looking forward to giving people more things to talk about in 2013. What about you? What are your magical moments from 2012?

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