Archive for March, 2013

This will strike a ‘chord’ for those folks on the high side of 50.

I was in Safeway today and the music playing in the store was …

“Breathe” from Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.

Oh the humanity! It has come to this. 😦


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As mentioned in the previous post, Busy Times, we – as in the Big Sky Gliders – have been out and about in the last couple of months.

Jim’s son captured a couple of our tunes at the Carrot Cafe in Edmonton and posted them on to YouTube. So, we present for your viewing pleasure …

Johnson Brown – one of Jim’s songs

and, Where Randy Rolled a Tractor – another one of Jim’s.


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It has been a while since I have posted anything here. It has been busy times indeed. And most of the efforts have been in the making music area.

We. as in the Big Sky Gliders, have had a number of gigs in the past six weeks. Practice has kept us occupied as we prepared for the performances.

The first was for Don’s thesis adviser at the University of Alberta who was retiring. Don had given his prof a copy of our CD at Christmas and he liked it so much, he asked if we would play at his retirement party at the Faculty Club at the university. Not only did we play for almost two hours, we were paid for our troubles. And to make it even better, our buddy Kyle was able to join us on stage. Kyle is a fiddler and mandolin player extraordinaire who guested on two tracks on our first CD. He really does an extra dimension to our songs.


The Big Sky Gliders at the University of Alberta Faculty Club – l-r, Don, Jim, Brian and Kyle

It was a lot of fun. We received some great feedback, sold a few CDs and generally had a good time. We are getting to the point where the songs are second nature and I think it shows in our playing. We are becoming confident on stage. The long hours of practice are paying off.


Belting out Ernest and Lucy with Kyle’s help

We have helped out our friends at the Heart of the City Festival as well. We played two open stages at the Pacific Cafe as fundraisers for the festival in January and February. The festival organizers also asked if we would like to contribute a couple of songs to the festival’s 10th anniversary CD project. This meant going into the University of Alberta student radio station, CJSR, and recording two of our original songs. The Heart of the City Festival is the first weekend in June and the CD is scheduled for release in time for this year’s show. And we plan to participate again – this will mark our 5th year playing for the inner city folks.

The next gig was on March 15 when we were able to do two sets at the Carrot Cafe. We have played open stages at the Carrot for a number of years but this time the whole evening was ours. We did two sets of original material (with the exception of one cover song) and played for almost two hours.


Live at the Carrot Cafe – Jim, myself and Don

The Carrot isn’t very large but we had an enthusiastic audience of family and friends. The small stage made for some interesting positioning, but everyone responded really well and again there was lots of positive feedback.


Jim, Don and the bass player


Serious music


The Big Sky Gliders playing at the Mercer Collective craft fair

So, after working the night shift at the Carrot, we headed to the Mercer Collective on Saturday morning to play at their craft fair in downtown Edmonton. This was an entirely different show from the Carrot. We were not the main attraction but we provided entertainment for the folks attending. For us, we were busking. We left Don’s mandolin case open in front of us and didn’t do badly at all. It was a nice relaxed gig, especially when we knew we weren’t the centre of attention – and that was alright with us.

It wasn’t the most glamourous of locales – we were sitting beside the power panel in the basement of the building, but it was fun.




Jim (his shirt says “Paddle Faster – I Hear Banjos”


Busking at the Mercer

I think the nicest compliment was when one of the vendors at the craft fair came over and bought one of our CDs … she liked our music that much. Very satisfying.

Some of our success is attributable to the great songs that Don and Jim have penned. They seem to fit a niche in between country, folk and several other genres. And using different instruments, both on stage and in the studio, allows us to vary our sound. It’s different and great fun.

And today we were asked to play next Saturday in Giovanni Caboto Park – outside! It is supposed to warm up (some) by next weekend, so hopefully we will be able to feel our fingers! We will post details on our Facebook page as they become available.

Busy times indeed!

P.S. and a special thanks to Wanda, Jim’s wife, for the great photos.

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