Thursday, October 1, 2009
Acoustic Grill, Picton, ON
This isn't the Acoustic Grill— it's my house in west Toronto! Here's what my breakfast table looked like this morning. The garden has been doing well in my absence. Pears will be along soon. I'm always out on tour during this time of year, so being able to stop into the house is a bit of a treat. We cooked outside last night, slept in this morning. Spoke our new Italian words— some of them anyway— to the neighbours...
We hit the highway in mid afternoon to beat the traffic. I hadn't planned to zig and zag this much around Toronto, but there are a limited number of good venues in Ontario and this is just how it ended up. So, we drive again. The mighty 401 Hwy spews us eastward into Prince Edward County. It's about a two hour drive, and we'll be returning to Toronto post show. We arrive early enough to go shopping at the Giant Tiger department store, and then have plenty of time to load in and set up. The Acoustic Grill is one of the best rooms in eastern Ontario for acoustic music. They've done a really, really good job of developing the room over the past few years, and it's just amazing what they have achieved. Top notch acoustic performers from local, regional, national and international talent pools. And they really know their food here as well. This is the home of the best salad in Canada!
It might not be the smallest stage on the Tour— I think perhaps it is tied for second smallest— but it is a listening room, and always a joy to play.
Owner Steve and barman Steve and me talking pints before the show. I go with the red wine. The County is an up and coming producer of wines now, and there are many local estates with quality product.
See, I told you this place was happening! I know all these guys! Tonight we have folks who have come in from Kingston, Brockville, Belleville, and Peterborough to catch the show. These are places requiring 45 minutes to 2 hours of driving to get here. That's a real compliment, and Dave and I appreciate the support! It's too bad we couldn't have put more of these towns on the Tour schedule this time. Book now for 2011!
Dave and I discover that we have left four brand new mic stands— with booms and clips— at Smoke Meat Pete's in Montreal. We had "help" loading out there. That's a break in routine, and it proves that it's better to stick to a standard plan. Normally we load all of our own gear in and out. We know where it packs, we know who is responsible for what, and we do the "dummy" checks. With many hands and much talking mistakes can be made. I'll call my pal Michael Pickett, who is doing some gigs out that way, and see if he can retrieve our gear...
Another great night! We raffle a jacket, have a ball playing, have a great meal, meet loads of old friends, make some new ones. The County roads are very still and dark at this hour. We stop at Tim's in Picton, and then blast off. We'll be back at my place in Toronto by about 3:30 AM. We talk about the West. We'll be there soon enough. But we've still got plenty of adventures in Ontario.