Thursday, November 19, 2009
Redvers, SK, A Really Nice Hall
After bidding our friends Sheila and Dale good-bye, Dave and I head up to Mr. Breakfast to drink coffee and organize our day. Dave's been asked to appear in a film about Regina's Plains Hotel— soon to be torn down or re-developed to make way for condos. Big Dave McLean and his band were a big draw for many years in this famous, wild west watering hole— so they'd like to interview him at the club today. I said sure, 11:AM sharp, and we are in and out in less than an hour. Yes, the venues do come and go, but when you play a room for twenty years, it is cause for thought... Speaking of venues, it would be really nice to come back to Regina sometime in the spring/summer season and do the Regina Folk Festival. We've played the Exchange for what— four consecutive years now. C'mon, and hire us up, would ya?
OK, time to get out of town. We're cutting south-west by a route neither of us have used before, and the new GPS has made it seem much farther than it really is to clear city limits! But finally we're on the open road. Like Toad. Poop, Poop, but we're not going to wreck our Caravan!
I hope you like prairie as much as I do. Heck, I like it all. We made a few stops for coffee before we hit town.
Dave and I were not invited to the Couples Retreat. I hope folks around here come and see us instead. From the outside, the Redvers Community Hall looks pretty interesting. I can tell it going to be "old school," but we will have no way of knowing if this is good or bad until we get inside. We'll be doing our own sound this evening— which is fine, but for the load in and out parts! As it turns out there is a stage door not far from the street, so it won't be too bad. We've called ahead as requested, and it doesn't take long for us to connect with one of the Hall volunteers, who gets us in and shows us around. It's a pretty neat old theatre with a big stage.
It never takes us very long to set up our Long and McQuade gear, and this venue is no exception. After borrowing an extension cord to make a long reach easy, we are in business. This hall sounds great! We are tempted to play it without a PA, and probably would have if we were earlier along in the Tour. I later tell the Arts Council coordinator "don't even paint the ceiling— this is one of the best sounding rooms in Canada." Some places spend millions on halls to have them sound only marginal, other places just get lucky. The folks in Redvers are pretty lucky indeed!
Sound check was smooth. Pre-show we are treated to a home cooked meal. This was really nice. It could of been pizza or fast food, but our hosts made a basic, home-style meal, brought it to the hall, and dined with us. Efforts like this are appreciated so much. Simple, but it really charges up our batteries, and gets us away from salt and sugar and fat laden fare. A big thank you to the gal who took the time to do this. We are staying at a B&B on the edge of town, so we go there now to check in and get suited up. Sure is dark out here when the sun goes down! And then... Show time!!
I don't think the hall was sold out, but it was pretty full, and I'm told that this was the first time a lot of folks had heard a live blues show. So I'm glad they stayed all night! I hope they come back for more. Ken Hamm and his partner came out from nearby Forget, SK, to catch the show. Ken should play this hall. There are not many jackets left now— we had a fun raffle, but the winner escaped without a picture. Oh, well. A really nice bunch of folks, many of whom shook hands with me at the door as they were leaving. A busload of adults with learning disabilities attended— many thanks to the volunteers who helped get them to the Hall and home again. I especially enjoyed meeting the young man in the front row- he was the last to leave the Hall, needing to wait until even the instruments had been packed in their cases. Dave breaks down the PA while I sell a few more CDs and close up the booth.
These's only one place open in town when we leave, so we stop and buy some not so healthy snacks to take back to our room. Hey, who's tired? We've got a washer and drier, so I'm going to do laundry and the books at the same time!
Posted by Doc MacLean at 5:39 PM