Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last Date: Blues at the Bow

We're up early, but not too early. Canadian winter is clearly starting to catch up to us, and the ride promises to be interesting. Not too interesting, we hope.

Things are looking a little better by the time we roll into the Bean Capital, so we check into our hotel and then circle around to take a look at the venue.

We can tell this is going to be a very cool gig. Actually, the venue is rather famous in Canada— it's just an exceptional blues room. Dave and I are looking forward to it, although in a blue sort of way. This is the last show of the Tour— and we've really enjoyed ourselves. Not only that, but we are sharing the bill here tonight with our pal Tim Williams, so our show will be a short one. We've known this for a long time, but it's hard to believe the end is near. It's an early sound check and load-in, so we stroll inside.

The place is busy in mid-afternoon— sound and lighting techs are busy, bar people are busy, Tim Williams and his band are already here. We carry our gear in and get down to work as well.

It's always a pleasure to run into Tim Williams. I love the way he plays. He should be way better known than he is. If you don't know him, Google him up. We are very pleased to be sharing a bill with Tim and his excellent band.

Some of you will recognize Suitcase James as Alberta's top blues-roots bassist. These guys are actually playing the Saddle Dome with ZZ Top tomorrow night.

While the bar gets ready soundcheck continues.

Before you know it, we've done soundcheck, been out for dinner, got changed, and it's night time and show time!

Go figure, nobody took any pictures of our set— at least not with our camera. Send us a jpg or two would ya, somebody? We had a fun set, all too short, with Tim Williams sitting in on mandolin for a couple of numbers. That's Willie P. Bennett's mandolin he's playing. Sort of gave me a little shiver...

Between shows we went outside to take in the street scene and the lobby.

Blues at the Bow has been an exceptionally friendly place to be. We are impressed by the dedication of all the volunteers. This great old theatre was completely renovated and rebuilt by these blues fans so they could bring substantial shows to this corner of the map. There's plenty of time and effort in all the detailing. We are so pleased to have had the chance to meet everyone, and to play this venue.

Dave and I retire to the Green Room and watch Tim's set from sidestage. It's been a great run. Hospitality is good, and there are little sandwiches, and dip, and beer, and water, juice, wine... I have a glass of red and survey the room. This is one of those places where it seems like everyone has played. All the names and autographs are up on the wall.

We figured we'd leave our mark, too.

It's kind of fitting that the last photo I take on the last show of the Tour should turn out to be my favourite. It's my favourite tonight, at least. We've had a ball, and we're tired after 104 back to back shows! But gosh it was good, and we're a little sorry that it's over. Thanks Blues at the Bow, for helping to make this night so special.

Back at the motel there's no internet and no heat. It's right next to the railroad tracks, so a couple of big freights wake me up and hum me back to sleep. Big drive in the morning. I'll dream of the white line. These days when I close my eyes I'm always moving.

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