Monday, September 24, 2007

A hike and a paddle

Lac Richard, Gatineau Park

This past weekend started off with a solo hike through a far west corner of Gatineau Park. The sun was out and the weather was plenty warm reaching 27°C. Luckily the hike brought me to a nice little lake where I could strip down and take a dip and then kick back with a pint of Grolsch. I can't think of a better way to bring in the fall season.

Splashes of white in a sea of green The Mongolian crapper
Ribbit Lac Richard, Gatineau Park

Sunday we took off to Murphy's Point Provincial Park to get some paddling in.

View from my canoe

It was another great weather day. We canoed around the Big Rideau dogging speed boats and bobbing over waves before settling on one of the interior campsites for some wiener roasting.

Where there's smoke...

And of course there was some swimming followed by the traditional snake and frog hunt. Making memories...

Monster leopard frog

Friday, September 14, 2007

MULE in Montreal

GOV'T MULE on Le National marquee

Friday afternoon I headed east to see Gov't Mule at Le National on Ste Catherine's Street in Montreal. This show was promising to be a heavy dose of Mule. No opening act. Two and a half hours of Warren Haynes' smoking voice and rocking guitar. Needless to say, the evening surpassed even my high expectations.

Gov't Mule at Le National, Montreal

Warren Haynes... Now if all you do is listen to the radio and watch American Idol you may not know this man. However if you've ever bothered to step out into the real world and flick off your mainstream pop swill you'd know that Warren is not just a man but he is a machine.

In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine placed Warren 23rd on the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list. There's no doubt that he's moved up since then.

Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule

He's been the driving force behind The Allman Brothers Band since 1989 and he's toured and performed with a list of bands a mile long. Warren is the same guy who steps from stage to stage to stage jammin' with numerous bands at the weekend music festivals before pickin' up a full set with either Gov't Mule, Allman Brothers, Phil Lesh, or his own solo act. Hours of pickin', sometimes as many as 7 or 8 in a single day. That folks, is unheard of. Nowadays you're lucky to get a straight 45 minute set from a band. What is up with that anyway?

Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule

Anyhow, this evening was awesome. Warren rolled through one song to the next and as per usual he slipped in several teases and of course a couple of full length covers. "Smokestack Lightning" (Howlin' Wolf) was a driving force leading to an inevitable train wreck. I'm sure the Wolf was howling in his grave.

In the middle of the first set Warren proved his guitar-god status with a 12 minute instrumental version of Bob Marley's "Lively Up Yourself". The crowd chanted the lyrics and Haynes sang them through his guitar. Sweet.

Warren's "Lola" (Kinks) tease got the crowd singing before he faded off into "Lola Leave Your Light On". In hindsight, the Lola tease was likely a little humor on Warren's part as Le National Theatre is located at the heart of "Le Village Gai" (the gay district for those of you that don't speak French). But that's another story...

"Living Loving Maid (She's Just A Woman)" was a pump for the recently announced Led Zeppelin reunion concert scheduled for November 26 at the O2 Arena in London.

In the second set Warren paid tribute to Canada's Gordie Johnson with his rendition of "I'm a Ram" (by Al Green but more familiar to us Canadians thanks to Gordie's Big Sugar) and it was kickin' to say the least.

Matt Abts of Gov't Mule

Last but not least, Matt Abts the drummer and fellow founding member of Gov't Mule raised the roof with an amazing drum solo in the second set. As far as drummers go this guy is at the top of the heap. Sporting nearly as many tattoos as Tommy Lee, Matt took control of the crowd for 10 minutes while he threw down a flurry of sticks complete with cowbell.

Nuff said. Download the bootleg here:
Gov't Mule - 2007-09-14 - Le Nationale - Montreal, QC

Set I:
Brand New Angel
Mr. High & Mighty
Lay Your Burden Down->
Smokestack Lightning->
Lay Your Burden Down Reprise
Banks Of The Deep End
Lively Up Yourself
A Million Miles From Yesterday
Lola Leave Your Light On
Livin' Lovin' Maid
Mr. Man
Set 2:
Like Flies
I'm A Ram->
Love Me Do->
I'm A Ram
No Celebration
Fallen Down-> Gimme Shelter Tease
The Other One Jam
Temporary Saint

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Chris Brown and Kate Fenner

me with Chris Brown

Saturday night I headed out to the Black Sheep Inn in Wakefield Quebec to see Chris Brown and Kate Fenner. I've been following these two since about 1988-89 when I first saw them perform with The Bourbon Tabernacle Choir. The Bourb was an electrifying 9 piece band playing some kind of cross between funk, rock, and R&B.

Tonight they were promoting their new solo CDs. Pretty mellow stuff which worked great for me after my crazy moe.down weekend. The venue is incredibly small and intimate and I even had a chance to talk with Kate before the show and then Chris after.

Not the Bourb in any shape or form but definitely two very musically talented individuals.

Teddy Kumpel and Kate Fenner

The second to last track was a nice mellow 7 minute version of Chris Brown's "Superior". The grand finale of the show was when Chris and Kate were joined by Luther Wright (of Luther Wright and the Wrongs and formerly of Weeping Tile of which Sarah Harmer was lead vocalist) on the track "While You Sleep".

Luther Wright joins Chris Brown and Kate Fenner

A great finish to a great evening.

Download the bootleg of the show here (then go buy their CDs)...

Cut me some slack on the boot too, it was my first ever and I borrowed the recorder from a friend. Setting the levels was next to impossible so I gave up.

Click here for a little slideshow of the evening.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Strangefolk finally hit moe.down

Eric Glockler of Strangefolk gives thanks for the touque we gave him at moe.down 8 in Turin, NY.
Songs - Entitled, Anchor

Eric Glockler of Strangefolk sings Rather Go Fishin'.

Download the bootleg of Strangefolk's afternoon set at moe.down 8 here...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Caught up in a moe.down mosh

The weekend that Twiggy and I had been waiting for all summer long has officially come and gone and I'm at a loss for words. Now I realize that it is likely just the post-festival blues talking but moe.down 8 was the closest thing to a religious experience that I've ever done did had. I can't believe that I waited this long to get on the .down but now I'm definitely hooked. And half the reason we had such a great time was thanks to the new friends we made. Thanks, eh.

Border crossing on our way to moe.down Wish we could of brought this to moe.down
US Marine chopper Ali Baba chapel

On the way to Snow Ridge (Turin, NY) Twig and I came across some interesting sights. First the foggy bridge crossing over into another dimension, then a quick stop at the Ogdensburg Wal-Mart for some "make friends" goodies and Halloween favourites, then the way cool US Marines helicopter in Lowville and then the weird Ali Baba chapel in the middle of nowhere only a couple of miles from Snow Ridge. Always something to see in the great U.S. of A.

Tripper on the Tripper checking out Sketchieville Home sweet home
Mentally challenged skiers ahead... Snow Ridge, NY home to moe.down

Finally arriving at moe.down at aboot 2pm, Twiggy and I scored a great patch of grass for our tent next to what turned out to be friendliest dawg gone bunch of Americans we ever did done meet. And as if that wasn't enough they just happened to LOVE Canadians. Or at least our accents and our sense of humour, eh. (yep, our "humour" has a "u" eh)

As for the music, Twig and I hit nearly every single band that passed through Snow Ridge (photos to prove it). And even though it was all about moe. I was equally as pumped to see Strangefolk and John Scofield with Medeski, Martin, and Wood. And like a good little moe.ron I did my homework and checked out most of the other bands on the venue well in advance.

Erik Glockler (Strangefolk), Vinny Amico (moe.), Al Schnier (moe.)

Al & the Transamericans rocked live. But then again what would you expect when you combine Al with a solid like Glock (and Vinny on drums).

Ha Ha the Moose

Ha Ha the Moose was a blast. Great music, hilarious costumes, and wonderful vibe with the audience. And yeah, that's Chuck and Rob from moe. in the photo.

Jon Trafton Luke "Patchen" Montgomery
Awesome toque, eh?
Jon and Patchen Luke "Patchen" Montgomery

Strangefolk did not let me down. I only wish that I'd found the time to check out some of their Garden of Eden festivals over the last 10 years in Burlington, VT.

The folk show was extra amazing thanks to our new friend Erik Glockler (bassist for Strangefolk) who we'd met at the top of Snow Ridge the day before. He too loved our Canadian accents and we ended up hanging out and aboot with him and his friends Ashley and Ryan for what must have bin a better part of the day. His campsite was conveniently located near one of the Main Stage gates so we stored some beer in his ice filled cooler. As a thank you Twig gave him his Toronto Maples touque -- and this bad boy is not just "any" old touque either, it's fleece and made to look just like a hockey helmet, eh. Well needless to say, Glock LOVED it and immediately decided that he was going to wear it on stage. And he did (check out the photos).

moe. with Curt Kirkwood (Meat Puppets)

The Meat Puppets were crazy and Curt Kirkwood's guest appearance with moe. on Big World was incredible and strange all rolled into one.

Perry Farrell's Satellite Party Perry Farrell's Satellite Party
Perry Farrell's Satellite Party
Perry Farrell's Satellite Party Perry Farrell's Satellite Party

Perry Farrell's Satellite Party rocked old school. Perry (formerly of Jane's Addiction and Porno for Pyros) really knew how to get the crowd going and his sexy sidekick certainly didn't hurt the mood any either. Sweet. Superhero, the tune from HBO's Entourage, smoked and really got the crowd rocking.

moe. with Uncle Earl and Zach Djanikian (The Brakes)

The girls from Uncle Earl nailed a hoe.down at moe.down and their version of The Weight (by the Band, another great Canadian band eh) with moe. and Zach Djanikian of The Brakes was stupendous.

John Medeski Chris Wood
John Scofield and Billy Martin
Chris Wood John Scofield

MSMW were solid. A little more structured than I'd hoped for but still it was great to finally see them - and to see them on stage together was definitely a bonus.


Lotus was pure psychedelic. I've listened to a lot of Lotus boots over the years and I'd definitely love to see more of this band.

moe. What moe. can I say? 3 days, 6 sets, and 10 1/2 hours of mind blowing, face melting jamfests! Sweet. (and the 10 1/2 hours doesn't even include the 2 moe. side project bands - Al & the Transamericans and Ha Ha the Moose)

Twig and I soaked it all in from the mosh. Aboot 20 feet out, center stage. You just can't beat the energy and the vibe from this spot. The 2nd set on Saturday we scored a huge cement block to stand on just to the right of the stage (actually it was one of the anchors that held the stage up). Great for photo ops.

Chuck of moe. Rob of moe.
moe. first night at moe.down 8
Al Schnier Al Schnier
moe. at moe.down 8
Chuck of moe. Al of moe.

moe. was solid. Definitely on their game. They threw down like no other band today can. The light show was smoking and the disco ball was a trippy show as the millions of lights bounced off the crowd and the surrounding trees. The ski hill is a perfect location too. The slope assures that everybody can see the show, even over the tallest heads and the Easter Island faces and Duff beer cans.

'Nuff said. Check it all out for yourselves folks...

Slideshow of the photos here...
moe.down 8 slideshow

Download the bootlegs here...
moe. - Friday, August 31, 2007
moe. - Saturday, September 1, 2007
moe. - Sunday, September 2, 2007

Al & the Transamericans
Perry Farrell's Satellite Party
The Roots
Amos Lee
State Radio
Medeski, Scofield, Martin, and Wood
and plenty moe. to come, eh...

And if any of you fellow Canadians are thinking of coming to moe.down 9 the only advice I have to offer is to steer clear of Sketchieville and bring your Canadian flag, eh!!

Tripper and Twig on the ski lift Glock dropping loads
Twiggy, Shawn, Tripper IMG_9762
Our moe.down neighbours, eh

Here's hoping we don't have to wait a whole year before seeing our new friends again, eh.