Monday, February 24, 2014

Another Golden Goal Heard Around the Nation

Take It On Faith - Matt Mays

The costliest games in Olympic history are over. Sochi, Russia in 2014 spent 51 billion dollars to host the world. Before the games began there was controversy that continued throughout the duration of the games. I had some serious reservations and concerns about the venue of the Olympics as the date to light the flame approached. There were negative news reports coming out about facilities not being completed or ready or in the case of accommodations, not up to the standard expected. In hindsight, perhaps all world class events work to the very last moment to ensure a perfect stage for the scrutiny of the media glare. Throughout the games, there seemed to be one common thread in all the comments of athletes, and that was praise of the accommodations and facilities. I am more accustomed to hearing praises of the countryside and its people. 

Then there was the whole political anxiety side of things. Vladamir Putin's stance on LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) rights put a lot of people on edge. Would there be a feeling of tolerance or a sense of discrimination. Here in Canada, many major cities opted to fly the rainbow flag in support of the LGBT community during the Olympics. In a country tolerant of the differences it was a move that was applauded and encouraged. Well, save for our biggest city, Toronto. Mayor Rob Ford, (keeping his name in the controversial spotlight) argued with City Council that it should not fly. A fight he lost. In the end, tolerance won at least on the public front even in Russia - where there were no reports of discriminatory behaviour (at least that I heard). Pussy Riot demonstration excepted.

There were credible threats of violence and attacks from terrorist groups. But security was tightened and on high alert. Indeed, one report I saw during the games revealed the many channels and hoops that had to be navigated in order to enter the Olympic Park as a spectator. And that was a Russian citizen. I felt compassion for someone trying to share the experience that as a citizen they dearly paid for. Yet, incomes prohibited the purchase of tickets for events despite there was much talk about empty stands at some venues. 

It wasn't until I heard about the dogs that I really got annoyed however. And I made my feelings know in a facebook status questioning which moron thought Russia would be a good place to hold the Olympics. It seems that unbeknownst to many until shortly before Opening Day, Russia had a long-standing problem with stray dogs. Many cities have populations of feral cats lurking in alleyways, but the dogs in Russia apparently can be aggressive and while it didn't matter much that the citizens could be bitten when walking down the street, the idea that tourists might become the next feast was not tolerable. Poisoned bait was set out to take care of some of the more elusive ones that eluded capture either by cage or crosshairs. More that 300 canines were rounded up and killed monthly leading up to the games. I'm a dog lover but I don't know if I would open my home to a dog that was literally an ankle biter. Although did exactly that - including athletes. There was at least one makeshift shelter built to house some of the last dogs lurking in the shadows before the world's spotlight shone on the streets of the Motherland. But I don't believe it is in the political agenda to continue to pay to house these animals. Are they then released to wander again when the flame goes out? With the Olympic stage being located in Korea next, maybe the dogs will be sent there - where they are not a pest but a delicacy. :(

So with all this tension and controversy before the games even started, I thought it might be wise to just avoid the entire production. That didn't happen. In part, because I learned that most of the television I watch is aired on the CBC which was the national broadcaster for all things Olympic. So for many days there was to be nothing PVR-ing for my viewing pleasure. I don't think of it as a national pride decision to watch the CBC, more that the content and quality of programming I chose to view is more likely to be found on the CBC than on Oprah's channel. 

Truth is, controversy and potential television withdrawal aside, the news of the first Canadian Gold medal had me/us all beaming with pride. And I got sucked in to my fair share of viewing time. The winter sports are where we excel. #wearewinter. Personally I have experience in participating in many of them so I have an understanding. For me that helps. I was a kid skiing on the slopes, watching my brother compete in slalom, my classmates inaugurated the world class ski jumping facility where I spent my weekends skiing. Skating was never my thing, because I was so bad at it, but I had lessons and I understand the term shoot the duck and can identify it when I see it during figure skating competition. 

Who am I it or not, we are a hockey nation. Windsor Nova Scotia has claimed the title of the first place to ever hold a hockey game. The first reference is found in 1836 writing of the Irish game of Hurley being played on the ice instead of field in Windsor. Hockey was born. And shortly thereafter the nations obsession with it. My own childhood consisted of my grandfather who had a recliner just to make his Saturday night more comfortable as he raged against the Toronto Maple Leafs fisticuffs over his beloved Montreal Canadiens. 

Any chance that we can prove that we are the best hockey players unites the nation more any other single event. People recall where they were when Paul Henderson scored the game winning goal during the Summit series in 1972 with seconds to go before the end of the game. It was a national event and defining moment for the country. It made many of us hockey fans - if only "moments" fans. And that is Olympic hockey fans! The jerseys come out once every four years. 

A nation of tolerance, we came to embrace women's hockey as much as the mens'. Well, nearly as much. I am glad to see the women playing the sport without feminising it. There is nothing wrong with ringette, but it is considered the female version of hockey. The Olympic women play hockey the same as the men - but without so many of the hard hits. And they play with the same passion to win. Salt Lake City Olympics (2002) brought womens' hockey in my radar when news broke that the USA team put the Canadian flag on the floor of the dressing room for the players to walk on. After winning the Gold, captain Hayley Wickenheiser offered that the Canadian team would sign that same flag. It turns out that the story was false and used to incite some passion into the players. It worked! But as they were leading up to that point it may not have been necessary. They had previously won Gold in Turin, Italy (2006), Gold in Vancouver, Canada (2010) and now Gold in Sochi, Russia (2014). They are a good team and a healthy rivalry continues to exist (without rumours) against the USA. GO GIRLS! 

Someone has to win. And in order for someone to win, someone has to lose. And as the Gold Maple Leaf flag fluttered in the breeze, ugliness reared it's head and dampened the spirit. Trending on twitter was #f***Canada. Real mature. Not!  :( Granted it was a heart-breaking loss for the Americans. The USA team was leading by a two goal margin and the game was tied in the last few minutes just as the smell of victory was in the air. The win came for Canada in overtime. Without a doubt, two well-matched teams and the winning could have gone either way. I felt bad seeing the dejected looks on the faces of the team as silver medals were hung upon their necks. I don't think the loss would have looked any different on the Canadian ladies. But I do hope that we wouldn't have stooped to American bashing. Poking fun at a long standing rivalry is quite different. And for the record if you want to throw out your maple syrup and cut down your maple trees only means that you lose again. Carry on.

But nothing is quite like the Men's Olympic hockey. A game played in the afternoon in Russia would be seen here in the early morning hours. An 8 hour time difference meant long lunches or Friday afternoon off when Canada and the USA faced off in semi-final puck whacking. Canada had been playing okay but the cocky attitude from the reporters leading up to the game against Latvia was really quite unbecoming and frankly un-Canadian. If Latvia had advanced to that point, they deserved to be taken seriously and given the credit for playing well that they rightfully earned. Canada won that game but it sure wasn't a landslide victory. It was a well-played game in both ends. Following the narrow escape from elimination, there was tension going into the game against the Americans. For these two teams it was the Gold medal game. And it is that way because we realize (or we should at least) that we are talking about two evenly matched teams. The win could go either way. This time it went ours and twitter universe sparked up once again with the profane hashtag. The funny thing is that many of the players on the Canadian team play for American NHL teams and vice versa. Once every four years they play against each other - this hate is beyond rivalry. And I mean the public not the players.

Celebrate (We All Play for Canada)
Canadian Tire TV Commercial 2014

The game this country had been waiting for was a reality. The Gold medal game would be played against Sweden on Sunday morning at 8 am (AST). The sport that brings people together as armchair/barstool cheerleaders threw its' governing leaders into a frenzy trying to determine if bars would be allowed to open at 5 am and serve liquor. Ah the breakfast beer...know it well :) Ah yes, beer dispensing establishments coast to coast were allowed to open and accommodate the eager fans if not pour them a cold one. It was a beautiful weekend here on the Atlantic coast, nearing double digit temperatures and clear blue skies. Saturday morning, people were walking the streets enjoying the weather and driving about doing errands. Sunday morning? Ghost town. Not a creature was stirring, even the pets were forced to wait for their morning elimination round. 

Good morning Canada! Let us pray eh-men! 

Canadian facebook was all a-buzz as we waited for the face off. The entire country had woken up and were glued to a tv set in pajamas or in the local watering hole. It wasn't a shoe-in victory but it was sweet. And it was tense. I swear you could hear the breath escape from thousands of Canucks that held their breath until Sid "The Kid" Crosby scored that second (insurance) goal. It was a thing of beauty. An unassisted breakaway goal always amazes me. So fast and precise. But we had seen our own ladies come back from a two goal deficit so we sat on the edge of our seats hopeful but not assured until the last minute when play did not allow the goalie to leave the ice to add an extra attacker for the Swedes. Victory came and Gold was going to Canada again. The second in a row after Gold on home turf in Vancouver 2010. In the history of hockey in the Olympics, Canada started off on a winning streak but suffered a 20 year drought in the 1970's - 1990's. Back in the bars, the crowds started whooping and yelling in the streets across the nation blocking streets and diverting traffic. Transit in the downtown core of Toronto was a mess. The joy was contagious and infectious. You would swear we played and won that medal ourselves and not the professionals in another country wearing our flag on their chest.

With this kind of hype, it would be difficult to return to a national team that didn't include professional players on the amateur stage of the Olympics. But at the risk of public scorn - followed by a characteristic Canadian apology - I personally would like to the see the playing field during the Olympics more equal with other countries that don't send players making millions of dollars playing the game. Much like the World Juniors Hockey tournament that has the ability to showcase up and coming talent. Of course not including players from the NHL would also mean that players from the KHL and other professional organisations would also not be included. I suppose the almighty dollar will ultimately have the final say. The Olympics are big business and the hockey games are a big draw and contributor to that income. I disagreed with professional basketball players at the Olympics and this is no different for me. Sorry Canada and the world.  

Meanwhile, despite misgivings and trepidation, terrorist attacks against choices and nations didn't happen. The games were a success. I may not want to live in Russia but I understand it as a country a little bit more. And that is worth something. Canada as a team did everyone here back on home soil proud. The ladies curlers who never lost a game, the male curlers who also found gold. The skiers and the skaters and the sledders. The ones who got a medal and the ones who didn't. I hope you were as proud to wear the Canadian colours as I was seeing them on you. 


Credit where credit is due:,0,501363.story#axzz2uG62KJQx

Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Cry Only She Heard

Surround - In-Flight Safety

You surround yourself with people who make you happy and the places where you will find peace. But then you turn around and those people are gone. 

Maybe they walked, maybe they ran, maybe they were buried. But they are gone...they weren't meant to stay.

So how much should you fight to keep someone who doesn't want to be? It's a question I have struggled with. 

This is not a commentary on suicide because people who contemplate taking their own life really are only trying to stop pain in the only way they believe will work. People who don't feel alone (in the world or in their mind) in my opinion don't consider the end as the best route to happiness. People who feel supported aren't afraid to lean.

This is also not a discussion on the right to a dignified death when the time comes, at whatever age we are when that door is the only one open. There are no concrete answers to this dilemma for me. I always thought I would not want to be kept artificially alive, then I heard about Robyn Benson who was 22 weeks pregnant when she suffered a brain hemorrhage that left her brain dead. She was kept on life support to give her baby a fighting chance at life. Baby Iver was welcomed into the world as his mother was allowed to go. As a mother, I would not object to a machine-assisted existence to save the life of my child. Or to save my organs for transplant purposes.

So that's not what this is what is the point of these ramblings today. Relationships is the pat answer. In most relationships you see what you want to see and feel what you want to feel. Maybe it's an addiction problem, maybe it's an indiscretion or a little white lie - but so often we grow into a comfort zone with another person and we don't want to upset the cart. So we pretend that what is happening is not real or it will go away. I'm not just talking about marital relationships but friends and colleagues as well. 

When we put ourselves into the vulnerable position of a relationship, we are opening ourselves up for pain. We trust that the other will not hurt us, but sometimes it is a trust misplaced and we are battered.  

I think it can be beneficial to look back on a failed relationship to seek ways to improve the odds of success for next time, or to give our self-esteems a boost by understanding that it wasn't all us. Self-doubt and criticism rules and tramples our fragile egos when a relationship fails. I would like to think that, but I can't always practice what I preach. Some relationships (work) I am simply not strong enough to want to remember. Yet - maybe never. 

One thing I know for sure is that all my relationships fail for one main reason. Me! I am the reason that they will not continue. I am the one who made the decision to end it. But sometimes, it is more of a hiatus than a permanent dismissal. There always seems to come a point where I realize how one-sided my relationships are and put an end to them. The grand optimist often surfaces and is quick to give an adversary a second (third, fourth etc) chance. This isn't looking through the mirror of the past with rose-coloured glasses, but reading the words written in the truth of anonymity. 

I have learned this about myself in recent months. Not through some intensive therapy laying on a couch or even hours spent in mindful introspection. But literally reading the words I myself wrote. Years of diaries that chronicle the day to day thoughts and occurrences of past life lived.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. All there. Intimate details about personal experiences, youthful foibles and questionable decisions made. Reactions to others and their thoughts spoken about me. From the age of 8 years. The innocence of a child, the angry teenager and the insecure young adult. With no one left to talk to or listen without judgement I wrote/talked to myself. The problem was I didn't listen. I had no advice to give for I had no frame of reference for love and respect.

Over and over again I was taken advantage of. And I knew it was happening for I wrote about how I felt when it happened yet - I allowed it to continue over and over again. One-sided relationships. In love and in friends and even colleagues. I never spoke up. 

Ah, to look to the past as a predictor of future behaviour. I wish I was that smart to have done that. But I did not have that foresight. The written word now tells me that I was smart, but the people in my life convinced me that I was a fool who was undeserving of respect.

Looking back now, I feel sorry for that girl who had so much hope that things would get better that she was broken by the half-filled glass regularly. And more times than even I remembered she used that broken glass to try to stop the pain and cry for help. A cry that only she heard. 


Flash forward a quarter of a century and nothing has changed. Six months have passed and we said WE would call often. They haven't called yet. I did. Then my eyes saw the one-sided relationship and I stopped. It hurt but no one heard me cry. 

It was written that in a drunken stupor you hurt me and I said nothing. I allowed it to continue. In a drunken stupor the tables were turned and I was blamed and hurt again. I wish I could tell you the whole truth and you would hear. But you don't want to hear what I have to say. I keep my pain hidden. 

I asked for help and I was forgotten. I just wanted to bring some closure to a painful incident. Just look and see if you can find anything. Do it for me, because I admit that I am too weak. I wait and then I stop asking. I may be important in your life but my usefullness is past expiration. I see that but I don't want it to be.

But the pain that hurts the most is the one I expected to never hurt me. I asked for very little because I knew that there was nothing to be offered. I just wanted the simple acknowledgement of being. How long does it take to say "Hi!"? How hard is it to type or text "Hey"? One-sided, I see that. I gave you what you needed but my wants were trampled on. You knew how much being lied to upset me but you wanted me to believe that you just weren't around. I know it's not the truth but I never confront you with the proof. I remain stupid and in pain. And as much as I know deep down that I am worth it, I am afraid. Afraid to let you know that I am worth it. Afraid to really believe it myself. Afraid of free-fall.  

Re-reading these journal entries is like watching my life pass before my eyes in high definition slow-motion. Clarity that comes from looking with the years of disconnection to the past. There are certain truths about me that I have come to accept. I fail at relationships because no one ever took the time to help me understand that my role in them is not to be a doormat. Nobody ever took the time to tell me that I was worth being respected. Nobody taught me to have a voice. Nobody every told me that I was worth it. 

These are things that parents teach their children. My parents didn't fail, they were taken from me. My subsequent guardian didn't believe I was worth neither did I. 

I am trying to teach myself that I am a good person and that it is okay to tell people that I am to be respected. But years of rejection and self-doubt are hard to erase without the support of someone in your corner. 

I am in the corner trying to find my voice. And no one is there to hear me cry.

PS. I now understand my aversion to the telephone. I was told too often that no one wanted to hear from me. On the off chance I have taken the plunge to call, I often found rejection. I don't call for help without anguish. I learned to do it all without help. 


With Valentines Day upon us tomorrow, I plead with you to put some thought into a truly heartfelt show of your love. Do not wait until the last minute and then go to the only store open 11:30pm on Valentines and buy barrettes for someone who never wears them (yeah it happened). If you are going to do breakfast in bed for your significant other make sure you don't confuse how they take their coffee with someone else of importance in your life. Having a frank discussion on expectations can alleviate some of these problems and isn't a terrible idea. Keep it light though since I heard one poll that found 22% of respondents had been dumped on Valentines Day. Ouch!

And for God sakes, if you are alone, don't impulsively change your entire life with the adoption of a pet that you aren't ready for. If your life is too screwed up, maybe a pet doesn't belong in it right now. Don't allow the commercialism of what is really just another day, to impact the welfare of an innocent animal. However...if on February 21 you still want to add a furry or feathered friend to your family...ADOPT! :)

credit where credit is due:

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Blue Rodeo Feast with a Double Helping of the Devin Cuddy Band

Paradise by Blue Rodeo

After near memorizing each and every lyric of the new Blue Rodeo release, In Our Nature late last fall, the time for the live show finally arrived. Truth be told, I knew most of it before I even had the disc in my hands. Some of the songs I had heard played in previous concerts, including the 25th Anniversary concert I attended in London, Ontario. I was so mesmerized that I recorded (on my phone) one song so I could listen to my hearts content afterwards. And my heart was indeed content. In fact every time I hear Never Too Late I am transported back to that mystical moment when I first heard those moving words. 

Yes it is ROW 2! :)
And the same thing can be said for many Blue Rodeo songs for me. Some for love, some for joy, some for comfort. It's nice to know that we are not alone in our thoughts. And some for new found friends, like hearing Hasn't Hit Me Yet on the Canada AM soundstage with my new friend Debra. She sailed into the waves of my heart with her energy and our common love for Blue Rodeo and music. 

Now that I am living in my own Paradise, the song I chose for this blog is Greg's version of the same. It has become my favourite on the In Our Nature offering. Although even making that determination is a difficult one, like which diamond do you like better? I'll take them all! :)

Zach Sutton's gear for the Devin Cuddy Band
There was a great headlining band, that although I am quite familiar with them, they are up and coming. The Devin Cuddy Band, is fronted by none other than the talented off-spring of Blue Rodeo's own Jim Cuddy. But that is where the similarity ends musically. They are both tall, talented and handsome. Devin has a throaty husky sound to his voice that is perfect for his chosen style. It is not the type of music that you will hear on your typical top 40 radio, but I would sure like for their music to become more well known. I appreciate the fact that they strive to be the best at what they do without bowing to the commercial cookie-cutter. By his own admission, Devin likes to write in the style of one of his favourite artists - Randy Newman, and I sure like what he has created. I get a sense of an east-coast sound myself. His album is a collection of a dozen songs all penned by Devin himself. The Louisiana/Blues influence makes for really catchy tunes and danceable beats. Hard to sit still when you are listening! The people who came in late...missed a fabulous performance. 

From the beginning to the end, this was a professional show. Okay, there was a little glitch when the guitar slide that Colin Cripps needed for Never Too Late, was not where it was expected to be. But Jim made light while we waited the few seconds for it to be located. The pre-show and the show itself started on time, we were treated to two hours of energetic performances. There were several switches between full sound and acoustical performances where both Glenn Milchem (drummer) and bassist, Bazil Donovan (nice to see you Baz!) had to be re-located closer to the front of the stage and this was done flawlessly. Even the cameraman who moved along the front of the stage for the right shots and angles was unobtrusive.

framed ad from the local paper
As expected, the first set was comprised of mostly new music from the In Our Nature release. I have to say that one of the best things that come from attending a concert like this, is getting some of the back story to the songs. And Greg shared a beautiful story behind the inspiration for Mattawa that helped me see that song in a whole new light. I will now always be reminded of a long drive home halfway across the country in the snows of December. And I am not the only one who got weepy when they heard Tara's Blues

It was an interesting change to see Greg performing without a guitar in hand, but I felt like there was more raw emotion in the songs when he only had a microphone stand to hide behind. It made for an unmistakable connection between the music and the man. Staying on the performance of Greg, one of the fans in the audience made a wonderful observation about how mellow and happy that Greg looked throughout the concert. And I wondered if he was in his! 

Surrendering the guitar was made possible with the addition of Colin Cripps as electric guitarist for the band. Not unknown to the band, he played with Greg Keelor as part of Crash Vegas, and as a member of the Jim Cuddy Band. He has had quite a prolific career on and off the stage. He is an accomplished musician, singer, song-writer, producer and entrepreneur. Yes, those jeans that you admire on the backsides of Jim and Greg are probably Outsider Denims, his company. A quick glance at the resume of Colin Cripps and it seems I was a fan long before he joined Team Blue. Yes, Smoke by Crash Vegas was one of my most well-worn vinyl tracks, but there is also Sarah McLachlan, Ladies of the Canyon, Oh Susanna and Junkhouse to name but a few that he has had a hand in. 

There was an easy flow between the full sound performances and the acoustic offerings and I really enjoyed the outcome of effort. A surprise departure from the vast Blue Rodeo catalogue, was a Blue take on the classic Rolling Stones song The Last Time, done acoustically and with heart! There have been very few songs that they have covered but they do do them well. Til I Am Myself Again is one of their better known re-makes, and Greg's rendition of Out of the Blue on this newest record is fabulous. And if you want a real treat - look up Greg's take on Heaven that he performed on both his solo record Gone and for the James Gray tribute concert. Unbelievable! 

After a quick beer break, the boys were back with the promised second set of some of their classics. And near fandemonium broke out when Greg begged the security to let the fans approach the stage. Now, I had already checked, the floor seats were all bolted to one another to keep them in line and the front row extended across the aisles. Like gazelles they began to leap over - quite frankly my gymnastics days are over - but I made it to the stage! A stranger who was a beautiful soul would not leave me behind and offered her hand so I could climb over the chairs. This is a true East Coast soul and Blue Rodeo fan. Kim didn't need to care but she did and won't be forgotten! We danced and swayed and got Lost Together in the love of the music. 

Both Jim and Greg did solo acoustic performances. Jim shared Girl of Mine and Greg gave us Dark Angel. Hauntingly beautiful but not a clap along :) In this second set with the crowd bopping at their feet, Blue Rodeo covered songs from Outskirts, Diamond Mine, Tremolo, Casino, 5 Days in July and Lost Together

It was during this second set that it really hit me how old I was. Even before rushing the stage, I was noticing how young the crowd around me was. That might be par for the course in this university heavy town, but as I thought back to other shows I attended, I realized that as the boys and I age gracefully together (they are older ;p) the audience is getting younger and younger. Of course only die hard fans like myself would throw the concept of age out the window in order to have the chance to be at the foot of the stage where it happens and you can connect with the Debs and Kims of the world.

And you know, this older material isn't lost on the younger set. They sang along to After the Rain and Bad Timing like us seasoned veterans. And that does my heart good because Canadian music is to be appreciated at all ages. And this is good music that happens to be Canadian. I hope that the gentleman (who ironically lived in Coldbrook, a small town I once called home) is wrong when he said that this would probably be Blue Rodeo's final tour because of the severity of Greg's ongoing ear problems. I hope not because seeing these old friends on stage with my new friends is a highlight in my life that I am not ready to end. 

Kim and I pegged it right, the encore was Try and Lost Together. I have a back story for Try. In my sons Dalhousie University days when he lived so far from my then Ontario home, he would go to the Lower Deck and listen to the great local band Signal Hill play. Sometimes he would request it, sometimes it was on the playlist - but when they played Try he phoned me and held his cell phone high above the crowds so I could be part of the audience with him. And coming full circle in life, when I hear Try I do the same for him! 

Lost Together was performed with Devin, Nichol Robertson, Devon Richardson and Zach Sutton returning to the stage. It still blows my mind to see father and son Cuddy sharing the mike on stage. And the choreographed guitar dance between Nichol, Devon and Greg made me smile. They looked like they were really enjoying it. 

That's the marvelous thing about a Blue Rodeo concert is the connection you can feel with the band. The theatrics come from the musicians and not pyrotechnics. The music is real and not something that is manufactured in the studio. What you hear at home is what you hear in person but with flair! Watching Baz strum on stage I can go home and listen to the same song and hear it clearer and louder on the recording. You have to watch Bob Egan carefully for he switches between his instruments like they are an extension of his own arms. And Michael Boguski has taken piano to a level that I had aspirations for in my youth. But he has the passion and the talent for the instrument. The five member of the band fit Jim and Greg like a well-loved glove. Perfect compliment. 

Years of friendship and respect was evident when for the final encore it was just Jim and Greg on stage with their guitars sharing one mike and two voices that go together like a country mouse and a city mouse. I was reminded of what it must have been like when they started back in the day, two young guys jamming. Well, after Greg taught himself to play guitar! :) The song was What Am I Doing Here and, well, if I ever get that meet and greet, I will tell you what you are doing here in Halifax and every other spot large and small that you stop and plug in the amp! And all I'll have to do is smile, because that is what you do for me. Make me smile. Thanks!

Still on a musical high I rushed over to the Carleton to catch my second helping of the Devin Cuddy Band. I had just enough time to wet my whistle to get ready for more singing when the boys started coming into the bar. I knew and loved the music before I knew the band and only got to know them when I bought the first CD and got the musicians turned salesmen to sign it. Tonight marked the second time that I saw them at the Carleton Music Club in Halifax. The first time, I had just moved here and knew nobody - it was like seeing an old friend. That Devin and Zach remember me swells my old heart and I appreciate it so much. 

(For the record, you don't have to worry I am not a stalker it was just a lucky guess that I knew which hotel you were staying at...I watched you walk to the stage door before the concert. I knew the direction you came from and the hotels in the area.) I'm just a fan who admires your talent and loves your music. And you are really nice people! 

If anyone skipped the show at the Carleton thinking that it might be a repeat of the stage show, they were wrong. The closely quartered bar crowd was treated to a full helping of original songs from the album (aptly titled Volume One) along with some rocking country covers. And I think I understand why some performers on stage have their eyes closed for there was quite a show being performed right on the dance floor! Hey to be young and drunk :) lol! SOCIABLE!

It was an awesome night! And I look forward to seeing you all again "DOWN THE ROAD". This time, I'll travel :)

Rain Down On Me - Blue Rodeo and Devin Cuddy

Some Links for you to check out: 
Blue Rodeo
The Devin Cuddy Band
The Carleton Music Bar and Grill, Halifax NS
Colin Cripps entrepreneurial venture Outsider Denim

My other writings on this subject :)
Blue Rodeo - More than Small Miracles
"Blue Rodeo Day" Feels Like Bologna in Their Shoes
A Part of the Rodeo - BLUE RODEO! Concert Review
"See You Down the Road" Blue Rodeo in Stratford Ontario
Close Encounter of the Cuddy Kind :)
Blue Rodeo - We Churn Out Some Good Musicians in the Land of the Maple Leaf
Jim Cuddy - A beautiful soul with a talent and voice as big as a skyscraper

Pictures :) 
Devin Cuddy and Zach Sutton

Greg Keelor

Jim Cuddy

After the Rain

Greg Keelor

Bazil Donovan - Bob Egan - Michael Boguski

Hasn't Hit Me Yet! We approve :)

Nichol Robertson, Devon Richardson and Greg Keelor doing it like the "Pips" lol

Colin Cripps - Zach Sutton - Devin Cuddy 

YouTube link for Greg Keelor doing Heaven