April 2, 2024

Mending Fences

I’ve never learned more about myself than I have over the past 18+ months.  I’m saying no to old ‘yeses’ and I’m saying yes to old ‘nos.’
It’s time to flip scripts that wander off with endings I can’t or don’t want to envision.

During my most recent tour, I was hyper-aware that my voice is changing.  Not the physical tool of my throat, and what’s coming out of it, but the things I have to say.  It’s becoming increasingly apparent to me that I’m not cut out to be the fun-loving country singer that works so well up here in Canada… I’m just a shade shy of being the social injustice fighter that it takes to be a true folkie, and I’ve mellowed enough to the point where my Red Hot Chilli Pepper paste tastes a lot more like mild salsa.  It’s time for another reappraisal.  In an industry that needs to compartmentalize, I’m honestly beginning to feel some ageism at play here.  I don’t want to stop making records, but I DO feel that when it comes time to write some new songs in bunches, that I’ve got to pivot and get weirder again.  I’m intensely proud of Live Now and it’s direct approach.  It widened my audience and put me in front of some new friends & fans that I never would have met had I not gone through that process.  It has been my most successful solo record so far.

Right now, sitting here today though, I am feeling the need to rip down the scaffolding and build another set of rules for myself for next album, for the next chapter of my life, really…

My longtime wife & manager Cathleen & I have decided to separate as a couple.  She’s been a partner to me in every possible sense of the word; I’d need 2 lifetimes to make up the hard work & time she’s put into my career & our lives.  ‘We just ran out of runway,’ as I’ve put it to those who’ve asked.  We’re closing to honour each other; to not rip each other to shreds just because of disagreements.  We’re choosing a friendship, and a version 2.0, if you will.  It’s good for us, and most importantly, it’s good for our kids.  I have been in my two step-kids’ lives since they were 4 & 1.5; and our Bella is already 14.  We’re in the middle of a fair sized upheaval, but we’re all getting through it.  I know we’re not the first to experience this, but it’s certainly not for the faint…

Despite it all…. there’ll always be love here.

Mexico, Arezzo, Montreal & right here
every little chip in the drywall & counter
any other way is insane & unknown to me…

We’re ok over here.  Just changing.

In the meantime, life & work inevitably continues to roll on.  I just completed three weeks of Western Canada, but there’s more to do right here close to home…. Shows in Duncan, Chilliwack & Vancouver are right around the corner and I still need the stage more than ever.  I hope I see you out at these ~ lots of work has gone into the duo show w/ Uncle Joel, and I think you’ll like it.  There’s something for everybody – my new record gets fair representation, but I dig back and visit everything from Subject to Change’s slippery slide guitar adventures to the (Hank)  Moody / Californication funeral jam I’ll Be Damned.  One of my most favourite moments has been a new cover of Jack White’s ‘Love Interruption.’  Joel’s fender Rhodes solo on that has been killer every night out.

I’m going to be participating in a ‘Mending Fences’ Event at Duncan’s Providence Farm on May 4th.  It’s put on by CTRA (Cowichan Therapeutic Riding Association) which provides equine therapy that benefits the mental health & physical & emotional wellness of all who take part in the program.
This will be a great night & tickets are available for purchase here:
CTRA Mending Fences Tickets

I guess that’s it for now – this was a big one… lots to unpack, and figure out in my case.  If I don’t return messages or calls – just know I’m a little bit in the weeds for a short time.  I’m busy learning stuff right now.