the anticipation is sweet
Hello dear readers.
I’m in a good mood and it’s not just because I spiked a 9 pm decaf coffee with gifted cream liquor from my husband’s 77 year old aunt.
Thanks for reading Belle Plaine's Weather Report! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
This week I got news that there are 1000+ subscribers to this newsletter. I am well aware that email inboxes are weedy places. I’m trying to be among the ones you see and think, “I’ll just read that quick before I get down to the other stuff.” It’s a privilege I don’t take for granted.
Thank you for being here. ♡
It’s 16 days until I play the main stage at Regina Folk Festival on August 6. I’ve written about what the festival means to me as a performer, but the fact that I’ve participated in it as a volunteer, a stage hand and a ticket buyer makes it such an event for me. I can’t say that about any other festival and that’s why I’m so fond of it.
Rehearsals start next week in earnest, but I’ve already been dipping my toe in the pool and things are feeling nice. There are some new faces on stage with me and I think you’ll be excited to see and hear them on upcoming projects.
Jeff Romanyk is on drums. I met Jeff when he was playing with Rah Rah. We’ve orbited in the same circles and played casually together, but this is the real deal and so is he. I’m a slow study in the language of drummer. I know a few things, but mostly I’m hand gestures and eyebrows when I try to communicate. The equivalent might be barely succeeding to order a coffee and sandwich in French, and then brandishing the one phrase that I thought was funny to learn: “Ce chapeau vous va bien.” (That hat looks good on you.) Jeff is a class act whether I’m speaking fluently or barely making drum sense. And he holds. it. down.
Then there’s Bryn Besse on guitar. We met through the beautiful and charming David Newberry and that mutual friendship was reason enough for us to start getting together this winter to pick some guitars. Bryn is a a modest monster of a musician. He’s excited to play, full stop. We hang and jam and stumble through our favourite songs and don’t worry about all the parts we forget and get wrong. In doing this, he’s impressed upon me that the song police are not real. Whaaaat? By extension I realized that I had been letting the song police into every rehearsal. Whaaaat? And then one day… I realized I was the song police.
It’s been a revelation that once I bounced the cops from the party, welcomed much joy back into making music.
If you haven’t seen it, Bryn and I performed a two song mini concert for Regina Folk Festival recently. We played my song “Rock Bottom” and also a favourite Gillian Welch tune, “I Wanna Sing That Rock and Roll”.
And I do, friends. I do wanna sing that Rock and Roll.
I also have Carmelle Pretzlaw joining us on fiddle. I started working with her back when I played with The Lazy MKs, which feels like it was in another lifetime. We’ve only just started to work together and that fiddle brings so much.
Of course I want my son to see his parents on stage, even if he’s only vaguely aware of it, so Blake will be playing the ones and fives on electric bass. No denim jumpsuits will be worn, but that time will come again soon.
It’s a fine band of fine people and I’m gonna soak up every minute of it. It’s been a long time coming in many ways.
Be well, everyone. Stay healthy and help keep those musicians healthy too. There’s been a lot of cancellations and gig shuffling these days. Please do what you can to respect and acknowledge that many of us are just getting back to work in earnest.
Thanks for reading. Please consider becoming a paid subscriber if you’re not already.