Monday, June 20, 2011

Yesterday I performed at Washburn Days in Washburn, ND. It was the third show in a row where I arrived from a trucking run with only minutes to spare before going on stage.

After the first set, Hana and I walked down Main Street to check out an antique car show. By chance we saw a flyer advertising a James Talley show--that very night, at a barn only five miles away!

James Talley, in case you don't know of him, is a great American songwriter. My dad often played his Tryin' Like the Devil album back in the mid-70s, and I used to perform his song, "Are They Gonna Make Us Outlaws Again?"

We made it to the show, which was terrific, and afterward we struck up a friendship with him and his wife, Janice. Wonderful people. I bought three of his new CDs (Happy Father's Day, Dad!), and received a fourth, a Woody Guthrie tribute album, in trade for one of mine.

I look forward to corresponding with Mr. Talley in the near future. I'll need a mentor if I'm gonna keep troubadouring, and he'd be a dandy one.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Rest in Peace, Emilie Hamilton.

Emilie passed away two weeks ago in her Spokane home. She was one of my most supportive fans, and over the years she and her husband Arnold became dear friends. Last year she loaned me $1000 to help fund a CD project, and although I insisted on paying her back I could tell she wanted me to keep it. The year before that she set up a house concert for me on my 38th birthday and baked me a cake. She used blueberries to write "38" in the white frosting. She was a good, sweet person. I will miss her.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Just fish-trucked to downtown Vancouver, BC, and back. It's a prettier drive than the eastward trek to Toronto: rhododendrons and other flowers of the NW are in bloom; Snoqualmie Pass waterfalls are gushing; Montana's big rivers are full to the banks. Saw eagles and elk and, in Post Falls, Idaho, ate real Mexican food. Which is a big deal when you reside anywhere in North Dakota.

Auspiciously, the night we got to Vancouver the Vancouver Canucks beat the Boston Bruins in Game One of the Stanley Cup. Canada, of all countries, has had an eighteen-year hockey championship dry spell, so I'm rooting for the other home team: I was born in Vancouver. Ma & Pa Sand were living in British Columbia in 1970, ranching in the Chilcotin Country and striving to avoid Nixon's toxins. After I was born, they realized they needed familial support and they also realized they wanted to part of changes happening in the U.S. So I lived in Canada for just five weeks before they moved back to Montana. I now possess a Canadian birth certificate, and I can never run for POTUS.

Upon return to Killdeer two days ago, my pal Indio Saravanja was there to greet me. He'd rolled in hours before and slept in my parents' guest bedroom. Indio drives truck off and on professionally, but most notably he's a world-class troubadour. It was a treat to show him around Killdeer Mountain with Hana.

Hana, by the way, flew to Espanola, Florida, today to visit her ailing Grandmother Joyce. Per request, Hana took Joyce some fresh rhubarb from our garden.

Tomorrow I drive to Toronto, and on Wednesday, to Calgary. I'll return in time to play some songs at Army's in Dickinson Friday night, opening for Outlaw Sippin', my friend Beni Paulson's rockin' new band. They'll then back me up on my joint "This Time," as a segue into their set.