I crossed the North Dakota / Manitoba border ten days ago and soon pulled into Winnipeg, immediately heading to local cafe/bookstore Sam's Place for the first of three shows in the area. The atmosphere was intimate and low-key, but the folks there were kind and receptive. The following evening, I did the one-hour drive north of the city, across a serene and desolate slab of highway, to the small Icelandic settlement of Gimli, perched on the frozen expanse of Lake Winnipeg. The rustic and cozy Ship and Plough pub beckoned me in from the cold. Inside, the taps flowed liberally with good beer and the crowd with good cheer while I performed a couple of sets of rock n roll on that Sunday evening.
At the cusp of dawn on Monday, I set back towards Winnipeg, coffee in hand, for my early interview on the Global Winnipeg morning show. Being in town for a few days, I set upon my usual strategy of finding a local cafe-haunt at which I could become a temporary regular: in this case, the wonderful Fools and Horses, where I discovered coffee that was potent and good.
Early Tuesday, I found a few hours to visit the Museum of Human Rights, which is one of the most exceptional museums I've been to, in terms of the quality and modernity of its exhibits. Really not worth missing if you have a spare afternoon in Winnipeg.
My final Winnipeg show was an afternoon performance and short songwriting workshop I gave at local community/arts centre Studio Central. This turned out to be a very fun afternoon, with an attentive and engaged audience. In the workshop segment, I deconstructed the song Home Again off of my first album, and explained some of the lyrical and musical ideas that went into creating it.
Wednesday evening, I made the six-hour westward drive to Regina, where I crashed at a hostel and rose early the next day for an interview on the Global Regina morning show, in anticipation of my upcoming show at Creative City Centre on April 12th. I spent Thursday evening visiting with my girlfriend's family in the rural outskirts of Dauphin, MB, before heading to Wadena, SK for an intimate house concert Friday evening.
Yesterday, after trekking around the stunning snow-capped mesas of Dinosaur Park (yes, this is the second dinosaur-related activity I've done on this trip), I finally reached the western edge of my travels in Calgary, Alberta.
Now, I have a few more days off to explore and get a little creative, prior to some upcoming tour dates in Lloydminster, Calgary, Regina, and Brandon. And, in other exciting news, I'm just days away from starting to release the video of my February album launch show.
It is a great feeling to be out on the road. Stay tuned.