Wolfville and Halifax, Nova Scotia!

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WOLFVILLE FARMERS MARKET

July 20, 10:00 am.

Wolfville is about an hour away from Halifax, so I left early to allow lots of travel time from Dartmouth, which is where I was staying.

For once, Google Maps was correct!  I had back-up directions from Jenny ready too though, just in case.

I had just recently escaped the heatwave in Toronto (45+ C with humidity) and I was appreciating the lower East Coast temperatures.  Until today.

It was the hottest day of the tour.  40 degrees with the humidex on this very sunny Saturday.  There was a nice breeze at the Farmers Market, but unfortunately the stage was against the wall of a building.  No breeze.

I could feel the heat burning me as soon as I stepped on the stage to set up.  For those of you who don’t know, heat and me don’t get along.  I tend to sweat copious amounts on a freezing, air-conditioned stage just because I’m under the lights.  So you can imagine what 40 degrees while performing is like.

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I set up my equipment, grabbed a towel and made the best of it.

I was booked to play from 10 am to 1 pm, with breaks, but due to some power issues, I didn’t get started until about 10:30.  Apparently a lot of people stayed away from the Farmers Market because of the heat, but there was still a considerable crowd milling about.  It was certainly the biggest audience I had played for since coming out to New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

There were a couple firsts at this show for me.  #1 – it was my first outdoor show as a solo artist.  I had done a couple before with bands, but this was the first time it was just me and my piano.  No helpful stage banter, no jamming with the band, no one to cover if you didn’t happen to know a good joke.  The whole spotlight was on me.  #2 – this was my first “busking” show.  Ever.  The Farmers Market was kind enough to let me put up a sign, advertise my CDs and also collect money through busking (and the show was paid as well!).  Pretty awesome.

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Photo by Chris Peters

You know what else was really awesome?  People actually sat and listened.  People clapped.  Little children danced to the music, and parents gave them money to put in my busking basket.  Several people took pictures and video, and took the time to tell me that they enjoyed the show.  I sold three CDs, made a couple of new fans and really enjoyed myself.

That is, until I started feeling lightheaded and dizzy, and started forgetting which song I was playing (I literally blanked on the lyrics to my own song that I had played, oh, about 1,000 times).  I had taken regular breaks (and thanked God for the breeze just off the stage), but the heat was really getting to me.  I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and I looked like I had a third-degree sunburn.  But I wasn’t in the sun!!  I was just being cooked.  Slowly, and well done.

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I packed up around 1:30, and quickly headed for anywhere with A/C.  I ended up at the Just Us Cafe, on the main street of Wolfville.  After dunking my head in the cold water in their sink, I managed to hang out long enough to cool down and feel better.  I had definitely been suffering from heat stroke, and I’m glad I didn’t have to play any longer than I did.  And it was a very cool coffee shop.

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Artwork at the Just Us Cafe, Wolfville

When I had recovered my balance and my sanity, I took the scenic tour out of Wolfville (very pretty town, reminds me a bit of Unionville in Ontario).  Here is the stunning Blomidon Inn, which is where I would really love to stay when I come back!!

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My future home, Wolfville NS

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ROCKBOTTOM BREW PUB

July 20, 10:00pm

Here’s another first.  Two shows in one day!  Not only that, I had already played for three hours and was suffering from heat stroke.  Was I going to be able to pull this off?

Luckily I had already been to the Rockbottom Brew Pub a few days earlier for the Open Mic.  So my chances of getting lost were reduced.  A bit.

This was the first time I actually was able to meet the wonderful singer/songwriter who had booked the whole tour for me, Jenny MacDonald.  I was actually on my way to see her in Toronto several months earlier for NXNE, when my car was hit by someone running a red light in Pickering.  Needless to say, I didn’t make the show, and felt incredibly guilty about it.

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It was great to chat with Jenny and although it was a slow night, both her and her friends and fans were wonderfully supportive.  And despite not feeling well from the morning show, I actually put on the best performance of the tour.  I really had fun!  And Jenny’s set was fantastic – she has a wonderful, bluesy voice with some very personal, captivating songs.  You can check out her original music here:

http://jennymacdonald.com

Next up:  Freeman’s Li’l New Yorker (huh?) and Peggy’s Cove!!

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