This month, my personal life brought me on a trip all the way to Montreal, QC!
I had an amazing time seeing all the historic places – and, oh, so many churches! This church, in particular, took my breath away! This is the Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal, where Celine Dion married Rene Angelil.
My first night in Montreal (literally, we are talking fresh off the plane), I found an open mic about a block and a half away from my hotel, at a pub called Brutopia. The pub reminded me so much of the old Steamer’s Pub in Victoria; I felt like I was home again. They had local brews on tap and a talented, supportive music community… and the poutine was incredible!
My second night in town I made a point of looking for local live music and caught Jordan Lazare at McKibbins Irish Pub. I love that Jordan streams his shows on Facebook Live, so even though I’m back home on the west coast, I can watch his sets online and feel like I’m still on vacation in Montreal… even if it’s just for a couple hours!
I also met some fellow west-coasters who were in town for similar personal business. It was refreshing to connect with people so close to home, when feeling so far away. While out-and-about in the City on my last night in town, my new-found friends and I came across a busker, playing french songs late at night on the street with his guitar. They decided to ask him if I could play a song… and he trusted me enough with the tool of his trade to play a tune. He also let me lean on his knee while I played (there was no strap, and I wasn’t going to sit on the pavement!)… so, right there in the street, in the middle of the night, in Montreal, I played my cover of Zombie by the Cranberries:
By the last chorus, we had a group of 20 or so tourists chanting and singing along with us. The sense of camaraderie is what keeps musicians like me going. I feed off of your enjoyment of music… and I feel good when music hits you so deep in the soul that you connect with it, whether I wrote it or not. I will never forget that moment in Montreal. It was a reminder of why I do what I do — because I LOVE IT!
Now, as promised, the monthly video… here’s a previously unreleased recording of “We Once Were” from when I opened for one of my favourite artists, Holly McNarland, at the Cobblestone Pub in July 2014.