There was no doubting that I had arrived in paradise after only my first hours in Yelapa. Absolutely stunning place, stunning digs at Los Naranjos Eco Hotel, and to confirm that I truely had arrived, I ended the day with some incredible music from the Trem de Minas Band. I even got to jam with them on accordion at the end of the night. Here are some clips from the night below.
Ok, I have taken the decision to revive my blog. For several reasons. One is there is nothing much sadder than a deceased blog. Another is that I am currently in the tropical paradise of Yelapa on the coast of Jalisco, Mexico, and feel strongly like I want to try and keep record of the magic all around me here.
Coming up will be more posts from paradise and beyond plus some back dated updates from earlier in my trip. :) x
Here's a little Holiday Season offering... my first E.P. is now available for free or by donation from Band Camp. It was a rough and ready but fun recording session in Tommy P's San Fransisco studio.
Please share with anyone you think might be interested and thank you for connecting and listening.
So one of Hurricane Dolly's major disabilities, especially when it comes to a musical adventure, is that she doesn't have a working stereo. Not a problem though when you have a car full of instruments and three passengers hungry to play them and sing all the way down the road.
It was a dreamy leg of my American road trip and I couldn't have asked for better companions.
Wednesday, November 13th 2013
Great drive down Sunset Highway through misty, forested, Oregon hills. Arrived into Portland and caught my lovely friend, Chris for lunch before he headed back to Vancouver. Explored the Downtown Portland.
Thanks to an introduction from the wonderful Ricardo Hubbs (view his photos here) I met beautiful, fairy godmother, Gwen in her beautiful home lovingly created by landscape artist, Jeffrey Bale. I was so fortunate to be staying in Jeffrey's home next door, an urban sanctuary full of his worldwide collections.
After heading out for some local blues I returned to Jeffrey's totally inspiring haven and wrote blogs and songs, practised, edited, and took a soak in the tub. I even recorded some of my bath time wailing which you can listen to below! Blissfully fun evening of good ol' home entertainment!
Portland accordion tattoo
As planned, I connected with Sarah who I met at the Sou' Wester in Long Beach. And as planned we discussed the possibility of sharing the road to California together with her friend Mirami, also a musician. We had a great bonding session the Saturday before leaving Portland early on Monday morning.
On Sunday morning, I returned from King Farmers Market to discover that Jeffrey, my gracious host, had made it back from where he was working hard on a project up on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle. I knew we'd have a lot to chat about as his work is fascinating. You can see and read about it on his blog. I had the opportunity to hear about it straight from the man himself so it was only a few hours of my head on a pillow before I was up to go meet Mirami and Sarah.
Saturday, November 9th 2013
Hurricane Dolly (verse 1)
Hurricane Dolly, what are we going to do?
You took us up onto the ridge so we'd enjoy the view
Of sun-blazed rolling mist and snowy peaks
That must have been the Heaven's gates.
And though we took the tow-truck down the hill
We're still the best of mates
Sunday, November 10th 2013
Port Angeles, WA
Hurricane Dolly back on the road.
Applause for my music echoed around the Farmers Market and I left with arms full of produce.
Into the wild; camping alone by Crescent Lake.
Monday, November 11th 2013
Woke by lakeside fireside. Flame toasted croissant loaf from Pane d'Amore before my first view of my new right-hand-girl, the open Pacific Ocean. More incredibly stunning natural beauty at Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park.
Outskirts of Aberdeen, WA, hometown of Kurt Cobain, revealed that the world is not always beautiful. Dolly dies by the roadside. Sought refuge, rest and safety in her leather interiors.
Tuesday, November 12th 2013
Dolly resurrected and finally breezing down the beautiful coastline until 30 miles later she dies on a tight bend and ends up with her front wheels in a ditch. Cops. Another tow truck. Head scratching. Road trip plans withering.
Arrived at The Sou'Wester Lodge, Long Beach, WA, numb to the beauty of this amazing place.
The show must go on and the music that night turned the day from a nightmare to one that I wouldn't have missed. So enjoyed myself!
Wednesday, November 13th 2013
Woke to face the music with the motor...
Well, some they like the cream cakes
And they just can't get enough
And for some they have a chemical
They can't but help and puff.
And like some that start to struggle
With no whiskey for a while,
Our Dolly guzzles gasoline
At half a pint per mile!
Turns out the old girl was just too shy to ask for another drink and her fuel gauge had stuck!
Time to enjoy the beauty of Long Beach and the magic of the Sou'Wester Lodge.
Thursday, November 14th 2013
More exploration of Long beach on my bike, Fergie. Set up a free gig at top-notch restaurant, Pickled Fish. Very cool, "yes" people who bring in lots of live music to compliment their fantastic food and drink which I got to sample quite heavily!
Must remember to turn off Dolly's lights when not in use...
Friday, November 15th 2013
Really must remember to turn off Dolly's lights when not in use... Early morning jump-start before getting on the road to Portland, OR.
Thursday, November 7th 2013
I drove Dolly into position, right up at the front of the boat so I had a view the whole way of the mountains ahead falling into darkness. Then I drove through the dark, only shadows against the night sky to suggest at the grandeur of the landscape I was working my way through.
I arrived in the Victorian port town of Port Townsend just after 7pm and made a B-line to The Roadhouse for an open mic I had found advertised. This cavernous, edge-of-small-town bar and restaurant wasn’t exactly cosy, but I put my name on the sign-up list and worked my way though some bar grub, which really didn’t do much to lift the new-arrival blues.
My turn came around and I went out there and gave it my all as usual. It always feels good to be introducing myself to a new place through my music and the audience didn’t hold back their friendly curiosity. After playing I exchanged some great conversations with other musicians there. I learned that the night had recently moved to this venue from a miniature, Shakespearian style theatre called the Uptown Theater but apparently the leaseholder had been ordered to make extortionate earthquake alterations or vacate the premises. The Uptown Theater currently stands derelict and with it’s original floor decaying. Dan Coven rounded off the evening on a high with blues songs and guitar. Feeling good about the new friends I had made, I headed Downtown to open mic venue #2, Sirens Pub. As I was parking outside I bumped into a lady walking home in her tartan PJs (pajamas). This kinda shit I can’t ignore and she complimented me back on my beloved wooly jumper, handcrafted by my mum. Rosie, with the fine pajamas, then declared she was going to go home to change and come back to watch me play. Ahha… this is the Port Townsend I’d heard about!
My old pal Nicholas was hanging out and other friends were made inside and as the music started, the part a venue plays on the music was really telling. As our little crew settled after restroom, smoke and various other breaks, Andrew Fridae started up we sat engrossed in his thoroughly musically and lyrically accomplished and witty performance. What an act to follow but Gerry Sherman held the energy with outstanding blues. Then it was my turn. I’ve got to say I was nervous about dropping the standards of the stage that night but then I just told myself to just keep on feeling the music, it didn’t matter that it was in my hands. And it worked. I really enjoyed myself, as did the audience as I had such a strong interaction, and dancing is always a good sign too!
Friday, November 8th 2013
The next day I went outside to find Dolly surrounded by the friendly neighbourhood deer. I then went off to find the local Coop for some groceries and also met mouth-organist, Roger from The Roadhouse the night before. After a few errands, I followed a tip I’d received and went back to the Coop to jam. I think the first time I’d jammed at a super market but it went down really well and I had loads of fun. I also met Sarah who’d also been at The Roadhouse. She told me about a sea shanty song circle that was happening that night. So after more music and a bite to eat, we headed up to catch the song circle, hosted by Port Townsend favourites, The Whateverly Brothers. It was such a good time and I won a draw for a free copy of the group’s songbook of maritime folk songs. I did a rendition of Greenland Whale Fisheries, which was a special moment for me in a night of great music and company. I felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I actually pressed record for my turn at the circle so you can listen by clicking here.
Afterwards I headed to the Boiler Room for their open mic night. A great comfy, accessible haven, mainly aimed at youth. The highlight was jamming Smells Like Teen Spirit with a local young guitarist. Then it was a late-night stroll down the town’s grand Victorian streets with Sarah before sleeping in her vacant gypsy caravan.
And here's the video from the open mic at Connor Byrne that I promised on the last blog. Getting stuff done in Portland and I'm starting to not completely suck at technology!
So I have found such a sanctuary here in Portland with lovely Jeffrey and Gwen. Here's me having a little sing-song in the bath last night to Dean Martin's Sway.
Last month, I had the pleasure of being interviewed and photographed by WE Vancouver and they've written an article about me which will be out on the streets tomorrow. If you're not living on Vancouver's streets however, you can read the article by clicking -->HERE. I would like to say a massive thanks to Rob Newell for the photographs and the gorgeous Kelsey Klassen for a really enjoyable interview and an article that I am delighted with. Maybe we can do a follow up when I'm back in Vancouver in May...