I love UnReserved on CBC. I really enjoyed my chat with Rosanna in April while on the Long TIme Leaving Canadian tour (though I had stopped in at CBC Winnipeg to record the live performance of “Alone in This,” the interview was done via studio link with me in Saskatoon) and was thrilled that they invited me back for an extended chat. This time, I got to talk with Rosanna in person in Winnipeg, hurrah!

The premise was to go through some of my musical loves – and it’s too bad (due to rights restrictions) you don’t get to hear the actual songs play in the online version – but from the first ever song I remember being inspired by, we also delved into loss (as ever), we stumbled upon our band name (Rosanna, when we takin’ that show on the road?), I read a passage from “The M Word,” and we got to unrequited crushes, too. All the ups and downs!

 

Chi miigwetch to the UnReserved crew, for having me back on the how, and introducing me to Wine Wednesdays at Moxies.

It was a 2013 tour in Germany that inspired the first one-line-for-each-place reflection once I got home, and I like trying to extract, or encapsulate, what stands out about each place — especially because once a tour is complete, there can be such a blurring of faces, backdrops, and events. There are also so many vivid and brilliant moments; some of them are still reverberating, shining, giggling, swaying, sighing in my thoughts and bones.

I like to pause and see what comes to mind — not unlike #ddnd on Twitter (“dear day not diary” and a daily highlight composition) — neither too soon after the tour, nor too long. Today is the day, friends, and I’m thinking of the dots and hearts we connected in song from the west to east coasts.

Duncan, your low hanging moon was not where I left it but how I remembered it, and your sun’s warmth was the first of its kind this year; you began.

Victoria, you represented 1996 and 2013 in beautiful women’s big smiles and a folded piece of newsprint with a picture of me.

Vancouver, you filled a room and my heart with every way and time that I know you, and I noticed your touch every single time in slow motion; you were hard to leave.

Ymir, your certain kind of magic was the solution to the long drive’s equation; you hung my poster — and I smiled wide for it — amid flour and sugar.

Calgary, turns out you’re younger than you look and you sound older than you are; your deft repair turned on lights below and ignited backstage giggles.

Lloydminster, your virtual and physical knowledge differed and we championed a comedian’s first, ending it all on a piano bench with white wine and a chorus of “Proud Mary.”

Winnipeg, you sidled up to the curb in a way to besmirch your near-perfect paralell parking reputation and were touched by the presence of Birds Hill to Berlin and back.

Stony Mountain, the first double, you sold girl guide cookies, belly sweat in your new dress, and talked about “the girls” while we exaggerated stories of potential.

Onanole, we drove into your April snow storm and, unplugged, planned musicals and heard of house fires.

Saskatoon, you won over the Statler and Waldorf of the joint and swooned in the arms of a baby grand, melting in her steel and wood.

Calgary, we returned, you beckoned from the hot tub after singing along.

Edmonton, we tried to nap in the “room for crying” and navigated puzzle pieces from the past, remembering the waiting of 7 years ago most.

Sherwood Park, you panned for gold in the Saskatchewan River and spun pure magic near changing walls.

Toronto, as my new home you showed home well:  replies from here, there, and everywhere I’ve reached my hand out to; you held and lifted.

Montreal, you were the best you’ve ever been, near full, smiling, and seeing at long last via Aurora and 73rd Ave.

Ottawa, your rainy Sunday slowed us all down, not to mention those stairs, but you’re always my favourite hiding place and I was glad to close my eyes and rest my head on your shoulder.

Cole Harbour, you were funny and lovely, setting up a new world with a three day life span.

Saint John, your sunset was just one of the warm faces in the crowd, and after the music your eyes-filled with tears as you told me of your lost one; I noticed what I missed about those stories, this time.

Fredericton, the background noise would come and go but we, a small but dedicated few, travelled its peaks and troughs together, glowing for each other; plus gin.

xoc

Day 33 and this particular Canadian tour comes to an end! It’s been the best Canadian tour I’ve had yet, in both the practical, concrete ways and the intangible and magical ways.

Upon getting home, I sat on the couch and played ukulele covers of all the tour/homecoming songs I could think of. There are so many good ones, I’m not sure I’d ever need to write another. Here’s a bite of Brandi Carlile’s “What Did I Ever Come Here For.”

My heart is full. My body is tired. I’ve given and received so much.

Day 27 and only 3 shows left in the tour! Getting the exact same rental car in Toronto as we did in Vancouver made for an easy transition off the plane and back on the road, and the weekend spin from Toronto to Montreal and Ottawa was almost entirely soundtracked by Regina Spektor and Kate Bush in that Camry (I’m having my semi-regular love affair with Hounds of Love). I just about had to move to Montreal when I could not for the life of me take the right exit out of the city, but other than that, smooth travels, friends, prevail. Hard to believe this tour is almost done.

Day 20 and the Western Canadian tour dates came to a close as we drove towards the sunset in Vancouver. Today, we fly back to Toronto and the tour resumes Thursday at Burdock! So far, we sold out of my first three albums (sorry fine folks of the last three shows!), left behind my dermaclean and Gaby’s aeropress, lost one sock, and gained one traffic violation. Other than the ticket, we think that’s pretty great, tour wise, and speaking of sold out: the last few shows were, and it just fills my heart to the brim.

What a damn beautiful tour this has been. Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick, we’re coming for you!

Day twelve and we’re enjoying a day off in Onanole, Manitoba, where the latest snow fall (!) is quickly melting in the sun sun sun. I’m about to get a massage at Elkhorn (bliss!) and work some of the long drives out of my shoulders…

I’m in love with this tour, I gotta say. Every single show has been fantastic, and after taking so much time off from the road I couldn’t ask for a warmer return.

Gaby and I continue to Announce The Keys (and it remains a necessity…), the rental car is covered in mud on the outside (thanks to the GPS being hell-bent on back dirt roads during rain storms) and encrusted with granola in the backseat on the inside (oops), we’ve only lost one toothbrush and one sock, and we’ve gained the purchase of the original Broadway recording of RENT. Sing-alongs abound.

Day one on the west coast and we’re off to a good start! I almost lost the car keys leaving them on a friend’s stairs and Gaby almost lost them by leaving them at the coffee grinder in the Save-On in Nanaimo… thus we’ve developed a habit of near constantly announcing where the keys are to each other (routine will come quickly…) Backstage at the Duncan Showroom the zipper on my green “Long Time Leaving” shorts split open and trying to take them off was a challenge I’m glad only Gaby was there to witness… but then the “moon” at the back of the room at the showroom shone on our skin that was still warm from the sun, and Chris Ho opened the night with busy bees and flightless war, and all was, undeniably, well.