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.

Christa Couture launches her long awaited new album “Long Time Leaving” from coast to coast! Join Christa for the following intimate, solo performances.

Further details under shows, or join the Facebook event.

04/02 – Barrie, ON @ House Concert
04/07 – Duncan BC @ Duncan Showroom with Chris Ho
04/08 – Victoria BC @ Solstice Cafe with Cluny Macpherson
04/09 – Vancouver BC @ CBC Studio 700 with Sandy Scofield
04/10 – Ymir BC @ The Schoolhouse
04/11 – Calgary AB The Ironwood with I Am The Mountain
04/14 – Winnipeg, MB @ Times Change(d), with Kris Ulrich
04/15 – Stony Mountain MB @ House Concert
04/16 – Onanole MB @ House Concert
04/20 – Saskatoon, SK @ The Bassment with A Voice for Vultures
04/23 – Edmonton AB @ The Blue Chair with Tzedeka
04/24 – Sherwood Park, AB @ R ‘Ouse
04/28 – Toronto, ON @ The Burdock with Corinna Rose
04/29 – Montreal. QC @ Le Cagibi with Marie Claire Durand
05/01 – Ottawa, ON @ Live on Elgin with Goodnight Boy
05/05 – Cole Harbour, NS @ Rose & Kettle
05/06 – St. John, NB @ Homeport Home Stages
05/07 – Fredericton, NB @ Grimross Brewing Co, Presented by Roots & Soul with Caitlin & Calum

CrossCanadaLTL

Oh Canada! After a summer (mostly) at home, I’m ready to hit the road again. From Vancouver Island to Montreal, here are my 2013 solo Canadian tour dates:

September 7 – Vancouver BC @ KickstArt Festival, The Roundhouse
September 12 – Vancouver BC @ The Prophouse
September 18 – Port Alberni BC @ Rainbow Room
September 19 – Gabriola Island BC @ Rose Crystal Studio
September 20 – Victoria BC @ The Solstice Cafe
September 21 – Salt Spring Island BC @ Steffich Fine Art
September 22 – Denman Island BC @ House Concert
September 24 – Armstrong BC @ Wild Oak
September 25 – Ymir BC @ The School House
September 26 – Calgary AB @ Wine Ohs
September 27 – Edmonton AB @ The Blue Chair
September 29 – Sherwood Park AB @ House Concert
October 2 – Regina SK @ Artful Dodger
October 3 – Winnipeg MB @ Times Change(d)
October 7 – Montreal QC @ Grumpy’s
October 10 – Ottawa ON @ Avant-Garde Bar
October 15 – Toronto ON @ Free Times

Christa Couture 2013 Canadian Tour Dates

We are geographically about half way through this tour, through chronologically 2/7ths. Not particularly relevant facts except to say that we are in Winnipeg – a city that has, over the last couple years, become more familiar and dear to my heart with each visit.

The shows have been lovely. Traveling and performing with Scott and Jeremy has been lovely. But on this sunny Sunday morning, this day ahead of us without a drive to another town, this night with no performance scheduled, all I am thinking about, and relishing, is possibility and space. Good thing Jo Anne and Heather gave me this list last night:

It reads:

THINGS TO DO IN WINNIPEG on a SUNDAY

  • fall festival at Sage Garden Herbs
  • breakfast at The Felafel Place Corydon. really. you must.
  • walk around Assiniboine Park, cross teh bdige to Portage Ave to say you did.
  • AND make sure you see the Leo Mol sculpture garden while you’re there
  • soak up the sun wherever you are
  • drive through Bird’s Hill Park north & east of the city. Look for native prairie. Maybe you’ll even see an endangered Western Silvery Aster…
  • The Forks. All of it. The Tall Grass Prairie Bakery. And find some buckthorn tea. Good for what ails you.

I love this list. Here I go.

cc

In eight days I hit the road for seven weeks of touring. I’m not yet ready, but I think I will be by the time I start loading the car next Friday.

Summer technically has a few weeks left in it but I never really got used to not thinking that Summer ended when school started, and so with September, and this tour about to begin, I feel I’m shifting to Autumn. I’m shifting to something anyway, and thinking about these summer months coming to an end.

It has been almost entirely a summer of sweet – the sting coming one July afternoon in Vancouver when I watched a wasp land on my arm. I’m terribly afraid of bees, wasps, and buzzy things that sting and have been convinced for years, despite a lack of evidence, that I’m allergic to such things. Frozen by fear and envisioning, should I try to swap the wasp away, that it would only fly into my face and disfigure me for life, I watched the bugger slowly hump my arm before I just closed my eyes and practiced my breathing. Despite my stillness, it stung me – jerk – and I in turn, was fine, save for the mild stinging in my arm. Thus, not allergic. And actually, now, less afraid. Phewf!

But back to the sweet parts.

I’ve mostly been in “head down, album out” mode these last couple months, but a number of festival gigs did keep me coming and going out of the town and province.

It all kicked off with a band at Aboriginal Day Live in Winnipeg. That was a sweet gig. I was delighted to perform with a full-band, and have a king sized bed all to myself in the lovely Forks Inn. I like how I can lay in any direction in a king bed without even a toe hanging over the edge. I’m little that way. Despite being on Vancouver time, I woke early each day in Winnipeg and spent the first couple hours getting computer-y stuff done from my laptop in the middle of that cushy island of a bed. Delightful.

Here’s the view from my hotel room of the Abo Day Live festival being set-up the day before:

and here’s me and the band – Niko Friesen, Murray Atkinson and Don Benedictson –  after our set, which was a blast:

See? I’m little.

Backstage we were noticeably – in comparison to a couple of the other artists performing that night – lacking an entourage. Murray quipped:

and we returned to our hotel rooms to drink whiskey. It was a great weekend.

In July I traveled to the All Folked Up festival in  Montmartre “the Paris of the Prairies” Saskatchewan. It is a darling festival run by a group of inspired, dedicated and energetic woman. This was its third year and I look forward to seeing that festival grow. Raised in Alberta, I’m a prairie girl at heart and it was nurturing to be under those big skies for a few days.

Singer-songwriters Corinna Rose and Gabrielle Paplillon and I spent the week following that festival playing a handful of shows in Saskatchewan. Here we are a the start of those days, in front of Montmartre’s own tour d’eiffel:

and near the end of our week together, all smiles in Val Marie:

They are lovely poetic songbirds both of them – check them out at corinnarose.com and gabriellepapillon.com.

This summer also included my first trip to ArtsWells. Now here in British Columbia, it seems every artist has been to ArtsWells. It’s like Christmas, as far as familiar faces, family and friends in the music community go. So I’d HEARD. It hadn’t panned out over the years for me to go, but this year the stars aligned. And YES, it might well be the best. Corin Raymond described it well as “a place where a song can change your life” and I’m so glad I made it to that mountain town this year. The calibre of music and artists is outstanding – Geoff Berner, C.R. Avery, Kris Demeanor, High Society, Jaron Freemon-Fox, Steve Brockley, Morlove, Scott Cook… damn. It was all very, very good. Here’s Orkestar Slivovica rocking the crowd outside the hall (they’re in there somewhere, but blocked by the happy dancers):

There’s only a glimpse of it above, but every house and building is painted a different colour in Wells. You’d like it there.

Then back to Vancouver. Then my sixth flight to Winnipeg in the last year, where the road lead to TroutFest in Ear Falls.

After I picked up Veda Hille, my TroutFest carpool buddy, and an artist whose work I’ve admired and adored for  years, at her friend John’s, I asked her as we drove away “is John a musician?”. “Um, yes he’s in a band called The Weakerthans.” Oh. THAT John. I’d never seen him up close, what can I say! I did take a second to text my husband that I’d refilled my water bottle in THAT John’s kitchen, thinking of the early days of our courtship when he would play Reconstruction Site for me on the guitar. Husband does a pretty good rendition, actually. After that brief moment of squee, Veda and I drove into the Canadian Shield and shared stories of children and husbands and music and Bill Richardson and were very fine folk fest buddies indeed.

After TroutFest (lovely), I played Desert Daze – another blossoming festival in its third year that I also look forward to seeing grow and thrive – and with that my folk festival season ended.

Which brings me to today, and to my to-do list, and to my album coming out in a week, and to the CD release kick off show in eight sleeps, and to packing light so Scott and Jeremy and I can fit the many instruments into the Mazda 5 for our weeks on the road… after C.R. and I first spend five days on the island. So. Much. To look forward to.

xoc

I did an interview with Songs and Sonics not so long ago in which one of the questions J-bot posed was “what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you”? I answered:

I love you.

But that was a cop out, an easy answer. Of course when someone tells you they love you, and they mean it, it is very, very nice. Hopefully you’ve all been told many, many times “I love you” from the moment your parents first laid eyes on you to today. What I actually first thought of when I read the question was:

I’m not uncomfortable.

It didn’t seem like there was the space or time to explain that so I went with the easy answer. I’ll tell you now.

I was on a plane from Winnipeg to Vancouver after three days of Aboriginal Music Week, exhausted, in need of a shower, a little hungover and very much looking forward to getting home after an intense, heartening and bewildering (yet all things considered fantastic) time. The plane was packed and I was stuck in a middle seat. Often the coping strategy in such situations – crammed, tired ones – is to ignore the people around you. But in the exchange of hellos with the man headed for the window seat as he climbed over me and Mr. Aisle became a flight-long conversation, the kind of honest conversation that seems destined for strangers stuck in places. The kind of unexpected, funny, moving exchange that makes me love people, and being surprised by them.

I had told him about my biggest heartbreak. We talked. I told him that it wasn’t the first heartbreak of its kind, 2006, 2010… He slumped in his chair saying “ooooooooh!” to which I quickly offered, out of (the oft described as Canadian) habit ,”I’m sorry!”.

“Why are you sorry?”

“Because that story makes people uncomfortable.” And it does. For the most part people are made awkward, nervous, scared, or apologetic themselves (and all of the above are at best) when I tell them that story. It makes it very hard for me to be honest, most of the time.

“I’m not uncomfortable” he replied.

And he meant it. And it warmed my heart to no end to hear it, like I’d been waiting for someone to say that for months. For someone to just be okay with the truth. It was the nicest thing anyone had said to me in awhile.

If you asked me today “what’s the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you?” I would answer:

I’m in no rush.

Recently, while talking to a friend, I was flustered, distracted, and keeping them waiting. It was another occasion that I said “sorry!”, worried that they would be frustrated or disappointed in my lacking attention, focus.

“I’m in no rush” they replied.

And they meant it. And it warmed my heart.

I’ve been very busy lately, working like mad, and will continue to be so and do so for the next six months. Often hurried, sometimes losing the plot with too many balls in the air – even, at times, mixing metaphors when I’m really showing signs of overwhelmed ; ) – and trying very hard to be mindful of other people’s time. To not be late, to not ask for too much. To not keep them waiting…

I feel I’ve a zillion deadlines and I’m anxious that I’ll only meet half of them, but more than half seem Oh So Important, and maybe a few of them even truly are Rather Important as far as matters of work and art are concerned. Releasing a new album that I care deeply about is exciting, but terrifying too. I’m trying to pull a lot off within my resources of time and money, and friends, so the idea of don’t worry, take your time, I’ll still be here was a reassuring one to say the least.

It’s a busy busy world and our days are buzzing with things to do. What’s the nicest thing someone could say to you now? Tell me, but take your time – I’m in no rush.

APTN held a press conference today announcing this year’s lineup for Aboriginal Day Live… which includes me! And the fantastic likes of Kashtin, Inez, Indian City and others.

I’m right chuffed.

If  you’re in Winnipeg, the day long festival and evening concert are FREE. If you’re any where else in Canada, it will be aired live on APTN.

Fun! The band and I will even be playing two new songs off the upcoming album, The Living Record.

Check out the full lineup: aboriginaldaylive.com/artists-winnipeg.