It's finally spring time! I know because when I woke up this morning it was sunny and by lunch time we had experienced snow, rain, wind and more sun. I have such a fondness for Canadian weather.
I just returned from a European tour which saw me, my favourite left-handed guitar player Tyler Toews, and our ever organized partner in crime Jodie Ponto, travel through the UK from top to bottom, The Netherlands and Germany. We had many many adventure which are best described in pictures which you can see on Jodie Ponto's photoblog at this link: http://jodieponto.com/photoblog/?cat=818.
A few quick highlights from the tour: performing live on the BBC, successfully driving in London (and then taking our English car back onto the right side of the road in Europe), Playing a mobile blues cart in Hamburg Germany, getting car sick on winding and narrow English roads 20 minutes before playing a sold out show, getting our car towed in Berlin and spending the evening in the German police station and still making our gig, meeting up with the band "The Saints of British Rock" and shooting their music video at Stonehenge during sunrise (which was hidden by rain clouds of course).
We can't wait to return next spring! Thank you to all who came out and supported us!
However, the lovely Canadian summer is approaching us quickly and after some early June Toronto dates, we will be playing a Western Canada tour. This summer we have decided to focus on playing places and venues we haven't played before such as house concerts, barn parties, legions and other places where music should be played and often isn't.
That said, if you would like to host a house concert, organize a show in your town's heritage church, throw on a pig roast and invite the in-laws, raise a barn roof etc. we would love to play!
Our mini van (pulling my brand new 1974 bowler-eque trailer) will be kicking up dust in these areas:
Alberta: June 26-July 10
Vancouver/Okanagan: July 11-17
Vancouver Island: July 18-25
Even if your area and time frame isn't represented here, try us. We have a trailer and we're willing to use it! Click HERE for an up-to-date list of summer tour dates.
See you this summer!
Oh! And, I almost forgot to mention that my album has been nominated in the top three for two different categories at the BC Interior Music Awards! I will performing at the awards ceremony in Kelowna this weekend on April 23rd. Wish me luck!
The past week has been filled with many long drives through the English country side, many shows played in Pubs, radio stations, and houses. And, of course along the way I've been sampling the local ales and here's what I have to say about them.
Pub Crawl #2: Brighton, East Sussex, UK
Brighton is the architecturally elegant, artistic, anarchistic jewel of the South Eastern sea side. We spent one very rainy day jumping from pub to cafe in the North Laines and came upon The Bohemian Lounge in Kemptown. A great little pub with a relaxed and quirky atmosphere with equally quirky and inviting bar men.
Pub: The Bohemian Lounge
Brewery: Dark Star Brewing Co.
Miss Q's comments: Any comment I make here will be completely bias as hoppy beers are my favourite beers, and this beer is no exception. It's light, hoppy, sweet with a slight bite of an aftertaste. The bar master described it as "something quite special" and I'll have to agree with him.
Pub Crawl #3: Exeter, Devon, UK
Home of the world's skinniest street, apparently, and I'm going to believe it as the barman who told me this piece of trivia was amazingly slim.
This was an unexpected pub crawl that started when an elderly gentleman noticed our accents chattering about the pub. Alister, over the course of a few hours and a few pints turned into one of the most random, charming and eccentric entertainer/guides of all time.
Pub: The Ship Inn
Brew: Old Speckled Hen
Miss Q's comments: I'm not going to pretend that I choose this ale for any other reason than the name. Who wouldn't want to drink a fine strong ale with the name, "Old Speckled Hen". I wonder if this is a comment on it's strong dark woody flavour with it's specks of citrus and carmalized sugar after-tones.
Pub: The Well House Tavern. This pub is part of the Royal Clarence Hotel - the oldest Hotel in all of England. Now being from Western Canada, something aged 80 years is deemed a heritage site, so being in a pub from 1769 is really quite an experience. The skeleton in The Well House Basement cellar is quite an interesting feature of the pub as well.
Brewery: Sharps Brewery
Miss Q's comments: a dark amber colour, smooth and creamy at first with a bit of a sharp bitter bite after. The skeleton was definitely the highlight of this tavern.
Here in Jolly Ol’ England the regional brews change every 10 miles as drastically as the local dialect and accent. Growing up in northern BC I thought that there were only a few kinds of beer: Budweiser for tail gate parties - a beer that goes nicely with burning wood palates and loud country music barley audible over the noise of an idling diesel truck, Pilsner for family get togethers when the fathers and uncles all crowd around the BBQ, and Heineken for that rare and classy night that calls for an import. Of course since those days I’ve developed a taste for a variety of beers and in Canada I tend to favor brews produced by my favorite local microbreweries such as Phillips out of Victoria, Tree Brewing company out of Kelowna and of course The Nelson Brewing company from Nelson BC.
Now, however I am touring in the UK and there is a plethora of traditional ales and lagers that I’ve never heard of, seen or tasted. And, with this blog, it is a new mission of mine to try as many traditional and regional brews as I can. So, I will be half pint-ing around the UK (as well as playing music) and documenting it here in this blog.
Please note: I am no expert on the finer points of beer review, so please feel free to leave pointers and tips or point me in the direction of my next fine brew.
Pub Crawl #1: Lancaster, Lancashire, UK
Lancaster is a northern town that thrives on it’s local music and art scene. (As an aside, I have to say that Lancaster also has a thriving coffee roastery (J. Atkinson & Co.) that seems to have educated this small corner of the country on what real, good and full bodied coffee should taste like (hallelujah)). In the 17th century the Lancashirians were fond of burning witches.
Pub: The Golden Lion Pub
Brew: The Pride of Pendle
Miss Quincy’s comments: Made in Lancashire since 1865. This is a smooth, balanced and easy to drink beer. Neither too hoppy or too malty. I think I’ll have another.
Pub: Ye Olde John O’ Gaunt
Brew: Wee Shimmy
Miss Quincy’s comments: On first frosty drink the floral molasses flavor of this bitter came out. I am a big fan of beer with a strong bitter and hoppy edge, so I thoroughly enjoyed this half pint before moving on from my current favorite Lancaster Pub.
Pub: Dalton Rooms
Brew: Belle-Vue Kriek, Cherry Lambiek Fruit beer
Brewery: Belle-Vue Brussels (Het Bier van brussel i Tonnen Gerijpt - I have no idea what that means but it was written on the tap so it may be important or relevent)
Miss Q’s comments: This is far from a local beer, but The Dalton Rooms (may I say the classiest pub in Lancaster) has such an impressive show of taps that I had to try an exotic cherry brew from Belgium. This is a dangerous beer. Fruity, sweet, fizzy, delicious. You can see where this is going.
Pub: Dalton Rooms
Brew: Lancaster Amber
Brewery: Lancaster Brewery
Miss Q’s comments: billed as “a proper Lancaster bitter”, and I will agree (keeping in mind I know basically nothing about Lancaster having spent all of 4 hours in the town but am feeling quite English by this point in the night and have miraculously acquired a regional accent to accompany my beerverage). This bitter is a beautiful amber color with an earthy flavor, mossy and moor-like (once again using my brand new British lingo).
Stay tuned for more Brew Blogs!
Well hello everyone!
Just quick note to let everyone know that we're hitting the road and heading back out on tour. Now, January isn't really the optimal time to be touring in Canada so we decided to tour in Europe instead. We'll be spending the next month and a half traipsing around the UK, The Netherlands and Germany.
Of course for those of you in Alberta, we're playing our way to the airport, so please come and check us out. You can find details for all those shows at: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=125308237535393
Musically this is going to be a duo tour with me and my favourite guitar playin' left hand man, Tyler Toews. However we will be a road tripping trio, as our ever so organized and camera happy sidekick Jodie Ponto will be keeping us in line. Jodie will be documenting the tour on her photo blog (http://jodieponto.com/photoblog). Please check back often as events change daily on her little corner of the web.
Of course, as always if you want to keep up to date with us and our Euro adventures you can always join us on facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/missquincymusic.
I will be posting stories and updates as we drive our rented station wagon around Europe like we own it.
I hope this update finds everyone enjoying the new year. It's off to a great start!
Peace, Love and Moonshine,
This here is my brand new promotional video!
I won't say much about it as the point of a promotional video is to speak for itself. Enjoy!
Does anyone else remember church lunches with grandma or community hall potlucks? Well I do, and what I remember most is the Ambrosia Salad. That brightly coloured gelatinous mass moulded into charming shapes and elegant figures. Ah, the Ambrosia Salad filled with Jello and Miracle Whip and the holiday favorite; green and red maraschino cherries. I love Ambrosia Salad - to look at. Truth is I've never worked up the courage to try it, that is until today. Today I made my first Ambrosia Salad and as you can see here, it was a smashing success. I just can't wait to share it at the Christmas potluck tonight.
So, Merry Christmas everyone, or Happy Solstice, Fairy Blissmas, Safe Holiday, Bah Humbug or whatever you prefer.
Wishing you lots of peace, love and moonshine for the new year.
ps. I've included my very favourite Christmas tune for your listening pleasure. This is the Staple Singer's "Who Took The Merry Out of Christmas"
I love the fact that I am fortunate enough to tour in Europe. I love the inexpensive wine and cheese, the skinny winding roads, the way the audience feels as though they are glimpsing the real wild west through my music.
I also love the language barriers. Following are a few excerpts from a review written about my album, Your Mama Don't Like Me from the website www.rootstime.be. Of course I don't speak Flemmish, so I used the handy dandy google translate button and these are a few of my favourite descriptions that google helped out with.
"Your Mother Do Not Like Me"
(This is a very stern yet proper way to say the title of my album)
"Outside temperatures went up to far below freezing, but inside the musicians kept the whiskey warm."
(It's true, the Belgians know there is nothing like a hot toddy.)
"The result is special music as you hear very little."
(A very Zen description)
"Reno's Song was written by Reno Fith that, in this single instrumental song, shows that you can play great on the mandolin.
(Way to go Reno! You can play great on the mandolin - and all this time I thought it was a tiny out of tune guitar!)
"Along with the fiddle of Josh, Jody and Peter Mynett on guitar on this song the bass sounds fine."
(You should have seen Peter and I fight over who was going to strum and who was going to chord that guitar. By the way Peter and I may fight like an old married couple but it will have to be a cold day in hell before I'll change my name to Jody Mynett)
Here is the whole of google's ineloquent translation if you choose to read it:
(Also! Don't forget to check out our upcoming European tour dates here!)
Roots Canada has a vibrant scene. The large numbers of Canadian Roots CDs that have appeared in recent years is not strange to mention. Even Miss Quincy "(her real name is Jody Peck) is a Canadian musician Roots. Together with the crème de la crème of Canada's finest roots musicians drew Miss Quincy in the winter of 2009/2010 found in a cabin in northern British Columbia for ten days for her debut album 'Your Mother Do not Like Me' on take. Outside temperatures went up to far below freezing, but inside the musicians kept the whiskey warm. The beauty is that the whiskey in a lot of songs on this CD a role. Miss Quincy itself describes its music as' back porch blues brothel. I can find nothing wrong in this description. Miss Quincy grabs ie back to the blues as sung by the ladies in the thirties, but mixes it with elements of bluegrass and gypsy jazz. The result is special music as you hear very little. The CD contains ten songs, seven of them were written by Miss Quincy. The only cover on this CD was written by Memphis Minnie song 'Bad Luck Woman. The instruments that provide the special bluegrass and gypsy elements are the banjo, played by Craig Korth, and the violin played by Josh Giesbrecht.
The happy sounding 'Your Mother Do not Like Me' is the opener and the title track of the CD. As happy as the song sounds so happy, the text does not. A woman tells her husband that she has had enough of his lies and cheating. They will come to the conclusion that these things by itself gets stronger. "You take nobody with you When you die" is the message in the song 'Nobody With You ", a song with a nice arrangement with great violin music by Josh Giesbrecht and an acceleration at the end. In the song "Record Store" is especially Jody's voice grabs you by the throat. The steel guitar played by Lance Lorree in the song "Whiskey & Water" seems to come straight from Hawaii. "Reno's Song" was written by Reno Fith that, in this single instrumental song, shows that you can play great on the mandolin. Along with the fiddle of Josh, Jody and Peter Mynett on guitar on this song the bass sounds fine. The CD ends with two blues songs "Dirty Boat" and "Bad Luck Woman" in which Miss Quincy lets hear some more notes on the harmonica to play. All in all, a CD with nice songs, good musicians, but a good singer.
I woke up grumpy today. The sun was shining on the beautiful fresh snow, the air was crisp and it looked like a Christmas card outside my window. I turned over and put my pillow over my head. Why you ask? Well I don’t mind if I tell you.
You see the life of a musician, fulfilling in so many ways, leaves one wanting only in the area of finances. And seeing as how I’m living in my beloved Nelson town for the winter I would like nothing more than to be skiing on all that fresh powder and those high peaks. However, this winter will be my first Nelson winter that I won’t be skiing because I just cannot afford to buy a ski pass.
And yes, it does hurt. Thank you for asking.
Now, I had a bright glimmer of hope in this dark winter when I saw that my favorite local bar was hosting a ski hill opening day party where a ski pass would be gifted to the person who showed up wearing the best winter costume.
Well, imagine my happiness, imagine my cunning and creative costume planning, imagine my strutting in my fantastic, original and amazing costume, imagine my utter disappointment and despair when I lost the mother f**king contest to a girl in a short skirt and a scarf (I think she was a sexy snow princess or something equally as mundane and unimaginative). That’s right folks. I won’t be skiing this winter because of a snow princess dressed in inappropriate clothing. I wouldn't be surprised if she's in the hospital due to frostbite.
And, the kicker of the whole thing is that I was wearing a mother fucking wolf. That’s right, a real dead wolf and mukluks to boot! I was wearing a REAL winter costume. A wolf and mukluks. Don’t you think that’s worth a ski pass?
I thought so. Thank you for seeing it my way.
My mother once gave me the best piece of advice I've ever received. She said, "men are like a herd of rutting caribou". Now, just to explain, I've recently returned home from the Yukon where the caribou rut was in full swing. The caribou rut, for those who aren't aware, is the time of year when the caribou get it on. And caribou, my friends, have a one track mind during this special time of year. A caribou will go straight towards the first piece of tail they can get, be it over the highest mountain, through a pack of wolves or across a raging river. My mother presented me with this piece of wisdom when I was just a little girl during a particularly fierce caribou rut, and believe me, I was scared. This single piece of wisdom has saved me time and time again.
This fall I made my usual trek north to work as a cook in a hunting camp. Now this northward journey is an instinctual trip for me, not only have I been doing it for over a decade, but my mother and my grandmother, my aunts and great aunts have been making this journey for generations. I am a hunting camp cook through no fault of my own. When the air starts to smell of fall, I have no choice but to drive up the Alaska Highway, don my long johns and leave them on. In this way I feel a kinship with the caribou, I understand following an impulse often against one's better judgement. And, wearing long johns day in and out can deter even the most determined caribou.
Here are a few video blogs from the "Your Mama Don't Like Me UK Tour".