Touring across Canada goes by really quickly, but as soon as you get to Ontario, it’s as though time slows down. It takes so long to get through this province, especially when the northern cities are concerned! So this week, it’s all about Ontario. We’ve spent a solid week here, and will be leaving for Quebec tomorrow.
We left off in Sudbury, where we played at Underground Cafe, a little cafe in the basement of Grace Family Church. The highlights of the show: blowing a breaker for the first time in the FIRST song of the set, and the famous brownie explosions. YUM.
Next was Owen Sound. We played at one of our favourite coffee shops, Frog Ponds in this empty space right beside the cafe. Our good friend Ian Holme and his band, The Curb played as well and we had really good time with great friends and delicious sandwiches (ladies take note…this is the key to Aaron’s heart). It was such a great night and even though Owen Sound is a little out of the way, I’m sure we’ll be back because we always have fun.
After hanging out with our friends the Schmitke’s in Owen Sound, we drove to Toronto, the biggest city, but definitely not the best (I’m biased to the west). We played at a tiny little cafe called the Holy Oak with Alysson McNamara and the Nomads. They are a group of amazingly talented musicians, so playing with them was a treat! The Holy Oak is a REALLY tiny cafe right on Bloor Street, and it was definitely an adventure trying to fit all of our gear in there. But we made it work and it was great to see some old friends!
The next day we drove west to London and played in the basement of Hillside Church. It was another fun night and we got to play with even more talented musicians, including a band called Sea and City. They’re all really young but have a great sound, so I’m sure you’ll hear of them in the future!
Next on the list was Hamilton, where we played at the Casbah with Miniver Sail and Matt Paxton. Again, a really fun show. Hammer spent a lot of time in Hamilton when he toured with Absolute, so we hung out with lots of his friends and even got to partake in a breakfast party the next day!
From Hamilton we went to Waterloo and played at Maxwell’s Music House with the Blackwood Two, which was really a collection of friends playing some GREAT folk music. Before the show Dan from Blackwood Two made us some delicious lentil soup. I wish I had some of that right now! Haha.
After having a day off getting things done and having dinner with Zoltan’s mom, we headed to Peterborough for dinner with our very good friends, the Hawkins, then head to the Garnet where we played. Before the show we did a quick interview on The Antidote with Dave Hawkins (Trent Radio, every Wednesday at 9pm…check it out!) which was really fun. Dave is a connoisseur of good music, so it was an honour to be featured on his show!
And that brings us to our last night in Ontario in Ottawa. It was my twenty-third birthday, so Zoltan and I went to Folklore Music in Ottawa and he bought me a BEAUTIFUL new ukulele with a pickup in it as a birthday present! It’s made by a company called Mainland, based out of the US and it’s a solid mahogany top tenor uke. I LOVE it! I can’t wait to trick it out with some sweet pedals and maybe even an amp someday.
But anyway, I got to play it for our show at the Elmdale House Tavern that night, and on the last song while I was playing on my new uke, the boys broke open six garbage bags full of balloons! And then at the end of the song they wrapped me in wrapping paper and presented me with cheesecake. It was a big surprise and so much fun. And a big thanks to Blake and Jill for picking up the cheesecake!
Whew! Now we’re almost caught up! Right now we’re on the way to Fredericton (playing in PEI tomorrow) so I’ll write about our Quebec adventures soon. 🙂