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September 28, 2009

The End of Summer

I hope you had a great summer and are all doing well!

Summer for me just blew by! I just blinked and the leaves began to turn.

I just came off of a very successful eight-day, six-date tour of BC. It was one of the most fun tours on which I’ve ever embarked that included great visits with friends, old and new and my favourite uncle. I saw incredible places, was heavily inspired by landscapes and artists that crossed my path and played a string of shows (including one with Carolynn Mark) in Winlaw, Vancouver, Chilliwack, Courtenay, Duncan and Enderby. I also did a solo pilgrimage to Tofino, which is always necessary for my soul. (Photos taken with my crappy digital cameral and my even crappier Blackberry are posted on my facebook fan page for those interested.)

While in Winlaw, an electrical storm lit up the mountainous night sky and we thought that my show would be performed acoustically and by candlelight, as these kinds of storms often lead to power outages. Except for that one night, sunshine and beautiful weather followed me for my entire journey! My only regret is that there was no time to get out in a kayak… I can’t wait to go back for a very extensive tour of BC in the spring. During that trip, I will make time to get out on the water…

I’m currently holing up alone at my mother’s condo in Kelowna taking advantage of the last of the summer weather, the peace and the solitude to recover from the intensity of the past five months, reflect, paint and most importantly, write my next album.

It’s been a very busy summer with a lot of long hard hours of work under that big Alberta sky (I’m now a master with the brick saw and have spent many hours enjoying the view from the 3 ton truck I now drive) and very important moments with my family, which left almost no time for anything creative other than canning. My raspberry black pepper jam is highly coveted by friends and family, as will be my Damn Good Chutney (made with red currants, rose hips and crab apples from the garden) once I allow anyone to open a jar. Take one guess what everyone can expect for Christmas this year…

I did manage to get home to Ottawa a few times to visit with friends, tour with Mathias Kom from The Burning Hell and to play the prestigious Ottawa Bluesfest with my amazing backing band.

Summer musical highlights also include a fantastic weekend in Toronto to play a few shows at the NXNE Music Conference, a couple of concerts and two music workshops for the Toronto Francophonie. My weekend ended with a show at the Fete de l’été that took place on Toronto’s Harbourfront! I also played at a friend's wedding just outside of Montreal.

I’ve been taking advantage of my time in Alberta to tour a little more in Western Canada. I hooked up with Edmonton singer/songwriter Tanyss Nixi – a hero of mine - to book a string of mini-tours in Alberta, BC and Saskatchewan! Traveling with Tanyss is always a blast! Most people must think we’re crazy because we spend most of our time doubled over in laughter, even when things don’t seem to be funny…

A lot of other non-stage related music projects have also come to fruition over the summer months. While in Vienna last March, I hooked up with two lovely gals that are part of a film team called Playgrrround. They take musicians off the stage and film them performing their songs acoustically in a typical Vienna setting. I met them when I hooked up with Wendy McNeill and was part of her video which was filmed in a horse-drawn carriage driven through Old Vienna. A few days later, they filmed videos of Rina Kacinari (cello), Tino Mixan (double bass) and I performing Shallow Breathing and Cruelle poetesse in a book store. These videos are now available for viewing at and!

Footage of my Ottawa Bluesfest performance taken by my good friend Fred Steuart will soon be available on YouTube and on my websites.

Finally, if you’re going to be flying with Air Canada in the near future, look for my song Collarbone which is now featured on their In-Flight Entertainment!

Yes, it certainly has been quite a summer!

Once I return to Edmonton after the Kelowna Wine Festival, Tom Murray will be joining me on double bass to celebrate the Artery’s 2nd birthday on Sunday, October 11 featuring Winnipeg’s Greg MacPherson!

Later that week, I’m heading back to Ottawa on to play two showcases at the Conference. I’ll be taking advantage of my time in Ottawa to record the bed tracks for some of my new CD at Little Bullhorn and will do a photo shoot with the amazing Jesse Hildebrand. I'll spend at least one day recording accordion for Trevor Alguire's new album, and I hope to book a show with my backing band. Hallow’een will be spent with my friends Evil Farm Children who will put on a stellar show with Good 2 Go at the Elmdale Tavern!

Later this fall, I will be continuing with the mini-tours with Tanyss that will run well into December. (Visit for a list of show dates.) After Hallow’een, it gets to dangerous to tour over great distances in Canada. The weather is too unpredictable. One day, I will have a great get-out-of-Canada-for-winter plan. Until then, I will spend my winter months playing a lot of local shows and will focus on recording, booking my shows for the coming spring, writing grant applications and applying for festivals in Canada and in Europe. There’s never a shortage of things to do behinds the scenes in this business and I truly welcome the variety it provides. Life as a musician is never boring!

Where ever you might be, I hope you have a great fall and look forward to seeing you soon!

Marie-Josée xx

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