Maz is currently in Canada to perform a string of shows with Canadian singer Ashley Condon. You'll find regular updates about the trip below.
Here are some additional photos to round off the trip.
My final two days on PEI were spent finishing the demos off and playing two gigs on the island. The first was in Summerside, again with Kizzy and Tim. Here we are:
And the second was in an old (and putatively haunted) playhouse in Georgetown. This was also our Showcase PEI gig, which meant playing a solo set and our songs together to an audience of delegates from all over the world. Eep.
Here's a lovely picture Kizzy took of all 4 of us together after our showcase:
I've had such a good time here, met some great people and heard a lot of beautiful music. Looking forward to getting back to England now though, and to Ashley coming over next year, when we'll get to play our songs together again.
We were given the opportunity to record our new songs as demos with Mark Geddes, a great engineer from PEI. This was really cool, and it will be great to be able to share the recordings of our new songs once they're done.
I had a couple of days off in Charlottetown to recoup and regroup. It's a small but sweet city full of friendly people. Not sure a traffic warden would stop and say 'hi! how are ya?' in London...
The highlight of my sightseeing was probably the hippopotabus, which takes you all over town pointing out the interesting bits. One of the sights was, and I'm not joking, the island's first roundabout. Island life eh.
This is a pretty bit of Charlottetown called Victoria Row:
On Sunday Ashley and I drove up to Fredericton, New Brunswick, where we played in a lovely little cafe on the outskirts of town called the Roxstone. It was an afternoon gig so we decided to do it 'workshop' style as they say here, which means going back and forth between singers, choosing songs to suit each other's as you go along. Then it was back across the water to Charlottetown...
We all met up in Moncton (Ashley and me, and Kizzy Crawford from Wales and Tim Chaisson from PEI, who've been doing an exchange as well) for a gig that night. It was great to all meet up, and hear the fruits of Kizzy and Tim's collaboration. They came up with really different stuff to ours, and it was great to hear what two such talented artists could come up with together.
Here's me and Ashley on stage in Moncton:
Friday we headed up to Saint John, a pretty old town (city?) in New Brunswick for our second gig. We're getting more confident with our new songs now, and I've been really enjoying playing together. Next is Moncton, New Brunswick, where we're sharing a gig with Kizzy Crawford and Tim Chaisson who've been doing an exchange like ours. I'm looking forward to hearing their songs and sharing ours with another audience.
Thursday was out first gig together for real live people. It was across the sea in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I can't believe how beautiful it is here, and we've been so lucky that the sun's been shining. Here's Pictou:
Our first gig was really fun, with the three new songs going down pretty well. Phew...
I dragged myself out of bed a bit earlier on Wednesday because we wanted to get two songs written by dinnertime. The first one is a hymn to coming home accompanied by my shruti box (called 'Down Home') and the second is our lively songs 'Lay Me Down'. We knew we wanted to come up with an upbeat song but, being folk singers, could only really get into it if we and made the song about death... The song features Ashley using open tuning for the first time; exciting and scary in equal measure! You can listen here:
We spent Wednesday evening at Rob Oakie's (from Music PEI, who put together our exchange along with EFDSS) house with Kizzy Crawford, Angharad Jenkins and Mark from the brilliant Gordie MacKeeman and his Rhythm Boys. We had a great time playing music and singing songs.
We spent our first full day together getting to know each other and starting to write some new material. We only had 2 days to get new songs together, so we were both quite relieved when the first one came in a couple of hours. It's a lullaby sung from a mother to a child who's about to leave home.
Then we went for a drive around the island, down to the sea and around where Ashley grew up. What a beautiful place:
I arrived on Prince Edward Island Monday evening and was picked up by Ashley at Charlottetown Airport. First stop was the supermarket where we picked up the basics (Yorkshire tea and biscuits) before heading to the liquor store for more basics (gin). I hadn't realised how much of an English stereotype I was... Then we headed back to Ashley's beautiful house in the woods. On the way I smelled my first skunk. They smell like smoky bacon crisps.