Slickity Jim's LIVE featuring JDKK 

Josh and I had an outstanding show down at Slickity Jim's. Love the speakeasy feel of the back room. It only holds about 30-35, but we packed 40+ in there. Thanks so much to everyone for cramming in and listening so intently. We hear there isn't going to be live music at Slickity's much longer, which is a cryin' shame because it's a great room. Bittersweet to be one of the last few to play it.

Little pitch and catch pre-show

Here are the set lists from the intimate Slickity's set:

Set 1

Zamboni Man
Wasted Too Long
Better Days
Peaceful Easy Feeling (Eagles cover)
Carry On (Factories & Alleyways)
Black & Blue
Teenage Autumn Nights

Set 2

Find Love
Sing To Me (Factories & Alleyways)
My Brother (Factories & Alleyways)
Flying Over Water (Jason Isbell cover)
Restless Fool
Come and Go
The Boxer (Simon and Garfunkel cover)
1000 Beers (Factories & Alleyways with MDK)
Right Now (Factories & Alleyways with MDK)


Fraser Valley Music Awards 

Saj and I takin' in the FVMAs.

Had a great time down at the Fraser Valley Music Awards gala with my girl Saj, Joshy-poo and my mom and dad. Didn't take home the roots/folk hardware this time around, but it was a big honour to be there. Thanks to Aaron Levy and James Kasper who organized the event and the awards!

Me with my old man Keith and the legend, JDKK!

JA charting on CJSF and CIVL 

I've been getting some awesome love from a couple of local Metro Vancouver stations over the past month. MEMORY ELECTRIC charted on Burnaby's CJSF at #5 on the Top 30 (just ahead of Royal Wood, Suuns and Wintersleep).

Also snuck onto the Top 30 on Abbotsford's CIVL radio (sponsor station of the Fraser Valley Music Awards for which I'm nominated!). Memory Electric came in at #30, just behind Radiohead. hahaha. 

Thanks to the local stations for playing the record and let's keep this thing going!


About a year ago my record player was struggling and needed to be fixed. I was told I could "probably fix it myself" and obviously that was an inane statement because I can't fix anything myself. I can barely string my guitars (that's only slightly hyperbolic - it takes a long, long time. ha). 

So the record player sat there and then in January we moved. Finally, I got it fixed and set it up this week, and man am I ever relieved and pumped. Earlier tonight I had the misfortune and embarrassment of having to admit to my guests that my record collection was not in alphabetical order. Sooooo, after they left and I bathed Maliyah, read to her and put her to bed, I got down to it. Ahhh, the cathartic OCD massage that is record organizing. 

I have a philosophy when it comes to vinyl records: Because of their cost and size, I only purchase records that I REALLY like. So I wouldn't call myself a collector at all. I only own albums that, to me, are the grade A shit. Obviously there are big holes in my collection, and I will continue to build it through my lifetime, (and I need a bunch of new stuff!) but here's what it's lookin' like as of right now:

AC/DC - Highway to Hell (dick rock can be good)
At the Drive-In - Relationship of Command (for trashing the house or cleaning it (after trashing it?))
Bryan Adams - Cuts Like A Knife (he's a butt head about CANCON, but an undeniable legend)
Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker (in my top 10 of all-time, but the opening track proves what a dick he is and I hate that it's a double)
Ryan Adams - Demolition (he has the worst, most arrogant stage banter in the business, and also some of the best songs)
Ryan Adams - Cardinology (that Taylor Swift thing he did made me hate him so much. but often, hate is borne from love)
Band of Horses - Infinite Arms (majestic grandeur)
Band of Horses - Mirage Rock (can't wait to see them at the Orpheum next month!)
The Beach Boys - Endless Summer (the standard for pop rock)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Beat The Devil's Tattoo (weird that I have this one and not the others, which I love, but I bought it at a show at the Showbox in Seattle and it hand't come out yet, so I spazzed and yelled that I would pay $35 for it and the merch girl relented. ha.)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Live (I am not a great fan of live albums, but I love BRMC enough to own this)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I See A Darkness (present from my boy MDK. Another strange genius man whose talent is undeniable.)
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Beware (Ive always loved the opening line of the record "I want to be your only friend. Is that scary?" He is so good. Insane and good.)
Buck 65 - Square (I had a huge man crush on Bucky from about 2002 - 2007. Saw a bunch of shows and met him a number of times. Even did an interview. He has shown himself to be not such a great guy in recent years, so this record has nostalgic value but doesn't end up on the turntable much.)
JJ Cale - Naturally (Likely my favourite album of all time. Saj and I danced to 'Magnolia' for the first dance at our wedding. Legendary song writer, perfect subtlety and tenderness.)
JJ Cale - Grasshopper (Doesn't have the magic of Naturally for me, but still, a bunch of very cool shit on here.)
JJ Cale - Troubadour (Love him. RIP.)

 to be continued....

FVMA Showcase and the VIP Fan 

Had the good pleasure of playing an intimate, solo acoustic show out at Old Abbey Ales in a showcase of Fraser Valley Music Award nominees a couple of weekends back. It was a beautiful day at a great little brewery and a bunch of kind folks were out to support. But most importantly for me, was getting to play for my little buddy, Maliyah. My girl came out in a tie-dye shirt, got into the free popcorn, made a couple of friends and danced her ass off. 

She and I play guitar and sing and dance around the house all the time, but getting to see her see me performing live was a thrill. She saw me play once before live on CBC Radio when she was about 8-months-old, but obviously that doesn't really count.

When the show started, she began by sitting quietly, but then as the performance went on and she recognized the songs more and more, the dance party began. At one point she came roasting out of the venue with a massively excited smile on her face and she turned and seemed to be headed straight for the parking lot (I was playing outside facing into the venue through a large garage door). I nearly panicked and dropped the guitar, but then my mom (grandma!) grabbed her and everything was fine. Somehow the song that I was playing was still on the rails and seemed to have been progressing nicely. Auto pilot!! Ha!

Also, playing Factories & Alleyways' '1000 Beers' at brewery was highly satisfying. Stay tuned for July 16th to find out if I take home a Fraser Valley Music Award for best Roots/Folk artist. 

Old Abbey Ales acoustic set list:

Teenage Autumn Nights
Atlantic City (Springsteen cover)
1000 Beers
Long Shadows (as yet unrecorded)
The Boxer (Simon & Garfunkel cover)
Find Love

The Fabulous Commodore Ballroom 

Back when I was way younger, maybe eight or nine years old, I remember listening to CFOX with my old man in the car. And for some reason, the concert listings always grabbed my attention. I was super interested, not only in who the bands were coming to town, but what these amazing sounding venues were all about. Firstly, the announcers always used to call Richard's on Richard's "Dick's on Dick's", and for that reason, I thought it was a gay bar that hosted rock shows until I was at least 15 or 16-years-old. You can laugh, but it makes sense, does it not?!

The other place that they would always mention was the FABULOUS COMMODORE BALLROOM. They almost always added the "fabulous" and that messed with my mind so deeply. What was this place? How could it be so incredible that radio DJs casually added the word "fabulous" to the title? Not only did I want to find out more, but I wanted to visit this place, and eventually perform there. (I had just started taking bass guitar lessons around that age.) Before even truly knowing what it was, the lore had been planted inside my brain and the personal gauntlet had been laid. 

Once I turned 19, I found out what the hype was all about. The room, the sound, the bouncy floor, that feeling you get that you're at the only event that matters in the city. I went to the Ballroom at every possible opportunity. I've been fortunate enough to see  The White Stripes, Matthew Good, Buck 65, Jurassic 5, Bad Religion, The Casualties, Lagwagon, Pennywise, The Gaslight Anthem, Glasvegas, Andrew WK, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Ryan Adams, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and many more. 

Even more importantly, The Commodore is where I was able to see two of my most crucial musical idols perform on stage. I saw Jim James and My Morning Jacket perform to a half-empty (WTF?!) Commodore with my pal Julia and I saw the incomparable JJ Cale play there with my old man. Those nights were legendary and magical and only made me want to play that stage even more.

When my great friend Daniel Wesley asked me to play the Commodore with him, I was blown away. I was buzzing for weeks and weeks, but it didn't seem real. There were moments when it sunk in a bit -- when tickets went on sale on Ticketmaster, when CFOX called me for an interview about the show, when the Live Nation promoter asked what kind of beer I wanted in my dressing room, when we loaded our gear into the back alley elevator -- but the moment it really sunk in is when I saw my name on the dressing room door. That was wild. 

The feeling I had right before I stepped on stage was "holy fuck, think of the legends who have played this stage and room before you, it's time to prove you belong up there". So I went up there and tried to do just that.

When you're performing, it's super difficult to truly take stock of what's happening and enjoy the moment, but I know we played great and left it all on that vaunted stage. The sound was spectacular and the room was packed. It was one of the best nights of my musical life and I'm forever grateful for the opportunity to achieve a life-long goal.

And as if the night hadn't been extraordinary enough, I also had the opportunity to join Daniel Wesley on stage during the show to perform our old high school band's song 'Can't Find A Way' which was a "huge hit" back when General Mayhem used to play sold out shows at the Ocean Beach Hotel when we were in the process of winning the XFM battle of the bands! We hadn't played that tune with a full band in 15 years and it was a huge rush to do it in front of such a massive crowd. I could hear plenty of our old Brookswood friends singing along too! 

Big thanks to Daniel for having me and to the band (Alex, Josh, Mike, Kyle) for ripping a beauty set. Let's keep this thing going!

You can see a full set of photos of the show at 604 NOW. 

Sunshine Coast show (May 13th) 

The night before the Commodore show, Josh (JDK) and I headed out on the ferry to the Sunshine Coast to play a show at the Roberts Creek legion. It's always great to settle into a nice, long stripped-down set with my boy. We really focus on the harmonies and squeeze the emotion out of the songs. Huge thanks to our friends on the Sunshine Coast who came out and made this an awesome experience. We met tonnes of great new people. Special shout out to the crowd for the massive singalong to our cover of Simon and Garfunkel's 'The Boxer', and for the dance party to 'Right Now', a Factories & Alleyways classic.

JA plays live on CIVL radio (May 7th) 

I was happy to head out to my old stomping ground at the University of the Fraser Valley (graduated with a diploma in Liberal Arts - 2002!) for a live performance on CIVL Radio's 'Waves and Valleys' hosted by James Kasper. James is also the man behind the Fraser Valley Music Awards and I'm excited to be nominated for one of those puppies in the Roots/Folk category. 

I performed three live songs including Wasted Too Long, On the Radio and a cover of Springsteen's Atlantic City. My request for another Fraser Valley artist was Fort Langley rock gods We Hunt Buffalo!

Thanks a lot to James and everyone at CIVL!

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