It's been a big year for me and I want to take the opportunity to thank everyone who made it possible.
First and, by far most importantly, thanks to my wife Sajeeda for bringing us a new baby boy. Tariq joined the party on January 15th, which means he's almost one and becoming a very cool guy.
Thanks to my daughter Maliyah for being a smart, joyous, mischievous, kind and funny kid. She is everything to me. And, holy cow, she's already 4!
I made a new record this year, and it's the best one I've ever done. That's what I've been told anyway. I always think the newest record is the best one, ha.
Thanks to Creative BC for helping out with the funding. A huge thanks to Josh Denny-Keys, Alex Glassford, Mike Meroniuk and Kyle Hayes for continuing to contribute their creative talents to make my songs sound great.
Thanks to Jesse Gander for his relentless efforts and out-of-this-world engineering and producing talent. You guys are the best. And thanks again to Sajeeda for holding it together on the homestead while I'm in the studio, doing what I love.
I played a bunch of very cool shows this year. The most important was the fundraiser we did for the Overdose Prevention Society. More than 1,200 people have died this year. It's a crisis and a tragedy of massive proportions.
It's also been a hugely rewarding year in my work as a journalist at the CBC. The BC Election was a wild ride. For me, the most important work I did was my series called 'Major Misconduct: Why We Let Kids Fight On Ice' about the human fallout from fighting in junior hockey. Thanks to my bosses and colleagues at the CBC who made it possible and thanks to the people who shared their powerful stories with me.
Had an awesome time playing a sold out Dinghy Dock Pub on Protection Island in Nanaimo with my buddy Daniel Wesley this weekend. My old man came over on the ferry with me and it was great to catch up with him and DW. Best moments were when I swore I heard someone in the crowd singing the backups for my Tom Petty cover, but it was actually just Daniel warming up outside, ripping my Christmas tune even though I hadn't played it in a year and Dan's impression of my dad (his high school guitar teacher): "Boys, you can play all the rock n roll you want, but you gotta have a ballad. The girls love the ballads." It was spot on.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support and to Andrew from Got Pop for putting on a great show. More announcements to come soon!
My buds came to visit my at Rain City! A dad in his happy place.
JDKK gettin' stanky on the wurly bird.
This guy is such a menacing titan behind the kit in studio.
Four of the five dudes. Thanks for all your work, fellas!
I was in studio at Rain City Recorders with my engineer / co-producer Jesse Gander four days in July and it was a helluva good time. The tunes are sounding amazing and I'm mega-pumped. After two big rehearsals the nights before the session, we had 12 tunes ready to go. I cut one, so we're done to 11. In the four days we completed all drums, all bass, all keys, all lead guitar and a couple of rhythm guitar tracks. Amazing work. Huge thanks to Josh Denny-Keys, Alex Glassford, Kyle Hayes and Mike Meroniuk who are such talented musicians and make my songwriting really come to life. Way to go, pals.
I'm especially excited for 'Wasted Too Long', 'Goin' Down', 'Run Wild' - all epic rock n roll songs in their own rite. Also 'Cowgirl', which is a tune I wrote about Maliyah when she was first born. Nothin' but hits! hahaha
Also had Saj, Maliyah and Tariq swing by to check things out and that was a thrill to have them there with me for a bit too!
I also did daily vlog updates on my Facebook page, so check those out for more! Next session is Aug11-14. We'll be gettin' rhythm guitar, lead and backing vocals and lord knows what else done!
I had an excellent week of songwriting with some of Vancouver's most talented musicians! Wednesday night was with producer hero Jesse Gander down at Rain City Recorders. We laid down some scratches and really dug into arrangement and production ideas. Strong shit. Thursday night in my parents' basement in Langley (!) with Daniel Wesley. Dan has an amazing knack for writing catchy hooks and he had some stellar ideas for two of my favourite songs on the upcoming record. He and I also turned a riff that I had considered scrapping into a big-old jam rock tune. Making some wicked progress and so excited to get into the studio.
It's been a while since I've posted, so I wanted to give an update, Biltmore Benefit Show to now.
I've been mega busy at the CBC with the BC election chaos, and on the personal front (and way more importantly), raising a new baby. Tariq is four months old and going strong. I love him more and more every day.
Great news on the music front too, I`ve landed a grant from Creative BC to make my next record. Once again, I will be truly fortunate to be working with studio magician, producer extraordinaire, beloved friend and man of taste, Jesse Gander at Raincity Records. I`m currently working my bag off writing and honing the tunes for the new record with the help of the band and some of my closest musical confidants. Tracking is in July and August with mixing in September. Can`t wait to get back in there and lay these songs down. Here I am thinking about some tasty licks at Alex`s jam space.
I`ll be keeping you posted as the recording process takes hold!! New JA record in 2018!!!
I was very happy to present this cheque for $1,579.54 to the Overdose Prevention Society. Our show at the Biltmore on March 24th was a huge success and I'm hopeful that this small gesture can help our neighbours and community members as we all grapple with the terrible opioid crisis. If you want to support this excellent harm reduction organization, visit their Go Fund Me page.
Check it out! Big show Friday, March 24th at the Biltmore. We're gonna raise some money to help out with the absolutely brutal and devastating overdose crisis in Vancouver. BUY TICKETS NOW!