April 27, 2014

BASTARD OF THE BLUES TO BE RELEASED MAY 4TH WITH RELEASE PARTY AT PLANET HELIX

WE WELCOME CHRIS JULKE TO THE BAND WITH A SOLD OUT SHOW IN WOODSTOCK

COMING UP IN MAY: SPAIN & SIOUX FALLS, S. DAKOTA


Lots to talk about this week! After an extremely stressful couple of days trying to get the finished masters to Tom Mathers & Perris Records plus to John Ball Media for my Canadian pressing, the last couple of days has been heaven in comparison. Good news came on Friday when Dave Hibbs, a promoter who had been to the show in Woodstock, hired us for not only one, but two shows-one in Cambridge on Sept. 6th (for the Cambridge Fair) and one on October 31st (at the Newfoundland Club). Bernie Aubin from Canadian Classic Rock, is also working on several casino/festival dates in western Canada and in the American mid-west; as well, Jon Enders from Live Wire Booking is working to put even more dates with our Scandinavian Tour in October (we already have 8 dates in Sweden/Finland/Norway/& Denmark).

The new CD "Bastard of the Blues" is officially being released next Sunday (May 4th) with a kick off release party here at Planet Helix. These are usually intimate affairs with close friends that include a barbecue out back and a general co-mingling of the masses. We're hoping to have the CD and t-shirts for sale that day. I always look at what we sell at the release party as "seeding"-in other words getting the CD out into the marketplace and from there word of mouth about the quality of the tunes doing the rest. I'll also be releasing the first single "Bastard of the Blues" to Canadian radio through DMDS, the digital service that sends the song to select radio stations across Canada. The song arrives by email to each station's music/program director, and from there they can decide to listen to it, download it, or add it to their playlist. The song itself is long, running over 5 minutes, which will probably prevent it from getting airplay in some markets. However, it's my favorite song from the disc, so I'm going with my heart and gut on this one. The two obvious singles after that are Even Jesus (Wasn't Loved in His Home Town) and Winning is the Best Revenge. I'm undecided as to what to release as the second song. By the time I get around to making a decision the CD will have been out for over a month, so I'll be listening to fan feedback and then making a move. Brent Doerner, who now does all my videos, is ready to eventually do videos for both, so eventually they'll both come out anyway.

I wish I would have had the new CD & shirts ready for the Woodstock show; a sold out affair. It was a great way to welcome Chris Julke to the band. His Cambridge friends were there to cheer him on and it was a fun night for all. We had already done a surprise gig a couple weeks previously at the Pour House in Hamilton, but this was the real deal. We'll be having one or two more practices before we leave for Spain so things will be super tight. We also hope to work a couple of the new tracks into the set-B.O.T.B. & Even Jesus. The set in Spain is 75 minutes, 90 with encores and the set in Sioux Falls is only 50 minutes, so we're going to pick the "cream of the crop" for songs. Should be a mind blowing, face rippling set, seeing as in Hamilton and Woodstock we played two one hours.

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Humbucker Tour Poster
Speaking of Europe, as it looks now, this might be where we spend most of our time in the next couple of years. It also takes a little pressure off us back at home as we don't have to take dates if we don't want to. By that I mean this: As in every small business (and that's what Helix is) you have to pay your office and day to day expenses, which means that you have to have regular paying gigs to cover the bills. The economy over the past couple of years has been dreadful, which at times has forced us to play low dough dates we might not normally play. This has a negative effect on the band in a couple of different ways. Firstly, because they are low money dates the gear (P.A. & lights) are sometimes insufficient. This makes us look Mickey Mouse and cheats the fans of hearing us with great sound/lights, unlike when we play casinos or festivals where usually the gear is top notch. Secondly, it distorts the price of the band, because suddenly festival promoters are offering the same money as Joe's Bar & Grill. With Europe suddenly opening up to us and with more dates, we are not forced to play these dates-a good thing.

Our back up band for the Scandinavian tour in October is Humbucker, a group that is also on the Perris Records label. They come highly recommended by Jon Enders of Live Wire Booking and also by Tom Mathers.

Lastly, please don't forget the METAL ON ICE concert at the Opera House in Toronto on May 10th featuring myself, Lee Aaron, Darby Mills of The Headpins, Carl Dixon of Coney Hatch, and Nick Walsh of Slic Toxic. We'll be singing a couple of our hit songs with commentary by Christopher Ward, one of the original DJs of MUCH MUSIC and the writer of such monster hits as "Black Velvet" (Alannah Myles) and "Let it Rain" (Amanda Marshall). https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=nEudN8FmBiE