April 06, 2014

This should be the final week for recording on the new Helix CD "BASTARD OF THE BLUES". In fact, I just heard the final mix for "Winning is the Best Revenge" this morning. Kaleb and Chris have a few more guitar tracks to record, Nick Walsh has to sing his parts on "Screaming at the Moon" and then all the songs have to be mixed. As well, Matt Brooks has been busy putting the finishing touches to the CD artwork. As I've previously said, this CD will be a digi-pack with a 16 page insert with individual band member shots and the lyrics inside. Sean and I spent a long time working on the lyrics for each song and we thought it very important to make sure they were included. Once the mix is done and everyone's happy, then it's off to Carvello Mastering in Toronto and from there to Tom Mathers/Perris Records in Houston (for U.S. & European distribution) and to John Ball Media here in Canada for the Canadian pressing. We'll also be putting it up for digital download and this time around selling digital download cards.

The first single from the CD will be Even Jesus (Wasn't Loved In His Home Town). Brent Doerner (The Dr.) has been working on the video for this song for a couple of weeks now. I'm also thinking of a promotional idea for the CD which would include giving away for FREE a digital download of the song. The free download would direct you to a site where you could purchase the entire CD. As for selling the digital download cards, this allows us to take many "CDs" on the road for sale at the merchandise booth without actually having to take physical copies of them. Nowadays extra luggage on flights is a big deal-very expensive and a hindrance to making money. This will alleviate that problem somewhat.

As per custom, whenever we release a new CD we usually have a private release party here at Planet Helix. They are simple affairs but a lot of fun which include using the gas barbecue out back and having about 100 or so of our closest friends over to celebrate with us. The party kicks off in the afternoon and runs until everyone leaves. The last scragglers to leave end up sitting out back around the wood burner in "the courtyard", which is Lynda's name for the little paved patch at the back of the property. They are intimate affairs and indicative of how this band has always had that personal connection with it's fans and friends. We expect it to be either on Sunday, April 27th or Sunday, May 4th. Lynda and I will talk it over this week and decide...Part of it will be whether or not John Ball Media can have the CD pressed and in my hands by that day as well. No use having the party if we don't have the goods. We'll also need to have the new shirts done by that time as well, although I see that as being a far less problem than the CDs.

I haven't talked to Live Wire Booking for a couple of days now but it looks like Copenhagen and Helsinki have been added to our Scandinavian dates for October. We're putting in as many dates in a row as we can book, as every day off is a day not making money. Besides, we want to play, not sit around on our laurels! Every day not playing means the expense of hotel rooms and per diems, so I'd rather not go there. Unlike some other bands that can't seem to play more than 3 days in a row, we have no problem playing as many as we can get. That's what years of touring does for ya! Also, all those voice lessons over the years allows me to do this and not get a sore throat. Last night we played a "surprise" gig at The Pour House in Hamilton for instance. The idea was to get as many live dates under our belt as possible to help get Chris up to speed before we hit Spain in May. Anyhoo, we played two fifty minute sets and I feel like I could sing another two right now this morning. Ed Johnson must be up there smiling somewhere at the good job he did on me. (Note*: Ed was my vocal coach) Did I mention that my day started early-5:30A.M. as well? I also had a book signing at Chapters in Guelph with Sean Kelly/Brent Jensen/ and Martin Popoff. Sean and I were there to jointly push the Metal on Ice book and upcoming concert May 10th at the Opera House in Toronto with Darby Mills, Lee Aaron, Carl Dixon, and Nick Walsh as well as my own autobiography "Gimme an R!" which I released a couple of years ago.

Speaking of dates, Woodstock is fast approaching. Initially there were only going to be 200 tickets for sale, but they sold out very quickly. I went back to Al at the Moose Hall to ask what the actual capacity of the hall was and if I could sell more tickets. He gave me permission to print up another 50, which I did. Last night I gave another 20 to Chris (who tells me they are already sold) and 6 more to Daryl. Jay Wetlaufer in Woodstock tells me he has a few left, and then that's it-all gone. We're hoping to stuff the place to help welcome Chris into the band. If you haven't gotten your ticket yet, don't wait for spring-do it now. LOL.

April 27th Release Date
With Stett Howland & 10,000 Views
Brian in the Florida Sun
Last week I was in Florida for a week of R&R. While there Lynda and I stayed for a night in Key West, thanks to the generosity of our friend Tate Thibideau, who let us use his beautiful house. I picked up a couple new stage hats/shoes before retuning to our home base of Fort Myers. Several of the nights there were spent going to see Stett Howland and his band 10,000 Views. On the Wednesday night before we left the state I got up and sang a couple of songs with the band. Lotsa fun.