Liz Stringer

TOUR BLOG POST 1: Back On Beautiful PEI

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Rustico, PEI

Well this is the first official post of the tour blog I’ve decided to write again. I posted blog entrees last year when I was touring during the Canadian summer and feel compelled to do it again. Partly to let everyone know what I’m doing and partly to document, for myself, these big trips in such a big country.

I’m in Breadalbane (pronounced breed-AL-ben) on Prince Edward Island. PEI is ridiculously beautiful any time of year, really, and particularly at the moment. I missed the lupins (stunning flowers of various colours, iconic here on the island, that only bloom for a few weeks a year). They’re actually classified as weeds, which just goes to show how beautiful weeds can be… Something in that for all of us, really… ?? But even post-lupin, PEI manages to put me under some kind of spell. I feel good here.

I just played the Rollo Bay Fiddle Festival for the second year in a row. This is the fest that’s run by the Chaisson family, a huge mob here on PEI renowned for their musicianship, two of whom make up two thirds of the East Pointers, my lovely mates and touring buddies. The weekend was bathed in sunshine and filled with great people, many of whom have become good friends of mine in a relatively short amount of time. It felt so good to be back on the field, hearing incredible music, watching musicians play their instruments so well it was almost too much for my tiny mind. I left with a pretty good tan (for a pasty southerner like me) and a full heart.

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RBFF, Souris PEI

I’m staying with my friend Melanie this week on the island. She took me sightseeing yesterday and I FINALLY saw the Anne of Green Gables tourist stuff (well, we drove past most of it, tbh) and some stunning beaches. The weather is fucked. That means ridiculously good – 28 degrees yesterday with a gentle sea breeze. I only have one stripe of sunburn on my back. Again, not bad for a pasty Melbournian like me. I wrote a song today with Newfoundland musician Chris Kirby, tonight I play a show out at the Trailside (the other side of Charlottetown – the capital of PEI – from where I am right now) with my good mate Tim Chaisson (the East Pointers), tomorrow I’ll hopefully get to have a now traditional swim with my brother-from-another-mother Koady Chaisson (also an East Pointer – the tradition started in Tassie last year, by the way) and will cap off the day with another show with Tim at the Trailside.

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Branders Pond, PEI

So it’s lovely here. I had a few days in LA on my way to Canada a couple of weeks ago catching up with my friend Mia and then flew up to Vancouver, on the west coast of Canada in British Columbia, where I spent ten days unwinding and learning to relax, staying with my friends Jane and Jodie, their fantastic housemates and a seemingly unending series of drop-in visitors. It’s a top-shelf bunch of people out west there in East Vancouver, what a great community. Impromptu dinner parties and hangs were the staple every night, basically. And I played a house concert at the Babehole, as their house has been named, to a living room full of lovely people. Very relaxed.

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Commercial Drive, East Vancouver BC

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Horseshoe Bay Ferry Terminal, Vancouver BC

I’ve been going hard for more than a year now, and having a bunch of days off in a row was equally nice as it was confronting. It’s hard to change down the gears after being on the road, and being in the throws of big projects, for so long. I’ve had to really work hard on trying to calm my mind and allowing myself to rest. And continuing to assure myself that things are still cooking, I just get to leave the oven on, exit the kitchen, and go off and look after my head and my body for a while (clumsy analogy, but I have some time pressure writing this, so that’ll have to do!) Which, I’ve learned (the hard way) is equally important as the ‘working like a maniac’.

So on Friday it’s off to Toronto. A total change of pace, a big city, a new bunch of gigs, new crew of people. My goal is to take things as they come, let go of some that ‘controlly thinking’ that I am sometimes guilty of, and finish up songs for my next album. Cos I got plans already.

 

 

 

 

July 18, 2017

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