During the late eighties and early nineties The Northern Pikes and The Grapes Of Wrath, strangely enough, only played one show together. It was a festival date, and our respective show times were far enough apart that we never crossed paths that day. Many years later, in the 2000's, we would share the bill on a club show. But again, due to travel schedules, we would hardly spend any time together that night.
Fast forward to 2013: I walk into my favorite guitar shop in Toronto, Capsule Music, and there I find Kevin Kane, who is building lovely electric guitars for the store. I try a few out, buy one and Kevin and I, through our dicussions, discover that we live about 3 blocks from one another. After some hanging out and a bit of jamming, we thought we should probably try playing a gig or two and see how that goes. Fast forward again to the summer of 2014 and Kevin & Bryan show hit the road in the Okanagan Valley for a series of performances.
First up was the Bench 1775 Winery in Naramata. Crazy hot evening with forest fire smoke from nearby blazes gusting through our open air event that night. Val & Ian were so good to us - thank you. And mucho praise goes out to Paul Crawford for letting us couch surf at his place. Interesting and lovely human being - thanks again Paul.
Next we played The Minstrel Cafe in Kelowna - great fun, nice room and very warm audience. Thanks to Clare for hosting us.
Back to Naramata the next night for a 50th birthday bash for my buddy Robert Ott at the Poplar Grove Winery. K & I played a very short set that night which was highlighted by Robert joiing us on stage with Aaron Pritchett's band to sing Tom Petty's "Won't Back Down". I won't forget that moment for a long time :-) Many thanks to Rob's delight other half - she knows how to throw a party...
The next morning it was time to leave the valley for a night and head to Chilliwack where we performed two shows at Bozzini's. Emmanual took great care of us - we met so many wonderful people that night.
And finally, we ended our mini-tour in the pretty little town of Oyama, specifically Gatzke's Orchards. My old buddy from PolyGram Music Publishing, Joseph "JP" Pinheiro, an experienced music man who traded in his Blackberry for a pitch fork, hired us to rock the orchard Sunday night. Not only was the gig a ball but it was great fun hanging with JP and his wife Keli again. Topshelf people...
All Kev and I did on our way to the airport the next morning was talk about coming back to the valley again next year. Those of you who live in that area of our fabulous country, congratulations. You've indeed found heaven on earth.