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December 30, 2008 Christmas tour blog 2: Maine holiday

Few days rest at home to sort things out. Maine is and will always be my home and every time I return to the Good North it’s a bit more surreal, a bit more tempting to move back forever. I know in my bones that I will return someday, and it will be permanent, but I can’t say exactly when it will happen. Nevertheless it’s good to be back for more than a week for once.

I spilled beer on my Head Rush loop pedal in Boston, so I spent most of the day after Christmas scrambling to get it fixed. If you’ve seen my set recently, you’ll know that pedal is pretty much the lifeblood of my live show. Luckily, I had recently met an electrical wizard by the name of Steve O’Connor, who builds his own handmade amplifiers (Synaptic Amps). He helped restore my pedal to temporary working order, at least for one show’s worth, while we waited for the parts to ship from Texas. Lifesaver!

A perfect show at Slainte followed, with many friends in attendance and much to cheer about- including no equipment malfunctions! My equipment caught up to me though, during the next night’s set in Lewiston. The Head Rush went out on me yet again (as well as my amp cutting in and out- another ongoing saga of which I will spare you the details). Fortunately, there was a piano there that I could play instead of my usual loud numbers.

The greatest part of being a one-man band is the ability to fly by the seat of your pants when things go wrong- and most of the time it works…it encourages confidence in stepping out into the unknown. Bahama closed the night with their first show- equally shambolic as my set, but we had fun.

I walked on some beach the next day and wandered around Portland…mmm Portland. I love this city. The show at Dooryard was interesting- lots of bands, some cops, some out-of-place dancers during my set (everyone else was sitting down, quite attentive). It’s always a challenge for me to play quietly, but it can be really nice to give some of these songs full dynamic focus too. Marie Stella played an excellent first gig and Lady Lamb the Beekeeper was even playing drums this time. Fun as always, with extra pickles please.

Now time to enjoy snow while I’ve got it and fix that damn pedal.

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