February saw us heading south to Arizona to check out how some of our retired friends spend the winter. It was our first trip to that state and even though the weather was cooler than normal it was an amazing trip. Between the deserts, canyons and caverns it truly was a site to behold. We managed to spend a couple of nights on Route 66. Of course we are now thinking about a road trip in our ’64 Fairlane and singing about getting our kicks on Route 66! However, the best part of the trip was of course being with our friends. As a thank you for letting us stay with them we held a small concert in each of their complexes.
In Apache Junction we did two concerts: one an impromptu poolside session and one as an event posted on their calendar held in the clubhouse as it was too windy to be outside.
Other friends live in Surprize, AZ and we did a house concert there as a fundraiser to support the MS Bike event. Sig had to hold the concert together as Jan’s voice was pretty croaky due to a cold.
When we returned from Arizona we bought property with our youngest son and his family and started getting our house ready to sell. This was a bit daunting as we have lived in this house for over 30 years. Music took a back seat for a few months. A lot of music has been played in this kitchen!
With our house on the market we could turn our attention once again to music. The concert to support Team Heather for the MS Bike Ride was our next venture. We expected that many attendees would have also attended our previous MS Bike Concert so we wanted to ensure we had fresh material. With summer in full swing Jan wanted to sing Summertime. She usually sings it acapella, however, Sig wanted to accompany her with some Jazz cords he had been practicing. This is when it became apparent that Jan takes a lot of poetic license with the timing!
The concert was held at the beautiful McClinton Manor on their gorgeous ocean-view deck. With neighbours and friends, great food and a warm evening it all came together for a great evening. As you can see by the pictures there was a lot of laughter.
In July we treated ourselves to a weekend pass for the Islands Folk Festival in Duncan at Providence Farm. Despite it’s small size this festival attracts some great talent. We appreciated hearing bands at small stages where they played acoustic sets. It was fun to meet up with friends, hear new music, and have yummy food in this hometown setting.
Next up was playing a set at the Riot Brewing Company’s Talent Tuesday hosted by Glenn and Jetta. There is always a lot happening at the Riot and Talent Tuesdays are the last Tuesday of each month. Within our 45 minute set we performed some old favourites as well as several songs written by Sig.
Our house sold and we camped on our property for September and part of October. This gave us lots of time to practice for an Octoberfest dance. Octoberfest of course means beer, bratwurst and polkas! We had never played a polka before so this was an opportunity to learn something new. With our sense of humour we had to include the Pennsylvania Polka which was played over and over in the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day. As the crowd was a bit older, we dusted off some songs that Sig played long ago at places such as the Beacon Arms, the Bluenose, the Masthead and the Maple Bay pub.
Next up for us was a new venture for us. It allowed Jan the opportunity to combine her curriculum design skills with music. We performed two sessions for grade 8 students on “Learning about the History of Canada through Song”. The songs covered topics such as farming, rivers as transportation, the great lakes, and the building of the railway. We also included discussions about song writing and music appreciation. We had a blast and we think the kids enjoyed it too!
It was fun for us to be in the audience for a trip back in time with My Generation the Woodstock Experience. Man that cast has talent! They played the soundtrack of our youth and it brought back great memories. One person in the audience said he was at the original Woodstock selling t-shirts.
Jan says there is no better way to spend a cold, rainy Sunday afternoon than to grab a friend and go to a Ken Lavigne Concert. Laughter, stories and of course that great tenor voice all make the afternoon fly with this local Chemainus gem. Jan was lucky enough to win a door prize of a CD. Closer Than Ever is constantly in her CD player in the car!
Although we do not consider ourselves a dance band, we were at it again to welcome in the New Year. Playing three and half hours of danceable tunes is a challenge especially when Sig was sick for 4 days prior to the dance. We dusted off even more tunes and gave them an upgrade with new phrasing, harmonies and beats. We also learned more waltzes and even a line dancing tune or two. Sig’s voice held out but we had to drop Pretty Woman from the set list as he didn’t quite have enough in him to pull that off with verve.
In 2018 we had a lot of fun with our music and hope the folks who came to hear us enjoyed it as well.