• (Maud's Travelogue)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006 6:22 PM (EST)

This is the first time I have done a blog or travelogue. I will post something every chance I get about what Garth and I are doing. I hope you find it interesting as an inside look into our lives as we travel to Canada. You will learn little tidbits too, not just the main events.

We are heading into a snowstorm. I usually drive because I LOVE IT! It usually takes us about 7 hours to drive from Woodstock, New York, U.S.A. to Toronto, Ontario, Canada... depending entirely on the weather... well, that is if we don't stop for a sidetrip or rest.

I won't be able to post anything again until tomorrow when we are settled into our hotel in Toronto. Thursday evening we will go to the launch party for "Shakin' All Over" which is a CBC documentary of Canadian Rock Music of the '60s.

So until Thursday, I hope happiness befalls you.

If you would like to respond about anything I report, please feel free to contact me directly: maud@garthandmaud.com

Thursday, January 26, 2006 1:00 PM (EST)

Leaving late for Toronto. One of our cats got stuck in the wall of our house and couldn't get out! Not hurt, just scared. This is the second time in a week. Didn't know how to prevent it the first time. We live in an 1880s farmhouse and evidently when we tore out an unused closet between a hallway and the living room to move the Yamaha grand in, an unnoticeable tiny gap in the wall was exposed to our cat and now he has pointed it out to us. He is most assuredly safe now. Garth grabbed his hammer and 5 nails and a slab of pine and boarded it up. I said to Garth, "Why five nails?" and he said, "In case I drop one."

Now please excuse me while we ignite the booster rockets in the Expedition and rush to Toronto! Faster, faster, FASTER!!!!!

Friday, January 27, 2006 5:00 PM (EST)

Just got the Ethernet Cable plugged in here in Stratford.

Our plans to visit Toronto and enjoy a good party were deterred. We picked up Paul Rigby in Toronto, who flew in from Vancouver (more later).

We arrived in Stratford very early this morning. I am trying to learn how to do a blog and didn't get a chance to report on the launch party for "Shakin' All Over." Egads! Our Posse did make it though and I'll let you in on some of what they report when I get a chance to collect the recollections.

Must hurry and rush again. We are off to meet with the Weber Brothers (The Hawks).

Saturday, January 28, 2006 2:39 AM (EST)

We just got in from rehearsal with The Hawks. It has been about three years since we've seen Ryan and Sam. It was good to see them and they sounded great, so Garth and I decided to go ahead and invite them to join us for our third song, Don’t Do It, on Saturday. We met the two newest Hawks... drummer, Jeff Webster from Delhi, Ontario and guitarist, Shane Pinchen from Simcoe, Ontario… and they met guitarist, Paul Rigby from our band, The Best!

Saturday, January 28, 2006 6:00 PM (EST)

Had sound check at 4:00 PM and found the stage to be too small for all of us! This was because of the shape of the stage. The sound was great though.

The wonderfully delightful part of sound check was seeing John Till again. Love him like crazy. He played brilliantly as always. Look forward to tonight’s concert very much.

Sunday, January 29, 2006  4:00 AM (EST)

I’m a good kind of tired tonight. The concert went very well. An exciting night with a full house.

John Till and his band Plum Loco played the first set and were a hit… a lot of love from the audience for their hometown heroes. They played tributes to Richard Manuel… The Shape I’m In was one of the songs. A very nice band. Plum Loco is: John Till (Guitar), P.W. Pawley (Vocals), Shawn Till (John’s son on Bass) and Billy Hilton (Drums).

Ronnie Hawkins came out on stage and propped himself on a stool. I’m sure I heard at least one female swooning in the audience. Well, he did look gorgeous with his white, white hair and beard. He’s quite a dresser too. His singing is as exciting as ever. I have a feeling he will go on forever. He certainly knows how to beat the Reaper. He sang Ruby Baby, Home From the Forest, Odessa, Forty Days, and Mary Lou.

Garth went onstage toward the end of The Weight that was being performed by Ronnie and the Hawks/Webers. Ronnie introduced Garth and then they danced together for a moment! Ronnie left the stage as he handed it over to Garth, who then took the spotlight on the emptied stage and single-handedly transformed it into a changing parade of various themes from his younger days in Canada interspersed with pianistic stunts. We heard My Old Kentucky Home, Anywhere I Wander, God Bless America, Caravan, Maple Leaf Forever, Oh Canada! and other themes. His first piano selection was an abbreviated version of what he calls the International Medley… Brilliant! Exquisite! It is usually 10 to 15 minutes long, but he seemed to want to get to our tribute to Richard and Rick. So I was escorted onstage to sing It Makes No Difference for our tribute. After the crew spent time looking for the marks on the floor for my stands (the one for my mic was never found and they left Shai’s keyboard on the floor where my feet go), I was inspired by Garth’s intro and the two of us alone expressed our love for our two brothers who are gone. The audience seemed appreciative for this sacred moment with warm and gracious applause. I don’t think they suspected that I was working with nothing in my monitor that night. I’m so glad.

Next our guitarist virtuoso, Paul Rigby joined us onstage for a surreal rendition of Don’t Do It. The Hawks/Webers followed Mr. Rigby onstage and tried to do it way too s l o w, pumped up the volume instead of the tempo, and couldn’t get it up. I adjusted to that surprise (nothing like rehearsal!) and started slamming the floor hard with Virgil to keep control of the song as Garth blew my mind with his mastery of jazz filled undercurrents, overtones, all that amazing inspirational stuff, not wasting any time about our accompanists mode… so Garth, Paul and I went to another level and enjoyed it there. Had a great time with our revision of Don’t Do It. I was singing as the words were breaking my heart. That song really gets me when Garth, Paul, and I step through the dimensions of a breaking heart together.

Then after Garth and I left the stage, Ronnie returned for a jam with his guests for an encore. We returned at that time also. Among his encore songs were Days Gone By, Bo Diddley/Who Do You Love? Then Ronnie walked off the stage as everyone who participated in the night’s event continued to build the heat of Who Do You Love to a scorching peak as I sang, “Who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who who …”

Then everyone exited to roaring applause!

Sunday, January 29, 2006  4:00 AM (EST)

The evening was spent in our suite with Garth being interviewed on camera for the DVD to accompany the Levon and The Hawks box set, From Bacon Fat to Judgment Day.

Monday, January 30, 2006  2:00 AM (EST)

I must tell you that a newspaper review today quoted Ronnie, “‘Soon as my medication kicks in I’ll go into my Michael Jackson routine,’ he quipped at one point after alluding to his knees not being up to scratch.” Then the paper goes on to say, “If he didn’t actually boogie on stage, Mr. Hawkins gave no hint of anything but boundless energy and a love for entertaining.”

Well, Dear Reviewer, I am a witness to the fact that he DID indeed boogie on stage! Ronnie turned his back to the audience, grabbed the Loch Ness Monster he had in his pants and kept a firm hold, grinning at all of us on stage and backstage, as he did a Michael Jackson/James Brown sideways glide across half the stage and back. He had us all laughing hard and having a good time. That moment was like being at a frat party where the host makes sure that each and every person gets a little pink-faced, laughs at endless humour, feels welcome, listens closely, appreciates his great talent, is touched in their hearts, and loves him dearly. Mr. Hawkins is definitely an eternal teen idol, gives you more than you expect and leaves you wanting more… and I suspect that medication had nothing to do with it!

Tuesday, January 31, 2006 7:30 AM (EST)

Coretta Scott King died in her sleep last night at the age of 78. A gracious lady. Mentioning it here because I admired her.

Had to wait to post some of this, even though I wrote these entries at the time shown. We simply weren’t around Internet access often enough to post it all “LIVE.” Hope it becomes easier if we keep trying in the future.

(Travelogue continued in February Archives)

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