Nearly two years ago, Patrick and I boarded the Via rail train in Toronto as 'artists on board' and performed for the first time, as "The Lay Awakes". It was a safe way to start. The days' events included 3 meals in the dining car, champagne in the dome car, and tucking in at night to small cabin bunks with fresh, white, down comforters. In most respects, it was a romantic adventure. Rolling through the white planes and sneaking through the rockies in the dark (unfortunate as people pay big $ to actually SEE the rockies). We had literally just decided on our band name, and we had released one song together - "Great Divide." We arrived in Vancouver and had a few shows lined up in the area. When we returned to New York, we spent the next two months finishing up six songs that would become our debut EP.
If you know us, you already know that this EP was locked in a tight race with our growing baby as to who would be released first. Dear Stanley won, but the music followed shortly thereafter. And while we have had some wonderful chances to play these songs out for people, it still feels like this sort of marks a beginning for us. Life on the road. For music's sake. We are no strangers to thirty hour car trips and laying our heads on everybody's pillows, but this is different and feels different, and we are very excited. Our tour officially kicked off on Friday, November 4th @ The Conway Muse. We have played this venue once before, and it doesn't disappoint. As a converted Swedish dairy barn, it has a country laid back appeal, but it stands out as something not to miss with its diverse clientele and quirky objects and art. Examples being a piano bench equipped with a seatbelt. We saw dear friends and fans and met wonderful new people. Our friend, Ross, whom we met on the Via rail train, even drove across the border to get to the show. He's a keeper, and it's relationships like this one that give us a real spark when the going gets tough.
Following the Muse, we headed to Squamish BC, where we played @ The Ledge. The Ledge boasts espresso, sandwiches, beer, and the perfect size stage for an act our size. A lot of people from the community came out, and we really enjoyed the evening. Start to finish. Soundcheck to pilsner. We've since had a few days to reconnect with some of our best friends in the world. This is why I titled this entry "soft landing". So many people have blessed us this past week, and we are very thankful. We could not have asked for a better spot to begin our tour. Even Stanley is loving it.
In light of the events in America this week, I want to say little, but I want to say something. I am tucked away by a fire north of the border pondering the events, but removed physically from the streets that I live and work on - streets now filled with protesters and homes and churches filled with people gathered together to pray and support one another. I have the privilege to be a dual citizen. People have often asked me if I feel more Canadian or more American. And I don't know. I've never really known. My family is Canadian, and they all make me so proud. But I really do feel dual. Sort of caught in between. Sort of both. But I don't think this gives me a way out. I hope that like so many of our dear friends in New York and beyond, I will be bold and gird myself to fight the good fight. I think of Paul's admonition to Timothy to "guard what has been entrusted to your care."