Pink is the colour of my peppermint splinter.

I found my ten-year-old harmonica! The one that’s been missing in action for well over a year now! I can’t believe it. This whole time it was sitting in the external pouch of a guitar case, leaning against the wall right behind the six-string banjo. Countless times, I was standing three feet away from it and had no idea it was right there. Talk about silliness. I feel it’s only appropriate that the next album should feature eight-minute harmonica solos on every song in celebration of this discovery/happy accident, so I guess I’m starting over from scratch.

Or not.

I do know what I’m going to call the album and what I’m doing for cover art, so that helps to eliminate some potential last-minute scrambling. The title is a bit of a mouthful, but I like it and think it’s strangely appropriate for the material. I think you might get a kick out of it, whoever you are.

Also, watch out for my scary, hairy mug in the Windsor Star on Monday, March 9th. It could be scintillating, or it could all end in tears. Only time will reveal to us which way the pendulum swings.

The album — the one I’m focusing on at the moment, anyway — is coming along pretty well. Quite a few songs have been recorded, but a lot of them need some work before they’re CD-ready. I’m still aiming to have it finished and available sometime in April. I think it should be doable.

Yesterday I unexpectedly found myself writing a piano ballad. Yes. A piano ballad. And I think it might somehow turn out to be one of my favourite things on the album, once it’s been dressed up a bit (right now it’s just piano, vocals and bass). But fret not — the opening line is, “Sex seed particulate.” So you don’t have to worry about things dipping into MOR territory. Yet.

I seem to be turning into something of an accidental unpaid session musician these days. I kind of like it. It’s fun playing on someone else’s songs for a change. It engages the brain in different ways than working on your own material does. It’s also fun to be given the freedom to improvise, and to come up with ideas in the process that probably wouldn’t have ever presented themselves if not for the unfamiliar music you’re working off of.

So far there are two pretty high-profile forthcoming albums by local artists that I’ve played on. There’s the Field Assembly album, which will be coming out on June 5th. I played piano on a few songs on that one, and a little sprinkling of glockenspiel in one song. Because sometimes the glock is just what a sog needs. And then there’s the Tara Watts album. I recorded a whole whack of piano and six-string banjo for that one on Sunday. That’ll be out there on March 26th.

It seems I’ll also be playing in Tara’s band at the CD release show, which will be at The Room. You know the one — that Room where things happen and glances that seem pregnant with meaning are exchanged. Really it’s just indigestion misleading you, but in the moment you feel a connection has been made, and who am I to take that away from you?

It’s funny. I don’t mind playing live so much as a sideman. You’d think there would be more pressure not to screw up in that setting, because the songs aren’t mine and any mistakes I make will be much more obvious and harder to work around, but I find it all a lot more enjoyable than being up there playing my own material. Dolph Lundgren understands. I know he does.

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