July 11, 2018
Counting down now now. Only a few more weeks before the National Steel "CanAfrica" Blues Tour launches at Toronto, Canada. Albert Frost and I will be rolling across nine of ten provinces, coast to coast and in between. At this point dates are over 90 percent sold- just a few spaces left here and there on the Canadian tour map. Can you help to fill one of these blanks?
Rolling out CanAfrica has been a learning experience. People and paperwork. Building bridges between two countries. There's always new stuff surfacing. Visas. Taxes. Airports. Gear. You see the best and the worst of cultural infrastructure. Trends that are helpful, and trends that are troubling. Things are changing on the ground- as they always do. For a lot of reasons, this has been the toughest tour to assemble of the last thirteen years. This tour doesn't run on grants and record company advances. It doesn't run on the silver spoons of festivals, either. Not that we wouldn't like that, and quickly adjust to such a life. But because it is what it is. It runs on guts and determination. Hope and dedication. No venue too large, too small, too grand, or too humble. We travel a thin strip of blacktop and gravel in all weather- and bring the Blues to Your Town.
I'm very excited about having Albert Frost partner on this tour. Firstly, because we always have a great time hanging out and playing music, but also because he is the first arrival of the many independent South African artists I've encouraged and invited to tour Canada. Those who get to hear him are going to love him! I can hardly wait to introduce him to the friends and places that make up the great, Canadian portion of the National Steel Tour. I haven't had as much fun since Colin Linden used to sit next to me. Meanwhile, Albert and I are honoured to have been invited by the government of South Africa to participate in the gala, Mandela celebration concert at Ottawa in September. See the updated schedule in the sidebar!