On the day of our (hopefully) triumphant CD release bash in Camrose, here's a little taste of our outdoor adventures at the Beaumont Blues & Roots Fest in Beaumont, AB last week!

My dear reader, welcome to The Unvarnished Truth. Please forgive this blog's title. I took an artistic liberty and sensationalized it to make you do a double take, utter a reactive blasphemy under your breath or wonder (again) what the hell Sawbones is doing. Actual barf does not appear at any point in this episode.


In Memorandum

But first, in a related matter... our fearless and intrepid stage manager, Jeff "The Black Swede" Nyback has recovered from his "wee bout" enough to join us for as many gigs as his intestines can handle! This news does your ol' Sawbones' heart some good as the Scandinavian/African/Canadian quota in my life falls just short and Jeff brings it back up to par. In your honour, Jeff, I'll be listening to ABBA today. And Lenny Kravitz. And Sammy Davis Jr. And Anne Murray.


 The Black Swede in chill mode


Feeling Sheepish

A lovely hospitality tent was set up behind the main stage where I hung out, warmed up and adjusted my, um, accoutrements, etc.... just requisite pre-show rituals. 'Twas all done up comfy-like with black leathery sofas, a table with snacks and a bevy of cold alcoholic beverages! So naturally, before our performance, being the presumptuous rockstar I think I am, I innocently partook in the tempting drinkables & comestibles before me.

After enjoying a variety of spoils I exited the hospitality area, ready to go onstage wondering to myself how odd that no other artists seemed to enter the tent. And there were musos crawling all over the place, too. I gave it no more thought. Discovered later that it was headliners The Sheepdogs' VIP tent and the rider treats inside were contractually theirs, not some hirsute hayseed in a hat. No matter. An honest mistake, I was Feeling Good and ready to heat up the stage with some rawkabilly on rockabilly day at Beaumont Blues & Roots.

Set times. And apparently plenty of time to consume the headliners rider goodies.


(The Great & Terrible Price Of) Being Dashing 

Weather-wise, the god(s) smiled on us and provided a perfect day for the record crowds to enjoy. But Punch Drunk Cabaret fear no weather! On with the show (which would be hot in more ways than one)!! The sun was high and beat down on your decently dressed and well-heeled heroes. This did not prevent some of us from wearing up to three layers of clothing all the while trying to keep the legendary reputation of an energetic PDC show unsullied. I often ask myself, "Is this the day I suffer heat stroke?"

Today, I actually did not ask myself that. It's amazing how inconsequential the silly things in life are when you're busy drinking forbidden rider beer.

Sidestage, moments before the show. Damn the torpedoes!.... and the weather.


Uncomfortable Analogy

Once onstage, it was business as usual. And like tender and playful lovers, PDC loved the audience... and the audience loved them back. We rocked, rolled, swung, jumped, jived, wailed and finished in a sweaty climax. All with our clothes on!



Every show is different and comes with it's own foibles. Though the stage was well run, we plugged and played. No soundcheck.

Though the stage hands were wonderful. The backstage guys and the MC weren't on the same page, allowing us to be given the cue to "Go!" while the master of ceremonies stood idly beside us lacking words.

Though the stage was a fair enough size (especially for us, a three-piece), Bandmeister Randy B and I managed to semi-collide and almost to the point of calamity in one instance. Such is the nature of an all-out rock 'n' roll show. In three plus years, I'm surprised it hasn't happened more.

Music heard during our 45 minute set included plenty of new material from our latest opus, The Juke Joint Revival Hour and the usual tasty cover tune or three sprinkled into the set. Lately, "Hot For Teacher" is going over like gangbusters. And why not? The marital soup of Van Halen to rockabilly is just begging to be consommated. Consummated. Whatever.


Following us on the bill aside from the bearded and slightly beerless Sheepdogs were Cousin Harley and Raygun Cowboys, both top-notch artists and equally friendly folks. As I shook the hand of CH's virtuoso guitarist Paul Pigat, I noticed the gryphon-like talons on his picking hand which he uses like built-in plectrums to masterful effect while playing. I have a few freakishly elongated body parts, too, but that doesn't help me play bass any better.

     Sawbones and Raygun Cowboys                                  Cows are used for their milk, their meat and, FUN FACT: stand-up basses!


Cool Down

Thanks to the very cool staff at Beaumont this year. It's our second appearance there and the folks are downright folksy, professional and generally good eggs. Like, for example, Dave Melin, Jeremy, Josh, Cathy & The Merch Angels and those whose names I can't recall because I drank too much forbidden beer that day.

Josh - our excellent driver for the day                              Sawbones post-gig. Reflecting on beers gone bye


Apologies, once again, to The Sheepdogs. Your set was great. Your beer was delicious.

And that's the unvarnished truth.