In like a lion, folks! March will have The Providers and I playing all around Southwestern Ontario. Most of these shows will also feature the transfixing Jennifer Castle, playing solo, which is one of my favourite things in the world!
Incidentally, Jennifer Castle is also currently involved in a mind blowing contemporary dance collaboration with Ame Henderson and the Toronto Dance Theatre. It`s showing at the Winchester Theatre in Toronto this week (Feb 26 to Mar 1) and you should go see it if you`re in the area. An amazing collaborative work by some of the most inspiring people I know. For a great interview with Ame and Jennifer, check this out.
Here are our upcoming shows:
Saturday, March 1 St. Catherines, ON Niagara Arts Center with Grey Kingdom and Brittany Brooks of Creature Speak // tickets // FB event
Friday, March 14 Kingston, ON The Grad Club with Jennifer Castle // tickets // FB event
Saturday, March 15 Orangeville, ON with Jennifer Castle Shinn Institute For The Arts // FB event // tickets available at Aardvark Music & Culture
Friday, March 21 Ottawa, ON Zaphods with Jennifer Castle and Jonathan Pearse (of Winchester Warm) // tickets // FB event
Saturday, March 22 Peterborough, ON Gordon Best Theatre with Jennifer Castle and Nick Ferrio // tickets // FB event
Sunday, March 23 Kitchener/Waterloo, ON Jane Bond with Jennifer Castle // FB event
Friday, April 11 Guelph, ON Dublin St. United Church opening for Destroyer (Kazoo!fest 2014) // http://kazookazoo.ca/
As I head out of Milan, the sun is coming up. It’s about 4 hours South to Perugia, and in the first hour the weather is lovely. I stop at an auto grille rest stop full of commuters and truck drivers for espresso and a sandwich. This is one of the more surreal moments on any tour: when the late nightlife of a musician collides, unassuming, with the purposeful, unflinching morning routine of the workaday world. This is exponentially more strange because I’m in Italy, trying to imagine myself on the way to work in a place I only know by its bar and restaurant culture.
People drive faster on the motorways of Italy than I’ve ever seen anyone drive. Two hundred kilometres an hour, at 7 in the morning. My mind cannot get a handle on this, and I stay in the slow lane. When I begin the drive upward into the mountains, the fog gets thick, then the rain, and, eventually, the snow. After a few hours of navigating winding mountain roads and tunnels in wet snow, I pull off at a rest stop and fall asleep in the car for two hours.
I get my bearings and roll on to Perugia. The venue is a fantastic bar/cafe/record store called T-trane. Within half an hour I’ve had an espresso, a local beer and bought a Bevis Frond album and the Kinks’ Lola vs power man on vinyl. While making the espresso, the bartender asks me, “who do you think is beautiful?” And before I can answer, tells me she thinks Charlize Theron is the most beautiful person in the world.
I check in to a room at a great little hotel up the street from the venue. At 8pm, I set up in the record store, and play to a nice crowd. Afterwards, people are very enthusiastic about the set. There’s also a great lost in translation thing in italy where people say “congratulations” to performers after a show. Makes me feel good.
I meet an artist and harmonica player named Jason Johnson from Atlanta, Georgia who now lives in Perugia with his family. After the show, I’m offered another incredible meal at the restaurant next door. Jason and I sit an talk for a good long while about Perugia, Atlanta, and Guelph, Ontario. He speaks of contemporary American politics as an ex-pat artist who is still very invested in the subject. He’s currently working on a vinyl-themed art show which will launch at T-trane in the coming weeks.
Jason explains to me that Perugia was the site of the Salt War of 1540, wherein Perugians resisted Pope Paul III’s salt tax and defied papal control. As protest, Perugians stopped putting salt in their bread. This has become the customary way of preparing bread in Perugia, and the result tastes distinctly bitter and a bit sweet at the same time.
I bid farewell to Jason and Damiano, the excellent promoter, and hike through the old arch to my hotel.