Business Music Video Release!!! Thurs Sept 13th!

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This is going to be a super exciting day at Supermarket.  Oh my god the crunch is on.  Last day of shooting today and it’s going to be released on THURSDAY!!! AHhhhhhh so exciting.  I will probably be seeing it for the first time as well.  If you have Facebook check out the invite here and please RSVP!  Would be greatly appreciated!

Anticipation!!!

Come share this electric day with me!

XO
Chloe

 

Toronto Law Enforcement Endorses Medieval Killing Practices!

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Don’t get me wrong.  I appreciate law enforcement and have only had good experiences with police, once giving me a napkin after noticing i had bike grease all over my hands from changing the tire, another time, just riding up beside me and chatting, and daily keeping my old hood “crack town” safe and sound.  This story is by no means a generalization or meant to slander cops.  It is just my experience with a sociopath who just happened to be a police officer, his role in society making the entire situation freakier. 

Last week I went to my second Blue Jays game ever. Being a rooky I texted my Jay’s obsessed friend saying, “Hey, I’m at the Blues game”.  “Blues game?, he laughed”.  Well I now know that to be taken seriously it must be called either the Blue Jays game or the Jays.  Now I am knowledgeable and you are too – Chloe’s lesson of the day!

So, I went with three friends. Myself and the sexy lead singer Nate of the band Cai.ro were only there to drink some beer and be ridiculous with our friends.  I don’t think I actually paid attention to the game for more than 10 min total. 

At some point before it had ended we all decided to leave, Justin had to pee so the three of us awaited his return seated on a bench and people watching.

Up strolled confidently, a police officer, like a cow smacking his gum.  Hands in his pockets with a cocky swagger and taking himself very seriously he made eyes with us, meandered over and started up a conversation.

He seemed eager to show off his bravery, strength and power so we egged him on and asked him questions about the dangers of patrolling a Blue Jays game at the Rogers Centre.

“Well, he said, it’s pretty dangerous.  People get rowdy after a game”

“Are there ever fights”, we asked?

“Oh yeah, he retorted, swaying his hips as if his manhood held the key to his authority.

“Are there ever shootings”, I asked.

“Oh yeah, yep.. mmm hm..” as he grabbed for what looked like his retainer. Clear and covered in saliva, he slurped up the excess. “I’ve got to wear this mouth guard”.  Very proud of himself and his imagined or confabulated or exaggerated near death experiences his began to rant

“I just wish we could go back to the Roman Empire so I could just kill anyone who mouthed off to me”.

In disbelief, we all decided to see how far he would go.  Did he really mean this or was he just kidding?  No no, he was serious.  I wanted to confirm his statement so I said, “ Yeah, wouldn’t that be great if we could just kill people?…and he nodded in agreement.

Gob smacked, Justin and I looked at each other motioning to film this conversation.  Think of the YouTube hits.  However, just as with my life, my phone is overloaded with crap and has no more space left for videos (of course) and Justin was scared to be too conspicuous.

So we just continued on attempting to dig out more on his strange medieval beliefs.  It turns out that he is of Roman descent and according to his logic this explains why he thinks the way he does.  He, being of such noble blood should be granted the authority to decide who should live and die.  “An eye for an eye”, he said.

But no no it didn’t end there.  This macho man of course was a little oversexed.  Once the drool had subsided and he felt we were all in agreement, he blocked out the other 3 and turned to me and asked, “So Chloe, where do you live?”.  Uhhhh St. Clair and Dufferin.

We quickly saw where this was going and made our move.

Nice meeting you sir…

Harbourfront Soundclash Awards, New album, Song of the Week

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So if you didn’t already hear, I’ve been nominated  for the Harbourfront Soundclash Awards alongside LAL, Opopo, Rich Kidd, Gyles, and Progress and the Rebel Alliance.  Pretty honoured to be nominated and get to share the stage with these awesome artists. Harbourfront interviewed each of us and we were told to brag as much as we wanted but thats not really my style.  My show is this Saturday at 3pm at Redpath Stage, Harbourfront.

Here’s my spiel:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqUUQrUKBIU?rel=0&w=1280&h=720]

As well, CBC Here and Now chose one artist to promote the Award and they chose me!! Woo hoo.  My song “Business” is the  song of the week played somewhere between 2 and 6pm everyday on CBC radio 1.  By the way, “Business” is yet unreleased so this is a sneak preview of the upcoming album entitled Break the Balance.

I am releasing my full length album, Break the Balance  here in Canada this September, Germany, Switzerland and Italy in October and November and January in the States.  Here is a little behind the scenes video of the photoshoot for the album cover, shot by Carrie Clee of Clee Images.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db-arzjzVvM?rel=0&w=1280&h=720]

Last weekend I was in Ottawa after being nominated for the “Shes the One” award as part of the Ottawa Blues Fest.  What a wonderful experience!  Pretty cool to have played the same festival as Snoop Dog and Alice Cooper!

By the way, my band is the shit!!!

Thats all folks!

XO

Chloe

Guild Guitars welcomes your little Chloe to the family!!!!

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So the word is out: I am officially part of the Guild Guitars family (check out my artist profile)!!  Now for the story…


3 years ago my music career began.  I graduated from Glendon College, York University with a bilingual Honours degree in Psychology.  In 2006 I decided that I wanted to be a musician, took a year off, went on a soul/ r& B path and in 2007 I realized that that was not my path.  I finished my degree and thought about what to do.  In 2008 I decided that I needed a guitar.  My mom and I went to the music shop in Lindsay Ontario and bought a crappy nylon right away. I came home and immediately sat down to write my first song on guitar. That song was Soon on a Snowflake.

I had never played guitar and quickly realized I’d made the right choice.

The following summer I ran away to Weimar Germany and decided to write 12 songs, ready to perform my own shows and eventually record my own album.

 My last year of university was interspersed with shows around Toronto and Montreal, a residency at the Tranzac and enough time to be sure of what I was going to do once graduating.

 Come graduation, I gave myself a year, stress free to try out a career in music.  I freelance tutored Korean students in English and after 6 months was so busy with music I couldn’t juggle both so I quit.

Fast forward 2 and a half years and there I was at SXSW for the second time.  This time totally exhausted from just finishing a tour from Toronto to Austin TX, covering 10,000 km I decided to only stay for 2 days of the festival to play a couple showcases, one with The Sweetness and the other solo for Fender/ Guild.

A strange chain of events led me to this showcase.  Aly Tadros was playing it and mentioned to the A&R that I was in town.  He immediately invited me to play and asked her if I would be interested in being one of their artists.  I was in disbelief and didn’t think much of it until after the showcase.

Aly and I performed 2 songs each backed by The Sweetness at the Fender/ Guild centre in Austin.  It was filmed and recorded to later be aired.  There I met the A&R and he was quite in love with our sound.

We sat down and he invited us both to be Guild Artists.  What did this mean? We would be gifted a guitar, a D-55 Acoustic.  However, both Aly and I mostly used nylon guitars.  Well that was no problem, we were also to be gifted a GN-5 Classical.  INSANE!

How did this happen?

I bused home the very next night, completely overwhelmed by the chain of events and proud to have come so far in the past few years.  It was validation that I made the right choice.

Trust your instincts ladies and gentlemen.  Sometimes you know more about your future than you could imagine.

So I went home and we were invited to go to the Fender/ Guild/ Ovation warehouse in New Hartford, Connecticut.

A couple weeks later, we made a little road trip down to this small town.  We walked into this brick warehouse and in the front entrance was a welcome sign for Chloe and Aly!  How sweet.

Greeted by Frank Untermyer, VP of KMC Music & General Manager of Ovation, Fender & Guild USA, we sat down in his office and got to know each other.

Adorned with some sexy protective glasses we were taken on a tour of the factory and given insight into every little detail of Guild production.

At each station, the employees were so friendly and willing to take the time to explain their detailed  and very important role.  Each person was a master at their precise job and most definitely a guitar lover through and through.

Did you know that they only turn out about 14 high-end guitars a day. From start to finish, the process takes about 5 Weeks.  Not only is their attention to detail special but they are quite the environmentalists. 100% of Guild guitars are now made completely from sustainable, eco-friendly wood. Everything from the source of the wood to the working conditions at the timber companies they order from.

Of course, they also have quite the sense of humour.  Lucky us, we got to rock out on Rick Nielson’s (Cheap Trick) custom guitar. I think I need one of these of Chloe.  That might be just creepy.

Anyway, after this thorough visit, we were asked to play a small concert for the staff.  What a treat to pick up these gorgeous guitars for the first time and try them out. The staff was amazingly appreciative and welcoming.  What a treat for us.

Now I just got home from a 30 date tour of Germany, Switzerland and Italy accompanied by these two gorgeous guitars.  What a perfect way to get acquainted. We became great friends – I tell them everything you know.  We even swim together.

The tour wouldn’t have been the same without them.

I look forward to many more years as part of the Guild Family.

To me everything today represents a chain of events from one point in time, on decision, picking one road as opposed to another.  It’s so comforting to see where you can get in life by listening to yourself.  It’s nice to be validated as a musician, as a person.  To me, being invited into this family, validates my efforts and my hard work along the way.

Thank you Guild.

Want to hear these guitars yourself?  Well a few shows are coming up, in particular NXNE showcase next Friday!  And a many others this summer.  Let’s celebrate!

Lots of love

Chloe

Thank you for existing!

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I’ve been back for a few days and am now recapping on everything.

I love being on the road, meeting new people, seeing old friends, new experiences. I have grown so much from constantly being challenged but the stage can be lonely.

Being a persona, a brand asks for a lot of caution. It’s a constant struggle to not become just a presence but remain a multifaceted person.

I am lucky to have so many wonderful people in my life to add to who I am.

My Mom – a strong woman who has not had the easiest life but who has never stopped growing and changing.  I look up to her as a person and know she is always there with some existentialist wisdom and love to help me along the way.

My Nana – more like a second parent and friend.  She is 85 and vibrant although growing old is not easy on her, she still inspires me.

Felix – my partner who makes me more me and encourages me in every endeavor.  The most grounded, person I know.  He always inspires me and stimulates my mind and shocks me with his understanding.

My Dad – although not growing up with him, he has come through in the past few years and exposed me to the wild side of life, given me the experience and strength to do what I am doing now.

Cynthia – step mom and friend.  Dealt with a lot in her life but remains strong and wise and never bitter.

Rebecca (London,UK)– a best friend who understands my every thought.  A beautiful person, talented and wise, opened and a lover of humanity and nature.  I miss her everyday.

Andrea (Montreal,QC) – Rekindled friendship, so thoughtful and understanding, designer of Silver Studios, putting beautiful things into the world.  My mental manager on tour.  I will be the surrogate aunt to her blond angelic child.  If I was a lesbian we’d be too good together.

Emilia (Toronto, ON) – a friend since before I have memories. So proud of her. Like a sister.  Sweetest most gentle loving person ever!

Annie (London, UK) – such a giving and kind person (perhaps too much so) with so much belief in what I am doing.  She could do anything she chooses with grace and whatever that is she will make better the lives of those around her.

Evelyn (Toronto) – my manager. Incredibly strong woman with an abundance of knowledge.  Kind and caring and grounding.  Holds the world on her shoulders. Encourages my creativity and reminds me to be kind to myself.

 Step Brother (World) – So generous, at times too generous. Although we don’t see each other, I know he’s got my back always.

Mack (Toronto) – my band mate and a best friend also member of Ninja Funk Orchestra.  He can’t help but make me smile. So talented and sweet, cuddly and hilarious.

Gord (Toronto) – another besty from Ninja Funk Orchestra who is perhaps too smart for his own good. Dedicated, determined.  An inspiration musically.  He constantly stimulates my mind.

Niel (Toronto) – bandmate and best friend. Wants to take care of everyone. Ready to help a friend at the drop of a hat.  So unbiased and non-judgemental.

Shantal (London, UK)– like a sister growing up and still is. Doing what she wants without any apology and making her way in this world. A creative genius, she will put her imprint on the film industry with her prosthetic designs.

Terry (Evansville, Indiana) – war here, widower turned hippy and Reike master.  Every ounce out of him is pure love.

Duane (Lexington, Kentucky) – Owner of Shangrila Productions. My producer on the upcoming album turned good friend.  Somehow understands my musical raucous and hones it into something for the world.  Freak slash genius.

David (Evansville, Indiana) – poppa wells, my Indiana pop! Been threre to give me love and some fatherly support when I’m needing it most.

Michael (Cambridge, MA)– Most amazing mind ever.  Such an analytical and clear thinker.  So much support for what I am doing that I am overwhelmed by his kindness.  He turns my emotional thinking into action and believes that I can be so much. And his wife Bette – Kind joyful spirit.

Uli (Der Fuchs aus Berlin, DE) – 8 year friend, like a brother.  Berlin wouldn’t be the same without him.

Nik (Berlin, DE) – Another brother from another mother. Dreams of giving him a hug every time I make it over there.

Douglas (Austin, TX) – band member in The Sweetness and best friend/ brother.  Gentle, lover of anything living, best hugger and shoulder to cry on. Check out his other projects – Stone By Stone and Bugaboo.

Cures Riches – moms ex boyfriend and father-like figure in my early years.  Musical savant, gentle nature lover. Harmer of nothing.

Aly (Brooklyn, NY) – surrogate sister/ tourmate/ bandmate/ friend. The Egyptian/ Texan version of me.  So incredible strong, talented, driven.  Can make you cry with her lyrics from happiness or sadness. She will go so far. She loves and is not afraid to be wrong but is always ready to turn life into a lesson. If you don’t know her go listen NOW!

Sam (Toronto) –wild and soft. Master songwriter.  Bandmate in The Sweetness. Surrogate sister. She can turn anything beautiful and spunky with her stand alone personality.

Kelly Lafaive – (Toronto) – my violinist and friend. With the purest voice and the kindest heart.

Davide (Milan, IT) – childlike spirit.  Nothing is not worth trying.  Hears and sees the world as music, romantic. Tour mate, violinist.

Tina (Port Perry, ON) – surrogate aunt and my mom’s best friend. Taught me that family has nothing to do with blood but with love, support and acceptance.

Bruce (Halifax, NS) – president of MMS, an encouraging mentoring spirit who has been there to advice and look out for my best interests since day one. Took me under his wing, I know he’s got my back.

Laurie (Toronto) – my publisict. Always behind me ready to spread the world of Chloe. Get the Message PR.

Roland (Toronto) – my partners wife, when I’m gone.  Probably helped save our relationship a few times.

Nathan – Lead singer in Cairo (awesome band by the way) bestie from Uni / ex roommate, fickle, wild child, talent in anything creative. Sensitive cuddle bunny, partner in crime, naked dance parties and cheeky adventures.

Sanja (Milan, IT) – radio dj/ for RadioPopolare networking extraordinare with so much belief in my future.  Always ready to work on my behalf in Milan/ Italy.

Sebastian (Berlin, DE) – cameraman of Sweetness documentary. Partner in crime, perhaps too much crime. Loads of cherished memories.

Andy (Ludwigsberg, DE) – assistant in Sweetness documentary become really close friend.  Makes me feel at home when in Germany with his gentle calming nature.

Pascal (Ludwigsberg, DE) – director of Sweetness documentary.  Sensitive intuitive genius who shares my dark mind.  Inspiring person who is so destined for greatness. If you like some harder music check out his band Fetzer and the Turbochargers.

Bertin (Ludwigsberg, DE) – sound guy for Sweetness documentary and partner in crime. Crazy exterior with a soft creamy mushy inside.

Reiner (Stuttgart, DE) – like family in Stuttgart.  Runs Café Galao and Silent Fridays 2 of my favourite concerts to play. Also my Stuttgartian cuddle buddy.

Jamen (Toronto) – my male straight girlfriend who is always there to be my body guard, my stylist or my amazing sound guy.

Brock – ex roommate during Uni.  Lively, wild, sweet, adorable, squishy friend who is my favourite retweeter and scenester…hehe.  Blogger at Brock Papers.

Zoe (Toronto) – my little cousin from the same insane family I come from.  She’s an awesome smart spunky amazing person.

Ayshe (Cologne, DE) a best best friend living too far away but one of those people who you know no matter what we will find each other somewhere and it will always be the same. Wonderful artist with an eye for things and a take on life that is totally inspiring and unique unto herself.

Nils (Vienna, AU) – known for 8 years.  Every single time I go to Europe he finds a way to meet me somewhere.  Such a loyal sweet friend.

Justin (Toronto, CA) – bestie in uni and after 8 years things are just the same.  Even when time passes without seeing each other, I know he’s still around sending over the positive vibes.

Trixi (Freiburg, DE) – Germany mom.  So caring and ready to do anything for anyone to help.  So giving and warm. Also the best cook ever!!

Niels (Freiburg, DE) – German Dad. Quiet demeanor but under so kind and loving with a very cheeky side.

And every person who has touched my life in some way, you have made me who I am and keep me motivated. If we have met you left an impact on my life and I appreciate that, your existence in this world, my world.  Your support, your smile, your handshake, your conversation, your accommodation, your acceptance, your applause, your laugh, your tears, your words, your glances, your voice, your presence although not always remembered has left an imprint.

You give me so much positive and I hope I have done the same for you.  I know we can’t always do the “right” thing so if I have hurt you ever I am sorry.  And if you have hurt me, know that I learned from it.

Love you all.

Chloe

Soon on a Snowflake surpasses 10,000 views

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9SMELU_EvU]

What a lovely surprise.  Here I am on tour, often without internet or enough time to check my email that I am kind of out of touch with the world.  But this evening, the fist evening in bed before 4 in weeks and I think hey, let’s see how this video is doing.  Surprise surprise, it’s crept over 10,000 since I’ve been away!  Pretty happy.

Thanks guys for watching

XO

Chloe

Pictures of Adventures…

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Just leaving a wet and shiny Winterthur, Switzerland.  After 3 days just outside of Freiburg, Germany staying with my family, pampered with fresh pressed orange juice, home made meals, a lot of love and a heavenly view sprinkled with the constant chatter of birds, we had to say goodbye.
But 2 hours south east and we were in another wonderland. On a pedestrian street we arrived at our venue to drinks in the sun and lovely company.  A friend from high school surprised me there so we had a little reunion (Andrea, my tourmate, is also from my highschool).

This tour it was my goal to learn to drive stick.  Its frustrating that all of Europe uses standard while us lazy North Americans use automatic.  It’s a bit of a hinderance here.  So today was my first lesson and although I was not terrible, I of course was not great and stalled a total of 15 times.  It was fun!  Thanks to Andrea’s patience we laughed our way through it.

Tonight was the second show outside of Italy.  As much as I love Italian food, I can only live off of pasta and bread for so long so am happy to be back on a diet rich in vegetables and fruits! Yum.  It’s amazing how countries can touch boarders yet be so different.

From an old house set inside a mote of condo’s to a mountain overlooking the alps and lake Iseo, to the beach in Cervia, to Rome, to a remote hotel atop a mountain in Cuneo to the black forest of Germany to Winterthur Switzerland and now en route to Bern…

What adventures await us!

By the way…if you didn’t hear the great news, I got my first feature story for the International Musicians Magazine, USA/CA.
Ciao!
Tchuss!

[slideshow]

 

 

From Duomo to Italian Alps to the beach: Week one in Italy!

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Looking out the window at Lago Iseo.
On the ferry to the island.

Day 7. 6 shows down.  Allergies killing me.

But I’d happily sneeze  to wake up overlooking a lake set in front of the Italian Alps.

Milan is wonderful but HELLO, this is jaw droppingly gorgeous, unspeakably picturesque, priceless.

I am on tour with Davide Santi, a native Milan – ite.  We met 2 years ago when I was on tour with Aly Tadros in Europe through a chain of friends from Germany. We totally clicked so last tour in Europe I ended my tour in Milan for one week to write and get new inspiration with Davide.  For 6 solid days we played like children from dusk till dawn often forgetting to eat. We wrote 4 songs together, one of which is featured on my upcoming LP.

Davide is a violinist who happens to be adept on most other instruments as well.  It seemed natural to have him accompany me this time around.

With me came my close friend Andrea, a silversmith who I’ve known for 10 years now.  With her timeless jewelry and eye for design she was given the title of Merch Administrator of this tour!  PS.  You like jewelry?  Go to her site. www.shopsilverstudio.com

As well I brought along with my my two new Guild guitars!  I was keeping it a secret for a while but I am happy to now officially be part of the Guild family (This in itself deserves it’s own blog – coming soon)!  These babies are beautiful and are getting a ton of use on this tour!

We arrived in Milan and hopped on a bus that was completely full, shared a seat to the city and were picked up by Davide.

Back to the house where I stayed last time.  Prime real-estate with condos being put up everywhere, this is one of the only traditional residences left on the block.  Open the doors to the courtyard and that feeling of peace returns.

Andrea and I spent 5 nights here sleeping in till 1:30, going to bed at 5.  So hard to fight the jet lack when life is so peaceful.

(side note: I am in the car right now and as we pull up to a round about I see a truck selling lemons, lemon trees, oranges, orange trees, and Virgin Mary statues – only in Italy

Davide on the Island.

6 shows down and they couldn’t t be any different.

1st – in an old warehouse a female singers night.

2nd – A fashion show in the old Fiat showroom (Fiat – a french car).  Was given an honourary Beatles Association of Italy membership.

3rd – Bloom – a concert venue outside of Milan where Nirvana, …had played.

4th – Ostello Bello – the coolest hostel I’ve ever been to.  Also has a bar open to the public.

Visited my usual spot, Radio Popolare to do a little ditty and interview, this time with Paula instead of Sanja.  Davide played the role of translator.

Milano Cathedral - somebody's tomb

We were then granted a day off and spent it by Lago Isolo where Davide’s grandmother has a holiday house.  I can’t even begin to explain how incredible this was.

5th – Solo Sole, a restaurant right on the beach of Cervia Ravenna, the east coast of Italy.

6th – Hotel Bellavista – Hotel atop a mountain in Cuneo with  a beautiful view.  We gorged ourselves on incredible food , wine and Panne (better than creme brule).

Now we head south to Rome.

To end, here is some press from Italy if you happen to read Italian!

I rode 48 hours in a bus and fell in love with an ex-con. – I’M HOME!

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Rising quickly…but more for ex-cons[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9SMELU_EvU]

If I ever decide to take a bus again in the USA slap me up against my head ok?

Nah, it’s not that bad.  I’ve probably slept more on this ride than I have the past week.

I left Austin after 2 nights of SXSW.  Night one spent with the D.O. Gibson of Art of Fresh.  Boy does he take care of you!

Last night with my Sweeties, Doug, Sam and Aly.  Taken to the bus by my new friend who feels more like an old friend, Mike, producer, tour manager, multifaceted music man.

At 2:30 am picked up my stuff from the hotel – like condo Aly and I were lucky enough to stay in with our favourite family, The Jones, owner of Just Strings (if you are a string player I suggest buying through their company).

Waiting for the bus had an inquisitive chat with Mike, trying to soak up lots of information before leaving and only being able to talk via phone/ skype.  In person is just so much better.

Equipped with multiple kinds of sleeping pills, generously donated by friends I hopped on.  People really feel for you when you tell them you’re about to endure a 38 hour bus ride.  I suggest this if you ever are in dire need for some drugs (hahaha do I kid).

From this point on all went crazy.  Head’s up for any Greyhound-taking-Canadian, Greyhound in the USA is nothing like it is in Canada.  It’s more like a 3rd world bus line and the stations in the south are disgusting and pretty sketchy.

My first ride was from Austin to I don’t know where.  I was lucky enough to have great intuition and sit right beside the only guy who snored on the bus.  Thankfully I was wired and not about to sleep.  However, the sound did wear on my brain and ability to think.  Like a lawnmower he revved up with occasional breaks just to get my hopes up.  I reverted to elbow nudging.  He will likely have bruises.  However, when he awoke he turned out to be a lovely man.  Going through a divorce, with 3 children, struggling to pay child support.  He helped me with my bags and bought me coffee, gave me candies and a Mexican beer.  His face was leathery from years outside in the sun, hints of manual labour.  Planned to be an engineer, went to college but ran out of money and indebted by student loans, he dropped out and opted for a career in car mechanics.

Waiting in Memphis or somewhere  my bus was delayed.  Of course they don’t tell you how long.  The station filled with very aggressive people, women screaming at their children, men with gold teeth, I tried to keep to myself.  Toilets overflowing and nothing to eat but grease filled junk. M&M’s seemed like the healthiest choice.

I struggled to drag my stuff.  I ended up with a big box of promo material so getting from one place to the next entailed me hobbling around dropping things with my many layers of clothes dragging or tripping me.

Found a seat by an unassuming short round black man who happened to be a chess teacher with 3 national championships (for his students) under his belt.   Time to line up for my bus and he helped me carry everything.  Lovely of him to do so as he ended up having to wait, chose to wait, with me for an hour and a half.  When my bus finally arrived he packed up my stuff and made sure everything was ok.  So so sweet.  I gave him a CD.

But now I was 2 hours late and my connection in Ohio was bound to be missed.

In front of me a very tough black girl with a loud mouth started telling stories to a Black older woman and a “slim shady” about beating up other girls, her brother who was in jail for killing someone, about how she can knock anyone out.  She had an adorable 2-year-old with her who she called Nigga, and boasted of how she beat the living shit out of a girl when she was 3 months pregnant.  Tiny and wiry, as the ride went on she calmed down.

“Slim Shady” and this girl had a lot in common.  He called me Ma’am and made sure not to put his seat back as not to encroach on my space.

2 seats to myself, across the aisle was a 48-year-old man, tanned from probably sleeping outside.  I kept seeing him stare at me.

After a certain stop there wasn’t enough room for me to have 2 seats to myself so he joined me.  He was extremely friendly.  Told me I was the most beautiful women he’s seen. That if he had any money he’d try to woo me.  He had been a drug smuggler and gotten out of jail 1 year 3 months ago after being in for 5 years.  It was his second time locked up for drugs.  First time for Coke smuggling and this time for weed.  He had lost everything and was now sleeping under a truck.  We got off at gas station and I bought him cashews.

He thought it was destiny.  Cashews were his favourite.  He was from Maine, I from Canada.  His mom told him he was going to marry a Gemini, I’m a Gemini.  He loved music, I’m a musician.

Really sweet and obviously starved for love.  His father was German and had been an officer here.  I speak German. His father had nothing to do with him.  His mother was an astrologer who everyone would die for after meeting her once.

He bought me half a sandwich in Memphis.  Then he gave me half his cheeseburger.  I didn’t want it but he insisted. I ate skittles. He thought I was a star.

I was sure I’d miss my bus from Nashville to Cincinnati but it was right there when we arrived.  Bryan went to the washroom and my bus was called.  I had to run without saying goodbye.  I wanted to give him a CD.  As we were about to pull away I saw him out the window looking at my bus, looking so sad.  He saw my guitar case and knew I was in there.  He asked where the bus was going but he thought I was going to Detroit.

He’ll find me on facebook.

Relieved that I didn’t miss my connection. After 20 min we quickly realized there was a problem.  At only 20 Km/h we stopped on the highway, turned around, drove around Nashville.  Obviously the bus driver didn’t know where he was going.  He seemed new and totally freaked out.  However, he didn’t explain to us what was going on.  Too many clearly wrong turns into random alley’s, parking lots, one way’s dead ends. Passengers with attitude were pissed and swearing.  The chubby little driver was obviously nervous.  Stopped in an alley a bus drove up behind us.  We thought to pick us up.  But no, it stopped and went on.  Finally our bus driver freaked out at us and said the bus wasn’t working.  He was shaky.  Poor guy.

It seemed like he was lost so and hour later after a tour of Nashville at night we arrived back at the station to change buses.   At least the next had wireless, well wireless that didn’t work fast enough to be worth having.

Of course this detour meant I missed my next connection.  We all did.  I don’t quite understand people who gripe so much, yell and bitch.  Are they just validating their experience?  does it make it any better?  I just find it annoying. 

Waiting in line to get my ticket reissued, I made a friend, an artist from San Francisco living in Nashville.  After waiting in line for 45 min – only one agent working with about 60 people in line – I got a voucher for 75 bucks for my trouble and a food voucher.  Then filled the next hours chatting with Kuntar.

Now I’m almost on my last leg of the trip heading to Buffalo then Buffalo to Toronto with the much-anticipated stop at the border.

Who knows, I may get stuck here.  The border is always a gamble.

You know, us musicians are dangerous.

By the time I boarded the bus to Buffalo my positive spirit had expired.  Trying to be nice, I attempted to ward off anyone from sitting beside me.  Sadly the bus was too packed, with people sitting 3 to a seat and in the aisles.  I HAD to sit with someone –  silent guy who just stared at me awkwardly. By now I didn’t care.

Arriving in Buffalo.  Woo hoo, finally going to get home. Buffalo is practically Toronto.

The bus is right there. Fast connection!

Board the bus and it’s strangely hot inside, quite like a sauna.  There is a high-school class occupying half the bus, flirting and yelling and being obnoxious.  Usually I find teens entertaining but my nerves were shot.

An hour of sitting in the bus and the driver was still not there.  Seems his bus was delayed.  Everyone was sweating and complaining at the heat.  Finally the driver arrived and we were off to the border but it got hotter and hotter and hotter. People were getting claustrophobic and panicking at the lack of air.

At the border you’re usually supposed to stay on the bus until the officers come and get you out, once the luggage has been removed. We were locked in and by this time it was so hot people freaked out started pounding on the windows. Finally one guy passed right out and smashed on the aisle floor.

The customs officers let us out and wrote up the bus driver.  The ambulance came and whisked the unconscious man away.  Madness.

So to remedy this heat issue, the customs officers opened up the emergency exits on the top.  Solved the heat problem but for the next 2 hours to Toronto we froze with wind blowing and nobody wearing enough clothes to make it bearable.

Oh me oh my. What a trip.  I made it home walked in the door, collapsed on the living room floor, broke down and cried like a 4 year old child for 20 solid min.

Again, I will say PLEASE  smack me on the head if I EVER even CONSIDER travelling this way again.

But now I’m home and happy, exhausted and cozy.

See you at CMW?

Home sweet home…