sophomore year

we're going in for another album...

It takes a village. Getting purdied by Dani and April for The Unrequited Love album's photo shoot with Carey Shaw.

It takes a village. Getting purdied by Dani and April for The Unrequited Love album's photo shoot with Carey Shaw.

A year ago, in March 2016, I released The Unrequited Love. It was an album that was supposed to be a wham-bam live concert recording that would catch listeners up on the way I like fusing all the early forms of American music – blues, 1950s/60s' country, swing and then some folk songs to be the sonic fascia between it all.

And T.U.L. did all that. But there was no wham-bam, I tell you what. It was an effort in attention and careful decisions like any other album that I've released. There were learning curves galore. The takeaway: A live album is no shortcut.

Plus, between its recording in February 2014 and its release in March 2016, I joined another band, Blake Berglund + The Vultures. With that commitment I invested countless hours singing out of tune until I nailed how to harmonize. I devised and released a 7" vinyl with Blaker. I self-booked a shit tonne of dates across Canada. I went through some major personal upheaval around grief, stress management, and finding a life/work balance that continues to be just that: a balancing act.

The Unrequited Love brought a lot of learning my direction. It taught me how to give space to the inevitable changes that will come in any work in the arts. How to lean in with collaborators so that they may bring you their best. How to see my career for what it is: a marathon, not a dash.

And now, I'm looking ahead to doing it again. I signed up for over a month of studio time with Jason Plumb, who I've been able to work with on Blake's Realms and Colter Wall's Imaginary Appalachia records. Jason has been a huge supporter of my development, and he's promised to push me around, creatively speaking. He claims I've written a blues record... so get ready for that.

So if you've been wondering why I haven't been touring as much, this is it. I've been wood-shedding. If you've asked me or yourself if I'm still doing this music thing, I assure you that I am. I'll just be continuing taking a little break from the heavy Belle Plaine touring of years past to dig in with Jason.

That said, I will be out hot and heavy with The Vultures in 2017. I have a ripping honkytonk record to promote with my new family of dudes. 

FYI, I'm doing a solo show this week. Before I go into the depths of the low-lit studio and spill my guts into the microphone. If you want to hear some of what's getting on this new record of mine, and you live local to Regina, come out and hear me sing the tunes at the Creative City Centre on Tuesday night. Save yourself a few bucks and grab advance tickets here.

love + gratitude

bp

 

house concert cred

a word on house concerts, and national debuts...

You heard of house concerts yet? They're one of those things that have been a constant companion over the years in my career. Big and little, close to home or on either coast, I have benefited from them time and time again.

People who host house concerts are music supporters of a special breed. Sometimes they put us up for the night. Often they cook a meal for us poor, van-living, hummus eaters. They invite their whole community out, and convince them to spend their hard earned greenbacks on an artist they've possibly never heard of. It's impressive, let me tell you.

A few years ago, when I was in Kansas City for Folk Alliance International (where I'm headed next week in large thanks to Creative Saskatchewan!) I got stuck in an elevator. Be damned if I didn't make a few business contacts out of it. I met Jackie Bourgaize of Gallery House Concerts in that strange situation. She assured me that if she was ever in an emergency, she hoped to have me present to manage the crisis.

With that as our first impression, Jackie and I set a date for a show in May 2016. It was arguably the most organized house concert I've ever attended or played. The Gallery team has it down.

Little did I know that eight months later, both Gallery House Concerts and I would get a nod from CBC's q with Tom Power. I got a text from my pal Leigh Ann. She'd been listening to the program on the Halifax stream and alerted me. I thought she was surely mistaken. As I typed my, "sure, sure" response, a tweet notification came to my phone. I was slack-jawed.

If you missed hearing it, I did a lame-o low-fi recording on my iPhone, which is just below. This special moment marked the first time I've had attention from q. It's a feather in my cap that I'm so proud of (not to mention pleased that my first album got the spin), and happy to share with the lovelies responsible for a wonderful concert last year.

SO! In conclusion: house concerts are fantastic, and (cue infomercial music) if you're interested in what it takes to book one with me, just send a wee message to belleplaine@belleplainemusic.com.

toodles!

renovations

a word on how pretty everything looks now...

Friends!

This is my first post on my new website! I made this fancy site with the help of online guru, Elan Morgan. (Actually, it's more accurate to say that she made it, and I just tweaked a few things here and there.) I also had the wonderful support of Creative Saskatchewan, who matched me buck for buck on its development. In official speak, I quoth:

Participation made possible through Culture On The Go funding provided to Creative Saskatchewan by the Ministry of Parks Culture and Sport.

Thank you, arts funders! 💕🙏⚡️

Click around, tell me what's broke by messaging me at belleplaine@belleplainemusic.com, and we'll just all enjoy being out of the grip of Blogger once and for all!

xo

bp