Thoughts and musings by members of the Arrogant Worms

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Connecticut and Pennsylvania 

After a day off following Hillside, what better thing to do than hop in the Worm Mobile and head south of the border again. There were people desperately crying out for entertainment and your superhero Arrogant Worms were up for the task. Just wish the weather was better. It rained and rained and rained. Both the shows were a lot of fun though. We got to play in Connecticut for the first time at a great concert series in Ridgefield. The show was moved indoors but it was great fun. Our stay at the promoter’s house made the trip extra great with lively political discussion and seven dogs to play with – Theo, Echo, Joe, Sniffy, Sprite, Buddy and Mopsy.

After driving around looking for Martha Stewart, we eventually left Connecticut and headed southwest to Levittown, Pennsylvania. The concert series is held at a mansion that was built in the 1700s. The performers set up on the porch and the audience is on the lawn. It was a great thing until it started to rain. And it really rained. Not to worry though as we moved the show inside the big mansion for an intimate concert. Made for a memorable night of mirth and moisture.

Our border crossing back home wasn’t as exciting as the last one. The border was nice enough but like Shania says, we didn’t impress her much.

Monday, July 26, 2004

Hillside Festival 

After the Oswego gig, we hopped in the Worm-mobile and made tracks for Southern Ontario.  First we had to eat some barbeque.  Yum.  Then at the border, the coolest thing happened.  The customs officer knew who we were.  This is the woman who can tear the car apart if we look at her wrong.  She thought we were cool and we thought she was the finest human being ever in the history of the world.  We never expect to be recognized or anything so when it happens, it’s kinda fun.  Even better when it’s by a border guard. 

So Guelph.  It was our first time at the Hillside Festival.  We were surrounded by some of our favourite friends and performers like The Bills, Le Vent du Nord and The Wailin Jennys.  We did two workshop side stage things and sang a total of four songs.  Gee it’s tough not to work hard.  By the time we hit the main stage on Sunday night, we had lots to say.  We talked a lot!  We talked about the Hillside that wasn’t really visible.  We hollered at people who were walking around.  Some kids walked in front of the stage with cardboard boxes on their heads and we told the other children to attack them.  Children turning on each other.  It was a magical folk festival moment.  Our good friends The Wailin Jennys were on another stage during our concert so we worked it out that they would phone us during our set and get our audiences to chant at each other.  It was great.  “There might be flies on some of you guys, but there ain’t no flies on us.”  Good times.  If the Jennys ever pass through your town, run to their show and tell them we sent you.  Thanks to everyone at Hillside who made us feel so welcome on our first visit there. 

Until next time…

Oswego, NY 

Oswego, New York rocked our socks.  We had an afternoon show at their Harborfest.  We had a very nice stage along the river and it was full of distractions.  Distractions equals comedy.  There were planes overhead rehearsing for an air show.  There was loud music on the other side of the river.  People were walking by and needed to be yelled at.  CoolerMan came by and watched the show.  He’s a man with a cooler on wheels.  Best superhero ever.  People even had bubbles that drifted towards the stage.  Oh and we played some songs too.  It was too much fun.  We’ll be going back to lovely Oswego in February.  We hope it’s an indoor show.  We hope CoolerMan can take a break from crime fighting and see the show too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

The DVD has finally arrived 

Just wanted to post a quickie to announce that Three Worms and an Orchestra the DVD is now ready for public consumption.  We will be selling it this weekend in Guelph at the Hillside Festival.  It is also available at MapleMusic.com for online purchase.  MapleMusic is very fast and very safe and very reasonable in terms of price.  We hope you like the DVD.  We think it's worth the wait.  And holy doodle did we wait!

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Winnipeg Folk Festival III - Sunday 

Aww Sunday. The last day of the festival. Slept in a bit and then wandered down into hospitality room for coffee and muffins. Met Worm Mike down there and we harassed other musicians until it was time to head out for the long bus ride. My only goal of the day was to see Paul Thorn’s concert on one of the side stages. That and few dozen other things. Saw a great fiddle workshop that featured JP Cormier playing fiddle tunes on the guitar. This guy is a master at any stringed instrument. He rocks. Also caught a Gaelic singer named James Graham. He and his two side guys were great. I recognized a few of the words from our own Gaelic song! The rockingest workshop of the weekend was next with Sarah Harmer, Jackie Greene, The Mammals, The Perpetrators, Mike O’Neil and others. Lots of rockers and blues made this one cook. Then it was off to see more Paul Thorn. The stage he was at was packed. I laid down way back in the grass and listened to my new favourite singer. He was awesome. A nice lazy dinner followed and then we reported to the main stage again for some more hosting duties. We got to introduce Po Girl, Martin Carthy, Shooglenifty and our very awesome Kingston homegirl Sarah Harmer. She and the band were especially great. The audience was hooked from the start and she delivered a great set. After Sarah, we introduced the finale that included Wild Mountain Tyme, The Mary Ellen Carter and Amazing Grace. It was a fitting end to a great festival. The crowd saluted everyone on the stage and the volunteers and staff and that was it. Pick up your garbage and go home.

The party was a cooker too. Luther Wright and the Wrongs played in the big room while jams broke out all over the hotel. The staff and volunteers finally got a chance to kick back and relax. It was a fun night that wrapped at an ungodly hour. So thanks Winnipeg for a great festival. We hope we don’t have to wait too long to come back.

Until après Hillside.

Winnipeg Part the Deux - Saturday 

So it’s Saturday now and I am well rested. Got on a shuttle and headed on out to the fest. It was more wandering around and stumbling upon great music. I spent some time watching Dahmnait Doyle and Kevin Fox and then wandered and heard some Wailin Jennys and then our friend Suzie Vinnick. After a wee bite of lunch, it was time for our very own concert at the Snowberry Field Stage. Our workshop was scheduled for about 60 minutes but we had some extra time because we set up quickly. The crew on that stage and all the stages is very good and everything ran smoothly and on time all weekend long. We rocked it pretty good and had a really big crowd. Our friends JP and Hilda Cormier were sitting beside the stage for the whole show. JP is one of those legend type guys especially on the east coast of Canada and he loves us a lot. He’s a big dude too so there’s a lot of love of the rib crushing variety. We love making him laugh because it’s a full laugh that often involves spitting and convulsing. We did an interview and then I ran over to see Butterfingers, which is the kids’ band version of Luther Wright and the Wrongs. They were great. More music and then we reported to the main stage for our hosting duties. We introduced the first three acts and the in-between acts on the big stage and got to do a couple of songs. Always fun to play in front of over 10 thousand people. We hung around and caught most of the rest of the main stage, which included David Lindley and Earl Scruggs. The delight of the night was a guy named Paul Thorn. He did three songs before Earl Scruggs came on and he brought the house down. Great songs make a difference and Paul has great songs. He sold every CD he brought that night. After the big show, I caught the bus and headed on back to the hotel. Stayed up for a little while and then had to crash. The weather all weekend was very hot and it sucks the life outta you. Sunday report is next.

Monday, July 12, 2004

Winnipeg Folk Festival Part One 

The summer fun continues at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. We played the festival in 1996, 1997 and 1998 and then not again until this year. Being there this year made us even more bummed that we missed the last five. We had a great great great time. Those festival folks know how to put on a fantastic weekend. It was so good to be back. We had Mike Ford along once again playing the part of Trevor. He was awesome. I’ll try to break it down into days for those of your who enjoy minutiae. I’ll start with Friday and then do Saturday and Sunday in a separate posts. Ok, so…

The new terminal one at the Toronto airport is really nice. Big and airy and expensive. We arrived in Winnipeg and shared a shuttle with our pal Kevin Fox who was playing with Dahmnait Doyle at the festival. A quick ride downtown brought us to the Fairmont Hotel - phones in the bathroom. Classy. We grabbed a quick shuttle to the festival site, which is about 45 minutes outside of town. Took a few minutes to get our bearings again because it had been quite a while since we’d been to the fest. We hustled over to the Snowberry Stage and got ready for our workshop. We were the hosts and the theme was great songs under three minutes. Joining us were Tegan and Sara, Shawn Jonassen from The Swiftys, Matthew Harder and House of Doc and Spirit of the West. The tone was light to say the least. What a treat to play with everybody. It was rather cool to be singing and playing Particle Board while Spirit of the West whacked chairs for percussion.

The rest of Friday was spent wandering around listening to great music and eating some awesome food backstage. The army of volunteers at the festival is rather remarkable. They cook and serve over two thousand meals a day and it’s all delicious. We also did a thing for The X on CBC TV. We don’t know when it will air but you won’t want to miss us serenading a porta-potty. Uh, yeah. I watched a bit of the main stage and then caught the shuttle back to the hotel for some needed rest. Night night.

Monday, July 05, 2004

Summer is on! 

So we’ve survived the first folk festival of the season. We just did the Northern Lights Festival Boreal in Sudbury this past weekend. We had a ball. Our line-up was slightly different as we had our good buddy Mike Ford playing the part of Trevor who couldn’t be there. You may remember Mike from a group called Moxy Fruvous. He’s done a few shows with us as a fourth Worm and he’ll have a few more before the summer is out. It’s a nice change of pace. He certainly forced Mike Worm and I to be on our toes. That’s never a bad thing. The festival in Sudbury had a great line-up this year with Pilate, Fred Eaglesmith, The Wailin’ Jennys, The BeBop Cowboys and many more. It was great to see some different stuff. That’s the nice thing about festivals – variety. We will make our return to the Winnipeg Folk Festival this weekend and we can’t wait. It’s been five or six years since we’ve been there and we’re chomping at the bit.

We also did a fun Canada Day show in Brampton, Ontario. Our good pals The Bills (Bill Hilly Band) were there as well as Gregg Lawless with his all-star band. The night ended with fireworks going off in time to Canadian rock songs booming on the sound system. A nice way to celebrate the birthday of our fine country.

I’ll cut it there for now. We’ll send out a newsletter in the next little while to get you up to date. Also check out the website for more touring stuff. I’ll write again after Winnipeg. Have a nice day.


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