March 1, 2011
I have been busy producing a pilot for Erin Radio called "Listen Local", where I interview local singer-songwriters in our musical community. My mentor is the station manager, retired and much respected CBC journalist and broadcaster Jay Mowat, who has won two Gemini Awards amongst his many accomplishments. He has taught me so much. During his first visit to the Treehouse, he asked me to get some paper as he was going to give me a quickie course on producing a radio show. When I got to the end of the page, I looked up and said, "this is a lot to learn." Jay replied straight-faced, "yes, it's a challenge." The show will be sent out to the Listen Local Network across Canada which will in turn contribute their unique local talent. If successful, I will be producing a show every 15 weeks.
I will also be producing a series of half-hour shows called Pete's Garage. Each show will have a theme. Guests will come in to jam and share their musical exploits and stories.
On the playing side, Paul McKeracher and I, the founding members of the now defunct Peter Mandic Band, have started up a two-piece band called Rivertown. As per Paul's wishes, we will only play original songs. Paul is a great bass player and my biggest fan and has been relentless in pushing for only doing my songs. When opportunities present themselves, we will expand into a full band with The Down and Dirty, drums, mandolin, banjo, electric guitar, and two sweet backing/harmony vocalists. We might do some of my favourite covers if I get Paul's approval.
I am a new director on the board of Sensational Elora, a festival of the senses which is in it's fourth year. I have also joined the board of the newly formed Fergus Arts Council as music director. The Fergus festival will run on June 24th and 25th with some interesting changes and a name change yet to be announced. Last year it was called RiverFolk.
It's official, I'm quitting the band. We've had a great four year run but I am weary of promoting myself and the band. We accomplished a lot for a band that played solely for the love of it. Amongst my best memories are our three sold-out shows at The Moonshine Café, playing the Fergus Folk Festival and RiverFolk in the Fergus Grand Theatre, the Downtown Milton Street Festival and on Canada Day in Fergus. I have put out four records with the latest, Swan Song, which I feel is my best work, released in December 2010. One of my proudest moments was when the CBC's The Fifth Estate asked if my song Razor Wire could be featured in their show.
So where to now?
I will continue to write songs which I hope will be with a renewed vigor and I will take gigs as they present themselves. I will continue to jam regularly with my musical friends and will continue my residency as a regular at the Fergus Tuesday Night Jam.
Thank you to the band, past and present members, and all who have supported us so warmly. It was absolutely the most fun I have ever had.