Sunday, December 6, 2009

Home, sweet home!

I'm sitting here at the kitchen table -- the same one that has made it into many songs, and even The Brights' CD cover -- with a beam of sunlight reaching across the room, one purring orange cat at my feet, one little grey cat announcing she's caught me a "mousie" (at least I hope it's her toy one...). We woke up to snow on the ground -- thank you, mother nature, for waiting until we got home! Little enough to be a shovel-job -- might even be enjoyable (did I just use my outside voice?!?).

We got home last night to two very happy cats who have not left us alone since. Our cat-sitting angel, Bernie, had organized the mail for us, we're pretty sure she cleaned the cat litter earlier in the day (wow! above and beyond, girl!), there was an obvious lack of hairballs around the house, and I think even the plants had been treated more kindly than they're used to. What a nice place to come home to! There was even a bouquet of flowers from our friends Paul and Deb, congratulating us on our engagement, a birthday message from Uncle Tim and Aunt Sherry on the answering machine, a nice note from Laura Bird who stayed here while we were away and she was playing FridayFolk, cards from our dear friend Ali... Geez, we should go away more often!!! (Not happening any time soon -- I'm going to have to force myself to get out of the house to get some grocery shopping done today!)

Looks like we racked up 4436 kilometres this trip. Time for another oil change! And, seeing all this white stuff outside our window, I guess it's time for us to get all the pre-winter preparations done. ;-) Better late than never, right? Unpacking, laundry, finances... the final tour tear-down ritual. Haven't figured out yet whether this tour was financially successful, but it certainly was a success in every other way. Our shows were always greeted with much enthusiasm, we met some really wonderful new people, got to see some old friends... definitely a worthwhile endeavour.

The Brights will be... well, a little dimmer over the next few weeks. :-) (No comments from the cheap seats!) We'll be hunkering down, planning the next tour (out west in late spring), and otherwise enjoying a fairly quiet December. Ahhh... I'll be criss-crossing the country in January -- from leading a "finding your authentic voice" workshop at an Integral Leadership Practice Retreat for Women in Nova Scotia, to performances of Sarah's Daughters (Jeff Nisker's play about a woman whose family is battling a genetic form a breast cancer) with actress Martha Zimmerman in Victoria, BC. -- plus I'm starting to get "the itch" for a new solo CD, so there might be more activity at my Adventures in Cello-Land blog in the near future.

But don't worry -- we'll definitely be staying in touch here if anything exciting happens! And if you really can't get enough information about The Brights, feel free to follow the minutiae of our musical lives at our Twitter feed (yes, we're geeks, get over it!).

From my beautiful sunny kitchen in my home-sweet-home (and still in my jammies and fuzzy slippers and NOT in a car!), this is Alyssa Wright signing off.

'Til I blog again,

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Homeward bound

Hi folks,

We just crossed the highway back into Ontari-ari-ari-o. Yippeee! It's been a great trip, but we're definitely looking forward to sleeping in our own bed tonight, and getting back into the old routine (whatever that is...)

Our Church Street Concert last night was much fun (it's apparently no longer called the Church Street Cafe, since they stopped having food at their concerts).

We arrived at Janice & David's home, just outside of Lennoxville, in the early afternoon. Janice had been kind enough to leave us a delicious stew for lunch, which was quite unexpected. :-) We had a nice visit with Dave, and then helped him load up his sound equipment -- Janice and Dave run this concert series pretty much single-handedly, which is an incredible amount of work, as I know all too well. We followed him to the hall in Lennoxville and helped unload.

While Dave got his sound and recording equipment set up (he does live recording of all the Church Street shows), we went to visit Janice at her book store down the road, Black Cat. What a great store!!! All that was missing was a cat. :-) She's got a combination of new releases at the front and used books at the back. It would have been very easy to spend the entire day there, but I managed to get out of there with one book each for my niece and nephew, and one for me (even though I haven't finished reading the one I bought in Halifax -- naughty me!).

Don finally found the new Rose Cousins album, "The Send Off", which he'd tried to find in Halifax but they were all sold out. We've been listening to it on the ride home today. It took us aback a bit at first, because it's so different from her first one -- but now we're on the 5th go-round (yes, really -- why do you think I keep saying Don would leave me for Rose Cousins in an instant?!?), and it's sinking in nicely. Quite brave of her, I think, to take such a departure from what worked so well on her first. Beautiful songs, as always, plus a "cover" of a Mary Margaret O'Hara tune that pushes her in directions we haven't heard her do before -- and are excited to hear her do now. She's got such a strong voice, it's nice to hear her sing in an... almost cabaret style, really. She's got the pipes!

But, ahem, back to us. ;-)

Back to the hall to do our sound-check. Dave usually just sets up two omni mics on stage, but the cello proved a wee bit overpowering for that approach -- so we had to do a bit of fiddling around, so it wasn't all me all the time. That hall has great acoustics, so not much was needed -- I think the main balance was for the recording.

Then we were off to CJMQ for a quick interview with Dave Teasdale. He'd definitely done his research, and it was fun to chat with him about our music, the tour, the album, and life in general.

A wee bite at the neighbourhood pizzeria hit the spot -- although didn't seem that wee a bite, once we were finished. Note to self -- split an order before a show. :-) Then back to the hall.

The Church Street Concerts have been having troubles keeping the numbers up over the past year or so, but it seemed a fair-sized audience. And certainly an enthusiastic and supportive one! Apparently, all the local cellists were there, and we had somehow managed to attract a bunch of the Bishop's students, who don't often come out to these shows. Yup, we attracted the young 'uns! (No mosh pit this time, though...)

We knew it was going to be a good night after we finished our first song, "A Good Day", and heard a loud "Whoop!" from the back of the hall -- and no, we didn't kidnap little Max and make him follow us around to all our concerts, this was a grown up. :-) There were similar reactions all the night through -- does an ego good!

At intermission, I found myself surrounded by the Lennoxville cellists (good band name, no?), asking about the carbon fibre cello, my foot percussion, etc., plus a young boy who liked my blue cello but wondered why there wasn't any food. Sigh... you can't keep everybody happy (a good control of the ego!). One of them even bought Don an apple cider -- geez, what is it with Don and female cellists? ;-)

The second set went just as well, and we even got a standing ovation and encore at the end. A great way to end our tour, I'd say!

Our final tear-down, and then back to Janice & Dave's where we were treated to late-night pizza and beverages. After saying "Not Enough Whiskey" was one of her favourites, Janice then offered up the single malt -- it would have been rude to say no, right?

This morning, we were treated to delicious blueberry pancakes and "Lyssy coffee" -- the really strong stuff. :-) We had a lovely lazy morning, and didn't really want to leave, but... the call of our very own bed tore us away at last.

Driving up highway 55 towards Montreal, we saw a sight that Wyatt would have loved -- Hot Air Balloons!!! If only we'd had the camera ready...

And here we are on the 401, halfway between Cornwall and the Ottawa turn-off. A perfect day for driving. But Don's been doing it all since we left Lennoxville, so I think it's my turn now. I imagine my next post will be from... you guessed it... HOME!!!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Here comes the sun... doo-be-doo-dooo!

Hi folks,

Friday morning, and we're driving to our last gig of the tour -- under MUCH nicer conditions than yesterday, lemme tell ya!

Almost as soon as we checked in, Don had a nice 2-hour nap at the motel. Fell asleep with his coat still on, no less, so finally woke up because he was too hot. :-) The idea of driving even to the ferry filled us with blech, so we opted instead to walk all the way next door to the Normandin. We had a nice waitress who giggled with us as we tried to remember our French, and then giggled as she tried to remember her English.

Considering that Normandin is basically a 24-hour truck stop, we were both pleasantly surprised with the quality of our meal. I had salmon on a bed of egg noodles and covered with a bruchetta-like topping. Don had ribs, and I managed to eat half his fries. I don't know why I was so hungry -- other than the stress of the drive, I guess. I thought I had ordered us a bottle of wine, but she brought us a full litre (hic!) carafe -- so it's a really good thing there were only 30 steps to our motel room. And yes, I was so hungry that we actually ordered dessert -- a rarity for us -- AND I finished all mine, plus a bite of Don's. And then Don got brave and ordered us "deux cafes Espagnol", just to make sure we slept well. Je suis si fier...

And here we are, on Autoroute 20, with sun and lovely blue skies peeking through the clouds at us. I almost need my sunglasses! It's making me smile. Ah, the simple things... Kind of like my nephew Wyatt the other day -- that kid grins at pretty much anything. We'd read some of my old Richard Scarry "Things That Go", and he became enamoured with the idea of a hot air balloon. Found a strawberry crate in the basement, declared it the basket for his hot air balloon, and played with it ALL DAY, excitedly crying "hot air balloon!!" about every five minutes. I think I'm there with the sunshine today. Sunshine!!! Sunshine!!!

Or -- and/or -- maybe it's just that I can feel us getting closer to home. Tomorrow night, I'll be sleeping in my own bed. Once again, I find myself encompassing two extremes -- the gypsy wanderer and the homebody missing her place. Balance, for me, never seems to end up being sitting comfortably in the middle. I think I'd be bored that way. Nope, it's the ever-moving teeter-totter of life that keeps me going. You don't appreciate what you have until it's gone... and then you really appreciate it when you get it back! We've got a few weeks of quiet when we get back. But I know I'm gonna fill it. After I watch the three weeks worth of my cheesy TV shows that I've taped. :-)

Ah, but here we are on the road, me and my one sweet constant -- who I don't seem to get bored of at all, what's with that? ;-) Enjoying the beauty of the day, and now needing to find the sunglasses that have been hidden at the bottom of my purse for days. Life is good. I'm already home, really.

Tonight, the Church Street Cafe in Lennoxville, QC. We're really looking forward to this one -- Don played there solo a number of years ago, but it's my first time there. Radio interview at 5pm, the rest of the day can be nice and relaxed. Did I mention life was good?


Thursday, December 3, 2009

It's OK Mom, we made it!

Writing from the EconoLodge in Levis (using their complimentary wireless so as not to rack up any more charges on our internet stick), where we've stopped for the night.

Added bonus -- with the time change between New Brunswick and Quebec, we gained an hour, and it's only 6:30!

We had great visions of taking the ferry across to Old Quebec for a romantic dinner, but... I can hear my sweetie softly snoring on the bed behind me, so it might just be the next-door Normandin and a bottle of plonk from the depanneur -- will give the full food and beverage report later, if I don't start snoring too...

In the meantime, I've spent far too long staring at this screen, so I shall sign off for now. But we're here, we're alive, we have only 3 hours to drive tomorrow and it's 11 degrees there. May it stay that way!

In relief,

Whether 'tis nobler... be driving behind the snow ploughs or in front of them? We've done each at various points today, and I'm hard-pressed to come up with an answer.

We had a lovely stretch of relief from the storms in western New Brunswick, but then the snow came back around Edmundston. Good thing we'd stopped for gas in Campbellton, too! Around Cabano, we realized we weren't going to make it to Quebec City for early dinner, so stopped for a late lunch, instead. By the time we get to Quebec City, we'll probably be nice and fashionably late.

So once again, we're in picture-perfect country, despite the quickly-fading light. More trees pregnant with snow, dark grey fog swimming in and out of the patches of snowflakes... We're about to get to Riviere-du-Loup, which means we'll be getting two lanes in each direction again. Of course, that also means we'll be getting a lot more transport trucks...

So, rather than entertain Don with my interpretive dance version of the Blair Witch Project, I think it's time to tell you all about the gorgeous moon we saw last night!

It was a full moon, of course, and quite the beauty. Just as we were driving across the Miramichi, we saw it starting to come up over the water, big and bright fiery orange, casting a warm glow over the then faintly-dusted-with-snow countryside. I wish the camera had been in a place we could reach... but it probably wouldn't have done justice to the scene. Magical!

We're back to rain, and fairly light rain, at that. But it gets so dark so early! We're going to head to Levis and then call it a day -- that'll make tomorrow an easy drive, and maybe we'll find a depanneur with a nice bottle of plonk. I think we've earned it today!!!

Thanks, again, for distracting me. :-)

Between a truck and a hard place...

Thank goodness we didn't take the logging road! And thank Dog we got the snow tires on.

There is coffee in Campbellton, and a very nice gas jockey at the Ultramar. I chastised myself for being bad and getting an apple fritter, but now I consider it a just reward -- I think my body is probably processing calories double-time, as we drive (well, Don drives...) through the Appalachians in alternating snow (snowballs, not snowflakes) and freezing rain, with one transport truck in front and one behind. Let's hope Mom doesn't read these blogs, for sure!

Around us, everything is picture-postcard beautiful. Evergreens hunched under blankets of snow. The ocean view now giving way to beautiful mountain vistas. The faint whisper of Alyssa hollering "slow down, we're all gonna die!!!"... The half a plastic Santa "caught" in the garage door, as if to hammer that thought home... Keeping our eyes peeled for Moose, with not many options if we do spot one... Oh yeah, that apple fritter was definitely justified. I may even have to order myself a plate of poutine once we hit the border -- heart-attack, schmart-attack. ;-)

The houses around here are all quite small and don't look like they'd survive the winds we're feeling -- don't think it's the richest part of the province along this highway -- but they're all cheerily painted and lovingly cared-for, and lots of big snow-encrusted Newfs and other large pups guarding the fort. The kids around here must have gotten a snow day, because we've been waved at by many cheery tykes. Why is it only grown-ups complain about this weather? Ah yes, the driving and "we're all gonna die" thoughts... (Mom, you should have stopped reading a long time ago...)

Hmmm... perhaps I should have called this blog entry "what goes up must come down", because after making our way up the mountain for half an hour, it looks like we're starting down. Let's hope that truck behind us has good snow tires!

Or maybe it should be "here comes the rain again", because here we are back into rainstorm. The roads snowless enough to make you cocky, until aforementioned large ruminant decides to skip across the highway... Maybe I should have gotten two apple fritters.

But thank goodness we didn't take the logging road... and thank Dog for snow tires.

And we're listening to our newest-favourite CD by Kev Corbett, "Son of a Rudderless Boat". "Driving Song" just came on... how apropos! "This single-lane roads and double-lane trucks... But don't worry hon, I ain't gonna die... without seeing your face" :-)

OK darlings, we're into plain rain now. Looking warmer now. "Hallelujah! See? I didn't die..."

Thanks for helping distract me.

Yes mom, I'll let you know when we hit Highway 2. ;-)


More surprises

Hi folks!

Well, we're in the middle of our first winter storm, in northern New Brunswick. When we left Clifton this morning, it was just a little drizzly. We've driven through freezing rain, rain, hail, and now snow. Not pleasant. We keep driving by people stopped on the other side of the road -- not sure why it's so much worse coming the other way! Apparently, Quebec city is 11 degrees and raining -- so if we can make it through New Brunswick, it all should get better.

Fortunately, our hosts gave us better directions than MapQuest, otherwise we would have been in for even MORE of a surprise! Apparently, the "highway" those digital genii were going to send us on is actually a logging road, and our suspension would have been toast. Thank goodness for real people. :-)

But... backtrack to the first surprise from yesterday. Seems like even total strangers read my warbling from time to time. :-) I got a lovely note from one of the owners of the Brooklyn Warehouse, thanking me for my comments about the restaurant. Who knew? (Guess this means I should be more careful when complaining about Mom's pot roast, too -- you never know who's paying attention!)

The other surprise happened when I discovered that a friend I'd met from my Cannington days was now living just outside of Bathurst, NB. Kathryn was the minister at Wilfrid United Church, where I replaced the music director for a couple of summers, and now she's got a new charge in Clifton, NB. I suggested we pop in for a quick visit, and she invited us to spend the night, and give a wee concert to her choir, who was meeting for rehearsal that evening. Kathryn's husband Roger made us a delicious curry dinner, and we had a very nice visit before she headed over to choir practise. Practically the entire choir came back to the manse afterwards, and we did a little house concert. I think we've got them hooked -- Kathryn was making plans. ;-)

This morning, we had a quick breakfast (we were offered something fancier, but breakfast and I don't get along very well when we're in a hurry, and we wanted to try and avoid the worst of the storm), then got a nice tour of Kathryn's church before we headed off to brave the elements.

And now hear we are, about to make a pit stop in Campellton for a much-needed coffee. Yup, back to the food and beverage report! :-)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The birthday weekend

[Copied verbatim from Alyssa's blog -- apologies to those who read both!]

Hi folks,

Our final day in Halifax -- we'll be heading to Clifton, NB tomorrow evening for a visit with some of my friends from the old Cannington days, plus surprise last-minute mini-house-concert. Then Lennoxville Friday and... presumably, home!

Just waiting for the laundry to finish up before heading to the last play-time with Lilly and Wyatt (boo hoo). But thought I'd catch you up on the birthday weekend while I waited.

Saturday afternoon, we visited Don's cousins in Dartmouth -- they're such a fabulous family. They were very happy about the engagement, and I don't think Becky stopped smiling once! Becky has also convinced me (very little arm-twisting necessary!) to come to her Open Field Retreat in January and do a workshop in finding your authentic voice -- I can't wait! It was an all-too-short visit with Becky & Jim, Hugh & Chris and Lois, plus a phone call from Deb in Salt Lake City. But it was lots of fun, and we'll be seeing them again soon, I'm sure.

In the evening, Don took me out for my Birthday Eve dinner, just up the road at The Brooklyn Warehouse -- our favourite in the area. Apparently, it's become many others' favourite too, because we had to wait a little bit for a table, and it was quite busy for most of our dinner. Oh well, we enjoyed some fancy cocktails at the bar, so all was well! :-) We shared an appetizer of to-die-for hummus and pita. Main course was steak for Don (he always has the steak there), and a vegan angel hair "carbonara" for me, with smoked tofu -- never had it before, but I'll be keeping an eye out, because it's amazing (Don the tofu-hater even liked it!). Washed down, of course, with a lovely French Pinot Noir. Remembering the last time we ate there -- and the painful waddle home -- we opted to skip dessert this time, but had some Monte Christo coffees instead. Mmm-mmm!

Sunday morning, we got up early (musicians' early, anyhow) for the weekly Breakfast Club breakkie at Athens -- I think there were about 14 of us there this week. Then, in honour of my birthday, I had a two hour nap. :-)

And then the "surprise" party (not really a surprise, since Lilly had broken the news several weeks ago, and had talked about it almost every day we were here) at Mom's house. Lilly still yelled "surprise" with great gusto, though!!! She had made me a card that wished me Merry Christmas (a running joke, since nobody is "allowed" to decorate or sing Christmas carols until after my birthday in this family -- which means she's been singing carols at the top of her voice since I arrived!), plus a very colourful play-clay sculpture of somebody swimming in the swimming pool. Her parents gave me a great wine diary and a bottle of Rioja Gran Riserva to start me off. Funny, friends Sheila and Hugh also brought me wine -- a local brew which looks lovely too. Mom opted for the non-alcoholic present, giving me a lovely wood-block serving tray with sailboats, some lovely "live love laugh" magnets, and a CD from her recent trip to Newfoundland.

Food and beverages? Well... this is where it gets interesting. Pot Roast. Yes, pot roast was the main course served at my birthday. For those of you who don't know, I am a vegetarian and have been one for about two decades. Who would serve pot roast at a vegetarian's birthday party? Yup, my mother. This explains so much on so many levels, doesn't it? ;-)

But she redeemed herself with the traditional Wright-family birthday cake -- angel food with chocolate drizzles. Don is a convert. We ate the final slices of leftovers for breakfast this morning. :-)

Ah... and perfect timing. The laundry just finished, and I have to dash over to play with my niece and nephew. Life is rough...


Monday, November 30, 2009

A lovely night at Brookside

Hi folks!

A belated update on our Friday house concert at Brookside Cottage (hey, we've been busy!).

After our previous week's MacDonald Bridge delay, we decided to start of very early (especially on a Friday) to give ourselves time for traffic jams getting out of the city. Turns out we were a bit over-enthusiastic, though, because we got to Hubbards in no time at all -- and before our host, Maggie, had said she'd be home! So we did a little toodle through town -- a very sweet, picturesque place, for sure!

We drove in to Brookside Cottage, which is, indeed a brook-side cottage! We wish we'd gone there before it got dark, to see it in all its glory. Maggie had given us excellent directions (much better than MapQuest, which would have had us going north of Enfield, about an hour and a half the wrong way!), and as we came around the final corner, she had a sign for "Brookside Cottage" all done up in sparkly lights, just to be sure. We parked the car and then headed across the footbridge -- also done up in sparkly lights -- to the sweet little cottage.

Inside, Maggie, mom Pat and cousin Sally were cooking up a storm -- it was everything my real estate agent would have loved: the smell of cinnamon and cookies baking. What a welcome! Since we were about two hours early, we had lots of time to get set up and get to know everyone -- including Pumpkin, the cat who spent much of her time hiding under Maggie's bed, but did make a few appearances. All three of these women have had some great adventures, it seems -- Maggie is quite the world traveller, and Pat has joined her on an expedition to the Antarctic, while Sally has toured much of our own continent on her motorbike since retiring. They all had a great sense of humour and were tons of fun to spend time with!

It was a small but mighty "crowd" -- ten people, though I don't think there would have been much more room in there, it was pretty cosy! Maggie's original thought had been to present house concerts in the summer time, with artists performing on the porch, but silly us, we were there in November. :-) But that's just fine with us -- a smaller group means we can get to know everybody better!

Once again, though, it felt like we were following Taylor's ghost. We were Maggie's first house concert at the Cottage, but Taylor was supposed to play there in October, four days after she was killed. It really hammers things home, sometimes... we have to enjoy all these moments while they're here!

Ah yes, and the obligatory food and beverage report: Maggie et al had brewed up some lovely mulled wine, plus laid out a lovely spread of veggies and dips, oven-fresh cookies, etc. Guest Prisca brought a large Toblerone to share (mm-mmm!), Bob and Julia some mini chocolate-covered cheesecakes, and somebody else (sorry, forget who!) brought chocolate brownies. Decadent! We tried to save ourselves for after the show, though couldn't help a few nibbles at intermission...

After finally being able to enjoy a glass of that yummy-smelling mulled wine, we packed up our stuff, bid adieu to our host(s), and headed back to Hali. Unloaded the instruments at Mom's (still not home from her babysitting duties), and headed around the corner to Freeman's, where the kitchen is open until 5am -- our kind of place! We wanted to try some of the local suds, but they're renovating, so the only pump operating was Rickard's Red, sigh... I had a three-cheese penne with spinach salad, both of which were very good (except that I forgot to ask for no bacon, so had to fling bacon bits at my sweetie), and Don had the "Hot Little Italian" -- yes, with my permission! :-) It was another penne dish, but chock full of spicy italian sausage.

Alrighty, I've got to go over to Tarah & Daniel's house to look after Lilly and Wyatt now (feel sorry for me? don't think so...), so the rest of the weekend will be reported on later. (But yes, there was "the" cake -- not the same as "the" bread, since my mother makes it!).

Thanks, as always, for reading!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

What we've been doing on our Halifax vacation...

Hello folks!

OK, yes, the rumours are true -- although it's probably the worst-kept secret in showbiz. The Brights are, indeed, well on their way to being The Brights for real and for true -- we are now officially engaged. :-)

In fact, the worst-kept secret kind of made itself made by being the worst-kept secret. At dinner with my family, Don let it slip we were trying to figure out where to get married. Ears were perked, champagne was poured, all was good. :-) So, the following morning, we broke it to the kidlets. Wyatt, of course, could have cared less... Lilly immediately shut the door to the hallway and started practising walking in a straight line with a bouquet full of flowers. So we might not know where or when or whatever... but apparently our flower girl is sorted out. ;-)

So... other than that... my Ontario cousin, Chris, was in Hali on business, so we had a grand family dinner at Tarah and Daniel's on Monday night! Funny how we have to go to a different province to see each other, aiyaiyai! But we had a great visit, and... ooh, perhaps a few too many bottles of wine between us all. Hey, it was the beginning of our time off, with family we love -- what the heck?

Tuesday morning, I took my nephew Wyatt to kindermusik. While he absolutely adores music (and has a great sense of rhythm), the greatest draw for him was the mosque being built next door! This boy is definitely going to be a crane operator when he grows up. Although he was equally as fascinated with the garbage pick-up on the way home: "someday, Wyatt ride on garbage truck!!!" Tuesdays are usually Wyatt's "special days" with Grammie -- this week, it was special day with Auntie Lyssy, and we made the most of it. :-)

After a fun day with my nephew, we headed west to Lunenburg, to visit with our friends Bob and Julia. We headed to the Tin Fish restaurant for dinner -- lovely food! -- where their friend Paul was playing, with his wife Eilidh and daughter were also visiting. A lovely evening. We stayed at Bob & Julia's beautiful house overlooking the sea, and stayed up into the wee hours catching up on everything. In the not-so-wee hours the next day, we headed back into Hali, through the drizzle and fog.

Wednesday night, we were on our own, and headed down to Quinpool to have dinner at the FANTASTIC "It's All Greek to Me". Cheezy name, yes, but the food and the service are INCREDIBLE!!! (It was all we could do to not sneak back there tonight.) Yes, I like food and wine. Yes, this is an amazing restaurant. Trust me. Go. :-)

Thursdays are usually Lilly's special days with Grammie -- which means I got her this week. She woke us up very gently this morning (she could teach grammie a few lessons in this department -- oops! did I use my outside voice?!?), with a whisper and a snuggle, and then she went to get Grammie to bring us coffee. I have obviously trained this child well!!!

Once coffee was administered, it was down to the kitchen to paint some ornaments for the Solstice tree. It's a running gag that there are to be no holiday decorations put up until after Sunday (my birthday), so she waxed eloquent on all the stores that have ignored the rule, plus the fact that her parents have put up a wreath already. It's fun that she's at the age where teasing is possible.

Her mom and dad were out looking at prospective schools for her for next year -- yikes, is she that old already?!? Her favourite so far is the Shambhala school, where they put on shows. Yup, my niece the showgirl, who'd-a thunk? (They also have a teeter-totter, which came a close second!)

Then it was a late visit to the bookstore (who can resist?), and dinner around the corner. It's now 10pm and we feel like it's 3am -- is that all the time with the kids, or are we finally feeling the effects of the champagne from the other day? Probably both...

Well, we're off to early slumber-land. Yes, believe it or not... Tomorrow is our final Nova Scotia show at Brookside Cottage -- so we'll need our beauty sleep. :-)

Thanks, as always, for reading,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Belatedly blogging about Sunday

Hello folks and folkettes,

We've been away from the computer for a couple of days (gasp, sputter... yes, really!), so we're very sorry to have not reported on our Halifax CD Release concert yet! (I'm sure 0.2% of you felt your lives were incomplete, right?)

We had a great time, and MaryAnn has created a great space at The Company House -- not to mention, the walls are painted my favourite colour! (Uh, red, for those of you who haven't noticed...) Our friend David Francey had already been singing its praises -- he sure wasn't wrong! MaryAnn and her staff are very welcoming, and helped get us settled and set up. And she has one heck of a sound person in Dexter -- we were SOOO impressed with him! He creates the neatest stage I've ever seen (not easy, with the two of us and our gazillions of instruments), and brought the sounds up really quickly. Not to mention the cello actually sounded like a cello (let me tell you, that's depressingly rare!), we could hear ourselves and each other perfectly, and the volume levels were actually human.

We got a little nervous at 2:55, when there were only three other people in the bar for our 3:00 show, but... as my brother-in-law Daniel says, Haligonians seem to work on "island time", so by 3:10, the place was much more full (phew!). I have to say, it's probably the largest number of minors that have ever been in this bar -- Lilly and Wyatt came, of course, but many of Tarah & Daniel's friends also brought their kids. They all did very well, especially as we neared their dinner time -- no meltdowns that we heard, but we did hear a very enthusiastic "YAY!!!" from young Max after every song. We need Max at every show, it does wonders for the ego.

The grown-ups did very well, too. :-) We saw Michael Loveridge for the first time since we played Mersey House about two years ago -- looking mighty fine, too! Plus a bunch of folks who we'd met on our April tour, and a few complete newcomers -- we're not positive where some of them heard of us, but it's great that (good) word is spreading. Word of mouth is always the best publicity, bar none, and we very much appreciate all the recommendations people give us.

And, of course, the obligatory food and beverage report... We headed back to Tarah & Daniel's after the concert for dinner with the kids. Some very yummy chili, washed down with red plonk-in-a-box.

That's it for now! We'll report back on what we've been doing on the intervening days off shortly. Hope you're all having a great Wednesday.


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Singing for our supper -- and actually getting supper this time!

Hi folks!

[Bits of this are being copied from my "Adventures in Cello Land" blog -- apologies to those who read both!]

Thisafternoon, Don and I paid a return visit to "Sing For Your Supper", a songwriters circle led every Saturday by our friend (and amazing songwriter) Kev Corbett at The Carleton in Halifax. We got to do some of our solo stuff, which is rare these days, although we did cheat a bit and accompany each other from time to time. The other guest artists were Jadea Kelly and surprise guest David Borins (who is touring with Jadea).

It was a fun afternoon, and there was a larger audience there than we'd had the last time we played the series. We made some new friends, and made a new connection that might prove profitable in the long run... (not saying it out loud yet, I don't want to jinx myself!)

Kev gave us a copy of his yet-to-be-released CD, Son of a Rudderless Boat, which I'm really looking forward to hearing. Jadea and David also gave us their CDs, so we'll have some pleasant listening material on the road, for sure! This was the first time I had heard either of them, and it was a treat. Although David did a song about disliking women who drink whiskey... he promised me it was just a song. :-) I countered, of course, with Not Enough Whiskey -- dodge, parry, thrust!

Unlike last time, we actually got to stay for dinner -- The Carleton has great food, let me tell you! Don had the ribs in... some sort of brandied BBQ sauce. I had curried penne with shrimps and scallops, mmm-mmm, and a nice Australian Merlot whose name I've already forgotten. Hopefully Kev will invite us back a third time, so we can sample more of the menu. :-)

Actually, we might be heading back next Monday, if we aren't busy visiting family -- David Myles is playing that night. We saw him at Shelter Valley this summer, and would love to see a full night of him!

Well, I'm off to tuck my niece into bed. Hope everyone's having a great weekend!

Just in case we haven't hammered it home -- our Halifax CD release is tomorrow afternoon at The Company House. We'd love to see you there!!! 3:00 pm, and a mere $6 -- that works out to less than a dollar per instrument you see on stage!!! :-)

Hope to see you there,

Friday, November 20, 2009

A grand evening at the Rose & Kettle

Hi folks!

Well, last night at the Rose & Kettle Concert Sessions was tons o' fun -- what a great evening!

It was a bit of an adventure getting there... MapQuest said the drive would be about 20 minutes, so we left about an hour and a half before our "sound check" time, with the plan that we'd stop somewhere in Cole Harbour for a quick bite before the show. Well... MapQuest doesn't quite understand how tricky it is to get across the MacDonald Bridge in late afternoon! I think we spent about 45 minutes just driving the three or so blocks TO the bridge... aiyaiyai, we poor Orillians aren't used to rush hour anymore. :-) But we finally made it on to the highway and off at the proper exit, with just enough time to dash into a Tim's for a take-out sandwich -- so much for a leisurely nibble. After driving a few more minutes, we hit a dead end and water -- oy! We had, somehow, turned ourselves around the wrong way on Portland, and had to double back to get to the right spot. We finally got there, only a few minutes past our original plan, to find the crew getting set up.

The Rose & Kettle Tearoom is part of an old farmhouse in the Cole Harbour Heritage Farm Museum -- a little gem hidden amongst the malls and hustle of the city. Beautiful old wood structure, antique teacups lining the walls, work by local artisans for sale, and some delicious-looking baked goods! (There I go, talking about food again...) Vince Morash hosts these concerts, under the auspices of the Harbour Folk Society, every Thursday night (minus the summertime). Wearing my OFS hat, I couldn't help but be a teensy bit jealous that they can present concerts every week -- imagine how many more great acts I could bring in! Ah, sigh...

Vince is a fabulous host! We are, as you know, rather loathe to toot our own horn, but he was constantly reminding the audience about our CDs for sale, our mailing list, AND our CD Release Concert at The Company House on Sunday, AND our individual appearances at "Sing For Your Supper" at The Carleton on Saturday. We didn't have to do any "tooting" whatsoever!

It's a tremendously supportive audience, too. We knew it would be a good night when George walked in, bought a CD and had us autograph it before we'd played a note! (Fortunately, he didn't ask for his money back after the show...) Very friendly and welcoming people -- we had a chance to chat with a few folks ahead of time (as we scarfed down our aforementioned fast food and tried to put a set list together -- which we later ignored, of course), and chatted with a bunch more -- many of them musicians and songwriters, themselves -- at intermission and afterwards. (Vince and his partner Pixie said they enjoyed presenting these concerts because they always got home before 10pm -- I think last night was an exception, though, unless they live next door!)

It was such a positive night, we left with big smiles on our faces and a few new friends. This is why we love these nights SOOO much better than the battling-with-the-cappucino-machine gigs. Call me Pollyanna, but it feels so good to share yourself with a community and know that they got something nice out of it. That's what it's all about!

On our way back in to Halifax (which took a lot less time than getting out, I can tell you!), we had a brief chat with our cat- and house-sitter extraordinaire, Bernie. Apparently, she likes food stories too, because she had one to share as well! She saw a coveted jar of Arnie's Latvian Dills (made by our friend Arnie Ivsins, A.D. of the Barrie Folk Society), and thought we wouldn't mind if she swiped one. Sadly, a macho firefighter had closed the lid, and she couldn't open the darned thing -- so close, and yet so far! I have now told her where she can find the jar opener (front of the cutlery drawer, to the left of the fridge, Bernie!), so hopefully there will be some missing pickles by the time we come back. :-)

And no tour posting would be complete without a food and beverage story of our own. So... after we dropped off the instruments in Mom's living room, we walked down the road to Quinpool and headed in to Freeman's pub -- which apparently serves food until 5am, oh happy day! Don had a yummy-looking penne with chicken and broccoli in a light cream sauce with a side salad (his first vegetable in a few days, aiyaiyai!). I wasn't quite so hungry, so opted for the mozzarella sticks (one of my filthy addictions, especially after a performance!) and stole a piece of his garlic bread. We both tried the Propeller Porter -- a local brewery, and the porter was really good! So good, we grabbed a second -- which the waitress forgot to charge us for, and was very thankful when we pointed out her mistake. So there ya go, we were good citizens. :-)

Now Don has headed out to buy himself a new hat, and I'm waiting for a conference call. After that, we'll be heading around the corner to wake up Lilly and Wyatt from their naps, spend the afternoon playing, and then have a nice dinner with their parents -- the first time we'll actually see Tarah and Daniel since arriving in Nova Scotia!

Hope you're all enjoying this beautiful Friday.

Alyssa & Don

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The tour has begun...

Hi folks!

We're already on day 3 of our tour, and finally getting down to this business of blogging, after a couple of not-so-subtle requests. :-)

The GREAT news is that Don's back medication worked very well, and the driving was not so bad at all -- which was especially important on day 1, when we had to put over 12-1/2 hours on the road. Thank Dog for whoever had the good sense to invent anti-inflammatories!

So yes, day one was just driving... driving... driving... We didn't encounter any moose or deer at their various crossing signs, although there was a wayward donkey catching a snack in a ditch east of Quebec City. Spent the night in Cabano with a nice bottle of red we snagged from the depanneur earlier that evening -- oh yes, it's like April all over again, except I forgot to make a note of what kind it was... Italian, I know, and quite good, considering we got it at the same place we filled up the car and Don bought fruit squirts (they had no wine gums -- how's a man supposed to tour?!?).

That left us with only five hours we had to drive yesterday, before our gig in Sackville, NB. A nice coffee house (avec biere) called the Bridge Street Cafe. The first thing we saw when we walked in was a now-laminated poster of Taylor Mitchell, for the gig she played there just a few weeks ago... We counted our blessings and tried not to let it get to us.

Unfortunately, OUR posters had still not arrived (curse you, Canada Post -- three business days, my arse!!!), so there were many patrons who were (pleasantly, we hope) surprised that there was music happening that night, and we found ourselves explaining to many people who the heck we were.

The staff at the Bridge Street Cafe are all very nice, and quite supportive and enthusiastic. A nice crew, although they could, perhaps, have run the cappucino machine at some more opportune moments than, say, the beginning of our quiet instrumental After (like, I dunno... AFTER!).

Here, we also found ourselves part of a young student's term paper, which was kind of interesting. He's doing a double major in music and psychology, and is writing about sound in urban spaces. This was phase one of his project, where he records some typical sounds in various places -- a cafe, library, and... I forget the others. The next stage, he's going to mix things up a little, and introduce atypical sounds into the same places -- he's also going to write a composition that brings everything together in the end. Very cool, and we had an interesting conversation with him about music and sound and stuff.

We also met Edward, who seems to be Sackville's number one music fan -- I think he spends a lot of time listening to live music, and apparently plays a bit too. We ate dinner with him on our break (FABULOUS food at this cafe!!!), and talked about many musical things. Our friend David Francey is playing in Sackville tonight, so we told Edward (and anyone else who stood still long enough) to go check him out -- any Sackvillians reading this post should get their cute fannies out the door too! Sackville United Church, David Francey -- go, you won't regret it! :-)

After the show, we headed back on the highway for the final two-hour drive to Halifax -- avoiding aforementioned deer and moose, which is good, because Edward was very concerned about our safety along that stretch, which was making me very nervous! Got in to a very dozy Mom, who said hello and then went right back up to bed, leaving us alone with the plonk-in-a-box. (silly woman...)

This morning, we were wakened by the lovely Lilly, my four-year-old niece, and she and I spent the morning baking sugar cookies. Can't get any better than that...

Don's now tapping his toes to get me out the door in time to grab a sandwich before our show tonight, so I'd better vamoose (how the heck do you spell that?). Tonight we're playing for the HarbourFolk Society at the Rose & Kettle Concert Sessions in Cole Harbour. Don met some of these folks when he was out this way recording our friend Bob Ardern this summer, but I'm looking forward to meeting them myself. It sounds like a great venue, too. And did I mention they have baked goods? :-)

OK, I'll stop talking about food and wine, but just for a little while... (We're staying at Mom's house tonight, so it'll just be plonk-in-a-box, anyhow!)

Thanks, as always, for reading!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

We just had a fabulous weekend at the Barrie Folk Festival. Don and I both performed (both as solo acts and me with the now-defunct The Als) in the first BarrieFolk, and it's hard to believe this was already the fifth!

Since the very beginning, the organizers have been... well, just that -- incredibly well-organized. They've got a great team on board, and they sure treat their artists well.

Other than the tasty food and drink, I'd have to say our biggest highlight -- by far -- was our workshop in the Last Class pub with The Good Lovelies and Sheesham & Lotus. We'd seen them both perform before, and Don had met the Lovelies when we were at the Shelter Valley Folk Festival this summer (imagine that, Don chatting up pretty young women! :-) ), but this was the first time we got to play together -- what fun! Both acts did some kick-ass concerts later in the evening, too. If you're not familiar with them, go Go GO!!! They're amazing.

We'll try to do a better job at this here blogging thing -- I know, famous last words. But we'll try. :-)


Monday, June 22, 2009

Hi folks!

A belated message that The Brights will appear live tonight on CIUT's "Acoustic Workshop" with Heather Fielding. Tonight at 7:00 pm, 89.5 FM in the Toronto area, Rogers Digital 146 or Star Choice 826 in Canada, or worldwide.

We'll be playing some songs from "Live Love Dream" and chatting a bit about ourselves and our adventures. Hope you tune in!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mariposa scheduling

Hi Folks!

We've received a tentative schedule of The Brights appearances at Mariposa, and thought we'd let y'all know. Don and Alyssa will also be doing a couple of workshops individually, so we're including those here too.

Saturday, July 4

12:30 pm - The Brights in concert: "Live Love Dream" at the Barnfield Stage

3:30 pm - "Heartache & Heartbreak" at the Mariposa Pub, with Basia Bulat, Aengus Finnan, The Brights and The John Henrys

Sunday, July 5

11:00 am - "My Favourite Instrument" at the Bohemian Embassy, with Bram Taylor, George Gao, Prosad and The Brights

12:00 pm - "How'd Ya Write That One?", with The Skydiggers, Don Bray and Steph Dunn

3:00 pm - "A Good Song... Or Two" at the Bohemian Embassy, with Adam Crossley, Alyssa Wright, Daniel Roth and Ken Voita

10:00 pm - "A Mixture of Sound" at the Mariposa Pub, with Prosad, Shout Sister Shout and The Brights

We'll let you know if anything changes!

Alyssa & Don

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Alyssa has conquered the code!

Hello everyone,

I'm happy to report that it looks like the online store is finally up and running. Which means you can now purchase your copy of The Brights' Live Love Dream online at

We're letting fans and followers know about the store before announcing it to the general public -- both as a "thank you", and a hope that you'll be kind about any glitches you find. If you do have any problems, use the "contact us" page to let us know, and we'll fix it as soon as possible.

I'm now going to take my bleary eyes away from the computer for several solid hours -- yippeee!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

"Live Love Dream" now available online

Hi folks!

Online sales of Live Love Dream are now available via CD Baby. Please note this is a U.S. site and will charge you U.S. dollars - Alyssa's still struggling with the code, but there should be a site up VERY SOON that will accept Canadian dollars, Euros, whatevertheheck you want to pay us with. :-)

We'll let you know as soon as our online store is "live" -- in the meantime, you eager folks can check out our CD Baby page (there are also 30-second clips available of ALL our songs on that page).

Thanks, as always, for your support!
Alyssa & Don

Saturday, May 2, 2009

CD Release Time!!!

Hi folks,

Only one more sleep until the day we've been gearing up for -- the CD release concert for our debut album as The Brights - Live Love Dream. We can't wait to share it with you!

For those of you who have miraculously managed to avoid my pestering until now... [ggg] We are releasing Live Love Dream tomorrow, Sunday May 3. Please note this is a *matinee concert* that starts at 2:00 pm - we wouldn't want you missing all the fun! The show takes place at Hugh's Room in Toronto - 2261 Dundas St. W., at Roncesvalles, just south of Bloor Street, near the Dundas West subway). Reservations are recommended for their fabulous Sunday Brunch menu, starting at noon - check out their menu online to get your mouth watering! Tickets are $14 in advance if you hurry up and book right away, or $16 at the door. Give them a call at 416-531-6604, or book online at

Copies of Live Love Dream will, of course, be available for sale at the concert release (we're bringing the Sharpies!), as well as some posters our friend Greg King is making for us, featuring the cover photo he took of us for the CD.

In the meantime, I'm spending today trying to get the final glitches out of our online store, so the CD will be available to all you not able to make it to the show. Keep your fingers crossed for my inner computer geek - I will let you know when the huge sigh of relief takes place (or when I start accepting tequila donations [ggg]).

Hope to see you at Hugh's Room!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Well, so much for the road...

Internet access was hard to come by for much of our trip, so I'm afraid you'll have to get a condensed version now!

We had a wonderful time at the Joy Laking Gallery in Portapique, NS -- her art is absolutely gorgeous, and it was an honour to play surrounded by it!

The Carleton is an amazing venue -- Halifax musicians are very lucky, indeed! Mike and Mike (the owners) are tremendously artist-friendly, and they will actually kick an audience member out if they make too much noise while the musicians are performing! (Didn't happen when we were there, but it's their policy, and it's apparently been done.) Thanks so much to our friend Kev Corbett for inviting us to "Sing For Your Supper" -- a new series he's hosting there. April Hayward was the other featured performer -- a beautiful voice, keep an ear out for her when she releases her debut CD later this year.

And then it was our house concert at Anne & Arch's at Boutiliers Point (just outside of Halifax). What a spectacular house and a spectacular view! I'd be writing songs at the kitchen table all day long if I had a view of the bay and islands... It was their first time hosting a house concert, which Acoustic Roof's dynamo Paula Fredericks talked them into doing for us. They invited us back, so I guess we didn't scare them away from the concept!

Our final stop in the maritimes was Crumbs cafe in Fredericton, NB, where I finally got to collect my hugs from online buddy Dirk Dillinger (who booked us in). Met some new friends in a new city, and had a fun evening. As an added bonus, Linsay Nickum came out from behind the counter and treated us to a few of her songs too -- another talented lady. :-)

We had a lovely stop near Lennoxville on our way home with Janice and David, who will be hosting us at the Church Street Cafe in December. It was a nice way to finish off the trip, and if anyone ever needs a map drawn, Janice is your girl -- even I, the queen of getting lost, could not POSSIBLY have gotten lost with Janice's map in my hand. I'll take Janice's route over Mapquest's, any day (the way they sent us in was... er... one of the more creative routes I've ever seen!).

And so, we got home and into the mad rush of preparing for the CD Release. Which, incidentally is this Sunday. So you just KNOW I'm going to be blogging again shortly. :-)


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Notes from the road -- Sussex, NB

We're back at our motel, "The Covered Bridge", having had a really fun evening. We've got internet access and a nice bottle of Fat Bastard wine, so life is good. The weather forecast predicted 10-15cm of snow here tonight, but so far it's just rain. We're hoping the roads will be OK tomorrow, but are not in a rush so will drive slow (you're welcome, Mom!).

Tonight, we played at The Broadway Cafe in Sussex, New Brunswick. Things were looking a little ominous when we arrived. Neil Young had a big show in Saint John, just 45 minutes away, PLUS the local high school had their big musical "Grease" on this weekend, plus... well, it's Easter weekend. It all seemed a little grim, frankly.

But, WOW! The crowd may have been small, but it sure was enthusiastic!!! The Brights even had our very first mosh pit. :-)

Randi has a beautiful cafe -- the menu (yes, here I go on about food again...) is incredible, it was so hard to choose! Plus they've got the local Pump House brew on tap, which is quite tasty indeed. I had their Scallops Florentine for dinner which... oh... was amazing. We were hoping they'd be open tomorrow so we could try something different too, but they're closed Sundays - sigh.

Anyhow, off my tummy and on to the rest of the evening.

As I mentioned, the turnout was small. We didn't mind so much, since this is the first time either of us has performed in New Brunswick, so we figured anybody showing up was a bonus... not to mention the fact that Neil Young was our competition!!! Early in the evening, there were a few guests on their way to the musical, but then they left, rather apologetically.

Nevermind, we ploughed through. And then a bunch of young'uns showed up. And started dancing! Never had that happen before... but it was tons of fun, so we switched around our setlist to put more of our faster stuff in there, to keep them going. And they kept going. I think my knees might have gone out by then, but... these were young 'uns. ;-) Mosh pit. The Brights had a mosh pit. Who'd-a-thunk?!?

We finished our second set, and then our waitress's parents arrived, so she asked me to sing "Sweat" again for them. I obliged, thinking it might be a tad on the rude side for the elderly... until I noticed that her parents were pretty much the same age as I -- HOLY CRAP! Am I seriously old enough to have a child old enough to be waiting tables?!? Apparently so... Did I mention the young 'uns? Does the fact that I'm calling them young 'uns tell you anything? ;-)

Anyhow, I sang "Sweat" again, to an even more raucous reception than the first, partly because the young 'uns had already memorized the lines about vaseline, etc. 'Twas quite fun. Don then threw in a bunch of his kick-ass guitar pieces, which got them dancing again. And we just kept going until the cows came home... well, no cows, really, but until the end of our set. :-)

We even got an encore. Well... to be honest, the only way they were going to give us our beer was if Don played an encore. :-) What's a thirsty folkie to do?!?

We had such a fun time, and even got a bunch of hugs out of it, so all is well in folk-land (I love hugs!). We've been invited back in the fall, provided we steer clear of Neil Young concerts or major holidays. We definitely intend to return. Imagine how much fun we'd have with a full house?!?

So... now we're putting our feet up, hoping the snow isn't too bad, drinking some tasty beverages and chatting with you folks. Tomorrow, we head to Halifax for some family time and Easter brunching. We'll check in when we have a chance!

Musically, and now with an empty glass (must remedy this!)

Notes from the road -- Perth, ON

Hi folks!

We're just checking in after the second concert of our mini "pre-release" tour, tonight in Sussex, NB.

Didn't get a chance to report on our first concert yet. We played Thursday night in Perth, Ontario -- a concert set up by our friend Sue Tennant (Music on McLean house concerts) at The Crown Pub and Restaurant. We had a lot of fun, and got a chance to see many friends we haven't seen for ages.

The Crown has music nights every Thursday and Saturday, but apparently it's usually cover bands playing. This made us a little nervous, since the only covers we do are by our friends, and we have never learned all the words to "Free Bird" or "American Pie"... It might have made the owners a little nervous too, but fortunately Sue is a very persuasive soul, and she talked them in to hiring us.

Well, if any of us had misgivings, they were all gone by the end of the night. It was one of the most attentive audiences we've had to date -- they were paying attention, whooping it up when the song called for it, and waiting until the last chord faded away on the slow songs (you could have heard a pin drop) before applauding. This was definitely the most appreciated either of us has ever felt at a bar gig!

Adam Tennant did our sound, and did a fabulous job. That wasn't an easy room to control, and he got it just right. Many thanks to him for stepping in!

Some food notes -- the Angel Hair pasta was to die for. :-) (Hey, vegetarians don't get a lot of choice on the road, but this was terrific!)

Friday was spent driving like maniacs through La Belle Province. And today... well, you'll just have to read the next entry to find out about today!

Musically, and with a very nice glass of wine in my hand,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Just a quick update, folks -- there's a new bio up on our website and ReverbNation profile. Visit and / or to see the new info.

And now, time for a nap! :-)


Monday, March 30, 2009

The Brights are charting high today!

Hey folks,

Thanks to so many of you checking out our new tunes, we actually reached the #1 spot on ReverbNation's "Folk Music" charts for the area (#88 nationally). Not quite winning a Juno, but we'll take it! :-)


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Sneak preview of "Live Love Dream" now online

Hello again!

We just wanted to let you know that a "sneak preview" of the title track from "Live Love Dream" is now available for your listening pleasure. We'll be putting a couple more songs up soon, but that's all you get for now. :-)

You can listen via our website at, or you can go directly to the source, and visit If you feel so inclined, sign up as a fan there -- we'll be putting some fan-exclusive tracks up next week.

Preview CDs will be available to the media this week -- please contact us for a copy.

Now that the CD is out of our hands (gulp!), we'll be re-vamping (aw, who are we kidding? -- VAMPING!) the website and other such chores that have fallen by the wayside. We'll keep you posted! And if you just can't get enough of our ramblings, you can follow our new blog at

Don't forget the May 3 CD Release party at Hugh's Room! 2:00 pm, $14 in advance, $16 at the door, visit or call 416-531-6604 for reservations (they've got a fabulous Sunday brunch menu!).

Don and Alyssa

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It is done!

Yes, folks, the mastering happened this afternoon, and the final disc was delivered to our manufacturer at 4:30pm. It's completely out of our hands now -- have yet to decide whether that's a good or bad thing!

We'll be getting a couple of samples up for you shortly.

But first... a long-awaited nap!


Friday, March 27, 2009

Off to mastering

Hi folks!

Those of you who know me are probably very surprised I'm up at this hour, but... Don just left for Toronto, with our final mixes in hand. He's taking them to Phase One for final mastering by George Seara (he's mastered all our recent CDs), then will be dropping off the final package at our manufacturer's. Yahoo! Is it really over?!?

Well, no... the recording part's over. Now the PR kicks into high gear. Which is probably why I couldn't get back to sleep after Don left -- brain's just a-whirring!

We'll have our own mastered copy later today, so any of you media types who want a preview, let me know, and I'll get it in the post for Monday. In the meantime, I'll be designing posters, re-vamping press kits, and... ugh... finally getting around to re-hauling the website.

But first, COFFEE!


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Update - CD news and Eastern travels

Hello everyone!

It’s been busy-busy-busy around here, but we’ve got some exciting news about the new CD, a mini-tour announcement for our April trip out east, and a request for help in filling in some gaps. Forget saving the best ’til last, we’ll give it to you right up front:


We’ve been hiding in the studio for what seems like forever, but we’re thrilled to announce that our debut CD “Live Love Dream” will be heading into manufacturing tomorrow. The official CD release will be Sunday, May 3, 2:00-4:00 pm at Hugh’s Room in Toronto — we’ll be sending out more details to Toronto-area folks about the show soon, and they’ll also be up on our website ( We’ll be getting audio samples up on the website shortly, and will have preview copies available for the media later this weekend. As soon as we have copies in hand, we’ll be announcing how you can take them off our hands!


Before all the CD Release hullabaloo, though, there are a few other shows we’d like to tell you about. We’ll have some “sneak preview” copies of the new CD for eager easterners!

Thursday, April 9 — Perth, ON — The Crown Pub & Restaurant
We’ll be playing from 6:30 - 10:00, and there’s no cover
Music by Alyssa Wright, Don Bray, and The Brights
Come for The Crown’s candlelight steak night, or just join us for a drink or two and an evening of entertainment.

Saturday, April 11 — Sussex, NB — The Broadway Cafe
Show starts at 7:30, tickets are $12
73 Broad Street, Sussex, NB
Reservations are recommended, (506) 433-5414 or
This is a new venue and city for us, so if you’re in the area, please come and say hi!

Saturday, April 18 — Halifax (Boutilier’s Point), NS — House Concert
An intimate evening at Anne and Arch’s
Show starts at 7:00, tickets are $15
Contact for reservations.

Sunday, April 19 — Fredericton, NB — Crumbs Cafe
Show starts at 8:00, tickets are $8
551 King St., Fredericton, NB
Call 506-472-8106 for directions and details.

VENUE SEARCH — Nova Scotia, Quebec

As you can see in the schedule above, we’ve still got a fair amount of “free time” available. We’ll be staying with family in Halifax during that stretch, and while it’s always nice to visit with the family… you know us, we love to play!!! So if you have a hankering to host a house concert, or have a coffee house or listening room venue, we’d love to hear from you!

We’re specifically looking for opportunities in Nova Scotia (anywhere in the province) Tuesday, April 14 through Thursday April 16.

We’d also be happy to find en-route engagements (or even a friendly couch to sleep on ) in La Belle Province on Friday, April 10 (yes, that’s Good Friday — no, we’re not holding our breath!) and Monday, April 20. If the 20th works out, we’d also be looking for something Ottawa-ish on Tuesday, April 21.

Yes, we realize this is late notice, but figured it didn’t hurt to ask! Now that we’re no longer recording-obsessed, we promise to plan better next time. :-)

We’ll let you know about the CD as soon as it arrives. In all our spare time (?!?), we will also (finally!) be giving our website a major overhaul, so stay tuned!

Don and Alyssa

The Brights
Don Bray and Alyssa Wright - Soulful roots music, tinged with blues, gospel, and a touch of gypsy spirit