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

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