Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Dunk, Breadalbane, PEI

We’ve got a noon hour check out here. Very civilized as we don’t have far to go today. I wake up far too early and decide to run Charlottetown. It’s a town-sized city which can be pretty quiet in the off-season, which this is getting to be. I run the downtown blocks, weaving back and forth to see as much as possible. Down University Ave. to the marina, back past the Confederation Centre. Hey, this town is pretty flat. The sun is out, and it’s not windy. An easy run. Michael sleeps while I go to a nearby coffee joint to do some wifi email and read the paper.

We’ve got a 1:45 appointment at CBC Radio to perform a couple of tunes and do an interview for the afternoon drive show. Hopefully this will help our next couple of dates on the Island! The interview sets up quickly, and we have a good time recording the show.

Now the road to Breadalbane, which is NOT pronounced the way it looks.

This used to be a railroad town, but no more. Now it’s just an outpost in potato country. Our show, however, is to be on the outside of town, over on the Dixon road.
This is home to a wonderful arts/artist/green/progressive community. The land here is more marginal, so I guess some very interesting people have scooped it up to establish homes and businesses.

Hal Mills moved down from Yellowknife and pretty much built “The Dunk” to facilitate concerts. He may not of known it at the time, but his building designs produced excellent acoustics and sight lines. And the grounds are perfect for small outdoor shows. The property is named for the small river which passes through it.

Welcoming us to the “Dunk” Hal is the kind of guy you feel like you’ve known for years. We feel at home right awy, and he gives us the tour of our “cabin” (spacious little house with a woodstove), the stage, firepit areas, and the indoor space we’ll be playing in tonight. Being in early we take advantage of the time to set up. We could do this one with no mics, but a small house system is in place, so we put it up and soon have it sounding very nice. Meanwhile food is cooking in the kitchen. It’s a serious kitchen, and clearly Hal’s a serious cook! We will be well fed and cared for here!

It’s an early start tonight— between 7:30 and 8:PM. Catherine MacLellan drops by with apple tarts to have dinner with us. She’s been out earlier this year doing some shows with some other friends of mine, Bruce Cockburn and Colin Linden. We chat about this and that, and I get her to play me some tracks from her latest True North recording.

Soon the place is filled with people, and it’s time to play!

The show goes very, very well. Michael and I are getting quite relaxed on stage, and tonight’s show is warm, casual, and connects. After the last set we go outside where a huge bon fire has been lit. It’s a nice conclusion to a great day. Around the fire we become better aquainted with the community, and come away with a whole bunch of new friends.


Morgo said...

Gotta love Hal and Kat and the gang.
It is nice to see your blog pics of a place so special....
Hope to catch you next time you are at the Dunk

Doc MacLean said...

Thanks for your post, Morgo. As luck would have it I will be back at the Dunk in September 2009. Hal and I were looking at Sunday, September 20th, but there may be some wiggle room to actually do the following Friday or Saturday, so check in to the new tour blog, or check in with the Dunk over the next few weeks to get the actual date. The Dunk IS very special, and I consider it a real honor to be invited to visit. My guest, co-star for the 2009 tour is Big Dave McLean, Juno Nomineee for Blues Album of the Year. We are playing 100 shows, back to back, coast to coast to coast.