Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Miss D and Bourbon St.

So Google failed us and here we are outside a motel on the 20. There’s nobody around except a half dressed, forty-nine year old stripper on break, having a smoke. Miss D. The same Miss D on the sign, no doubt. We’re trying to get directions to Smoke Meat Pete’s, and all we know is that it’s behind a Dairy Queen somewhere out here on the 20. Miss D is probably not the Dairy Queen we were to look behind, but we do anyway, and there’s a shoddy bar and some mirrors crowding an empty room. But Miss D speaks a little English, and is able to relate the location of Smoke Meat Pete’s to us. “Are you coming back?” she asks hopefully. “Maybe,” we lie. We’re looking for a cheap motel on the strip, but probably not this one.

Smoke Meat Pete is behind the counter as we walk in and he greets us warmly as does his staff. They are excited that we’ve dropped in. Smoked Meat and Blues seven nights a week. Very cool. Pete offers to feed us if we’ll play a couple of numbers with the band that is loading in. This seems like a fair deal, or maybe the smell of the smoked meat has just sucked us in. So we play a couple of numbers, get fed, and check into a local motel. We’ve got about an hour to rest before soundcheck in Pointe Claire, at Bourbon Street.

Bourbon Street is a big room with an impressive stage and great sightlines. It’s in a plaza in this mostly anglo western suburb of Montreal. Nice place. I’ve played here before. I have a feeling that they may have more DJ’s than bands these days, but I don’t know for sure. Anyway it’s unusual to have this combination of stage, sound, lights, sightlines, etc. in a live music club. The Montreal Blues Society does a series of Tuesday shows here every year, and we’re lucky enough to be included in this fall’s line-up. We’re met by our sound technician, Rob, and by series producer Brian Slack.

After a quick sound check and set up we retire to our dresing room. We have an opening act, a young player named Riot. He doesn’t mind drinking our beer, but he’s not too friendly. Maybe just shy of us. That’s probably it. Brian wants to get him out unplugged and see what he sounds like. This is fine by us- we’ll only be playing one set, which we find much easier anyway. Ninety minutes goes by like nothing when you’re out there in the middle of it.

About 40 people turn out for us, including quite a few from the Blues Society. They are a pretty good audience, making noise at the right times, taking pictures and movies, and buying cds and tour jackets at the end of the night. After load out we look for a place to eat. We find a deli way out there somewhere, and eat probably too much before heading back to our motel. Ottawa in the morning.

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