Tour Blog 3 - My favourite thing about tour

I was asked what my favourite thing about tour is.

It came to me quick and it felt pretty easy to answer that question.  I love music and I love writing and I love performing and both these things are an ongoing art.  I love traveling and seeing Saskatchewan for the 8th time from the highway, arriving in Montreal and feeling like I’m in Europe and I driving underneath the CN Tower one day, and then arriving in Calgary only a few days later. But I also love people.

mike edel van

I’ve found more than ever I am on my telephone texting my friends in a certain city or my girlfriend, or posting on my instagram or organizing the next show or a load in time.  This grieves me.  And I am typing these words into a computer even.  There is a beautiful song by The Lonley Forest that says ‘turn off, turn off this song, and find someone to love and turn off this song, you can listen to it later… go outside.’ I think these things are isolating, and I feel it.  They take me away from people.

But my answer to ‘what my favourite thing about tour is’ is something that has been very evident in the past few weeks.  It’s something that makes me love the road, it’s something that makes me love people and something that I want to lean into and be more of, something that makes me feel like a human being who has all my senses aware and able to listen, see, taste touch and smell.

My favourite thing is experiencing hospitality.  It’s an amazing thing, one that goes beyond money, or time, or what’s mine and what’s yours, beyond mooching (my mother warns me of this often).  It’s about relationship, about kindness and about rest.  There have been many amazing people on this trip and I am thankful to them.

Connor made me breakfast. 

We sat on the hardwood floor, it was sunny outside but I was sick inside so I slept in Connors bed.  His apartment had no furniture yet.

Stephen Cheng is happy at 1am and is happy at 6am. 

He makes food for us at both of those hours.  He’s Chinese and he is my family.

James Kingsley lives in London with his wife Hillary. 

2014 was a rough year, we all agreed.  He is a busy guy because he is talented and brings people together.  We knew that but didn’t feel like it.  He was our landing pad in London, he was the stage to a great show.

Nate Larsen’s Barn

We drove to a farm and then a front-end loader immediately loaded a gear into a barn loft.  It felt like spring and the people were cool rural and our ages.  They drank pilsner and just wanted to have a good time.  It was easy and I’d do this every weekend of my life if I could

The Exchange in Regina was relieving.  Ali and Jeff’s parents have comfortable beds and really great breakfast foods.

Darren Hempel lives in Ottawa. 

He was a guy I went to highschool with.  We have the same hometown.  Now we are friends and I am friends with his friends (Jay, Shelly and Katie.) It feels exponential.  We tell jokes. I tried to get people to eat a wool cupcake and we were all a little drunk.  He’s a spy for the governement.

Jordan Clarke and I had an angry text conversation last time we talked.  But we’ve been friends for 6 years.  So everything was instantly ok.  We are sort of brothers.  He let me stay at his house for 6 nights. I should have payed him rent. Amy, Mateen, Theresa are his roommates and were mine too. Toronto is young and fun.  Joyce Cheng, Alison Murray, Justin Wotherspoon and Kaitlyn Wolf are all beautiful people and made my show a highlight in Toronto, because they are real people and enjoy music.

Evan Costas owns a nice restaurant near Chicago.

The Laube’s are the best family in Wisconsin, and Jenna Laube and I are officially real friends forever.

My girlfriend Alissa sent me these 3 paragraphs from a book she was reading. ‘Art is part of a deep, preverbal communication that binds people together.  It is literally a communion.’


The same could be said for what draws anyone to painting, athletics, poetic rhyming, punning, being a mimic, organizing the furniture, loving paper airplanes, and so forth.  Each of these play-based potentially aesthetic outflows arise from preverbal, emotionally inspired variety offered to an open heart ready to play.

            Another line of thought is that art promotes community integration and interaction.  Music, dance and painting, so often part of harvest festivals and religious observances, brings people together to ‘sing with one voice,’ Art is part of a deep, preverbal communication that binds people together.  It is literally a communion. 

            This ‘belonging’ is an outgrowth of early social play among kids.  Getting in sync with locl groups of kids, and breing able to follow that lead into more complex communal groups is a necessary ingredient for cohesive community life when conflicts and differences of style have been hammered out…

Thank you whether I mentioned you or not.