August 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Memories of my VERY first summer job!

beach bum

HAPPY AUGUST EVERYONE!
I half thought of just posting some of my favorite photos from the summer thus far, because I think that they really just speak for themselves. If you can’t tell, I am having a fantastic summer. I hope that you are too! After the awful winter that we had here in Canada, I have decided to hell with hiding away from the summer sun and just playing gigs! I am going to make the time to enjoy the beauty around me. I’ve been up picking peas on my fellas farm and went strawberry picking too! I might be allergic to strawberries, but they are so worth it. Haha.

I have been playing so many fantastic shows this summer and have so many more to come! Check out my gig schedule and come see me!
This is actually the first summer in a very long time that I  have not worked a part-time job on the side, which is very very very exciting and makes me very happy. I am so busy with playing shows and writing songs, it is just great. I was driving out today in Hunter River (where I grew up!) and was thinking about my very first job…

My very first part-time job was at the church my family went to every Sunday of our lives. Every summer, they opened up the church basement and turned it into a lobster and seafood restaurant. I was 12 years old and I had a ‘very’ important job. I was the potato salad scooper girl. It was a fairly technical job, I tell ya… I would lay down a piece of lettuce on a plate, haul out the huge buckets of potato salad from the fridge and scoop one full scoop of the pre-made potato salad onto the lettuce bed, topping each serving off with a shake of paprika. I was good at it too! I was fast.  They said I was the best potato salad scooper girl they ever had, but I’m pretty sure they were just buttering me up. It was a great job, but I always went home smelling like Lobster and dinner rolls. My dear summer time friend Maggie Farrell worked there too! She was just a year older and got to be the hostess and I will admit, I was a bit jealous. She might not have gone home every night covered in mayonaise, but did she get  free cup of french fries from the chef at the end of her shifts?  Hmmm, maybe she did….

             One day, my boss came into my potato scoop station and asked me if I was still helping my mom to lead the church’s children’s choir. He was tall and looming, and I was shy, but managed to whisper out a faint “yeah”. “WELL THEN! You should play here at the restaurant while people eat their lobster dinners! What do you think?!” So that’s how it started folks! I would work 4-5 days a week in the kitchen scooping potato salad and would come in on Saturday’s to sing and play guitar to tourists chowing down on their seafood. I have the best memories of singing at St.Anne’s Lobster Suppers. I found my old songbook the last time I moved apartments; the book I used to haul around with me to every Saturday gig with poorly spelled, hand written lyrics on every page. That was the first time in my life that I had people really come up to me and say “Hey! You’re good at that! You should keep that up!”. It really meant a lot at the time and still does today.

Ahh…memories eh?

AUGUST GIGS!
-(Aug.6th)MUSIC IN THE PARK Rustico, PEI 
-(Aug. 7th)CELEBRATION ZONE Charlottetown, PEI 
-(Aug.9th)SONGWRITER’S CIRCLE @ The Mack Charlottetown, PEI 
-(Aug.10th) MONT CARMEL CONCERT SERIES Mont Carmel, PEI 
-(Aug.11th) CAMPGROUND CABARET Cavendish PEI @Parks Canada 
-(Aug.13th) DECOSTE CENTER SONGWRITER’S CIRCLE Pictou, NS 
-(Aug.14th) POOLE’S CORNER CEILIDH with Eddy Quinn and Friends 
-(Aug.22nd) BONNYMAN HOUSE Tatamagouche NS 
-(Aug23rd) UNION STREET CAFE Berwick, NS
-(Aug.24th) ALBERT AND CROWN PUB Alberton, PEI
-(Aug.29th) WATERMARK THEATRE with Zack Squires North Rustico PEI 

Strawbs

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July 7, 2014 in Uncategorized

Happy Hearts and Hurricanes: SUMMER IS HERE!

July is FINALLY here and it is glorious!
For the first time in a very long time, I am oh-so excited for the summer months.

I’m going to admit it; I’ve never considered myself  a summertime girl. Being a red head with fair skin; my whole summer experience has been about ducking into the shadows of porch decks and summer umbrellas to get away from the heat and having everyone and their dog ask me “Do you have sunscreen on?”.
It’s unnerving too now that I’m getting older and I see new freckle-friends pop up on my shoulder and nose that were never there before. I’m a delicate pasty flower who needs shade, water and SPF100. I’ve accepted that.
THAT BEING SAID after the hellish winter we had, I say be damned with shade, bring on the summer sun! Here is a picture of a wild red head out taking in the summer. Shocking, isn’t it.

2014-06-16 16.05.43

June and the start of July have been fabulous.
I’ve gone to the beach and explored with friends, I played my music for the incredible people at The Festival of Small Halls, I traveled to the beautiful community of Digby Neck, NS for a fantastic show. I have been BBQ’ing and writing up a storm. Lots of new songs coming down the pipe that I’m really excited about! I also had two great friends get married this month! A hurricane rolled through the second wedding, and even with trees and the power down; they powered through and had the most amazing time. Their first dance was magical, with the power being out; all of the guests started picking up the candles off of the tables and surrounding them without being prompted. Not a dry eye in sight. haha. Love like this is so inspiring, and provides for great writing material!

Looking to catch me play in JULY? Here are some gigs you can’t miss!
July 12th @ The Mack Charlottetown PEI(Spotlight PEI)
July 15th @ Wyatt Heritage House Summerside PEI (Summer series)
July 26th @ Chatterbox Cafe PUGWASH NS
July 28th @ Victoria Playhouse Victoria by the Sea PEI with Katie McGarry

Sending love your way!
:)
xoxo

Meaghan

May 22, 2014 in Uncategorized

SIT DOWN, BUCKLE UP & HOLD ON! reflections on the roller coaster of life!

Hold on Baby!

I love this picture…

I just am always finding myself trying to imagine what is going through this kids head.  For one, it’s hilarious. He looks like the lead singer from SUM41. Maybe that really is how Derek Whibley gets those gravity defying spikes.  I want to post this picture everywhere in my house 1) to make me laugh but also 2)to remind me that life is a big roller coaster for everyone on this planet where you just have to hang on through the soaring highs and, at times, the death defying lows.  You know that “Hang in there!” kitty picture? This is my equivalent to that…

The pages of life keep turning for me musically and personally, with beautiful new chapters popping up everywhere! My summer gig calendar is fully stocked with a ton of great shows (The Festival of Small Halls is just around the corner! Get your tickets asap! www.smallhalls.com), I’m planning a tour of the UK in November with Dan Walsh, an incredibly talented Banjo playing songwriter, heading down to record two new singles in Athens, Georgia in September with a music video that I am currently writing the script for… I am just feeling so creative!!

I’ve also had some exciting news this month!
Me and my niece Evie!

I’m an AUNT!!!  Maybe I should have put that part before the picture…
You know how people think that their nieces, nephews & kids are the cutest and everyone rolls their eyes at them as they talk about how perfect their offspring are like their going to be the next Malcolm Gladwell? Ya….I understand those people now.

This is Evie (pronounced Ee-vee) and she is precious. I just love her to pieces. Her parents are both children’s animators, so she’s basically going to have the coolest upbringing ever. Good job Bro! :) xox

So things are good…

But life certainly is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes my brain tricks me into thinking that life will keep on going the way it’s going forever. Life is definitely not a straight highway in Saskatchewan.  It in much more like the rolling hills of my home on Prince Edward Island.  A loved one is sick, a baby is born, a loved one gets better, you try something new, you let go of destructive habits, you learn a new art form, you learn to run…the list goes on.  Through all of life’s highs and lows I just keep telling myself to go through them all with open arms. This is easier said than done…One second you find yourself sitting back enjoying the ride and then the next you find yourself holding on for dear life! Life is funny like that eh?

I guess the important thing is that at the end of it all when you get to those pearly gates; you’re wide eyed, your hair is a mess, you’re exhausted but you’re still able to muster up the energy to shout out with a smile on your face
“Wow! What a ride!”

xox
Meaghan

PS! If you haven’t already, sign up for my ‘Direct Line’ email list to the right!!  A way for you and I to keep in touch while I’m out touring the world! I’ll be offering tons of great free stuff, new music and exciting updates!

April 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

“She’s Gonna Fly” takes home a 2014 ECMA!!

ECMA 2014 for "She's Gonna fly"

ECMA 2014 for “She’s Gonna fly”

Well April is starting off with a bang!! The East Coast Music Awards came to my home town of Charlottetown, PEI this month and it was, as we say on the East Coast, “quite a time!”.  I played some great showcases, met some amazing music folk  and “She’s Gonna Fly” took home an ECMA for Country Recording of the year!! How amazing is that! Here is a shot of my manager Lloyd Doyle and I after I accepted the award! I love this picture! Here are some of the highlights from the ECMA Week! -Playing a songwriter’s circle with Mo Kenny, Colin Macdonald (The Trews), Jamie Robinson and Jimmy Rankin was so great. I had never played a songwriter’s circle in an actual circle! I loved it. Only next time I won’t wear a shorter dress while playing on a high stool. Not too good. haha! -My family from Ontario all came home to see me play!! They are amazing. -Winning the ECMA and my sisters Jenna and Bridgette on my arm and them completely freaking when they called my name!! -Hearing my good Newfoundland friend Andrew James O’Brien in his new duo the Fortunate Ones! Alongside  beautiful and talented Catherine Allan, they just kill it. check them out! http://www.fortunateones.ca/
xox Meaghan

PEI Songwriter's Circle with Catherine MacLellan, Tim Chaisson, Irish Mythen & John MacPhee

PEI Songwriter’s Circle with Catherine MacLellan, Tim Chaisson, Irish Mythen & John MacPhee

Ian Toms and I at the ECMA Export Buyers Showcase

Ian Toms and I at the ECMA Export Buyers Showcase
Myself and the sweetest southern belle, Terri Dollar!

Myself and the sweetest southern belle, Terri Dollar!

March 23, 2014 in Uncategorized

“WELL IT MADE A DIFFERENCE TO THAT ONE!”

student project!

I was checking my emails while on my tour of Ontario and Quebec last month when a school teacher from Prince Edward Island sent this photo to my inbox. When I saw this project, something in my heart was pulled and my eyes started to well up with tears immediately. I’m such a softy.I have had a number of students do school projects on me, which really a)feels great and b)I find to be totally ironic.

Not to sound like the typical touring musician, but I was the furthest thing from a ‘good’ student in school. It was a really weird time in my life. I never really ‘hated’ school, I just always felt like it was a shoe that didn’t quite fit. A relationship that was luke warm at best.

Even in early grades I was always getting into some sort of trouble. Whether it was rolling my eyes at teachers, or singing at my desk when people were trying to read. I cheated on math tests in the fourth grade. WHO CHEATS IN THE FOURTH GRADE!?! eesh  I wonder if I’ll get into trouble for admitting this now… I was such a little weirdo.

I guess I just never saw the point of school. I think a big thing for me was that I didn’t like the feeling of not having any power. I sang every Sunday at church and at community halls; and I had a lot of respect that came from that and was treated like I was older  and then to get back to school where teachers would treat you like….well, I guess like a kid! I never thought of myself as a rebel, but I guess I kind of was. I was just always pissing somebody off.  Careers days at school only led to more confusion.  I don’t ever remember hearing about musicians or artists who made a living doing what they loved. We had lots of nice nurses and teachers who came and spoke, but that was pretty much it.

A couple of years ago I was asked to speak at a career day for a local PEI high school and I was SO excited! “FINALLY, a chance to inspire youth! To show them how awesome and fulfilling a career in the arts can be!” I walked into the classroom with a full slide show and my guitar. I had a 20 minute speech…..and I lost them 2 minutes in.  I was talking about my music, and all the places I have traveled and how I make my money, when some kid yelled out “CAN YOU PLAY WAGON WHEEL?!”…. There it was. My one chance to inspire youth about the arts and I blew it.

After the class had rolled out, and after the teacher had apologized for the unenthusiastic reaction from the kids, a young punk-rocker chick was still sitting at the back of the class. She was wearing Chuck Taylors, a band tee and she had a pink streak in her hair. She walked up to me and told me how much she loved my music and my talk and how she liked to sing. We chatted for a bit, I gave her some pointers, a CD and  hugged her goodbye. I turned around to see the teacher behind me looking totally shocked. “She has never said one word in this class….ever, you must have really got through to her! She’s been passed from school to school, nobody can get through to her”.

Walking away from the high school with my complimentary mug, school pen in hand and a smile from ear to ear, I felt like I had really made a difference. It reminds me of a story I heard a few years ago.

A young girl was  walking along the beach when she came upon hundreds of starfish who had washed up upon the shore. Frantically, she started going about one by one and throwing them back into the ocean. A man came along and saw this and laughed “What are you doing!” he said ” There are hundreds of starfish on the beach, you’ll never make a difference!”. The young girl turned to the man, smiled and threw another star fish as far into the ocean as she could throw
“Well, It made a difference to that one”.

xoxo
Meaghan