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

February 5, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sniffles and Songs (and other thoughts from a touring Snot Zombie…)

 

SICK!

*SIGH*…being sick on tour can be such a drag; but seems to be an inevitable obstacle when touring as a musician. You’re in different airports, bus terminals, bathrooms, homes and bars; the odds of you picking something up along the way is extremely high.  Your work as an entertainer is SO dependent on you being a healthy to moderately healthy human being, so it can be extremely stressful  and worrisome to get sick any point along a tour. I don’t know about you, but when I get that initial tickle in my throat, I can immediately hear the gong sounding ( BONNNGG!)  and  I can pretty much see the cane coming from side stage to drag me off by the neck! Haha. What an awful feeling! I tour an awful lot by myself, so there really isn’t anyone to turn to when things go from a tickle in the throat to a full on flu bug. So you need to be prepared and put your health first!

I was on tour two years ago and got sick in the middle of a tour of Saskatchewan and it was just…awful. I started out sounding a little raspy and then had to call it quits halfway through the two hour set because I couldn’t sing a note! It was so embarrassing. I was sniffling, sputtering and coughing all over the place. It was kinda super gross. I really felt bad for the front row (or as I called them…’splash row’. They didn’t find that so funny). I had to cancel five gigs after that. Looking back on that tour, I probably didn’t take as good of care of myself as I should have to ward off the bug I caught. SO here are five  pro-health tour tips, for what it’s worth….most of these are pretty obvious…BUT SO IMPORTANT! For example…..

1) WASH YOUR HANDS: No seriously, wash your freakin’ hands. Sounds redundant, this is a big one. Not just after you use the bathroom, but really whenever you can. You meet so many people on tour and until the formal head-nod takes over handshaking in North America, handshaking is an inevitable part of the music business and just human interaction in general.  Very important as not every human you meet will be honest about them just getting over a bad cold or their day job as the head diaper-changer at the local daycare.

2) KEEP YOUR HANDS AWAY FROM YOUR FACE: This is kind of in line with washing your hands, but I try and keep my hands away from my face whenever I can. This is tough; you gotta itch on your nose, applying foundation, etc… But I really try to keep this as a rule. The further away I can keep germs from my mouth and vocal chords, the better!

3) DON’T BURN THE CANDLE AT BOTH ENDS: Hey, maybe staying up until 5 in the morning drinking with new buds at the bar after a long gig sounds like a fun way to wind down, but if you need to drive five hours the next day to  perform AND talk to people at your gig; do yourself and your paying customers a favor and get your sleep! You have people showing up and paying to see you at your best, so give it to them. Sleep and rest is the best way to stave away those nasty bugs and keeps your energy high when you’re running on empty.

4) PREP FOR TOUR A WEEK BEFORE: A week before I take off on your, I significantly cut down on my intake of coffee and alcoholic beverages and I also start pumping the vitamin C and Echinacea supplements every morning and night. I get lots of sleep and eat lots of veggies (they’re hard to find on the road). This will give you a great running start on your tour!

5) CUT DOWN ON THE STRESS: Stress is what usually gets me sick I’ve realized. If I’m not prepared for a tour, or if I’m run ragged right until the day I leave for tour; it doesn’t matter how many vitamins I pump into my system, I get sick. I find a great way to alleviate the stress, is to take time for yourself to prep. Take a few days before your tour to have peace and quiet, plan your route, get your maps ready, make sure your car is in working order, etc.. By having all of your details of the tour worked out far in advance, your stress level can be significantly lowered; and that way if you DO end up getting sick, at least you don’t feel like a crazy person trying to work out the gig details on the road while feeling like a snot zombie.

Well! those are my tips if they help you avoid the uncomfortable experience of being sick on tour. BUT sometimes it happens, like me…right now. You think you do everything right and you still wake up feeling like you were hit by a bus.
Part of the gig though! So try and be prepared! Be good to yourself!

xox
Meaghan

January 16, 2014 in Uncategorized

Parking Tickets, Home Routes House Concert Tour, ECMA’s & Music PEI awards!

LOTS and lots of gigs coming up just around the corner! Will I see ya there!?

 

January 18th – Up West Winterfest – Mill River PE – 6 PM
January 25th – Private Function – Delta Charlottetown PE 5PM
January 25th – Country Jubilee -Harbourfront Theater – Summerside PE 8 PM
January 27th – Marc’s Studio -Charlottetown PE 8 PM
January 29th- Music PEI Songwriters Circle -Kings Playhouse-Georgetown PE
February 1st- Music PEI Awards Show -Convention Center – Charlottetown PE 8 PM
February 2nd- House Concert  Iona Station ON
February 3rd – House Concert Woodstock ON
February 4th – House Concert Guelph ON
February 5th- House Concert Alma ON
February 6th -House Concert Georgetown ON
February 7th – House Concert Mississauga ON
February 8th- House Concert Tottenham ON
February 9th-House Concert Newmarket ON
February 11th- House Concert Tiny ON
February 12th-House Concert Mount Albert ON
February 13th-House Concert Haliburton On
February 14th- House Concert Ottawa ON
February 15th- House Concert Val des Monts QC
February 16th- House Concert Navan ON
February 20th -The Pearl Hamilton ON 8 PM
February 28th- Private Function -Charlottetown PE 6 PM
March 1st Creek View Restaurant Gagetown NB 8 PM

January 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

Happy New Year! What is your New Year’s resolution?

Why worry?

I CAN NOT BELIEVE IT IS 2014 already!
Holy smokes, where did the time go eh? 
Time truly does fly when you’re having fun.

Well, like a lot of humans, I like to take the time on January 1st  to sit down and write out some New Year’s resolutions. Ok…I’m lying. I slept in late on New Year’s Day and went for Chinese food with my folks. Classy.

Now I am a really big list maker. It’s ridiculous really. My fella is always making fun of the notes and lists that I post around our apartment. Sometimes if I’m feeling really ‘listy’, I will take a dry erase marker and put a list on my big bathroom mirror. This can be kind of jarring if you’re not expecting it. It’s also hard to put on your mascara. Sometimes it’s a list, but sometimes I just write a nice quote to get me going on my day. I’m just a really visual person! If I don’t see it, I won’t do it! So when it comes to writing down a list for New Years (which a lot of people seem to hate for some crazy reason…) I am ready, pen in hand.

For 2014, I made the decision that I want to drink less coffee, get to bed earlier and drink my 8 glasses of water a day. Kind of run of the mill stuff, but my BIG resolution is to STOP WORRYING.
Now I wouldn’t call myself a worrier, but I have had numerous people tell me that I am one, which is soooooo irritating. I hate people telling me what I am (don’t we all). BUT it’s true. It’s funny though; I never see myself living the ‘worried life’, because it’s just the way I’ve always lived! I really don’t think worriers would label themselves worriers. Maybe they are people who are just more in tune to the possibility of dying in awful train accidents and such things like that. (God that sounds so neurotic when you say it out loud…eeeeesh).

 

Now I’ve thought a lot about ‘worry’ and what it means. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is…focusing on the past (which you can’t change) and fretting over the future (which is not even written yet) and not living in the present. I seem to fall into this way of thinking from time to time, and although it never stops me from doing any of the fun and exciting things that I love; it’s just not a healthy way to get from point A to point B!

FOR EXAMPLE: There was a truly Canadian snow-day two days ago (minus 30 and plus 20cm of snow…it’s the freakin’ snowpocolypse!) and I sat in my apartment, took out my sewing machine and decided that I would sew a full scale bed quilt!  It took me from 11am to 11pm, but I did it. Now, I know you’re thinking ”WOW! Meaghan, you should be so proud of yourself!! How great is that! How productive” …..or maybe you’re thinking “Get a life grandma!”. I don’t blame you for thinking that.
Regardless, the sad thing is…a really unfortunate thing would happen to me while sitting in my living room sewing that quilt, I would get this feeling of worry rise in my chest and this voice would come ringing in my ears. ”oh my god…MEAGHAN….you have so many other things you should be doing….stop wasting your time…” HOW AWFUL IS THAT?! haha.  I was doing something so fulfilling and fun and my brain was trying to take my joy away! What a jerk of a brain. Sheesh!

So there it is… my new years resolution is to live more in the present and to have fun doing it! AND I really do have fun. I love my life, but I’m going to try my darndest to cut whatever unhealthy worry I find out of my life because it doesn’t do a thing for me but waste my time and my energy. Life is too short to watch it fly by. Right?

So Happy New Year! And all the best with your own resolutions!
I’m off to read a great book under my brand new homemade beautiful quilt.
ps. I’m turning 25 on January 10th! Woot!!

xoxox

Meaghan