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

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