For my Canadian friends, who might wonder, I decided to give you a brief report on my whereabouts, my doings, and my goings-on… It’s been about 5 years since I decided to exist as a simple singer/songwriter.
Since this post is meant for English speakers, I’ll try to be brief about stuff that happened in Canada. Y’ all know about that stuff already.
It all started in 2016, when I released my first collection of songs, with the help of many of my Wolfville friends. This following song is from that very first album
Oh yes! It was in 2016 that my mom bought me my very first personal cellphone, for 79 Swiss Francs…
In 2017, again, I put together an album. This time it was a 10 piece band. We practiced originals interspersed with “beatles” songs at Paddy’s. After one rehearsal at my house, we recorded the whole album on a spring weekend, live of the floor (with exception of a couple of backup vocal tracks)
Oh yes, 2017 was also the year i got to instigate an album for John Main, one of my favourite players, ever…
The winter of 2017/18 were a bit of a loss… I made a failed attempt at moving to Switzerland. couldn’t find a job, and learned that I’d be best off singing in Swiss German, if i wanted to be understood… Well, this, at least got me started on building a repertoire in that language. I knew maybe a hand full of songs at that point.
Spring 2018 I was back in the valley, playing the odd bar, restaurant or market. At my house in Gaspereau, I started working on a bunch of Swiss German songs. With a Swiss visitor, a first song (video) was produced in late spring 2018.
The winter 2018/19 brought weird and strange changes. I uprooted myself, and I went full blast, minimizing my life. I now own a suitcase of clothes, a laptop, a USB microphone, Reaper, Vegas, a cellphone and one guitar.
In spring of 2019 I left Wolfville for Havana, Cuba. My first pleasure trip in many, many years. Wow. I meet many local people and musicians (two different things). Through those connections I ended up observing a daily rehearsal for the Bueno Vista Social Club show at the Casa de Fidel in Havana. Unbelievable. The show was just as amazing as all the Bands I met at various clubs in town. I helped with the making of Pigs-head-soup for a Fam-Jam, helped repair a 1950 Chevy and had an all round inspiring time.
So, in late spring 2019, I arrived in Switzerland. It didn’t take a month, and I had a part time Job at the “Milchzentrale”. They hired me to deliver dairy products in the wee hours of three days a week. In winter I make a few thousand portions of fondue, and in summer i sell a few thousand balls of ice cream. Sometimes I help my brother out with his construction projects. There, I fill the position of “Bimbo” (usefull idiot).
The Winter 2019/20 started out real good. I started getting gig contracts worth more than half a ton, for entertaining at bars. I travelled to my shows with public transport. The video below documents a trip I took to play at a giant outdoor bar on the Weisshorn, in Arosa.
Well, the above gig was on March 7th, 2020. One week later, life in Switzerland stopped. At that point music was already almost half of my income. I was getting closer to the official minimum subsistence level of income… (insert diatribe on job-prohibition without subsidies)
On the bright side, I spent this last year recording (and videoing) a lot more Swiss translations (and interpretations) of English language evergreens. My repertoire now is beyond 50 songs, a quarter of them originals. My recording studio consists now of 1 laptop, 1 microphone, 1 phone, 1 guitar, Reaper, Vegas and a few kitchen implements and other random objects. I might document the process one of these days… A lot of my song attempts go straight to the trash bin, like this version of “Ipanema”… (unlisted on YouTube)
Since “professionals” are allowed to rehearse, I’m now working on a scheme where I rent an outdoor (rehearsal-) space in the center of town, which would allow me to transact with visitors across property boundaries. This might turn out great since our town of 7000 inhabitants expects a half million visitors this summer for Europe’s largest outdoor art exhibition…. Yes, hope springs eternal…
Thanks, my friend, for reading this…