Howdy all! Just had a wonderful weekend at the Ivan Daines’ Country Music PickNic. Out of the blue, my mother showed up, a surprise visit all the way from Moncton, New Brunswick. Wow! I hadn’t seen her for 3 years, so it’s been a real treat catching up on everything.
Also, I was asked to judge the karaoke contest they had there on Thursday evening. I loved watching all of the performers — but judging was tough! The scores were out of 100, with 60 marks for vocal abilities, and the rest divvied up between stage presence, audience reaction, and whether the person really “knew” the song well. Personally, I would like to have made a separate award for “best stage presence” because some of the most interesting and exuberant people to watch really grabbed and inspired me with their courage- regardless of whether they were the next “big voice”. On the other hand, since the prize was a vocal recording deal, I can understand why the vocal quality mattered so much – you can’t see the singer in a recording! However, if you’re one of the people who didn’t make the final round, please take heart: I’ve never won a singing competition either, and here I am still doing it!
I also had a ball staying up late and jamming with many talented people, like Andy deLorme and Kenny Sitter (of Jo Hikk) and their family/friends. I also ran into Richard Harrow, who mastered my CD’s, who was performing there…he has a nice, smooth tenor voice. He runs a new folk club here in Calgary called Sound Waves, and has asked me to come and perform there in October.
One of the most interesting aspects of this year’s event was the horse-breaking competition, in which top-level horsemen (and one woman from Rafter Six who was such sweetheart I’m sure no horse could resist her charm) “break” young, never-ridden horses. Ivan explained it well – it really involves tons of human and animal psychology (authority, affection, and awareness of horse’s fears and how to overcome them.) The organizers also had the competitors on wireless microphones, explaining their training techniques. It was so intriguing to see a huge animal go from resisting even walking into the training ring to then following its new “master” obediently around, and letting her/him ride on its back. Wow, if this worked on kids! Ha.
Too bad Ivan couldn’t find the song he wrote me – he looked everywhere for it, and I know he certainly had his hands full this weekend. No worries though – now I have something to look forward to at next year’s event, and he assured me he WILL find it!