Sheri's Blog

Summer has finally arrived on the east coast . . . I think. I’m basing this entirely on the number of guests we’ve had at the lake because the weather certainly doesn’t feel like July. Atlantic Canadians have a stronger sense of home than any other group I know and I sometimes wonder how and why we all feel that way. Having a sense of humour certainly doesn’t hurt – “The absence of summer has caused such distress that the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary issued a press release on Wednesday announcing an investigation into its disappearance.” http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/wanted-n-l-s-elusive-summer-season-1.2481921

Here at Jones & Co we’re madly planning for the fall – David will release and tour a new record in the US and Mo will release and tour “In My Dreams” in the UK, Ireland and Germany. Joel is criss-crossing the country this summer playing festivals and is planning a new business venture in downtown Dartmouth that will launch in the fall. T Thomason is preparing to release an ep, Port Cities is working with Gordie on their new record, and Kim Stockwood and Damhnait Doyle are returning to NL to host the NL Music Awards. And while all of this is happening, I am experiencing another round of technology breakdown – from my computer doing this \\\\\\\\\\ all the time, to my new iPhone (last one just stopped working) not sending emails, to the car suddenly ceasing to work and the dishwasher breaking down – all within 5 days. At this point in the summer with friends visiting from across the country and around the world, it’s a toss up whether I’m more distraught about the computer (MANY looming deadlines) or the dishwasher (I average 5 loads a day this time of year).

When I start to panic about work and feel overwhelmed because it all seems so totally out of my control (amazing how catastrophic a computer breakdown can feel AND what a control freak I am), I try to temper things by looking on the bright side:

I had the privilege of knowing and working with the amazing Joe Summers who taught me so much and supported me in so many ways early on in my career.
I am surrounded by many wonderful children who will all make a positive impact on the world as they grow up.
I enjoy working with a dedicated and caring team of people that adore the artists on our roster as much as I do.
The world is righting itself as shown by the support that T Thomason received when they published their first blog this summer.
The artists I work with are talented, strong, smart and caring.
I have many wonderful friends and family who tolerate the fact that work is always at the top of my priority list and love me in spite of the fact that I never have enough time for them.

So, all in all, life is good. The sun is shining and I’m off to Alderney Landing to watch Mo Kenney and David Myles rock the waterfront for Natal Day.

I hope that the sun is shining in your world and that all of your appliances are working:)

Sheri

Travel Day

So, up at 2:45am to catch a flight to Montreal and on to Vegas with Wayne, my parents and a very good family friend. Yes, I know. I said 5 years ago that I was never returning to Vegas. It’s fine, but I’ve been there 20 times and I’m not that much of a gambler. Then my friend Loretta wanted to celebrate her 50th in Vegas with a girls’ weekend, so I said, OK, one more time. Then my beloved stepson decided to get married in Vegas. This trip, my mother guilted me with “this could be the last trip we ever take”. I am going to buy good old-fashioned atlases in bulk and give them to everyone for Christmas this year – and I’m ripping the Nevada page right out of every one of them. Too subtle?

But I digress. Wayne was ready early, my parents not so much. The trip to Montreal went smoothly (I love my new nexus card). Sadly, Wayne didn’t make the connection to Vegas (again, I love my new nexus card). A huge drag but I tried to look on the bright side – I had two seats all to myself! Then a very nice young man across the aisle from me asked if I’d mind moving to the window seat so his friend could sit with him. It was their first trip to Vegas so I sucked it up and moved over. Meanwhile, Wayne is back in Montreal madly trying to rebook his trip.

The seniors and I arrived in Vegas at 10:30AM. It was a leisurely stroll to the baggage carousel – the old dolls don’t move as quickly as they used to. We got to the hotel to discover that Wayne and I had been upgraded to a suite. Which might have impressed me if he’d put my name on the room and I could have actually checked in.

So, now it’s 11:30. My parents are CRACKING to get at the machines. After a very quick lunch, they scattered – all over the Casino. And you should see my mother go when she spies a machine she wants to play. There is no leisurely strolling going on, I’d describe it more as a trot.

I can’t get into my room, there is no lobby where I can sit and get online, it is far too hot to go out for a walk. So, I decide today will be the day I gamble. Sad for Wayne, who loves to gamble and is always trying to get me to throw away my money – but, what can you do? Now, drinks are free when you gamble in Vegas which should deaden the pain of losing your hard earned money, but today, I cannot possibly drink as quickly as I am losing. And you all know, I’m no slouch when it comes to consuming cocktails. After about an hour, 4 vodka and sodas and $120, I decide I must restrict my gambling to artist management. I take dad’s room key and go off for a nap, leaving the seniors to carry on with their gambling.

At 5:30PM, they come and get me for dinner, which involved another leisurely walk. (The trotting only happens IN the casinos.)

Wayne has finally arrived. We are in our suite. I have just answered the 206 emails that came in today.

Wayne is out, probably losing scads of money, but I can’t worry about that. I have to go to bed. My father (who is in great shape) is excited at the thought of having someone to walk with so has me booked for a 6AM jaunt tomorrow – which he tells me will include at least one casino stop and two beer. I think I’ve been had – their last trip my ass!!!!

– Sheri

Personal life, professional life

Yesterday, I left Halifax to travel to Vegas for the wedding of my beloved stepson, Michael. When I left Halifax and how I planned the trip was complicated by the fact that David Myles, who I adore, was nominated for his first Juno. The decision became increasingly difficult as David and Classified were added first to the prestigious Juno Songwriter Circle and then later, to the actual awards show. David is truly one of my favourite people on earth – a lovely guy and a real pleasure to work with – so it was not an easy decision by any means, to miss the Junos in favour of being in Vegas for all of the wedding festivities, in particular, a mother/son lunch that Michael and I had been planning for weeks.

I was lucky because dear friends like Kim Stockwood, knowing my dilemma, sent me photos and texts from the Junos at every opportunity. David, of course, made it very easy for me by understanding and supporting my decision to make my son my priority for the weekend. Still, it was with some regret, (but knowing that I was doing the right thing) that I left Halifax for Vegas on Sunday morning. David and Classified won their award, kicked ass at the songwriter circle, and by all accounts, were one of the highlights of the Juno weekend. I am so proud. I have just had the wonderful lunch with Michael that we have been planning for months, so all is good on that front. But all of this has made me realize that, while I will be present and available for whatever Michael needs me for (which isn’t much because he’s a highly organized individual – another point for nurture versus natureJ), I am still obsessed this week by David’s record release, Mo’s upcoming UK tour, Joel’s studio opening, Dylan and Gordie’s work with Songcamp, Mary Jane & Wendy’s summer tour plans, Molly’s new record, and on and on and on.

In short, there is no division between family and work for me. The wonderful, talented and understanding people that I work with, are very much a part of my family. All of which makes me a very lucky lady – by normal standards – sadly, it doesn’t count so much at the poker machines in Vegas !

Travel Blog

Well, I’ve had two or three relatively uneventful trips so, happily, I have had nothing to blog about. Today, however, the unpredictability of travel reared its ugly head again.

We were up at 6AM so we could arrive early at the Nashville airport for our trip to Toronto – you could tell that Gordie and Helen (ALWAYS last minute people) thought we’d lost our minds when we were bailing out of the house at 7AM for a 10:25 flight – but we’re now on week four of conferences and meetings so we’re well past the point of having the brainpower or energy to rush anywhere. A good thing as it turns out. Upon check in with Air Canada, the airline attendant confirmed with Wayne that he was flying through to Halifax. He’d since changed his ticket to accommodate Mo’s tour with Ron Sexsmith, so I questioned whether he’d be able to pull his bags off in Toronto. He snapped “I know what I’m doing” — at the same time, I realized he’d have to pick up his bags in Toronto for customs, so all was good. Good until the attendant couldn’t find his reservation and he realized that his ticket was actually for yesterday! And, to make matters worse, today’s Air Canada direct flights were all full to Toronto.

After much rushing around – including going through the process to book another ticket on Expedia only to be told at the very end that it was too late to book on Expedia, trips to two airline counters with very long line ups and racing around to two bank machines – both of which were out of order, he finally re-booked his flight to arrive in Toronto via Chicago. (Actually, I raced around in a panic, he just stood in one place.) At this point, knowing he was at least getting on a plane today and that there was no longer any danger that his head would explode, I could wait no longer – I had to mention how very funny his “I know what I’m doing” comment had turned out to be. It did cost $800 for that moment of satisfaction but you take what you can get out of life.

We’re now sitting at my gate, waiting for my flight, and the announcement has just come on that my flight has been delayed by three hours. Now Wayne will arrive in Toronto before I do. You just never know these days. Used to be, it was unusual to not get where you were going when you were supposed to. Now it’s more unusual if you do.

On to CMW – I hope!

Sheri

Jones & Co. artists up for 7 ECMA awards

The East Coast Music Association announced the 2013 East Coast Music Award nominees and Jones & Co. is thrilled to have 7 nominations for artists David Myles, Joel Plaskett, Mo Kenney, and Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy MacIsaac. For a review of their awards, see below.

David Myles
Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year
Fan’s Choice Video of the Year – “Long Dark Night”
Folk Recording of the Year – Into The Sun

Joel Plaskett Emergency
Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year
Rock Recording of the Year – Scrappy Happiness

Mo Kenney
Rising Star Recording of the Year – Mo Kenney

Mary Jane Lamond & Wendy Lamond
Roots/Traditional Group Recording of the Year – Seinn

Congratulations to all the nominees, we’re looking forward to East Coast Music Week in Halifax from March 6-10, 2013.

Nova Scotia Music Week a resounding success

Jones & Co. artists hit it out of the park at Nova Scotia Music Week this past weekend in Liverpool. Beginning on Thursday, Mo Kenney played to a packed house for her showcase and impressed the German, UK, and US delegates with her voice and her live performance.

The Gordie Sampson Songcamp Circle at Lakeside Hall on Friday was a sold-out, intimate afternoon affair with performances by songwriters from the past three years of Songcamp. Dylan Guthro showcased on Friday night at Lane’s Privateer Inn to an attentive audience – and went on to win a Music Nova Scotia Award for New Artist Recording of the Year for his debut album, All That’s True, on Sunday at the Gala Awards show. Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac took to the stage together Friday night to showcase music from their new album Seinn and performed Lamond’s hit “Sleepy Maggie” to an enthusiastic crowd.

On Saturday, Mo performed at the Songs and Stories concert and the rest of the Jones & Co. artists could, well, rest! Sunday proved to be another full day with the Music and Industry Awards brunch, where our very own Mat Dulap won an award for Visual Artist of the Year. At the Gala Awards show that evening, Jones & Co. artists dominated the night, with Dylan taking home the New Artist Recording award; David Myles won the Male Artist Recording of the Year award for his latest album, Into The Sun; Joel Plaskett won the SOCAN Songwriter of the Year award for his rock ballad “You’re Mine”; and Molly Thomason and Carleton Stone performed their Plaskett-produced co-write “Never Felt A Thing”.

All in all, a great trip to Liverpool for Nova Scotia Music Week for the Jones & Co. team.

Blogworthy

So, my blogs usually take two forms. The far too infrequent and often driven-by-guilt updates of artist and company activity generated by nice but nagging emails from Lynn Daigle AND the blogs inspired by the adversity that I encounter on my adventures through life. This fits into the latter category.

We wake up Sunday morning at Su & Graham’s cottage after a lovely weekend of friendship, food and fun. There is no internet or cell service here so I’ve been off the grid since Friday at 8PM. I am calm and actually welcome the experience – already knowing that Wayne is prepared for the fact that we will stop at the nearest Tim Horton’s on the way back (20 minutes away) so I can download my email and work on it on the way back to Toronto.

We eat (Graham is such a stellar cook), we tidy up, we go down to the dock with a pitcher of Caesars (Graham – also an amazing mixologist). The guys offer to boat everything to the other side so Su and I enjoy our Caesars, wave the boys off, she goes for a swim (insane because it’s COLD out!) and I put on a sweater.

Graham arrives back to have a last swim, pick us up and then we’re on our way back to connectivity. He gets out of the boat and says “Wayne locked the keys in the trunk”. My first thought (not surprisingly if you know Wayne) is “thank god I didn’t lock the keys in the trunk.” My second was, “what a shame, this could undo for Wayne the zen like state we were both in this morning.”

Graham goes for a quick dip, we finish our Caesars and, armed with a coat hanger, we head over to rescue Wayne. Su and I discuss on the way over that it’s very likely he’s already got the doors open but that is not the case. As I approach the Chrysler 200 convertible that Wayne’s friends at Thrifty upgraded him to, I see various bits of twigs and full on branches sticking out the windows, I realize that there will have to be staff turnover at Thrifty Pearson Airport before they will upgrade us again.

I carry everything I can from the boat before I tentatively approach Wayne. Su, a braver soul, immediately engages with Wayne in pursuit of an unlocked car. (Did I mention we were also blocking them in?) I mention CAA, Graham nods wisely but says nothing. Su and Wayne continue to stick various things in the windows of the car, Graham takes the dogs and heads off for a walk. Probably a wise move under the circumstances. When the umbrella comes out and disappears into the window, I again suggest CAA. I am ignored. Graham returns, opens a bottle of white wine, says – for my ears only – “guess we should have called CAA” and heads off with the dogs again.

Flash forward 15 minutes, Graham returns, Su sends him off in the boat to gather more things to stick in the windows. Su and Wayne continue to jiggle things around. Graham returns, more stuff goes into the windows. Finally they admit defeat and Su walks up the road to call CAA. At this point, I look at the back of the car and wish my iPhone wasn’t locked in the trunk because now there are umbrellas, stick of various sizes, a metal tomato stake, some whirly piece of metal, all sticking out of the sides of the car.

Su returns with the news that CAA will be 45 minutes. We get in the boat with a bottle of wine, return to the cottage. As I sign off, we are sitting by the lake, drinks in hand waiting for CAA. We are in no particular hurry for them to arrive.

UPDATE:

CAA arrives and after four or five attempts, get the passenger side door open. The alarm goes off. Wayne climbs in and depresses the trunk release and – nothing happens. Have I mentioned he locked the keys in the trunk of the car? The tow truck driver looks mystified, the alarm continues to go off and Wayne starts tearing the back seat out of the car. But this is a convertible. This is not an easy trunk to access. Su and I are now weak with laughter as Wayne tries to reach into the trunk – his face smushed into the back window.

Finally Graham, a man with freakishly long arms, crawls into the tiny back seat with Wayne and saves the day by getting the trunk release to open. Wayne puts the car together and now we’re off to Tim Horton’s where I will download the weekend’s emails.


Cheers!

Hello Fall!

Summer is over and fall has arrived with a bang! The Music Nova Scotia nominations have been announced – Joel, David, and Molly have all received multiple nominations. Special congrats to Dylan who has just received his very first nomination EVER – for his debut recording, All That’s True.

There will be no downtime for anybody now until Christmas hits. Joel and David are both touring non-stop this fall. Mo is releasing her debut recording (and it’s STUNNING) in September and then, lucky girl, she goes on tour to support Joel’s dates. Dylan participates in the AFF 10×10 video program (which Mo won last year) next week, and then he’s off to Denmark and Germany for a week of writing and three weeks of touring to support the release of his CD, All That’s True, in Denmark. Molly has started at University of Toronto this week and is finishing up her next record. Promises to be amazing – produced by John Angus MacDonald and mixed by none other than Gordie Johnson. Gordie Sampson is back in Nashville and booked solid with writing appointments – although he will come home in October for the Ceilidh Cup Golf Tournament in Cape Breton. Steve MacDougall has released a solo record of exceptional songs. Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac have teamed up to release a record together; SEINN will be released internationally on Sept 25. It’s the first record in a while for both the ladies and I have to say, they are back better than ever. Lots and lots going on – no idea how we’ll all keep up.

Now if I could just get that damn acoustic hits record out of Kim Stockwood, we’d be all set.

Travel & Technology

Last Wed night the screen on my mini laptop stopped working. It lasted me three years so I was not entirely surprised. The timing, however, sucked. I rushed out Thursday, dragging my stepson with me, to buy a laptop because I was going away this week. My friend (I call her techno-Beck in these situations) came racing out to help me set up the new computer. Actually, she drove like a bat out of hell to get to the house before I could start trying to do it myself – knowing if I started it, it would be even more work for her to fix it. She has known me for many years and several computers. You’d think she’d know by now that I had no intention of even unpacking the damned thing. She sat down and turned on the new computer and, lo and behold, the mini screen started working. This kind of thing has happened with her before, I think maybe she’s a witch. Everything BUT my email program went pretty smoothly, considering the computer file I handed Becky dated back to 2006 and didn’t have anything in it more recent than 2009! During the days that followed, both Becky and Michael confessed to me that they wanted to cry because they could not get Outlook working. I feel this has something to do with me, somehow, because both of them have set up numerous computers’ including several of mine. Outlook is the most important program on my computer so I even spent an entire day on it (like that was going to work!). So, this morning I got up and packed not one, but TWO, computers in my knapsack and an external hard drive in case by some miracle I can figure out how to transfer the information from one computer to another. Overkill, perhaps, but I’ve waited three months for a meeting with Gordie’s accountant and if I showed up and the mini screen stopped working again, I am frightened about what I might do.

So, I leave Sawdust this morning, feeling like a pack mule, headed back to Nashville where I haven’t been since the blackberry debacle in October of 2011. I have now been travelling for 8 hours. You would think I would be arriving now, ready for a nice glass of red wine after my journey. But no, I am in NEWARK. With a flight that is delayed longer every 10 minutes, stuck in a TINY TEENY lounge with a million smelly people, with no US cash and a lousy internet connection. I considered going to the bank machine and sitting in the bar drinking bad red wine but that would mean a trip outside security. Since there is no decent food here and it is entirely possible that I could get belligerent if I drank too much bad red wine right now, I’ve decided to stay where I am. After all, it did take 90 minutes of standing around before I got a seat.

Oh, good. They are making another delayed flight announcement, a further 90 minute delay. I am off to the bar.

Dear god, I am surrounded by so much great music…

Dear god, I am surrounded by so much great music right now that it is actually scaring me. At 8AM I received a mix for a new tune that Molly is recording with John Angus MacDonald producing – it completely takes things to another level for Molly and I CANNOT wait to see her rocking it live. Dylan Guthro dropped by late morning and we listened to some of his amazing debut (no kidding, at least the 73rd time I’ve listened to this record and I love it more with every listen.) Then tonight, I sat down to listen to the two new Mo Kenney tunes that Joel sent me. Blew me away.

And they are all developing artists! Proof positive that talent and creativity are alive and well and that our musical future is in very good hands.

And Joel, well he’s churning out great recordings every week right now – and every week I have a new favourite. Super Joel is also vlogging, tweeting, blogging and photographing the process as he goes. Oh, and did I mention he’s also finishing the Mo Kenney record he’s producing in the midst of all of it? Little wonder he’s so frigging skinny!

And David. Back from Australia for about five minutes and he booked Dave Gunning’s studio to record a beautiful acoustic version of “I Will Love You” (which we’re giving away on Valentine’s Day) and he’s started work on a Christmas record. David has not grasped the concept of a release every 24 months – and with his sense of musical adventure, I doubt he ever will.

Another favourite in my new cd player right now is the unmastered copy of Seinn that Mary Jane accidentally left in my cd player – sometimes her lovable absentmindedness actually works in my favour. Yes, the Gaelic songstress is back on the recording scene and this time she’s partnering with long time musical collaborator and cohort, the incomparable, Wendy MacIsaac. The record is all that you would expect of this musical pairing and we hope to have it out to the world in April.

Kim is busy preparing to go out on tour in February and March in her beloved Newfoundland. She is now writing a storyboard for a video and mini doc of her trip. There Kim, now it’s on the internet so there’s no turning back!

Gordie, thank god, is staying put in Nashville and is writing amazing songs every day – as you’d expect. The last couple of weeks have been particularly hectic for him as he’s been hosting a group of Nova Scotia writers. No doubt there will be good times and great music aplenty as he, Steve MacDougall, Bruce Guthro and Carleton Stone write together and with other Nashville writers.

God, as I’m writing this I realize it’s even more intense than I thought it was when I started this blog. I’m exhilarated and exhausted by it all. It’s 10PM and I’m not sure whether to go to bed or to start another marketing plan. Who am I kidding? I have no time for sleep!

Thank god for Krista, Mat, Wayne, Snickers, Lynn, Jean and Becky. I wonder if they realized when we started working the odd contract together that it would turn into such an adventure . . .

Kim StockwoodMary Jane & WendyMo KenneyJoel PlaskettDavid MylesMary Jane LamondPort CitiesThe BroodDamhnait DoyleGordie SampsonSteven MacDougallDylan Guthro