The February Blues Festival, Barrie, Ontario

Just did my first gig of the millenium, kind of low key, an afternoon concert in a little cafe in the picturesque village of Cookstown. This is the beginning of my new solo/acoustic initiative - I even brought along a gorgeous little mahogany acoustic Guild that my friend Peter Toles lent me. It doesn't have a pickup or even a strap but I pulled it out in the middle of the show to do "The Story of the Magic Pick" a spoken word thing I recorded in the early seventies. I screwed up the words again - I'm going to have to play this one more often. The last time I practised this tune I had to pull out the 45 and confirm the lyrics that were printed on the jacket.

I didn't think the little guitar was cutting through that well and switched back to the Epiphone (with pick-up) but in the last set I broke a string and had to finish on the little Guild and I was inspired to do a little walkabout as Robin kept up a bass riff. I walked to the very back, all the way into some little ante-room where I plopped down in a big armchair. Lessons - 1)I needed more tunes, and 2) There were some extra tunes on the set list that I never brought out. Ended with a death-defying ride back to the city in a snowstorm. Several other fabulous performers participated in the festival, Carlos del Junco and a new blues guitarist who's making a buzz, Mike Branton.