Grace Notes – All Postings

Churchill ~ 1969

Listen to the story as you follow along ...   With a beautiful hippie wife and two little flower children we took the Muskeg Special, a train full of stories, to Churchill, Manitoba in the fall of 1969.  It was the quintessential late sixties...


It is the Juno weekend of 2018 as I write this little story. Twenty-seven years ago, I went to my first and I suppose only Juno Awards show. am not sure how I might have scammed one more blessed press pass but it may have come from Sask. Report magazine looking for another story on our beloved Saskatchewan roots musician, Colin James. Colin did end up with Best Male Vocalist later that evening.


In spite of the full plane I was even more delighted to see that the seat beside me was empty.  It stayed empty until the very last minute when a little old lady (that is to say someone of my age) shuffles in beside me. I realize that I am looking into the eyes of Joni Mitchell.  This is the person who will be my seat mate for the next four hours unless I do something to piss her off and get thrown into the back of the plane for the rest of the trip.  This is going to be epic or tragic, I feel, depending on my next move. 


Twenty five years ago, I had my own little blues metaphor going on with a wild Saturday night on the south side of Chicago where the devil shook my hand and my world. This was immediately followed by redemption, as the Lord’s own gospel singer shook that same hand Sunday morning.


Recorded 2014 at Seventh Street Sound Studios I grew up in the historic little town of Battleford Sask.  It was a town that from the beginning had an uneasy relationship with its First Nations neighbors. The town grew from an early fur...

Elders, An Old Story

Listen to the story as you read along ... An old story goes that a young man tentively knocked on the door of the beloved American poet Robert Frost.  The great man invited him in and poured him a cup of tea.  After more formal...

Seed Potatoes

Seed potatoes … lessons in gratitude Listen the the story as you read along ... They would spend the winter in my grandparent’s root cellar and in my parent’s dirt floor basement.  They were the fall harvest of potatoes. You...

The Kids are Alright

Listen to the story as you read along ... As I write this, the music community and the neighbourhood is once again rising in support of a local institution facing survival in these tough times.  The iconic Ironwood Stage and Grill is a...

Analog Inglewood

Listen to this story ... The audio is available the text is … Coming Soon!

Pandemic Lessons

Listen to the story as you read along ... I used to be a teacher, a principal and even a superintendent in the world of education.  For a portion of my career, my work was with First Nations communities.  I still feel that my...

A Dozen Handcrafted Leadership Practices

When was the last time you put your whole system in one room … from the receptionist to the biggest corner office?  If you do this at least three times a year and you have just done one virtually, skip this part.  If you haven’t done this in a while you may be in system deficit.


Most of these stories have been a product of serendipitous encounters with various musicians or a bit of a by product of some freelancing, but since moving to Calgary I have also had the opportunity to actually buy an encounter with some fantastic musicians. Sounds sleazy, but relax; the money part was just basically a tuition fee for some amazing workshop experiences.