The Road Beckons

  Spring has come and the roads are clear! After some quality time at home I am heading out on the road again. I’ll be in the Eastern Sates, the western provinces, Ireland and the UK. Then I will have a nap. But I am looking forward to seeing some of you at these shows! […]

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Go west, Hugh and Jim, Go west!

Hugh and I will be heading out this afternoon for a short western swing. We’re playing a wildfire conference in Kelowna tomorrow, which should be a great experience. I like hanging with scientists and firefighters! Then we are of to the sweetest gig in the Okanagan at Medici’s Gelateria on the 27th. The Rogue Folk […]

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My Library-Yeats and now

I love reading. I love books.  My parents indulged my passion was I was growing up. When I was 14, my love affair with Yeats started. The cause was Liam Clancy. He recited excerpts of Yeats’ The Second Coming in concert. With an adolescent sense of drama I embraced it. My parents gave me this […]

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Canada Day 2016

My parents were immigrants to Canada. My dad was Irish, my mum English. At the time they came here they were living in London, a city still bearing the marks of the blitz, still under rationing from the war. Dad was looking for someplace to go and at the time it was a toss up […]

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The things you bring home

One day on the road tends to be very much like another. It’s the same routine, the same questions, the same grind. It just happens against a changing backdrop. The routine is punctuated by moments of  generosity, or serendipity, or hospitality that make you exult in the human. Sometimes, there are unexpected gifts- book, pieces of […]

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Minnesota!!

A return to Minnesota It’s been a while since I have been in the land of the Vikings, but I’m putting on my long pants and looking forward to the delights of Nisswa, St. Cloud and Austin. See you this weekend! Nov 20, 2015 7:30 PM – Nisswa, MN (US) @ Grassroots Concerts – James […]

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Remembrance 2015

    Last year, I was in the UK on Remembrance day. I wrote a  blog post  from there and used a picture I had taken  at the war memorial in Galashiels, Scotland. I made the arty choice of using the “black and white” filter. In doing so, I  completely missed a poignant detail. On the right […]

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Inscriptions

In my family there was a rule- when giving a book as a gift, you had to write something in it. It didn’t have to be much-Merry Christmas, or Happy Birthday or something. I wasn’t sure my older brother Ed knew the rule. The likelihood that he would ever give anyone a book as a […]

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Summerfolk

I have another gig, aside from gigging. I am the Artistic Director at a festival called Summerfolk. For 40 years, it’s been going on in August on the shores of Georgian Bay in Owen Sound, Ontario. It’s a great gig, and a great festival and I have a blast booking it. Here’s this year’s poster, […]

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Ron

I’m sad this morning to hear of the passing of Ron Casat. I owe  my life as a musician to him. If you enjoy what I do, then you owe Ron a big thank you. Musically, Ron was my brother, my uncle and my father. Everything I know about stage craft and musicianship I learned […]

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