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Bye Bye Australia, Hello Canadian Music Week!

Seems fitting to come back from some worldly travels to a celebration of Canadian music, don’t ya think?  Well, Australia was really incredible for us, but this week is also going to be kind of amazing. This past weekend recorded the last four very new tunes for the imminent album at Canterbury Music Company, and so within the month, the music of the album will be all done, and I can finally hear the new direction of this batch when hearing the tunes all together. (YAY!)

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With Charlie James, and my co-producer/wizard Ryan Granville-Martin in the booth at Canterbury Music Company

 

 

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Amazing lines of sight between Jon Foster, Charlie James and 1. (I get the whole big room to myself for guitar and koto, yay!)

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My Hiroshi Goshi hand-made koto sounds sooooo pretty and resonant, and Jeremy Darby knows how to perfectly translate that into your ears. Amazing!

BUT first, let me continue brieftly about the rest of the Australian tour:

After leaving the Melbourne area again, we played Bendigo, Castlemaine, and Wangaratta before stopping for some days in Canberra for some shows at the Gorman Arts Centre and The Rum Bar (the latter has the best bartender/drink magician I have ever met.  Truly liquid art for the mouth!).

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Beautiful little stage at The Bridge Hotel in Castlemaine, Victoria.

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I would say our gig in Bendigo, Victoria was one of the weirdest of the tour. But we were certainly on point musically, and with our outfit choices!

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Photo by Adam Thomas. This was at the Gorman Arts Centre in Canberra, ACT. Really fun night, and such awesomes people there helping us make the show wonderful. :)

After a couple days to rest, we started back up in Sydney at this awesome menswear/cocktail/espresso spot owned by some friends of mine called Shirt Bar.  We did got to get in some more beach time at Bondi and and elsewhere up the coast, and played some shows around New South Wales, in Newcastle (love the Royal Exchange – great venue.), and in Laguna, then back to Sydney for our big final show of the east coast at Django Bar.  That was a total treat, and a fantastic way to end our travels with Marta Pacek before The JSF headed to Western Australia for the final week of the tour adventure.

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Shirt Bar!

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Hanging with our pal Sharon Pinney from the Canadian Consulate in Sydney :)

SO, Qantas flew us and our massive instruments with no issue to Perth, and we began our final wonderful week in Western Australia.  We did more live radio performances on ABC Perth, played at The Ellington, also at one of the coolest house concerts ever and got to play a “Commonwealth” show with 2 Aussies and a Brit at Four5Nine before heading to the majestic Fairbridge Festival, where we had the big final hurrah with our amazing pals from The BombadilsOh Pep!, and The Bearded Gypsy Band. (Fairbridge Fest folks who are owed a digital copy of Kid Dream – it’s coming! I haven’t forgot about ya!)

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One of my favorite house concerts ever with the ladies from Jones Of Ark.

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Live-to-air on ABC Perth!

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The whole gang at Fairbridge Festival! xoxoxooxox

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More Fairbridge Festival!

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Workshop with Lucky Oceans at Fairbridge Festival.

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Great looking audience at Fairbridge, right?

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The end of the very last set at Fairbridge Fest and the whole tour for us. Would you believe that the power cut during our very last song? We kept playing acoustically, and this was the aftermath. Perfectly hilarious end to the epic adventure.

We stopped in Hong Kong for a few hours on the way home, too, but that’s a whole ‘nother thing entirely. :)  This Wednesday, back in Toronto we will play our homecoming show during Canadian Music Week at The Cameron House on Queen Street West at midnight sharp.  We’re going to give whoever comes the only sneak peek at our new tunes, and then will be hiding them away until the album comes out in the fall!  So that’s kind of exciting for us and hopefully for you too.

Thanks for keeping up on our adventurings!  We love you and appreciate your support so very much. :)
xoxox

Australia Post, 1st edition!

Our first day off of tour today!  I mean, don’t get me wrong, we’re totally living the dream here, with amazing performances, loads of interviews for radio and print, and getting to see and experience new things and new people every day, but we went straight into it right off the plane, so we’re tired!

So far we’ve performed around Victoria, with shows in Geelong, at several venues in Melbourne and at Yackandandah Folk Festival which was incredible.  Here’s some of what’s been going on:

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Arrived and were picked up by our tour-mate Marta Pacek in her fancy tour van!  My koto in its case barely fit, but we made it work.

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Our first show was at The Espy in St Kilda in Melbourne

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The next day we got to the beach and went for our first swim of tour!  It was windy but beautiful, and the locals were not touching the water, thinking it was too cold, but I’m used to the ocean on the west coast of Canada, so it seemed perfect to me!

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That night we drove to Geelong and played at Beav’s Bar with Isabella Khalife and Pat and Gem.  It was a beautiful intimate show.

Then we headed to Yackandandah Folk Festival!

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We played the main stage both nights, and also an acoustic performance at The Court House (shown below, courtesy of @knightstickc) and kicked off the Earth Hour celebrations totally unplugged in front of many hundreds of listeners!

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And we saw old friends like Scott Cook and made new friends, like the members of the awesome band Oh Pep, and some llamas:

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We’ve played twice more in Melbourne since the fest, both awesome at Elwood Food & Wine and The Retreat Hotel, and tomorrow we’re off to Bendigo, Castlemaine, Wangaratta and then out of Victoria to Canberra.

We’re posting all sorts of fun stuff on instagram (@thejessicastuartfew) and facebook (/jessicastuartfew) and twitter (@jessstuartfew), so please follow us there for insider info.  Als0, we’ve been all over ABC, PBS and community radio, as well as articles in The Beat, The Music, The Brag, and many more, so please keep your eyes peeled.

Thanks as always for staying in touch, and keep spreading the word, lovelies!
xoxoxox from Australia,
Jessica

‘Songs Are Like Tattoos’ – Joni Mitchell Tribute/Saturday, March 7

When I moved to Toronto from BC in 2008, I got wind of the Annual Joni Mitchell Tribute at Hugh’s Room and dreamed of being on the roster.  Joni has always been a huge inspiration ever since I heard Blue  for the first time; one of the four records in my parents’ extensive collection that weren’t classical, musical theatre or world music.  Being invited to join the bill this year, I can’t explain how excited I was to have a reason to get together a koto arrangement of one of my favourite Joni songs, and be on stage with the fantastic Mia Sheard (who also has recorded some back-ups for the new record, by the way!).

So this is my last major gig in town before our Australian adventure, and by the time we return, the leaves will be greener, and the only white I see will be in the new blooms peeking out at me.  So, lovers of Joni, please join us on Saturday, March 7 at Hugh’s Room for an incredible roster of artists doing a tribute to Joni Mitchell.  This show sells out every year, so I recommend buying tickets asap!  It is an all ages show, fyi  (Ticket link HERE)

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SO, maybe it’s my moment in the tribute show circuit!  I also played Hugh’s Room in November at the Tom Waits tribute put on by Michael Wrycraft, and just got my hands on a copy of an article that ran in the Nikkei Voice last month by Mel Tsuji.  Here’s a photo by Robert Saxe from the event, and the article below.

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And the article:

Nikkei Voice Article, whole copy

Torontonians -hope to see you this weekend! Australians – see you in two weeks!
xo
jessica