Well Jack and I made it back from New Orleans, pretty much unscathed and heads and hearts full of music, people and information. It’s one thing to be at a huge overwhelming conference of 3000 of your tribe, and another thing to have that conference being held in city as rich in music and culture as New Orleans. We kept trying to sneak out of the hotel to soak in bits of the French Quarter but then would experience FOMO of what was going on at the hotel. It was a hard balance.

Fried chicken sandwich with ham, cheese, maple syrop on a donut. Serious artery clogging meal!

First night at a sweet little restaurant eating Po Boy’s and oysters.

We had 6 showcases at the conference which seemed like a lot but then when you get in there, with over 2000 other artists almost all showcasing, and 50+ rooms all showcasing at the same time, you begin to feel like you’ve made almost no impression. That said, on our first elevator ride, jammed with conference delegates, a couple said “Oh it’s Heartwood!” as we walked on, so I guess that made us feel pretty special. Turns out they were house concert hosts in Oregon and we had sent them a link to our Meet Heartwood video and they had watched and loved it and we were already on their list to come see. Overall it’s hard to know how the very expensive trip will pay off in the long run. We sure enjoyed ourselves and the trip though and will probably always remember it, so that’s something in itself.

We were happy to have a couple extra days to explore the city after the conference was over. We took in some amazing jazz, ate some unusual food and marvelled at the apparently spontaneous street music that would just appear. We could have easily spend another week or two there but kids and work called us back.

The Frenchman St All-Stars rip it up at the Spotted Cat

So from the south (which, honestly, wasn’t very warm when we were there) I then launched myself into planning our spring break tour to Northern BC and the Yukon. I didn’t really have a close look at the distances until I’d already booked us into the Northern Lights Festival in Ft. Nelson, and committed to visiting Jack’s brother in Dawson City. The trip is over 6000km’s in 2.5 weeks. With 1 SUV rental, 2 people, 3 guitars and 12 shows we are going to be busy. I have a wary eye on the weather as I scrounge in the shed for chains and emergency equipment. Pray for a safe journey for us! Stay tuned…