There is a little town on the banks of the Sydenham River, about halfway between Sarnia and Chatham, Ontario. It’s called Wallaceburg.
I adore the place.
I was born in London but I view Wallaceburg as my “other” hometown. My parents were born there. My grandparents spent most of their lives there. My great-grandparents were there. And as far as I’m concerned, I was born in London but I am from Wallaceburg.
Today KG and I capped a terrific week by visiting Wallaceburg, as we’d been asked to do a live, in-studio interview and performance on 99.1 CKXS FM, a radio station that did not exist the last time I was in the town (August of 2008).
We had a grand time. It was a gorgeous, sunny day. KG and I chatted the entire drive from London and completely enjoyed each other’s company. When we popped out of the car along the banks of the Sydenham River, I immediately asked for a picture.
I love the place. The moment we arrived, I could feel my family’s heartbeat. It just feels comfortable. Warm. Welcome. It feels right. I don’t know how else to describe it. For a time after my Grandpa Newkirk passed away, I’d lost that feeling. But it was back in full force today. It was as if I could hear my Grandpa’s trademark chuckle, happy that I had returned and brought friends.
KG and I had lunch at the Fiesta Restaurant and then went on walkabout. I was pleased to be able to have my picture taken by a mural of lake boat that used to sail straight up the Sydenham and into downtown Wallaceburg. And while we were at it, a woman happened by and starting asking questions of us. It turned out that she’d been in the same school as my mom and dad, only a year behind them. We chatted for about 15 minutes, right there on the street, after which she wished us her sincere best wishes and sent us on our way.
Boy, I love that place.
We also stopped by the local music store (“The Gear Box”) where KG checked out some microphones and I bought some guitar picks the likes of which I have never seen before. It’ll be neat if I come to like playing with them. Time will tell.
Back at the radio station, we did an interview where I was given the chance to talk about my family a little bit. That was fun. And then we played one of our new songs, “Do Better,” followed by my favourite song from my first EP/CD, a tune called “Glass.” That was fun too! It was the first time KG and I have “performed” since October of 2008. But it felt completely natural. We’re just getting started.
The time on the drive home flew by. Many stories were shared and many laughs were had. It was a grand time.
Earlier in the week, we’d debuted two new singles, “Hope Over Hurt” and the aforementioned “Do Better.” I am very proud of both and am entirely excited to have this train rolling along. It now seems hard to imagine that it was just last Sunday night that KG, Alyssa Sestric and I were back at Kevin’s studio, all three of us dog tired, trying to re-record a part I felt was very important for “Hope Over Hurt.” Less than three days later, the song was on the air on an FM radio station. Two days later, KG and I were there to personally see to the task.
One other thing I don’t want to forget: Green Day’s “Last of the American Girls” was the last song to play on the air before our featured spot. We joked that they were “opening” for us. But, jokes aside, I took it as a sign that I was on the right track. I love Green Day, and especially their most recent CD, “21st Century Breakdown.” The only rock band I like better is …
EXTREME! They also graced me with their new live CD “Take Us Alive” this week. The playing in their performance is absolutely out of this world. It is going to be a while before I listen to much else. That’s my band. I love Extreme! I’m so excited to have the chance to see them live again. They are my favourite band and they always will be.
I also celebrated my 36th birthday this week by playing nine holes of golf with my great good pals from CPT Entertainment. What I got for it was a terribly sore back and a terrific sense of satisfaction that I work with the best crew ever. Upon arriving home, I was greeted with hugs and kisses from my three most favourite people in the world. My boys gave me some of their Pokemon cards for my birthday and were determined to have me eat some of the cake that they helped Tracey make. It was great. They are great. Life is great.
And we haven’t even put out our CD yet? Hahaha!
Hey Wallaceburg! You know what?
We will be back.