Friday, October 30, 2009

MAPLE BLUES NOMINATION!

We here at the Bastards camp are pretty effing pleased to tell the globe that we have been nominated for Best New Artist at The Maple Blues Awards! 

We're really stoked about this as it is an unsolicited nod to our hard work and dedication to glodal domination! We wanna thank the Maple Blues Folks for being willing to support the genre in the way it has. Blues is found in a lot of different sounds these days and for them to acknowledge us this way indicates that we are indeed carving the right path through the universe. We will continue to deliver the goods in every little corner of the globe. 

If you'd like to help us bring home the 'hunk of wood' you can web on over to 


this award is given out based on voting folks so log in, hand over you email and PRESTO, they send you a password that gives you the almighty power of giving us your much desired vote! Oh yeah baby!  All of our work is made possible by you folks. Thank you and we loves y'all!!!!! 

Ross & The Bastards
PS....feel free to tell a friend!

Open letter to Shawn Graham

Dude. 

WTF ?

Sincerely, 

Ross Neilsen

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Give me a Break

Well. Here we are in Kelowna. Hanging out at our favorite (?) downtown coffee shop, Blendz. We have long suspected that Blednz was a Starbucks in disguise and today I intended on finding out. So I asked. They swore that in NO WAY was it a starbucks. They informed us that it is a Candian franchise (even gave us a nice lesson on what a franchise is.....douchebag) and that they loathed SB's. We're still skeptical because it has the same font for their name and the menu is the same....the employee demographic is pretty close....and as Shawn noted, "they make a shaken ice tea, just like SB". So there you have it. We still sorta, kinda think that it is a SB for hippies......here is their version of a Macchiato. If you've ever had one of these drinks for real you'll know that this ain't it! It was good though.
Edmonton was something else. We had a pretty laid back week all in all. Got some work done, ran errands ate good food. Rocked out! Friday I rocked a little too hard though. Cherry Sherry, my number one axe, and I got in a skuffle. By the end of Cortez The Killer she ended up with a broken neck....She tried hard to take me out by piercing my hand with her low E string but in the end my brief moment of insanity was too much for her. Now she's out of commission and I have activated Number two....The Green Hornet. Ole GH did a great job and I'm looking forward to getting to know her better over the coming shows. Lets all have a moment for Cherry Sherry shall we?
The last show in Edmonton was unreal. killer crowd and they were eating every note up! One of the best gigs I've enjoyed over the last year! Thanks to everyone at Blues on Whyte for the good times! While in Edmonton the real monumental event was Ruby (our van) turning 300 000. We have had some crazy times with her and we would be no where without her. Literally. Thanks old Gal. Here is a video of the event....

video

We left Edmonton Sunday to trek the 10 hour drive to Karl bastard's folks place in Winfield. After my driving shift I hopped into the back seat for a great nap. I awoke to the distinct sound of wheels in slush. It was dark and snowing like mad. Shawn didn't look like he was having any fun at all driving and we quickly decided to get a room in the next town, Blue River (no Elvis sightings). We hit the pub for some eats and to unwind a bit from the stress of the snow drive. We racked up the biggest bar bill yet in the shortest time. Fairly impressive really. After the pub closed we went back to the room to hang. In the morning we awoke foggy headed and got our shit together. no one was impressed at all by what we saw outside. More snow. A lot of it....
video

We took it nice and slow and managed to get to Kelowna in one piece. We had a good dinner and hang with the Gans clan. Always entertaining stories here folks! As it turns out they were headed to Edmonton today so now we have the Villa to ourselves....PARTY AT MOM N DADS! .....I looked forward to this morning as one of my favorite things to do on tour is stand on Art and D's deck and look down the lake while I have my morning coffee. Here it is.......

Now were about to hit the store to grab our fixins for supper. Looking like hot turkey sandwiches! One of my top two favorite sandwiches! then a relaxing evening as we mentally prepare to drive the Coquihalla highway tomorrow. We know its snow covered so we're budgeting a few extra hours for safety! After that we'll be on Vancouver Island all week. Did a quick interview for the Halloween gig in Tofino. Its shaping up to be an epic night there!

Stay tuned for more adventure and don't forget....to all the facebookers go to www.rossneilsen.blogspot.com to see the videos. Subscribe to the blog to get all the juicy tour details! Going to leave you with a pic I took this afternoon on the way into Kelowna. 
Awesomeness! Every day is an amazing gift. We try to never forget about all the little beauties there are and we try and always take a minute to enjoy them. I suggest you do the same.

Ross

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Titties, Clinics and the elusive Alberta Snake Mouth

WOW. what a day we had yesterday. A friend of mine is in a Burlesque review and they were doing a show at NAIT (no this is not that place between your pink parts, it's an educational facility in Edmonton) in the late afternoon. So after our patented bastards breakfast......
......we headed out for a cross town Edmonton adventure. The review was good in the sense that the girls had their stuff down. nice routines and lots of titty tassles! It was unfortunate, however, that who ever was running the tech side of things repeatedly dropped the ball and the dude that was MC'ing was awful. I will say, though, that once those things get straightened out they will have a kick ass show as the girls are top notch! way to go Hook'em Review! I' know I'll be back!!! Unfortunately I didn't get any pics for you as I was too busy oogling.

After that titillating experience we busted down to the south end and got a half hour of the guitar clinic that our pal Grady Johnson was putting on. We had a good brief chat and he applauded our "lateness due to titty excuse".  We had intended on heckling a bit but my question got hijacked by the wang in front of me.....We did hear some very cool studio tricks though. Lots of info to ponder. Grady was playing a block away from us on Whyte Ave so Gordie slapped us on the list so we could sneak in for a quick tune or two between our sets. They sounded kick ass as usual. thanks to Gordie for the hook up. They are touring Canada right now in support of their new record and I suggest you check em out.

After the clinic we went back to Whyte ave to grab a quick bite and then load back into Blues on Whyte for a hump day show. We grabbed a bite at the Elephant & Castle across the street. Beef dip wa ok but the salad was shitty wilty lettuce. We did get to run into a dude we met last time we were here though. Seems he's relocated to Edmonton permanently and actually runs the kitchen at the restaurant that gave us the shitty salad. (yes, thats right folks. We eat salad on the road.) After our meal we hit the stage ........
and rocked out another wednesday night. The crowd keeps getting a little larger each night as we work for the weekend when it will be packed. Had lots of fun and ALMOST killed my self climbing over chairs and tables whilst rocking a solo on Mailman Blues. Sooner or later I know I'll fall on one of these adventures but it ain't happened yet!!!

Karl got to drive our compound manager, Jeeem's Charger home as Jeeem had too many pops to drive. Here is Jeem.....
.....As Shawn and I were on the way home we realized that Ruby was about 15km from turning 300 000. Amazing. We were going to drive around for a bit until she rolled but thought it wasn't right that Karl Bastards wasn't with us so we went straight home. She'll roll today fo' sho'. Seems like just yesterday when I got Ruby and she had a measly 137 000 KM on her. Two years later she's been all over this great land and we have to raise a glass to her because she is the real thing that keeps us doing what we do. Her face might be a little smashed up and maybe she makes the odd noise or two when you're humming along but she still gets us there. We love you Ruby......
After we got home we encountered a rare Albertan Snake Mouth at the compound and there were a couple attacks. somehow we managed to get a video of it. These things are rare but extremely aggressive. If you see one you can bet your head will hurt in the morning. Here's the Video.....
video

Well we just finished an amazing breaky. This time we upped the anty with the addition of Perogies. A fine decision if I do say so my self........ 

Soon we're off to see the movie Zombieland. This is a big step for me. Up until recently I was afeared of Zombie's so to be able to confront my fear and see this flick is pretty awesome. I'd say I'm growing as a human being.  After movie time it's a bison roast dinner, coutesy of Karl Bastard's sister, before we head back to Blues on Whyte to rip another piece of them. I hope fall is treating everyone well and that fluffy white stuff isn't bringing y'all down.

talk soon

MB

PS....If you are reading this on Face book feel free to come on over to www.rossneilsen.blogspot.com  I don't think you can see the video on FB. feel free to subscribe so you can get some chuckles added to your life at our expense. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I went to crazy town, I shook the Crazy down

Well it's no secret that in our line of work you get to meet some real gems. Some of you who know me well will also know that, for some reason, I seem to be  a magnet for strange people to approach me on the street, in bars or where ever. It seems that hasn't changed on this tour either.

Last blog entry we were about to rock Bud's on Broadway. This place is awesome. It's like a mini Blues on Whyte in Edmonton. Sketchy old blues bar. I love em like this. Its always entertaining and you never know what you'll get. Straight outta the gates there was a friendly crazy guy. All chatty and shit. I don't think the bastards would disagree if I said I have a higher tolerance for these type of folks. It's always interesting for a little bit. Certainly, after a while it can be taxing to be civil but I do enjoy the conversation for a bit anyway....

After sound check we loaded into the Band house. Initially we thought that this was number two for disgusting places to sleep while on the road.....i'll elaborate on that in a bit. Anyway we had fun shows there to modest crowds. The staff were real awesome and we had a good time having pops with 'em. We also got to go see 'it might get loud'. This is a documentary about the electric guitar with Jack White, Jimmy Page, and The Edge. It was super awesome. Even Karl loved it!! Needless to say the show that night was extra inspired. 

Here is a pic of us being billed incorrectly.


As an aside, and this has nothing to do with Bud's- we really had and awesome time there,
  I'm not sure why this happens so much but it does. I know some peeps are afraid to bill The Sufferin Bastards for whatever reasons and some folks just can't be bothered to spell my name correctly and sometimes thats just the way it goes....but...when your name is billed correctly in one spot, last name spelled wrong in another, one saying & The Sufferin Bastards while another says Ross Neilsen Band, I can't help but laugh. It doesn't take much to check, but I guess people assume it's the more common spelling.

On the weekend past we hit Weyburn and Medicine Hat. Weyburn is a small town in the middle of nowhere. We played a Joint called Pump jack's Saloon. Troy, the owner was super awesome and seemed to really dig the band. He also fed us some killer Rib-Eye steaks. We were in heaven. After the show we hit a wine store and then went to the hotel. The hotel reminded us a lot of 'The Voy' in North Bay. Different walls but they seemed to have the same secrets behind em. The floors even sounded the same. Our pal Andrew hipped us to the fact that there use to be a Mental   Institutethere up until the 70's. Here they apparently we're "innovators" in Lobotomy and LSD experimenting. We all agreed a field trip to the Institute would be in order. We were pretty bummed to hear they demolished the building some years back. Imagine the secrets that blew up with that building. They were doing this crazy shit back in the mid Nineteen Hundreds! Had to have been messing around in ways they shouldn't have been!

I slept almost the whole way to Medicine Hat. It was awesome. We rolled into The Ottoman Lounge and had some great burgers! We played two vicious sets to a tiny, tiny crowd. This is such a great room. They serve a tasty Mohito as well. Sean Davis is the fella that looks after the joint. He's a good guy and a great host. After the show we enjoyed some late night pops at his place. There were a lot of Rusty Nails making morning hard to get along with. Here's a pic....




Fortunately we enjoyed some mimosa's with our patented Bastards Breakfast. After a quick load out of our gear into the club (spiced up by some crazy guy stopping by to chat with us) we were back on the road to Edmonton. Here is a fuzzy pic of the Heavens.....(and a Truck).....





We arrived safe and sound at The Edmonton Bastards Villa. Great to see our Villa manager Jim again. We love his place cause it's got a full kitchen and a natural gas BBQ. Very cozy indeed. Jim's tolerance at us being in the house are amazing and we certainly appreciate it! 

Monday we loaded into Blues on Whyte for the first of 6 back to back nights. This place is the original crazy town and there is rarely a dull moment. Right away a friendly walking talking piece of crazy came right over and got the conversation going right away! Good sign.

This was typically the number one nasty accom on tour for us but i gotta say, walking down the hall to my room it not only smelled like mister clean but there was a vacuum in the hall! My room was spotless and I almost considered laying down on the bed! Shawn's room seemed to be haunted as the TV was on.......So I think we now officially move Bud's up to number one...BUT.....Don't get me wrong folks....I'm not complaining. It's all part of the charm of each of these places!

Anyway, Today we all had a pile of errands to get through and I must say, we took the west end by storm. Got all our errands completed and then some. We had a lovely Bastards dinner created by Karl Bastard. Peanut Coconut Currie. here's a pic........



Now we prepare to head out for night two of fun (i mean work) in Edmonton. I'll try and get some pics of some of the "friends" we meet. Stay tuned!

Ross









Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Well its a snowy Wednesday in Saskatchewan. We are gearing up to head north to the Stoon for two shows at buds on broadway. I'm excited about it because ONE: we got double booked there last tour and didnt get to play. TWO: a lot of guitarists that have had an influence on me have made a mark in that room. Should be fun.

The past few days have been pretty nice. We had a good run in Ontario for the first leg of the tour. The highlights for the GTA run of shows was definitely the Press Club. For a midweek show we sure had a great time. There were a bunch of Fredericton folks there and we rocked em hard. Good times all round. On friday we drove to Collingwood to perform at JD's bar and grill. I have performed here a few times over the last two years. This was to be the last night for JD's as the next day they closed their doors. We were pretty honored to be the last act and we celebrated by having our pal Aaron Garner sit in the second set with us and rip up some nice blues licks!

The next day we started the first of three back to back eight (+) hour drives. Northern Ontario is a confusing landscape. Beautiful lakes, awesome sunsets and mind sucking long ass drives. The first on the list was Loplops in the Soo. Not a huge turnout but way better than the last time we were there for sure! Good people here.

After The Soo it was another long haul to our old arch nemesis Thunder Bay. Its no secret that there isn't much we like about Thunder bay. The one thing we do like though is Sheila Rock, her mom Tina and The Apollo Bar. While there is not a lot of support in the town for the bar it IS and awesome place to rock. A great sound system, nice sound guy and some of the best home cooking out there. Ths time there was a band from Calgary called Friendo. We had an amusing conversation with Henry, their drummer, about how and what we eat on the road. His eyes got really wide with amazement when we said we travel with a coleman stove and make sandwiches as well as lots of other great creations when the kitchen space is there. Their guitar player, Nicole drew us an amazing cartoon while we were performing. It's quite amusing.


After we rocked The Apollo and crashed we were up and at em bright and early. Even though this was our first day off in nine back to back shows we had a very good reason. My cousin, Kristin's cooking. Every time we tour she serves up one of the most amazing meals. This time was no exception. A full on Turkey dindin with all the fixins! Hell yeah. We were also happy to get there earlier than our usual late night arrival and looked forward to a good nights sleep. What we did instead was beverage until the wee hours came and went. Also a fairly normal occurrence when we get to hang with family from afar. So a huge thanks to those fine folks in Stonewall for making us feel so at home. Truly good times.

Well we're off to load up ruby and get her out in the snow. Wish her luck. Saskatchewan, we wish YOU luck. The bastards are in town.

MB

Thursday, October 8, 2009

No KD Here folks.

One thing that is good about waiting until your 'mature' years to venture into rocknroll is that you are infinitely wiser than most of the other mamby pamby bands on the road.

A lot of people ask us about eating and sleeping arrangements on the road. As for eating, we take it VERY, VERY seriously. The three of us are all righteous kitcheneers in our own rights and when out together well, it doesn't take a rocket surgeon to know we can really throw down. As a result of this we put lots of thought in our eating time. Maybe some of you followed last tour's blog and you realized that we take breakfast as serious as a steak dinner. Yes, those ARE Mimosa's.



When we are trapped in the confines of Ruby's belly we enjoy soup and sandwiches mostly. Which as it turns out is a mid day favorite for the three of us. Hard to beat a S&S. When we have the time and resources we like to have nice meals. Last night Karl Bastards whipped up a coconut curry that was delicious! Unfortunately I wasn't smart enough to snap a pic of it......I have just been pondering what I what I will step up with when my turn comes..... just the other day for  a measly $8 each we bought grocery for two supers, two breakfast and one roast for pulled pork sandwiches. Shawn, as it turns out is a master pork chef. Today we enjoyed some of the finest slow cooked pulled pork sandwiches known to man. to make them even better they were bathed in the best BBQ sauce this side of the sun. We have a connection in Trenton, who shall remain nameless, who makes this stuff and I am dead serious in saying it is the best!



The other awesome thing about food in road life is that people often think you don't eat so they make shit for you! This might be our favorite part! We think thanksgiving is going to be pretty lucrative in the old food dept. One of our fav stops is in Hogtown (toronto) where Karl Bastards niece lives. Tory is a fabulous chef and often fills us up with the most decadent brownies ever. This time we not only got brownies but also got Key Lime squares. If any of you know us well, you'll know that we are Key Lime connoisseurs and these squares rock! Thanks Tory!




We also have with us this time a coleman stove for lunch breaks and evening cooking at hotels/wal-marts. We have yet to bust it out but when we do I'll be sure to document it for y'all!

So there you have it folks. Not your average band cookery, we know. We are quite proud of our skills and never shy of flaunting them. So remember if you give us some floor space to barter with the Bastards cooking skills! Like our Rock, you won't be dissapointed.

MB


Monday, October 5, 2009

on the road again!

Well we're three days into our eight week tour and it's started off beautifully. Saturday we jumped in the ole van (ruby) and headed out for Ottawa. We made it nicely and had a fun show. The drive was stunning. The leaves are at peak color change and the rolling valleys of them blew me away! like someone spilled all the paint cans.

Huge thanks to Newman and shock for putting us up in O-town. Sudnay morning we hit the road for one of my favorite places. Picton. Way down by the lakes it is a beautiful, laid back town filled with fine folks. I started playing here a few years back and became fast friends with many people there including Steve, the owner. This time was the first time for the bastards to visit and they were a hit. We also recorded the show for hopeful release as Volume 2 of the "What you need" series. We had a lot of fun playing the acoustic show. Lets hope the recording hold up!

After the show we went to my Uncle Pats in trenton to hang for the night. I had the great opportunity to play a couple of AMAZING guitars. Uncle P has been commissioned to sell these instruments for someone. They are a 1961 Chet Atkins Gretch and a 1972 White Falcon Gretch!!!! These guitars were unreal! Never played anything like the "Chet". It sucked every last point of stress out of my body while I played it. An experience I won't soon forget, if ever.

We have made it to Hogtown (Tdot) and are now unwinding with a steam whistle! Karl is preparing a pasta feed with meat sauce!!! then we head downtown to Mitzi's Sister to rock the walls down. I hope they are ready. 

I spoke with a nice gal from CBC Saskatoon today as well to promo our shows at Bud on Broadway in next week. Looking forward to this joint.  A lot of my influences have played there over the years. We got double booked there last tour and I was super disappointed so I'm looking forward to finally getting in there.......But first we need to take care of Ontario


There you go folks. We're alive and kicking. Just thought you should know! We'll talk soon. 

MB