Back from the Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival, I'm looking forward to resuming my usual Tuesday solo gig at Mikey's Juke Joint tomorrow (Mar. 22). The festival was great, a gathering of world-class players from (this year) Canada, the U.S., Mexico and South Africa. Money was raised to pay a music teacher for the local casa de cultura, and Mexico worked the same magic on me it always has. I played the jam at the Blues Can, couldn't sleep, and left for the airport at 4 a.m. on the Sunday morning. -20 and a lot of snow. Everything went suspiciously smooth at the airport, flight on time, guitar and bag checked through to Zihuatanejo even though I changed planes in Phoenix. In Mexico, my guitar and luggage were waiting for me in the baggage area, I hit the lottery button which decides whether you go through one last inspection, got the green light and hit the lobby where I was met by Catherine Krantz (AD for the festival).
The musicians were put up in two guest-house complexes beside one another in Playa la Ropa ("Clothes Beach", named for some shipwreck which deposited fabric on the shore), about 1 1/2 miles from downtown. I was the first one in; I put on shorts and watched the sun set while bands played ranchera and some minor-key local style tune, listening to crocodiles splash in the estuary on the beach.
The week went by in a blur of great music and new friends, a few old friends I'd made when I did the festival before and a handfull of fans from Canada. Flamenco, blues, rock, singer-songwriters and Gypsy jazz mingled with classical and Mexican guitar styles every night with a few good jams thrown in (okay, and a few bottles of local mezcal).
Home again, clear my desk and computer of neglected items which accumulated over the 10 days I was gone, then the Blues Can jam, a western swing rehearsal, and now Mikey's on Tuesday, Rusty Reed's House of Blues (Edmonton) Thurs./Fri., Demmit, Alberta on Saturday, and the Jack Singer concert hall here in Calgary on Sunday with (among others) Blackie and the Rodeo Kings. End-of-the-month brings a 2-nighter at the Blues Can with old pal Big Dave Maclean (Apr. 1-2). Tune in again for itenerary of my West Coast tour April 6-17 !