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Hi Folks,

I hope this finds you safe and sound in these strange and challenging times.

I had a great time on the first of the Three live streams on Nov 14. It was a bit of an experiment, mixing pre-recorded performances while hosting it live, taking some questions and playing some requests at the end. The response and feedback was uplifting during a time when live music in person is on hold. Big thanks to all who tuned in. The next show for album 2 of Three is December 5th followed by album 3 on December 27th. 8pm EST. Tickets available here. Below is a photo by Mike Hall of me in the studio working on In the Blue Moonlight for the upcoming one.

Just over a year ago I was on the home stretch of finishing 44. Next Tuesday we’ll be releasing a video of the recording of the project’s last song, A Benefit 4 Dreamland, filmed on Sunday November 17, 2019. Please note this was before the pandemic when this many people could still congregate in a room safely. It was an amazing experience recording this song live off the floor into a single microphone (Bob Hoag’s old RCA 44 that he brought up from Arizona for the occasion). So many great musicians and friends in the room as you’ll see when you watch. You can subscribe to my YouTube channel here if you’d like to set a reminder.

This pandemic has been hard for many, doubly so those who are vulnerable. I recently downloaded the Canadian COVID Alert app. While I think it’s important to be cautious of phone technology, this app has good ratings when it comes to privacy, and tools that can help guide us more safely through the world right now are welcome. The more people who are using this app, the more effective it can become so I wanted to give it a mention here.

Lastly, here in Halifax, folks at the Turret Art Space are fund-raising here. They are working towards renovating the Khyber Building at 1588 Barrington to bring it back to life as an affordable arts and community hub, and community support is crucial so spread the word if you can. The Khyber Building is one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and it’s meant a lot to the community over the years. It is where the Emergency cut our teeth, performing in the club downstairs and rehearsing and recording in Ultramagnetic Recording (aka The Mullet) where we recorded our first album, Down at the Khyber.

Thanks to you all for tuning in to my musical world now and then, and I look forward to seeing you at a show when I get back on the road after the skies clear on this pandemic.

-Joel

PS: Someone asked me recently who my favourite drummers are. First and foremost – Dave Marsh’s incredible time keeping has kept the Emergency steady for over 20 years. I have also had the joy of rocking many a show on stage with Cliff Gibb and Benn Ross in the Hermit years from the mid- late 90s. Broadening it to the wider realm outside of Halifax and into my record collection, my favourites are John Bonham, Levon Helm, Howard Grimes, and finally Earl Palmer, whose drum fills on Irma Thomas’ “Straight from the Heart” could start and end my day for the rest of time and I’d never complain.

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