Friday, September 4, 2015

five humans, one van.

photo courtesy of Dan Canfield

It's our vinyl release day!  Can you believe it?  My 7" with Blake Berglund is officially out in the world.  You can now hear our take on a couple Zachary Lucky songs on iTunes, and we're off and running on the big Western Canadian tour.  Pretty excited to be out promoting a new release again.  We're in good company too.  Zachary himself released a 7" today, as did my dear friend, Mr. David Newberry.  Please take the time to check out what those fine songwriters are putting out in the world.  (I should mention that I've been digging on Newberry's release for a couple of weeks now, and I can say it is fine.)

We started this run of dates off strong with a sold out show at Village Guitar & Amp Co.  And we spent the day leading up to the show visiting media outlets in Saskatoon including CTV, Global and CJWW.  If you missed those early morning performances, you can see them here and here.  (Keep in mind we had a 5:15 AM wake-up call!)  It couldn't have been a better day or a better show.  Lots of new faces, and so much support from our friends and family.  Our hearts were filled after a big night.

If you're wondering where we're at and when, you can check that out on my shows page.  Or you can follow our tracks on Facebook or Twitter.  I just posted a whack of photos to Facebook that you may enjoy.

Thanks to all of you out there who are supporting us by coming to the shows, and listening to the tunes.  Thanks also to Creative Saskatchewan for their generous support of this tour.  We're out to make you proud.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

full circle

Chris Graham Photography
I think Saskatchewan might be a little sad that the long weekend is over.  It's always bittersweet... such beautiful sunny weather, but there are those little wasps buzzing around your plate of BBQ reminding you that sweet summer is fleeting, and soon will become autumn.

Though if you're blue about that, I think I have something to lift your spirits.  Blake Berglund and I are cooking up lots of activities for the fall.  We've got an announcement of tour dates for September,  the release of our 7" vinyl on September 4th and a new video to enjoy in the meantime.

Blake is putting out our first release from the vinyl to commercial country radio, which is a crazy thing to me.  Everything has come full circle back to me singing "Islands In The Stream" to my dog when I was a toddler.  Country radio is what formed my early understanding of music, and now you can apparently call in to your local country station and say,

"I'd like to hear Blake Berglund and Belle Plaine's song 'Town to Town'."

Will you have to sit on the phone for two hours?  Will you be nervous to hear your voice on air?  Will you be waiting by the radio to record a version through your ghetto box onto a cassette tape?  That, I don't know.

But I sure hope so.

These days are full with tasks, with achievements, and with my deep gratitude for your support.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

don't let summer pass you by

Hi friends,

I'm doing a favourite thing tomorrow: playing a free show outdoors, with fantastic musician friends.

At 6:30 pm in the Regina city plaza, I'll be singing with a five piece band that includes Jeremy Sauer and Elizabeth Curry, who you know and love. Joining them are Bryce Lewis (Telecaster) and Steve Leidal (drums).  I stole them from Blake Berglund's band. And Blake himself will make an appearance, since you're already probably wondering about that. 

It all happens during the evening farmer's market.  It's a magical and fleeting moment in Regina's summer season when it's warm enough to be outside, there are few bugs and you can buy your supper from a man in a hot dog truck if you so desire.  There are lots of things to be thankful for in life, aren't there?

So don't miss it.  Summer will be gone before you know it. 

BB and I will certainly be singing the song below, which was just released to the world through CBC Saskatchewan on Monday.  Have a listen now, marvel at Bryce's skills on the Telecaster, and then come down to see the whole band knock it out of the park tomorrow.  


Thursday, July 23, 2015

catch up

The Ironwood Stage, Calgary; John Duff, Qmax Photography
Hello dear ones,

It's amazing how fast a month flies by.  I've been keeping very busy since the end of the East Coast tour with various adventures.

Five days after I got home from the east, I was tucked into Blake Berglund's tour van on the road to the Calgary Stampede.  As always, the Stampede delivered.  I was surprised, delighted and disgusted... in equal parts.  It's quite the experience.  And I got much better at singing harmonies.  It was a guerrilla-style, crash course approach to finding the third or fifth or whatever damned note sounded decent, but by the end I was nearly Emmylou Harris.  Sonny Rollins once said that one hour on stage is worth 1000 of practice, and I'd say the man was right.

After a rather rigorous schedule of back-up singing, I returned home to prepare with my band for the Festival of Words in Moose Jaw, SK on July 18th.  I shared the stage at the exquisite Mae Wilson Theatre with Miss Megan Nash.  It was a very special night.  Long to be remembered, and a definite highlight of my career.

The Mae Wilson Theatre; via @BlairWoynarski
As always, there's still lots on the go.  Tomorrow I'm headed up to Saskatoon with Elizabeth to play at a fundraiser for The Neural Health Project.  Saturday will see me at The Gateway Festival singing those harmonies alongside Blake Berglund again.

There's so much to come.  Too much to tell you all at once.  So keep in touch, friends.  I love hearing from you.


Monday, June 22, 2015

farewell, sweet isle.

Hello friends,

I've overridden my desire, and departed beautiful Prince Edward Island. Although a soft landing awaited in Pictou County NS, I was reluctant to say goodbye to the new friends I made at the Festival of Small Halls.

The festival is after my heart.  The venues are in rural locations, and allow for a comfortable environment to meet the people who attend. Many venues are churches with extraordinary architecture and acoustics.  Every one of our shows sold out, which is evidence that there is faith in the programming and their audience is willing to take a chance on acts they're unfamiliar with.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity and will sing praises for Small Halls until I'm invited to return.

Being on the island also allowed me to reconnect with friends from Canoe Cove, PE who I met last summer when I was on tour.  I've been adopted by families across Canada, and it has made for a better tour life.  My Canoe Cove kin, JoDee and Mari, have the rare ability to recharge my introvert batteries and give me a taste of home – a flavour which resembles rhubarb pie.

I have one more week on the East Coast until I return to Saskatchewan.  There's still a few new spots to see, including Cape Breton.  We've all grown fond of Maritimes, and are already planning our return.  Looking forward to New Glasgow, Antigonish, Inverness, Guysborough and Halifax!  I'm anxious to sing for you.

Thanks again to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for their funding of the tour.  I'm so proud to be supported by this historic organization.  It's an honour.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

tour tunes

Hello friends,

All is well in the land of lupins, sea breezes and mud flats.  We're halfway through the tour, and today we'll make our way to PEI for the delightful Festival of Small Halls.  I've been keeping uncharacteristically on top of the photo evidence, which you can see hereVery thankful for all the media attention we've been getting, and the good people who have booked us, fed us, provided beds and all the kindnesses that make touring enjoyable.  It's been a fun ride.  We'll be back to see our East Coast friends next year for sure.

Before I got on the amazing aeroplane for Halifax on May 28th, I spent the afternoon with my old friend, Brent Nielson.  I met Brent at CBC Saskatchewan when I started singing around Regina.  Brent keeps himself busy with all kinds of projects: his own band Stillhouse Poets, shooting videos and doing sound at Creative City Centre.  The latter two came together recently in a video series he started called "An Empty Room".  He's been busy doing the videos with a host of wonderful artists, and I'm happy that I got to be one  Give the video a watch, and see what great work he does.

And the song is about touring! How appropriate for the times.

Lotsa love from the East Coast.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


It's about time that this was shared on my webpage.

I love this video.  The way her mouth goes all sideways.  The straightforward way she sings.  The way her and Dave Barbour share glances.  His solo.  Her dress.

It's perfection, really.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

crustacean elation, commence.

The seldom seen, 5 am version of me.
The last three months has been an intense time for my team.  All of the required planning to get us out on tour has been the shared focus of our efforts and now, today(!), we're starting the work of travel and entertaining.

Thank goodness.

This is a big one.  22 dates across the Maritimes.  We'll be meeting the locals in three provinces and developing an audience the same way that we've done in Western Canada over the past five years.  It's exciting.

I've put a special emphasis on connecting with groups that have cultivated arts scenes in their community, acting as a hub for artists of various disciplines.  I intend to share as much of their successes as I can here.  Our dates in Parrsboro, Fredericton, New Glasgow, St Andrews and Inverness are exceptional examples of people enthusiastically bringing culture to their community.

But before we get knee deep in tour news over the next few weeks, please check out this little interview that I did with the extremely charming Paul Dechene at prairie dog.  If you've never heard the way I flit through partial sentences and half thoughts... this podcast will give you all you need and then some.


Friday, May 22, 2015

countdown to crustacean elation

Hi there,

After a wee (unintentional) break from the blog, I'd like to tell you a bit of news.  I've been busy here at Belle Plaine Corp.  I'm putting days in at the computer.  Dialing phone numbers.  Making it happen.

"Making what happen?" you ask.

Well friends, my trustworthy bandmates and I are hitting the East Coast in a week.  I'm thrilled about it.  We've put a lot of time into planning this baby, and in the end, we've come up with 20+ dates that have us singing songs all over Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick.  You can see the tour dates here.  We're playing everything from halls to art galleries to soft-seat theatres to B & Bs.  You got an audience?  We got a concert.  We're set on getting the word out.  Speaking of which, would you do me a favour?  Tell your friends, aunts, East Coast pen-pals... anyone.  I want to meet them all.

Another massive thank you to the Saskatchewan Arts Board for their support of this tour.  We certainly would not be able to take on such an ambitious project without them.  I. am. grateful.  Without the Arts Board, I just don't know what I'd do. 

Hey, on that note, here's something I really want you to know.  My community lost a wonderful woman in February: the unequivocal Michele Sereda.  The last time I saw her was a warm and vibrant exchange, as they always were.  That day, Elizabeth and I were puzzling over how we could connect with an audience on the East Coast, and Michele encouraged us to take our project to the Arts Board.  Without her guidance, we would have never done so.  This tour is in thanks, remembrance and celebration of her.

And I want you to know about the delightful poster that I built.  It was reliant on the contributions of three talented artists.  Carey Shaw on photography, Terri Fidelak on illustrations and Brianna Coffin on graphic design.  This is a favourite of mine.  Praise be to visual artists!!!  You can see the full version here.  Even download it, if you like.

Please send well wishes, must-see eastern sights and musings to


p.s. if you're thinking, "Why didn't she tell me about this sooner?" I highly recommend signing up for the newsletter.  On the first of the month, you'll get all the straight dope about what I have planned.

Sunday, April 19, 2015


I went to my first ever bootcamp this weekend. Two great humans, Vel and Liam, from Coalition Music came out from Toronto and did their 10 week Artist Entrepreneur course in two days. It was intense, and fantastic. I'm honored to have been among the artists that were selected.

I'm so grateful to SaskMusic and Creative Saskatchewan for bringing the program out, and making it possible for me to attend. After the two days, I feel better informed, better supported in my career and even more connected to my community of musicians in the province.

And honestly, running a business based on creativity can be a hard slog. A weekend like this allowed me to see the good work of my peers, and that goes a long way.

As for the picture above, I didn't meet an artist manager, but after Blake drew this face on my snack, I began privately referring to it as my bananager. Not sure how my personal assistant, Siri, will react to this new team member, but we'll all just endeavor to get along.

Take some time to check out the other artists that I spent the weekend with:
Amy Nelson
Blake Berglund
Del Suelo
Eric Taylor
Judith Morrissey
Keiffer Mclean & The Curiousity Club
Nick Faye & The Deputies
The Pistolwhips
Rebecca Lascue
We Were Lovers