Re-rockin’ the 902: Lord take me downtown, I’m just lookin’ for some ush.

IMG_0890Ushering in a new chapter in my life. First, though, a side trip. Sydney is effectively the “capitol” of Cape Breton, and where people go when they need to “go to the city.” Also the home of the World’s Largest Fiddle, at the Joan Harriss Cruise Pavilion where I will conclude my ush duties next Saturday.

IMG_0891I made a mid-morning trip to the Cape Breton Farmers’ Market in Sydney, which is really cool. it’s one of the most well-run farmers’ markets I’ve ever seen. Nova Scotia is big on farmers’ markets, and Cape Breton has at least three that run all year round.

Being the health-conscious soul that I am, I bought some fresh organic produce. And then I couldn’t resist: I bought a jar of home-made chow chow. I told the young woman at the table that I had just bought an extra-large jar of the store-bought variety to bring home. She mock-rolled her eyes and sighed, and said that hers is from her grandma’s recipe and is much, much better. A day or so later, I can verify that she is right.


I was quite proud of myself for the healthy and frugal dietary choices I’ve been making on this trip. So, of course, that called for a celebratory lunch stop – – – at Lick-A-Chick. I had the Finger Dinner. Write your own joke here.


Back to St. Ann’s Motel, took a quick nap, then off to the Wagmatcook Community Center to ush. Wagmatcook is one of four Mi’kmaq First Nations communities around Bras D’or Lake, in the heart of Cape Breton. They have a very fancy community center that is used extensively by the Mi’kmaq and the community at large. I went less dapper this evening.

Image from

Mairi Rankin (of The Rankin Family and The Outside Track) and a couple of former bandmates performed a reunion set. The headlining group, The Tee Totalers, finished off the show. And right in the middle came one of the best finds of the Festival so far: a Winnipeg band called Dry Bones. These guys stole the show despite being remarkably bereft of stereotypical Celtic-ness. Neither of these clips are from that night, but you’ll get the idea.

“Loanshark Blues.”

“Cocaine.” Get a load of the hamboning.

These guys will be big. Remember where you heard of them first. You’re welcome.

Left the ushering gig and tried to get into the Festival Club at around midnight. No go. The parking lot was full to overflowing, and I could see a long line of concertgoers stretched out and waiting to get in. So a (relatively) early night for your humble correspondent.

2 Comments on “Re-rockin’ the 902: Lord take me downtown, I’m just lookin’ for some ush.”

  1. […] Bones. I saw them play a small venue last Saturday and they brought down the […]

  2. […] dude who can work Lick-A-Chick into a rap is good in my […]

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