MPB @ the Peanut Bar in Grand Forks – 03.09.2000

Written by Dan Hendrickson aka Henry Rifle

Everyone wants to be there on one of those special nights. More to the point, they want to be able to say they were THERE on one of those nights; one of those nights where the band onstage hits a groove and rides it far past the point even the most die-hard fan could have hoped for. I’m happy to say I was there for one of those nights. The Mike Plume Band was the outfit onstage. It was in an unlikely town (Grand Forks, ND) and stage isn’t quite accurate. Picture the most intimate venue you’ve ever visited, cut it in half and fill it up with 100 people, a bar and peanuts (It was The Peanut Bar in the legendary Westward Ho entertainment complex). Read more

Last Thoughts On The Song Called “So Long Stompin’ Tom” (Friday, March 15, 2013)

Last Wednesday evening my brother Chris sent me a text message telling me that Stompin’ Tom had passed away at the age of 77.
The first thing I thought was “Well that’s the end of era…”
But I didn’t realize the impact that his death would have on me.
I didn’t realize the void I’d feel.
Last Thursday morning, after taking Ruby to school, I sat down and wrote a song called “So Long Stompin’ Tom”.
I recorded it Thursday afternoon.
While I was recording it, I started to get the feeling the song was special.
Like there was something about it that I couldn’t put my finger on.
It was certainly having an effect on me.
I contacted my buddy Riss Wiebe to see if he could compile some footage of Stompin’ Tom from Youtube and maybe we could do a little tribute video for him.
Thursday evening, Riss sent me the video.
I watched it.
I watched it again.
And then for a third time.
I loved it.
I loved the song.
I loved the video.
But I wasn’t sure I should release it.
I was concerned with how it would come across.
So slept on it.
At 6AM on Friday morning I watched it 3 more times.
I really liked it.
But still I wrestled with what, if anything, I should do with it 
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A Courier’s Blues (Another Christmas Story Of Sorts)

Jenny and I moved to Toronto in August of 2003.

The day of the Blackout, to be exact.
I remember joking that maybe the city of Toronto didn’t want us to move in.
Like maybe, they figured, if they’d just off turned the lights, we’d roll right on past.

Our first year in Toronto was pretty close to perfect.

I played the odd show.
I started painting.
Life was good.
I hung around.
Went to pubs.
Became a regular.

For the first time in years, I was in one place.

No agent.
No manager.
No nothing.
I couldn’t have been happier.
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In late September it dawned on me that I didn’t have a vehicle for the upcoming
tour which was due to kick off on October 15th in Summerside, PEI.

I looked into renting a van but that was gonna cost me a fortune.
500 bucks a week.
500 free miles a week.
9 weeks.
20 cents a mile after the first 4500 miles.
Then I did the mileage for the entire tour on google maps and discovered that the tour.
Leaving Nashville on October 13 and deadheading to PEI.
Then traveling all the way west to Vancouver and then head east back Ottawa and then down to Nashville by December 14th.
All told, this tour was gonna be a conservative 13,000 miles or 22,000 km.
That meant an additional, give or take, $1700.00 in mileage charges.
That didn’t seem like an option or at least not a very good option.

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I woke up on the morning of October 31st, 2009 in Thunder Bay.
The tour with Corb Lund and Hurtin’ Albertans had finished the night before and for whatever reason I was up early.
The guys in the band were still sleeping off the roaring bender from the night before.
I went out for coffee at the Starbucks in the local Chapters bookstore.
I sat there for a couple of hours.

Just before noon, I made my way back to the hotel.
The guys were slowly coming back to life.
We checked out of the hotel and went for breakfast across the street at the
Boston Pizza.
Steak and eggs.
There really is nothing better.
Ben, Ernie and I all ordered coffee.
Jackson as usual had a pint of Keith’s.

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Looking For You (A Travelogue Of Sorts…)

In June of 2004, Jenny and I were awaiting the impending arrival of Ruby. 
For some reason, I had booked a last minute show in the Distillery District in Toronto.
It was so last minute in fact, that Jenny and I were the only ones there.

No one showed up.
Since we’d moved to Toronto, I’d played a couple of snowy, poorly attended shows at the Cadillac Lounge. 
These gigs seemed to be for no other reason than to remind me just why I didn’t play anymore. 
I didn’t want to play and no one wanted to see me play. 
What’s worse? 
Trust me, not wanting to play is way worse than no one wanting to see you play.
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You Ain’t Living (If You Don’t Die Trying)

(The Three Stages Of Songwriting… ) 

This is a study of how the germ of an idea for a song can happen years before the actual writing of it. 

I wrote this song in 2007 but, the seeds for it were planted back in 1987. 

If you’d have told me in the summer of ’87 that the events that were unfolding would come out twenty years later in a “Talking Blues” style song, I’d have thought you were nuts. 

It’s funny how it took me two decades to collect all the information that was needed for a 2 and a half minute song… 
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The Way I Remember It…Chapter Five

Chapter 5

One day, during lunch, about a week after our second gig, Keith told me that he was leaving the band.

“Leaving the band? Wha’ d’ya mean yer leaving the band? We’re just getting started!”
“Yeah, I know man, but, I just… I’m not sure if I wanna do this anymore…”
“Seriously? What are you gonna do, man…?”
“I don’t know… finish school…”
“What are you gonna do with your gear…?”
“I don’t know, probably sell it, I guess…”
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