Category Archives: Tours

There Is A New Performance Artist In Town

Dear Matthew Stein
Read your inspirational email and thought I could make you a promise too.

I promise to continue avoiding Sonic Bids. I lost interest in Sonic Bids years ago for a few reasons – the biggest one is the fact that many Music Festivals now reject packages from artists unless those artists spend money on Sonic Bids as a gate-keeper. Kind of stinks to cement a system where people at the bottom of the ladder have to keep bleeding, ensuring a filtered list of who can be “discovered” based on who can pay.

I would be more excited if you wrote to confess you realized your efforts have led to unnecessary classism and you decided to abandon it. Shit Matt, I might have considered befriending you on Facebook.

Thanks and good luck


On 2013-07-30, at 5:50 AM, Matthew Stein wrote:

Hi Bob,

I’m writing to you specifically to tell you about some new Sonicbids improvements. Our most popular email is The Daily Gig Guide. You can see a sample there. This email highlights shows and opportunities, in a variety of genres and regions across the world.

But, that’s not the important part.

The important part is what we have done to improve it. We now only send you an alert about the gigs you want to receive. We segment these gigs into 16 different genres, and 11 regions across the world.

Our awesome promoter team has doubled the number of open gigs we have. That’s right, compared to last year, we now have two times as many open gigs at any time. We need bands and musicians LIKE YOU to play these shows. There have never been more opportunities available for bands and musicians than right now. We’re doing our best to bring them to you, so you can do what you do best, delight your fans.

Here’s what we need you to do today: Tell us which gigs you want to hear about. It takes less than 1 minute to update your preferences, and we’ll only email you with relevant offers and gigs.

Please update your preferences Today.

Here’s a promise from me: We will continue improving our emails and better tailor then to what you are looking for. This is the first step towards helping your musical career.

Thanks and good luck,

-Matthew Stein

You Don’t Play The Piano Very Good,

When I was a teenager I knew a woman named Beryl Cohen, she had been to the Winnipeg Folk Festival but I never had. Winnipeg was famous for a few things and in the 70s the Folk Festival was the top of the mountain, maybe that’s why I didn’t go.


Like when I moved to Toronto and Keith Jarrett was actually going to play in the city I was living in, was going to breath air as the air I would be breathing (at the same time relatively) but I didn’t go to the concert because suddenly I felt like I had that Peggy Lee epiphany.

The upstairs activity room at the YMHA on Hargrave at noon had a bunch of young Kuropatwa’s buzzing around doing something or other when Beryl Cohen turned to me  “Bobby you’ve never been to the Folk Fest? Really? You should play it. You really should. You should make Mitch a cassette.”

Mitch = Mitch Podolak. He ran the festival at 222 Osbourne. I made a cassette of blues, boogie and a version by ear of Blue Rondo a La Turk. In the morning I went into the office, a secretary asked me what I wanted and I explained myself. Then she said leave the cassette with her and come back at 2pm.

I came back at 2 and there was a businessman sitting in the waiting area. He wore a suit and had a briefcase. I think the finger tapping meant he had a sale on his mind. Mitch opened the door to his office and the suit stood up with an outreached hand, Mitch automatically shook his hand and started to lead him into his office and then noticed I was in the waiting room too.  “Waitasec. Come here.” He said and motioned to the business guy to return to his chair while whisking me into his office.

“Sit down” he said pointing at the extra chair as he took his own seat.

He pointed at the cassette and seemed annoyed.                                                                            “This is you?” he asked.

“Yes it’s me.”

“You don’t play piano very good…You Fucking Play The Piano Man! You live here?.. in Winnipeg?”


He hired me to play a piano workshop along with Lori Conger of the Parachute Club and Adrienne Torf who accompanied Holy Near.

Lori and Adrienne asked me after where I came from and why I lived in Winnipeg. One of them said “You could do what I do.”

Really? I could tour the world playing piano in a band? No way.