Being able to focus on music, even if just for a short amount of time, had always been cloud talk. While we both enjoy teaching, we wanted to know what it would feel like to be “full-time” musicians. We put so much of our energy into teaching that it was sometimes difficult to “be in the moment” at shows because our minds were often still in the classroom. It seemed like an impossible and quite scary idea to leave our full-time teaching jobs halfway through the year, not have a guaranteed paycheck for seven months, and still pay the mortgage, a car loan, bills, and buy groceries. The idea of taking a leave came up many times in conversation for a few years and we still have multiple budget sketches to prove it, but we always came to the conclusion that we could not afford it… until that one time. We’re not sure exactly what it was that turned impossible to possible. Perhaps it was the inspiration from friends and colleagues who did something “out of the box” or maybe we found an error in one of our budget sketches, but one day we made a goal to save for year, take a leave, and focus entirely on music.
It is interesting to look back – what once seemed so difficult (budgeting and saving) seems so easy now. We have absolutely no regrets about taking this leave and it was one of the most liberating things we have done. We were able to play 55 shows in Ontario and Atlantic Canada (thanks to our agents Terry Hart & Christian Gallant), meet a whole bunch of incredible people, write 8 songs (new record perhaps?), travel the country, and experience it all together. There were so many highlights including performing at the Jack Richardson Music Awards, playing five shows in PEI’s Festival of Small Halls, returning to Home County Music & Art Festival and Back To The Garden Roots Music Festival, and being honoured with CHRW 94.9’s Local Juried Album of the Year Award, the JRMA for best Folk group, and the regional top 10 in CBC’s Searchlight Competition.
We hope to inspire others to take a break from their norm or take a risk to do something that seems impossible. This is certainly not the end for us, but instead a new beginning. We will return to teaching with fresh minds, a renewed energy and passion, and we will continue to conquer the music world as “weekend warriors.”