In anticipation of Michael Bernard Fitzgerald's record release on March 11th, Michael embarked on a press tour, flying from city to city to promote the album. When Michael asked if I wanted to come along for the Toronto leg, I literally could not hide my excitement.
Fast forward to last week, Matty McKay and I are hopping on an evening flight out of Calgary. We made it to our hotel room at 1:30 am and desperately grasped for a couple hours of sleep before meeting up with Michael and Andrew Ball at six in the morning to perform on Breakfast Television. We got to sit in the live lounge and watch the show on the floor, and got to meet the very lovely Peter Mansbridge, who was also a guest on the show.
One of the key parts of this media tour is an intimate show Michael plays for the media in his hotel room. This is a very cozy ordeal, with people cramming onto the beds and sitting on the floor to get to preview the new songs. While we were waiting around at Breakfast Television, Michael made an impromptu decision to also host an additional show for anyone who emailed him interested in wanting to come. "If we get kicked out, so be it" was the mantra.
It was one of those times where everything just worked out perfectly. The room Michael had at the Fairmont Royal York got upgraded to a top floor suite with plenty of room to hold the 25 people who ended up RSVPing to come. String players Michael and Andrew had just met the night before were available to play not just one but two shows back to back. Nobody got kicked out of their hotel room.
The next day, after getting the morning off, we headed down to the CBC headquarters to play a lunchtime show for the staff. One more radio show, some delicious tacos, and a strange Uber drive back to the airport and we were flying back home.
48 hours in Toronto well spent.
You can preview the album on CBC until March 11th here.