So, a lot has happened, and you need to know, in order to get what’s been going on over here in the Corbett Inc. saltmine.
When I put out the last record, which is partly the subject of this website, I toured it off and on for the better part of a couple years. It was frantic: Folk-Fest-offered, record done, booking, 2 months on a train to BC and back, drive to BC and back, trip around Ontario, trip to Newfoundland, back to Ontario, it was relentless, fun, tiring, an amazing privilege.
That tour ended, the day I and some friends found a dead teenager floating in a river in Thunder Bay.
(He was a 15 year old named Jordan Wabasse, who had left his town, Webequie First Nation, to go to school in Thunder Bay. He was a hockey player, an artist, a boyfriend, a shy kid. I found out that thousands of Aboriginal kids do this every year: go live in boarding houses 600 clicks away from everything and everyone they know, in a foreign culture, because their schools aren’t funded past grade nine at home. Sometimes they want to, because they dream of life’s possibilities. Sometimes they are reluctantly pushed, because ‘go do something with your life’. It boggles any mind, the weight they must feel.)
For almost a year, I didn’t write. I wasn’t interested in playing. I hated this country, for not giving Native kids the same shake I had. For apologizing out of one side of the mouth to their parents for ruining their lives in residential schools, while simultaneously upholding all the trappings of official colonialism and racism.
This past February, I knew I had to shake that negative inertia off. I jumpstarted myself with a writing project, through February Album Writing Month (FAWM.org), which is a website where songwriters hang, and everyone tries to write 14 songs during the month of February. I got it done! Not all keepers, mind you, but first drafts. Some of them will make it into shows, onto records, some may not, but just needed to be written out, and thereby shut up in my head.
I had a deadline, see.
I’m gonna do another Home Routes house concert tour next March, through northern Alberta and Saskatchewan. It’ll be long past time for a new record by then, and people have been asking for a ‘Live’ record for 3 years, so I need to have it done by then, which means preferably ready to go by Xmas, which means sooner rather than later. So I’m booking a tour across Ontario for August, and recording ‘Live in Orillia’ at a show some friends are hosting for me there. I’ll drive out to Thunder Bay, where we found Jordan, and lay it all to rest. Visit Manitoulin Island, Owen Sound, Prince Edward County, do some camping. I can’t wait.
Then it’s album production, and start booking for next year. I’m gonna release two records, the live one and a new studio project, produced by my friend Lewis Melville, in Guelph. And tour like crazy. Because I can, because I must, because I promised Jordan.