011003 Don Ross, Ottawa, ON

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I recently came across a sheet of tickets that I had printed for a Don Ross concert at Carleton University on January 10th, 2003.  I had completely forgotten about this concert and a little research has proved this to be a bit of a pattern, as I had also forgotten that I had booked Don and Bob Wiseman together in the same room twice before.  I remember the first time – or was it the second time? – and I guess my brain conflated the two performances.

Now, when we add the show I booked that paired Don Ross with Oliver Schroer we are then up to four.  Four times I booked Don Ross into the Alumni Theatre at Carleton University, all within a three year span.  Heck, with my spotty memory it’s possible I was Ross’s main booking agent.  Perhaps this was part of a weekly residency that has wholly slipped my mind?  Ah, one can only imagine!  

However, I can report with some semblance of accuracy that this show had no opening act and not only that, Don brought a whole band with him.  I guess my successful booking campaign was helping the solo artist make enough touring dollars to think he could afford to bring a band along with him.  And while the idea was certainly a folly it was nice to hear some variety in Don’s presentation.  

He still told the same old stories between songs and could still wow the heck out of anyone in the room – especially the budding guitar players, of which there were surely many – but these displays of phosphor bronze fretboard flurries were tempered and tamped down by the proletariat band members that huddled around him, leaving somewhat limited space for Ross’s guitar playing to shimmer and shine.  But you gotta give the guy some credit for branching out beyond his fan’s expectations.  No way he’s going to get on the radio playing solo acoustic instrumentals.

That said, if memory serves (and we’ll say it does until I find another scrap of hard evidence to the contrary) this was my final business arrangement with Don Ross aside from paying a $5 cover to see him play in a small cafe on the Quebec side about fifteen years later (where he was still telling the same stories, and was back to playing solo of course).  Which I suppose is an indication that I was tiring of his brilliance or at least that I was detecting a waning interest among the local paying audience.

Or perhaps I’m forgetting a dozen other Don Ross concerts that I promoted.  Could be we were roommates.  Come to think of it, maybe there’s a reason why you never see me and Don Ross in the same room at the same time…

(Curious…I see that Bob Wiseman was in town playing at a weird venue with a band of his own the very next night.  Why then did I not have them play together for a third time?  Perhaps Bob was already booked into Bumpers?  Perhaps I didn’t want to risk a threepeat?  I don’t know.  But it does seem rather coincidental that the two shows were on consecutive days.)

(Incidentally – despite the quality of my Nikon D3200 DSLR camera- the sheet of tickets is printed on green paper.  Why it doesn’t appear green in the photos is beyond me.  Clearly it’s beyond my Nikon D3200 as well.)

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