No time for sitting around
I just purchased a used treadmill from a lady in Botwood. You can find them for sale online in the classifieds any time after June with the disclaimer, “only six months old” as New Year’s resolutions fizzle out and people need a bit of cash for their summer vacation.
It’s a strange thing if you think about it. You walk and walk like a hamster on your wheel just for the sake of walking on your wheel.
Singer-songwriter-percussive guitarist Daniel Champagne is not spinning his wheels. He’s not hopping on a second-hand treadmill, going nowhere. In fact, he’s been going places on a worldwide tour for quite a while.
In our recent conversation, the Australian nomad told me he has been touring around for 11 years and lived the past four in America. When asked how he manages, given the grueling lifestyle, he said his life is a lot of flying, a lot of driving, a lot of playing and that the playing makes it all worthwhile.
He didn’t plan to tour for years. He just took every opportunity that presented itself. When he started out there were gaps in his schedule, so when gigs came he took them, fearful of more downtime. But as he continued, the gaps stopped and so by saying yes to every gig he wound up on a perpetual tour.
“A little over a year ago I’d never been to N.L.,” he said. “Came to play at N.L. Folk Festival in St. John’s. Came back in winter which was a different experience and now this third time.”
To call a Daniel Champagne performance energetic is like calling the Exploits River a small brook.
When asked to describe it he said, “I’m a singer, songwriter guitar player but the guitar playing has more of an edge in that percussive sort of experimental, open tuning, strings technique style. Two parts to the show. There is a section is softer with strumming or finger picking and then this wild guitar stuff comes up and weaves its way throughout the set.”
Maintaining a rigorous travel schedule requires excellent health and Champagne draws a direct link between body and mind, saying there are no two sides to it. As long as he gets to play, he’s happy in his mind.
The physical side is more difficult.
“Eating bad food can be very easy. But it’s a physical show. For about two hours a day is very physical. It’s almost enough exercise,” he said.
All the travel limits his writing time, but he plans to focus on it soon. He collects ideas and gets information from different people and places but needs to settle down a bit to “hook into a song.”
While Champagne is travelling the world, I’m catching up on episodes of “Anne With an E” (Oh how I bawled when she opened that puffed-sleeved dress box) and rattling along on my hamster wheel. It’s not a bad deal, all in all. It’s better than not moving at all and not all movement is forward now, is it? After all, we’re all moving forward through time even if we have moments of spinning our wheels. And those times when we appear to be going nowhere might be when we create life’s most beautiful music.
As for Champagne, we get a half-dozen shows in this province starting end of the month at The Ship in St. John’s Oct. 26, Gander Golf Club Oct. 27, Citadel House in Lewisporte Oct. 28, Corner Brook 29th, and Port Rexton on the 30th. For information and to buy his two albums visit www.danielchampagnemusic.com/
For the full interview tune in to the Bridges radio program available on podcasts on all major platforms and at https://www.spreaker.com/show/bridges-radios-show