Voyages from the Left Coast – CD


Over 60 soul-filled minutes of wonderful music picks up where ‘Sweet Compulsion’ left off.

The vast majority of my actual voyaging is typical muso-travel: pounding down highways and trudging through airports in search of audience. I have managed some more exotic and romantic destinations over the years and look forward to ever-broadening horizons. Whenever I sit down at a piano, some kind of voyage takes place. It could be a walk in the neighbourhood, comforting & familiar; it could be as mundane as a bus ride, or joyous and exotic. Sometimes an idea compels me to the piano, other times the horizon is empty until I set off. It takes me within & without, to places I’ve never been and to people I long to see. May it do the same for you…



Pont des Arts

When pressed I have been known to don the squeezebox or stomach Steinway, but I’ve never found a beret that fit. You’ll have to imagine both in this tune, somewhat more left bank than left coast.


I was desperate to find a piano for a family reunion at Haultain house in Victoria.  I landed a big behemoth from Chicago with a 1920’s special “mandolin pedal”- its strange hammer-dulcimer effect inspired this piece. One day I’ll record the KING itself.

Hymn in D

I’ve heard it said that G is the people’s key and D is god’s key. We’ll leave D minor to Nigel. This is both for the 18th note from the left edge and a few recent departures who share initial.

Cody’s Lament

An imagined character, but doubtless there were many like him – a casualty of the American civil war, his Irish spirit lamenting the pointless promise of the new world.

Whaletown Waltz

First performed at the Whaletown Hall on Cortez Island. The piano lives in a little heated box to keep the moss and mushrooms down. It’s the only hall I know were the roof is held up by turnbuckles. How salty!

Desolation Sound

This is an uncharted voyage. It seems I ran into an unexpected dark squall in this otherwise beautiful place.


I stumbled on this while looking through my library. A little side trip, always a good idea.

Blue Georgia Strait

I sketched this out after working on arrangements for an album project. It’s a tribute to the now departed master who started life in that other Georgia: Ray Charles.

Miss Irma

And don’t we just… The Queen of cotton stared out in Tignish, PEI, and returned there finally in July 2004. In between she charmed and mystified many – it often seemed she knew the entire population of Canada and beyond. This ain’t her beloved New Orleans but it’s for her nonetheless.


I don’t mean to pretend that I’m a sailor, but it is in my blood. Years ago I did actually sail up this channel, running before the wind on a sparkling summer day. There’s an inkling of that feeling in this piece.


Another voyage to un-visited territory, this time somewhere near the Bosporus. Jefferey Eugenides paints a beautiful picture of it in “Middlesex” but to get there we’d have to travel in time as well as space. Pity. You could always read his book…


I used this piece in a documentary about a naked protest called, oddly enough, ”Naked”. In amongst the shenanigans of nude cyclists and anti-fur protesters was an incredibly moving scene with a dragon boat team of breast cancer survivors. Their group is called Sistership and this is for them.