Sunday, February 08, 2009

Open Letter of Thanks to the folks who created "An Evening Without Tom Lips"

Sunday, February 8th, 2009
Dear Friends and Creators of “An Evening Without Tom Lips”

(Alex Vlamis, Anne Hurley, Chris MacLean, Danny Artuso,
David Keeble, Eleanor
Crowder, Gail Anglin, James Stephens,
Jane Keeler, Joel Leblanc, Karen Lahaise,

Linnea Rowlatt, Neville Miller, and Shelley Posen.)

What a difference a week can make! Last Sunday I was
discouraged, depressed, deeply
disappointed, and anxious
about the financial and artistic impacts of abandoning my

long-planned concert at the NAC 4th Stage. Today, thanks
to all of you, I feel not
just relieved, but delighted, satisfied,
and proud to have been associated with you
in this endeavour.
I can honestly say that the sadness I felt at the prospect of

not performing as planned has completely evaporated.
Thank you, thank you, thank

I had a wonderful evening; Achillea Endeavours was rescued
from a big invoice and
raised some funds for Riverglen Farm;
the audience was thoroughly entertained; and
my clear
impression is that, despite all the challenges that you had to
overcome in
a very short space of time, you all enjoyed yourselves
and each other. Kudos to

As Shelley joked, it was (in a nice way) a bit like attending
my own funeral – in
the sense that, ghostlike, I could watch
and listen but could not speak. Meanwhile
people were saying
all kinds of nice things about me, there was music and

conversation, and things were getting done very well without
me calling the shots.
What resulted was a very salubrious blend
of feeling appreciated and realizing that
it was all right for me
to let go for a while. It was what I needed just then.

I enjoyed every song, and I really value the distinctive life and
energy that new
performers brought to each. It is gratifying
to know that these songs can have a
life of their own, and are
not irrevocably chained to my own (currently
vocal cords. You made the songs new for me; I heard them afresh.

What can I say about the band? I always knew that James
and Danny and Alex were
fantastic musicians and wonderful
people to work with; but this time they really
proved their
mettle, adjusting gracefully to key changes, new arrangements,
and the
various curve balls that a multi-performer gig organized
in a very short period of
time will inevitably throw. Thanks, guys.
You are the best.

Finally, thanks to David Keeble and to my dear wife
Linnéa Rowlatt, who on top of
learning and performing several
songs, bore the brunt of organizing the rehearsal
and the sound
check, recreating the set list and most everything else that
doing. Many, many thanks for the energy, thought and
heart you put into this event.

If I had to lose my voice to better appreciate what sheer
generosity and creativity
there is in all of you, it was worth it.
(Of course, now that I appreciate it, I’m
ready to have my
voice back any time... Are you listening, God?)

Sending you silent thanks and all good wishes,


P.S. Have a look at these great photos of the evening,
taken by Jake Morrison:

Tom Lips

Sunday, February 01, 2009

"Plan B" Emerges for Tom's February 7th Benefit Concert

What a month it has been! In mid-January I was struck down by a very tenacious virus that left me with no voice at all. Despite maintaining silence, drinking plenty of fluids, and taking every available remedy, by Monday of this week it became clear that my voice would not recover in time to do any singing on February 7th.

There seemed to be no option but to cancel the concert, write off the several hundred dollars paid for the venue, and literally "suffer in silence." However, when word of my plight got out, a number of my generous and talented musical friends came through to save the day! The concert on February 7th will now be showcasing my songs, as interpreted by a variety of performers from the Ottawa area. It's too early to give you the lineup, but you can be sure it will be a fun evening, and if you are familiar with my music, I think you'll find it intriguing to hear how other artists bring the songs to life in their own way.

I invite and encourage you to come and hear a bunch of great folks do my music on February 7th!

Yours hoarsely,

Tom Lips