A bright, chilly, sunny Sunday morning, when most active musicians are probably still blissfully unconscious from Saturday night's exertions, and I'm stepping out of my car parked in front of the Queen's in downtown Nanaimo. Sad to see a form huddled asleep under blankets beneath the building overhang and an old guy with his trolley scavenging butts along the sidewalk. But that's the area - a lot of homeless and hopeless people in this gritty area.
With my two guitars, I hustle around the corner, down the China Steps at Lois Lane to the gated doors of the studio where I can see Pam, at the controls since 9:00, and wait to catch her eye. She's already played a couple of songs from my 1997 CD inspirationally titled "Terry Boyle" as part of her "Songwriters' Circle" gig. She's a great promoter of local music.
A wave, and a hug once she unlocks the door and I'm dragging my guitars out to acclimatize them, wondering what format the interview will take. She asks what song I'd like her to play as an intro and I suggest "Rider to the Sea" - not the usual ones from the CD like "Cuckoo" or "Could it be Love". We chat about the song which describes a fishing tragedy and i add a few details to flesh out the story.
Live off the floor I sing "Loop" a new song for the first time. It's about the people who are left behind when a loved one is finally overcome by their demons. "Not every soul has a wish to be saved".
We chat away as "To the Beat of a Drum" plays in the background and i mention a couple of other songs I've written. Pam takes a particular interest in "Young" dedicated to a couple of teens who took their own lives after enduring prolonged bullying on social media. I hadn't intended to sing it but that's where the ball bounced.
To change the dynamic which is becoming a bit too "down" I then do "Life's Too Short", a song about the mad times playing sessions in the pubs of County Clare. I'm also plugging my upcoming gigs with Martin Nolan in March. I've put up posters about our concerts in St. Andrew's Church, Nanaimo and also in Ladysmith's First United Church. She plays a track from Martin's CD of uilleann pipes music.
I can't believe I'm so chatty, almost hyper during the interview. For someone who prefers to play and listen rather than talk, I've more than used up my daily quota of words, as I'm told when i get home. But Pam makes it easy with her relaxed, philosophical style of presentation and interview. She opens the door and provides a mood which invites conversation.
Has it been an hour already? She'd asked for thirty minutes and I feel like I could go on for another hour. She's already invited me back to showcase the new CD or EP which I've said is at the preliminary stages, meaning I still have to record and choose the best of the bunch on my extravagant budget.
We hug, say goodbye and Pam is off into hour three of her Sunday morning. A lady who has just arrived to volunteer asks me where she can get a listen to "Young" again and I direct her to my website, where you are now. Slan go Foill.