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The Latest From Joal

2017 European Tour Update

Jan 23, 2017

Howdy folks! We’re safe and sound in the Netherlands now and officially kicked off our 2017 European Tour last night with an intimate House Concert performance in Hoorn, NLD. What a fantastic audience it was! They were very receptive and attentive to the stories and songs we shared together. Oh yeah! Lauren and I will be performing the entire tour as a duo – something we’re very excited about. We have some more news along these lines to share later on this year, so keep your eyes peeled for more updates and make sure to sign up for our Artist Newsletter as this will be our first means of announcing extra special updates. More tour dates are being added, so we’re looking at around 25+ performances for this tour.

For now we’re settling into the Dutch way of life and still adjusting to jet lag. We’ll be working on a bunch of new material between performances and are looking forward to share some new songs throughout the tour. If you have any specific song ideas, feel free to drop us a line! Well, it’s “koffie” time here – a very important part of Dutch culture, so we best be off to take part. Sending all our love and thoughts back home. 🙂

– Joal, Lauren & Luna

So Much for Slowing Down

Oct 17, 2016

It’s official, baby Kamps has arrived! I’m now a father to a precious daughter named “Luna Mae Aafje Kamps“. Luna was welcomed into the family on October 7th and 4:11 AM. She weighed 8 lbs and 4 oz, and was 53 cm long! I can hardly believe Lauren was able to keep all that tucked away somewhere. Mommy and baby are doing well and we are all adjusting to this new and exciting change. I’m doing pretty good as well, just trying to balance being a relatively sleepless spouse, father, musician, and songwriter – but it’s all good. I’m up for the challenge.

Other exciting news is that we’re already fielding various festivals confirmations for next year – this is a really great feeling. If there are festivals that you think we should perform at, please let us know. Lauren and I are also super stoked to showcase some new material to audiences and hope to have a new record out for next summer. We are also working on plans to tour Europe again at the start of 2017, though some plans may be altered due to Luna joining us – extra diaper bags are going to be a must.

Yet another bit of news is this: Porch Swing Entertainment and Sojourner Music have merged businesses and I am now working alongside Laurie Brown and Stephanie Bakker-Hopf as an Artist Mentor & Music Career Coach. Laurie and I first discussed this idea back in 2013 so these plans have been in the works for a while now, and it’s great to finally be able to share them with the world. If you know of emerging artists or bands wanting to take their careers to the next level, please send them my way!

Lastly, a couple of months ago Lauren and I had the pleasure of performing at Sofar Sounds Calgary, where we were able to shoot a live performance of “From The Start” one calm August evening. We hope you enjoy!

Entering A New Season

Sep 30, 2016

The leaves are beginning to display that old familiar rusted hue and the mountain air is getting crisper by the day. The fall is now upon us and we’ve started reflecting on this past touring season, where we had a great time meeting new folks and making some great friendships along the way. Most recently we had the pleasure of performing several pre-fall festivals throughout Alberta and British Columbia, and they were such a wonderful way to wrap up the busy summer season. Now we hunker down for some songwriting, grant writing, and tour planning for the coming year. The life of a musician never really slows down.

Lauren and I have been running pretty much full steam ahead for the past couple of months and it feels like there’s no end in sight. We moved into our first home last week and now we are eagerly expecting the arrival of our first child (due date Oct 2), and we are really looking forward to meeting him/her (as it’ll be an extra surprise for us). We are also curious to see how our lives will change with the addition of the wee babe, and what touring might look like for us in 2017…

I’m also pleased to announce that The Prophets of Music Society have invited me to participate as an official Artist Mentor for their inaugural Emerging Artist Program, where I will be offering private artist development and management consultation to other artists and bands in western Canada.

In other news, we only have a couple of concerts left before we take some time off to adjust to parenthood, so if you want to see us perform before the new year, now is your chance. We’ve also got some other top secret news coming down the pipe in the next couple of months, so please make sure to sign up for our Artist Newsletter as this will be our first means of announcing extra special updates. Okay, time for soup. Ciao ciao!

Music Video, Summer Schedule & Festivals

Jul 10, 2016

My goodness this past month flew by! We’ve been touring all over Alberta and officially hit the 200,000km mark on our current touring vehicle. There sure are a LOT of km’s to cover as touring musicians in Canada… Hopefully she keeps running for a good while yet, cause we have some big tour distances coming up in the next several months.

Besides performing at various summer festivals and showcases during the Calgary Stampede, we’ve been attending family reunions and other personal commitments including my parent’s 40th anniversary, which was a real inspiration to us. Lauren and I are thankful to be so busy, but we’re also trying to find time for ourselves. It can be hard to maintain a balance for sure as many of you know – the artist lifestyle is often feast or famine. Still, it’s been an uplifting time for us as we’ve received some very kindly worded emails of encouragement and support. THANK YOU to those of you who took the time to reach out. We were moved by your words.

In other exciting news, we just received our Chapel Sessions video from the amazing folks at Canada’s Music Incubator and we are eager to share it with you all. We were so blown away by the genuine encouragement we received while attending CMI’s Artist Entrepreneur Program this spring, and would highly recommend it to any musicians out there who want to make a full-time career with their art. Go for it!

Home Sweet Home

Jun 9, 2016

Another international tour complete! This past month we toured throughout the Netherlands in support of our most recent release “Heads Is East, Tail Is West” (which sold out), performing 25 concerts in 8 different provinces. Needless to say, we covered a lot of ground the past seven weeks in Holland. Each time we return to Europe we feel a little more at home, and with all of the wonderful people we’ve met along the way, it becomes increasingly familiar and harder to leave.

Lauren is in her 6th month of pregnancy now, and I am very proud of her resolve and determination to tour as a soon-to-be mother. We’re very excited to see how our baby is growing and it recently began waking up Lauren with little movements. Her least favourite is the inner rib-kick. It also seems to respond to Lauren’s ukulele playing, so perhaps we will have a little musician on our hands… Fingers crossed.

We’re also excited to share that we’ll be performing at a number of festivals throughout western Canada this summer. All our dates are listed and continue to be updated, so feel free to browse them at your leisure and keep checking back for updates.

European Tour & Updates

May 2, 2016

Our spring tour has begun and we’ve been traveling through The Netherlands for the past couple of weeks, performing seven concerts so far with plenty more to go. The folks we’ve already met on this tour have been really encouraging and supportive of our new pseudo-duo direction as well, and we’ve already been invited back to perform again later this year or the next. Oh, the coffee or “koffie” is also delicious and plentiful here. It’s like a magical fantasy land that’s literally below the sea. We love Holland.

We’ve really been enjoying the spring scenery here too, as there are sooo many flowers blooming just about everywhere. So far my hay fever hasn’t been much of an issue either, which I am grateful for, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for the coming weeks. Lauren is also feeling much better considering the new traveler she’s packing around everywhere – and yes, incase you didn’t get the memo yet:

We are having a BABY!!!

In other awesome news: we were recently selected for The Campfire Sessions. It’s an incredible initiative launched by two Dutchies heading to Canada this summer to film 10 world-class performing artists in the midst of the majestic rocky mountains. We are super excited to start promoting this endeavour, so please keep your eyes open for future updates via social media and our newsletter.

Embarking On New Adventures

Apr 4, 2016

We’re wrapping up our final week in Toronto after experiencing all that is the amazing Artist Entrepreneur Program. It’s been a whirlwind and a half and I’d like to think we’ve emerged as victorious in the sense that we’ve managed to maintain most of our sanity through it all. There has been sooo much incredible information shared over the past 10 weeks, and we have so many people to thank for it.

Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to Canada’s Music Incubator staff Vel, Sean, Jesse, and Ryan for all of their efforts in making the AE Program such a positive experience for us. We also want to further thank all of the workshop and session presenters, and Coalition Music’s Rob, Eric, and all the other wonderful staff and interns for their insights and encouragment. A big thanks also goes out to our dear friend Kevin, who recently took care of Lauren during an on-stage bout of ‘unpleasantries’. It takes a really good man to do so.

We have a final wrap-up showcase at The Rivoli this Friday, and are really excited to put into practice all that we learned while in the AE Program. Our time in Toronto has been truly life changing and we are excited for the remainder of this year and hope to share our joys with you along the way. Thank you for keeping tabs on us. We hope to share some exciting news with you in the coming weeks and months – including more details on our VIA Rail’s Artists On Board journey and European Tour through the Netherlands this spring. Stoked!

The Excitement Continues

Mar 2, 2016

Yes, the excitement does continue! We’ve been getting some pretty Alberta-like winter weather these last couple weeks and now both Lauren and I are feeling quite rundown and sick with totally different ailments… Ugh. But when life gets us down, we have green tea and tylenol to keep us going. Plus, it’s not every day that Canada’s Music Incubator (CMI) invites you to Toronto for 10-weeks… So we try and remain optimistic and thankful.

We’re nearing the halfway point of the Artist Entrepreneur Program and it’s been such an incredible experience so far! Much of the music industry business remains cryptic for many Artists, so the chance to partake in this program has been such an eyeopener for us. Every day CMI staff continue to unpack invaluable information and insight into the inner workings of sustainable Canadian music careers and it only gets us more fired up. We’re here to learn and we’re hungry for knowledge!

As some of you may have noticed, our touring scheduled is filling up rather quickly these days. Starting March 5th we’ve managed to land 4 performances while we’re in Toronto, so if you have friends or family in the GTA, please send them our way! We’d be more than happy to make their acquaintance.

Finally, Lauren and I recently entered Yamaha’s Keys To The Junos contest with the short video clip below. It was a fun experience to record ourselves and share a little of what we’re working on for future tours and festival performances. So far the feedback has been great. We hope you enjoy!

The Start of Something Exciting

Feb 3, 2016

Okay, wow. I am practically speechless – and for those of you who know me well, I bet you’re laughing because that doesn’t happen often. If ever. Now, it’s only been two days in the Artist Entrepreneur Program and they’ve got me hook, line, and sinker. This is such an amazing opportunity to be a part of, and Lauren and I are really excited to see how much we learn from this experience and grow through the process. The folks at Canada’s Music Incubator are an incredible team of knowledgable, encouraging, and supportive people, and there is a constant buzz of creativity emanating from every corner of the Coalition Music building. It’s like a taste of heaven.

We are currently set up at the Coalition Music apartment across the way on Lawrence Ave E, and the proximity of things here is astounding. To get to the AE Program? 2 minutes. Need groceries? 3 minutes. A $6 haircut? 1 minute. Shawarma? They’ve got us covered at just under 2.5 minutes. Craving some fried chicken? (Drumroll please) … 30 SECONDS – and that’s THREE different options! I slightly worry that upon our program completion, I may have put on a ‘winter layer’…

In other news: we will be touring the Netherlands again this spring! Lauren and I are really looking forward to seeing some familiar Dutchies and making new friends. Check out our tour schedule and let us know if you’ll be in or around any of our current dates. Lauren is adding dates daily, so keep checking back – and be sure to let us know if you want us to hit YOUR home. Doei! (Bye!)

Going to Toronto for 10-weeks!

Jan 5, 2016

Alright! The New Year is here and we’ve got some very exciting news to share: we’ve been selected to participate in the 2016 Artist Entrepreneur Program presented by Canada’s Music Incubator in partnership with Coalition Music. This opportunity will see us venture off to Toronto, ON for 10-weeks of business development through various workshops, mentoring, and networking.

Starting February 2nd we will be out east developing our craft and career, and we are super excited to get started. If this wasn’t cool enough news, we also learned that we were awarded a Bell Media Prize to help cover the costs of this amazing opportunity: program fee, accommodations, and one-way flights. Talk about a wonderful surprise Christmas present!

Over the coming months we hope to accomplish a lot of new songwriting, co-writing, and exploring while we’re in the capital. The added bonus is that we can finally catch up with our friends and family in the region! Lauren and I are very excited to see what this year has to hold for us and we’re so thankful for all of the amazing support that you folks have provided us with. Thank YOU for all the ways you encourage and support us. We are truly grateful.