Truth Be Told

Updated: Jun 27, 2019

Truth be told, when I headed back towards Alberta after this little tour, I felt like I was leaving home to go back home. Maybe the truth is that home is wherever your friends are. I'm lucky enough to have friends sprinkled all across this land. I follow them like breadcrumbs. They help me find my way.


After my marriage broke up, I left BC and spent the last seven years trying to carve out a new identity as a nurse in my hometown of High River, Alberta. In so doing i discovered capacities I didn't know I had. I also discovered limitations which I struggle with daily. I have a lot to learn and a lot to prove in this new role. I've had less time and less inclination to play music - and absolutely no interest in seeking out gigs. But I do miss it.


I had a two week holiday from my "real job" and wanted to visit the places and people that meant so much much to me in the past. Vancouver, Ashcroft and Brackendale - these were places where I honed my craft and found appreciative ears. I asked Angela Harris and Taylor James to join me and the shows just fell into place. Both of these ladies have recorded my songs on their own CDs, and I thought it would be fun to hear us all together. Their enthusiasm gave me courage, and the "Truth Be Told" tour was born.


When my old bandmates John MacArthur Ellis, Eric Reed and Stew Grant heard about it, they wanted in. These boys played and/or produced on records and shows for all of us. So it was a reunion of sorts, and all of us were delighted to be in each other's company again.


I worried that after such a long absence that my friends would find my performance lacking. It's a fact I'm not as polished as I once was. You need to play a lot to get really, really good. So I practiced. It was good to have something to practice FOR. But when I found myself surrounded by my old friends making music, perfection didn't matter any more. It was pure joy just to be with people who accept and appreciate me no matter where I'm at.


Since I left the music business, I've struggled with what to do about the songs that still bubble up inside me. I already know I must write songs to maintain my sanity - but is it worth the effort to keep trying to share them? Judging by the reactions me, Angela Harris and Taylor James received over the past few shows - well, I guess it is. People travelled from all over BC to catch these shows. Some came twice.


Finding a way to balance my job in health care and my creative work will continue to be a struggle. However, to write, I must have something to write about, and the work I do for Alberta Health provides both financial security and the opportunity to contribute in a meaningful way. This effort feeds the muse, who responds by sending me songs. As long as they keep coming, I guess I will keep sharing them. Thanks for listening.




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LESLIE ALEXANDER

WRITER, MUSICIAN & NURSE.

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