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Twillingate musician hitting both coasts on latest music tour

Twillingate’s Mike Sixonate is heading out on a pair of tours with Home Routes later this month. CONTRBUTED
Twillingate’s Mike Sixonate is heading out on a pair of tours with Home Routes later this month. CONTRBUTED

Mike Sixonate pauses for a second before answering.

Preparing to hit the road for a month’s worth of shows, the Twillingate-based musician is trying to come up with a list of tour essentials

It isn’t long before he offers his must-haves: A roll of toilet paper, bottles of water — and a giant bag of toothbrushes.

“They always seem to get left behind, at least I always leave them behind,” said Sixonate. “I always end up spending a fortune on toothbrushes.”

His practical list also includes extra guitar strings, cables, a tool kit and a battery pack for a cellphone charger.

When it comes to navigation, Sixonate prefers an old-fashioned paper map.

“Everything is good with GPS and a cellphone, but nothing beats a good, old-fashioned paper map,” he said. “When you’re driving through a new town, it is a lot easier having a paper map opened up on your passenger seat to glance at than it is to fumble around with a cell phone.”

Recently it was announced Sixonate take part in a pair of tours with Home Routes, a Canadian concert series that puts artists into unique venues across the country.

Entering its 13th season, Home Routes has tour swings in Alberta, Manitoba, the Yukon, Northwest Territories and other provinces.

Each one will put artists into home venues and other unique stages.

Sixonate will leave with Glovertown's Bruce Boehler on Jan. 28 for a two-week run with stops across Newfoundland. Together, the pair will hit Burgeo, Glovertown, Twillingate, Bonne Bay, St. John’s, Lewisporte, Botwood, Clarenville, and Freshwater in Conception Bay North.

They'll travel about 2,600 kilometres for their tour of the island portion of the province.

“It is a lot of kilometres,” said Sixonate. “There are some really remote places.

“I am looking forward to getting down to Burgeo.”

As an added bonus, the last show on the Newfoundland leg will be in Boehler's home of Glovertown.

There is no rest for the weary, they say, and for Sixonate it is no different. When he finishes up his provincial run on Feb. 9, he’ll be home for no more than two weeks before he boards a cross-country flight to British Columbia with Twillingate's Mike Jenkins.

He will start the second leg of his tour on Feb. 25 in Prince George. He’s played in B.C. before, but hasn’t done so in several years.

That tour will see him and Jenkins travel 2,123 kilometres through northern and coastal B.C., where people will experience his music for the first time.

“I’m looking forward to sharing music with British Columbia,” said Sixonate.

During the summer Sixonate performs a regular show in Twillingate where he mixes his original Celtic-folk inspired tunes with storytelling.

He his upcoming tours will have a similar feel.

He’ll mix in some new tunes with some old ones in hopes of winning over people not familiar with his music.

“It’s pretty cool,” said Sixonate of being a part of Home Routes. "I’m excited for the tour, especially the Newfoundland stops.”

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