Happy New Year; I know it’s late.
It’s Sunday night, around about 1 degree centigrade. I don’t think I’ve ever enlightened my valued friends on my mailing list about the temperature, but that was my life in BC. Now I am in NS, a ‘“whole different kettle of fish.” There must be a German saying that means the same thing.
As a lot of you know, my wife Louise and I sold our beloved little blue cottage in Victoria, BC in January 2017, said goodbye to our sons and friends on May 31st and set off on a 6000km drive across this true north country. We landed in Granville Ferry, a quaint little village on the banks of the estuary that is full of 100-year-old wooden houses, most of them built for the seafaring captains who made a dangerous living taking timber down to the West Indies and further afield.
Louise and I decided on a small town called Bridgetown and so in July 2017 we moved into our 1920s “Arts and Craft” style house with the Annapolis River flowing at the bottom of the garden. I look forward to sharing this adventure with you when I meet you at the gigs, but it has been a really wonderful experience with ups and downs (mostly ups).
Bridgetown is a quiet place with a population around 800. There is a fantastic second-hand bookstore, no local coffee shop (there is a Tim Hortons about a 2km walk away), a hockey and a curling rink. If you like to knit there is a really cool wool shop; I’ve been in a few times to buy wooly socks, which are essential here. If you ever visit us, please bring some.
We have made some really great friends, and to be honest the strangers are nice too. Every Tuesday I run a sort of Irish music workshop class. It’s mainly about chatting and having a beer. Oh, we have a local brewery too (https://www.lunnsmill.beer/).
The summer was beautiful but now we are in the middle of winter. We get snow, more snow than I have ever experienced. Just when I feel I am getting the hang of it, a “well-meaning” neighbour will laughingly tell you this is the mildest winter in living memory...ugh.
On a sad note we had to say goodbye to one of our dogs just after Christmas. Cara had been with us for 13 years, and having all the children here at Christmas definitely made her passing easier. We miss her grumbling at us because her dinner hasn’t arrived, and the fact she would far rather say hi to a stranger than us. Her name means friend in Irish.
The last tour in the fall of 2017 featured my sweet boy, Fintan. Thanks for all of the love you gave us, it was a wonderful experience for us both. The last show of the tour was filmed and recorded by Roland Kalus at the Kultugut in Bechtolsheim, so I will post songs and videos when I get a chance.
And finally (drum roll)...
I will have a brand new album with me on this tour!
Years and Not Just Days is my first East Coast album, and it is produced by Canadian legend JP Cormier. I have some new songs but also some old ones done in a different style.
Here are the songs:
Plenty Other Fish
Light The Way
Know Where You Stand
Not in Your Dreams
Whatever I Say
Years and Not Just Days
Chariot of Love
Fly High and Far
My other son Cormac did the artwork, so I am really happy and excited to have it at my shows. I really hope you will like this CD; it is a more acoustic/bluegrass/folk album and really features the multi-instrumental genius of JP.
Best wishes my friends, as I always say, because I always mean it. Thank you so much for being out there in the audience, for being friends, for meeting me at train stations (and dropping me off at them too), for the meals, and beds, and conversations around kitchen tables. This musical life of mine is so very much because of you.
By clicking this link, you will be able to view all of my public events on this tour. I do many private house concerts and school workshops whilst on tour; if you are interested in me coming and doing a show in your house or school please get in touch and I can help you organize it.
See you out there xxx