Hello Spring...here comes Summer!
I have had a wonderfully varied past few months, working with Buffalo Gals and Buffalo Gals Stampede, as well as a heart-lifting solo gig in London at the Cellar Upstairs at the Exmouth Arms. Thank you to all of you who came. I hope we get to do it again soon!
The summer looks full of equally exciting times ahead and I am particularly excited to be appearing in Scotland for the first time in quite some years. I will be participating in the American music concert programme at The Stonehaven Folk Festival over July 10-12th
If you haven’t been to this stunning and inspiring part of Scotland before, or you’re just looking for an excuse to go again, then Stonehaven Folk Festival is all the reason you need to pack your bag and “You take the high road and I’ll take the low road …”
However, before I embark on my trip to Scotland I will be returning to southern Spain in late May for a specialist workshop holiday with some very special guests at La Fuente Old-Time Music Week click here Joining me this time around are Dave Bing and Ben Townsend from West Virginia, teaching banjo and fiddle. Additionally Sooz Clare, from Buffalo Gals, will be teaching ukulele and Johnny Whelan takes two banjo classes, one for beginners and one for his unique fingerpicking style. Rose Ardon, I am delighted to say, will join me leading a community singing group and Joff Lowson will be teaching guitar and Wernick method jamming. Plus I’ll be handing the reigns back into the expert hands of Sibs Riesen, who will teach our first percussive dance class in Spain.
This upcoming holiday week is now fully booked but we have another one planned for this September. As well as Johnny, Joff and some of the other Buffalo Gals, the guest teachers next time will include Beverly Smith and John Grimm so there is every good reason under the (Spanish) sun to join us then. La Fuente is a wonderful place. In addition to satisfying your desire to learn and share music, song and dance in a relaxed environment, you will no doubt want to take advantage of the solar pool, the food and wine and the many opportunities to walk the stunning foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
The dates for the next La Fuente Old-Time Music week are September 26 to October 3 and you can find out lots more, or enrol, by going to www.lafuenteholidays.com
Enrolment has begun so if you'd like to know more please just get in touch through the website or through me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prior to the La Fuente Old Time Music Week I’ll be keeping myself busy with the Buffalo Gals at their upcoming gigs in Worcester, Redditch, Chesterfield and Worksop:
May 8th: Upper Town Social Club, Derbyshire 8pm click here
May 9th: Whitwell Community Centre, nr. Worksop 7.30pm click here
This mini-tour is also the first opportunity to see the new Buffalo Gals 'Stampede' show; all 10 musicians and dancers will be at: Feckenham, nr. Redditch on Sunday 10th May so book your Stampede tickets now.
If you don’t know the ‘Stampede’ yet, have a look at our mini-documentary for a taste of what is in store - here
The remainder of the summer I have plans to relax...if I can find the time between performing at these festival gigs:
24 June: Golowan Festival in Penzance, Cornwall – Buffalo Gals (tickets here now)
3 July: Frome Festival in Frome, Somerset – Buffalo Gals
18 Sept: Cornish Bluegrass Festival, Newquay - Buffalo Gals on Friday night
19 Sept: Cornish Bluegrass Festival, Newquay - 'Stampede' on Saturday night
20 Sept: Priston Festival, Nr. Bath, Somerset - 'Stampede' gig (info here)
HOT OFF THE PRESS!
Just announced: Buffalo Gal Sibs is to run a percussive step-dance workshop during the Frome Festival, on Saturday July 4th at the Merlin Theatre from midday-1.30pm. Open to all - even complete beginners - Sibs will teach the basics, up to the four sounds for more advanced dancers with the focus on dance as a percussive instrument, although the joy of flatfooting is that it allows the dancer to 'freestyle' to the music. Only £7 (£5 students) Get in touch with Sibs to know more at
I don’t like to wish the time away but looking ahead to autumn 2015: Johnny Whelan, Jason Titley and I are one happy trio of music-makers as we have already been making plans for at least three repeat performances, in Somerset, of my recently developed Hollywood film project “Sonic Silents”.
This show brings together three of Oscar-winning director Frank Borzage’s silent black and white movies and a live, newly-composed, original scores. I have composed one for each film. Jason and Johnny and I perform on fiddle, banjo, guitar, percussion and vocals to bring the audience into the poignant world of the old Westerns.
I think (hope!), if Borzage’s work is new to you, once you start looking at some of his 100+ black and white films you will become as captivated and inspired as we have.
And finally, I just want to thank you for all your kind words – in person and by email – as well as your continued support, for buying my CDs and, of course, for turning up at the gigs. I have said it before, but I have a wonderful time making and playing music so thank you for being a part of that with me. If you're keen to be kept up to date then please feel free to sign up to my quarterly(ish) newsletter by completing the small form at the bottom of this page
Hope to catch you on the road soon,