I just realised what a shockingly long time it is since I updated my news on this page. My wonderful webmaster and I have been working on an overhaul and a new look for the website (which will go up soon) a timely reminder to catch up on all that has happened since the summer.
I took most of July and August off, for some time with my family, (specifically my younger daughter who went off for two years of school in Denmark) and returned to gigging with my Kempen concert on September 10th. With perfect weather and a sold-out venue, it was another memorable show in a tradition going back, once every two years, for well over a decade. It was great to play with Uli Kringler again after a break and I was delighted that my daughter Holly was able to join me again. She stole the show as she always does!
That left a short gap before my 2 week tour (mostly with Uli again) starting in Muenster on October 5th. We had been trying out a new onstage set-up with just one condenser microphone in front and both agreed that having no leads and no monitors added a new and wonderful dimension to our already stripped-down performances. The ‘pin-drop’ simplicity of this ‘back to the thirties’ concept made all the shows particularly intense and enjoyable. We shared a stage one night in Luxemburg with Kieran Goss and Madison Violet and then had a run of really fine shows around Germany.
For many different reasons, I had been considering stopping touring for some time and decided that these October dates would be my last for the foreseeable future. My initial e-mail message announcing this caused some confusion, as I didn’t want to discuss my reasons in great detail. Some people then assumed that I must be ill again or worse. We sent out a second message to assure people that I wasn’t about to check out. I can’t imagine going for very long without playing music, but since I have never stopped in 36 years of touring and recording, I don’ think it’s a bad idea to step back for a while and see what life is like outside of the car and the inside of an airport.
I have lots of stuff to catch up on at home and will definitely not be idle.
As it looks right now, apart from the Blue Rose Christmas Party next week in Berlin and one or two book readings in the spring, the next time I will be playing live will be with Plainsong (Iain Matthews, Andy Roberts, Mark Griffiths and I) at the end of the summer next year. 2012 is the 40th anniversary of the legendary ‘Amelia Earhart’ album and we’ve chosen the moment to release a studio album we recorded in front of a live audience in Holland the last time we toured together. It will be an anniversary as well as a farewell tour for Plainsong, as it has become harder and harder to get all four of us in one place. There are already more than ten confirmed shows and we should be playing in the UK, Germany, Holland, France, Luxemburg and possibly also in Spain and Scandinavia.
I’ll be back in the USA in February, showcasing at the Folk Alliance in Memphis and doing some more work for the Nicky Hopkins book. It’s too early to say exactly what the sales are, but I continue to get very complimentary reviews both from the UK and North America and lots of e-mails from happy and grateful Nicky fans. Even without a big marketing campaign, the book seems to find the people who need it.
I’m hoping I’ll still hear from some of you via the guest book while I’m in ‘retirement’ and look forward to coming back refreshed and with new songs and new ideas later on.
Best wishes to all of you who drop by to look at this website look out for new additions very shortly,
Love from Somerset,