It’s been so long since I successfully posted my news here that I make Kate Bush look like a media regular! Apologies to anyone who has lately visited and found my News page unchanged and somewhat out of date and welcome to all the new people who have joined my ‘friends list’ by signing up at a show or via facebook. 2014 has actually (so far) turned out to be one of my busiest for ages. My own activities continued to keep me busy, with the added pleasure of being closely involved with my friend Wolfgang Niedecken’s solo album, which on its release last September, went straight into the German charts at No. 4. After a short run pf promo dates where I was part of the band, Wolfgang chose to represent the album Zosamme Alt with an acoustic version of his long-running band BAP. I was called in as ‘special guest’ for a sold-out three day run at the Philharmonie in Koeln, which brings us up to date, because those live shows were recorded and are now coming out as a live double CD. Even if I wasn’t involved in the rest of his shows, it has been rewarding to know that the solo record we made in Woodstock has rejuvenated his band’s touring life and opened up new opportunities for his future. I look forward to making ‘Chapter 2’, perhaps sometime next year.
I toured for six weeks in the spring with Uli Kringler, still enjoying our stage set-up with just one microphone, no cables and no monitors. I sometimes struggle with the way music is now publicised and sold on the internet, but playing live still makes complete sense to me and I enjoy it as much as ever and am hugely grateful for the support I am still getting and the pleasure my music apparently still gives to my audience. For those who haven’t been able to attend a show, my ‘Life And Soul’ 3 x CD box set continues to sell in healthy numbers through Blue Rose Records and my entire catalogue is (at long last) available for downloading through most of the well-known internet sources.
Anyone who has followed my recent touring will have noticed that most of my shows have been in or near Germany, simply because the demand for shows there is higher than elsewhere. I did spend six weeks in the USA in May and June, a visit that included a number of live shows and the recording (again with Dan Penn in his Nashville studio) of a new low-key ‘almost’ solo album. We captured guitar/vocal performances of twelve new tracks, songs I’d written over the last year or two, a couple of well-chosen covers and two new co-writes with Dan. We included a small number of guest musicians to add colour to a few songs and I am delighted with the finished result.
These days I wonder, each time I record, whether this may be my last time…if so, then I’ve had a pretty amazing run with twenty-two albums so far, but somehow those damn songs just keep coming! I haven’t planned a release date for the newest work yet, but will let you all know as soon as I decide.
I just returned from another wonderful visit to Lithuania and have several upcoming shows during the rest of this year. A highlight for me will be four band shows later this month, two of them with guest guitarist Jerry Donahue and one, the Lahnstein Blues Festival, with a ‘revenge’ appearance of Wolfgang Niedecken singing blues-up versions of some Bob Dylan songs.
I’m kept busy at home with my kids’ activities (and my grandson’s too) and am never bored. As well as upcoming music releases, I have started work on a new book project and am finally starting again with painting and drawing. My music ‘career’ began while I was at Art College in England.
I promise to update this page more regularly from now on and put up regular postings on facebook too.
Wit summer almost gone, I wish everybody a peaceful and fulfilling autumn,