Tour Notes – FIRST AMERICANA LIVE IN NYC, Oct 20-22, 2010
OCT 22, 2010 – HILL COUNTRY
CHIP TAYLOR – with special guests, KENDEL CARSON, JOHN PLATANIA, OH SUSANNA & THE BEAUTIES
ABOUT THE VENUE – This is not only the Rolls Royce of barbecue on the east coast; it is also a new & amazing music place. The folks that handle this part of it are an amazing bunch – Lincoln is the point, & he & manager Cody tend to your every need. Big thanks to you guys from the entire band. It was awesome working with you both! And special hi & thanks to Ian who brought amazing sound to the room & the stage. See you soon, my friend!
What an amazing night this was!! The place was packed, with the late arrivals sitting under the stairwell in the far back. And what an awesome audience they were!!
Jessie Scott welcomed the audience to this final day of AMERICANA LIVE in New York City & told them a bit about what the organization was about & the magic stuff that happened in these last two days.
Then I introduced the stars of the first set, the amazing CANADIAN contingency consisting of Americana star KENDEL CARSON & revered Canadian treasures OH SUSANNA (Susie – who is an understated gem!) & THE BEAUTIES (Toronto’s answer to The Velvet Underground). I had hand picked these inspired folks to join me on this closing night as I had first hand knowledge of how great a show it would be!
Note: At the AMERICANA festival in Nashville earlier in the year, John Platania & I had played with this same lineup at a special Canadian presentation & the vibe was awesome.
THE SHOW – 10:20 PM
YOU HAD TO BE THERE!!! The Beauties, Susie & Kendel traded cool songs for the better part of an hour, all joining in support of each other. And the audience loved it – big time! At the first set’s end, John & I took the stage – & with the support of all – blasted out HEY JONNY, my tribute to the start of Rock & Roll (from my YONKERS NY CD). We left the first set with a chilling ANGEL OF THE MORNING with Susie & Kendel sharing featured vocal leads with me. There was such electricity in the air – both on stage & off – I couldn’t wait for the second set to begin.
Again, Jessie Scott helped get us off to a flying start, as she & I recalled the great Johnny Cash & his legend – which is so a part of what Americana is all about.
The packed house was riveted in their seats or in their standing positions for the entire show. And though this was a late venue (started this second set at 11:30), NOT ONE PERSON LEFT! Aside from John Platania, joining me on stage for this set were my amazing band members TONY MERCADANTE on bass & Tony Leone on drums.
After paying tribute to “real” country & the race records from the south, with THE REAL THING, we drifted in & out of the Yonkers songs with the much loved, BASTARD BROTHERS, WITHOUT HORSES & SAW MILL RIVER ROAD – with it’s blasts of Johnny Cash’s BIG RIVER & rock & roll at it’s sweaty best, ENDLESS SLEEP.
We sprinkled these with Kendel gems, BELT BUCKLE & the fan favorite, I LIKE TRUCKS. My tribute to the prisoners, DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE, was a definite favorite tonight.
At shows end, we invited the Beauties & Oh Susanna to join us, & with the audience, rocked out an awesome WILD THING – with it’s tribute to The Troggs & JIMI HENDRIX – & closed with another haunting tribute to the prisoners, with HOLY SHIT.
This was a hell of a night!! Thanks to all my old friends who came & to the new friends made. It was a night I won’t forget.
Note: lost some notes containing names – but some from memory:
Hi to HOWARD .. GREAT TO SEE YOU again & again!! Hi to my friend Vinny & Alan & SIMON & kind wife .. & the crew.. good to see you .. hi to great friend Robert & Shari – see you soon ..hi Aldon!! .. big thanks for coming!! ..BIG HI TO LINDA!! .. thanks for being here .. hi to Michael & Marc.. LOVE this place .. hi to OH Susanna’s cousin, Michael.. good talking to you. RICHIE!!!! .. so good to see you my friend!!.. & the nice friend I spoke to at a downtown bar 10 years ago.. very good to see you again!!
HI ANNA & STANLEY .. so great that you came!! .. Anna .. you’re magic!! Tell my Ukrainian friends I said a big “hi” .. MA.. where were you!!!!???
Hi Joey .. great to see you during the show & after.. HI CHRISTOPHER .. keep having to turn the card over to read your name .. thanks for the kind words! .. .. Hi Rob & Martin..
Hi to Tony Merc’s friend & friend .. the SHAGGY fan (of sorts!) .. BIG HI TO WALT & LUCKY & EMERY & ANDREAS .. so good to see you all!! .. & Musako .. so happy to see you .. thank your wife for coming .. see you soon..
Hi Howard .. great talking to you .. best with your magazine!! .. send me that picture!! .. Hi to the SHORE FIRE crew.. Mark & Andy & Meredith .. great seeing you!! & Gerry .. friend from Manchester .. thanks for the kind words!!.. hi Simone & John .. nice talking to you!!!
See you all very soon!! .. don’t forget – CARRIE RODRIGUEZ & I will be at THE LIVING ROOM on Nov 19 & 20 – see many of you there!
LOOKING BACK AT THE FIRST AMERICANA LIVE IN NEW YORK
What separates these events from others is the unprepared & unprecedented “magic” that happened in each of these events.
ON DAY ONE, after Jack Grace got the ball rolling & after Jim Campilongo – fresh from a sick bed & with his trio – put on one of the most amazing guitar-based shows I have ever scene, he was joined on stage (for the first time ever) by his hero – & other telecaster wizard – Bill Kirchin. This was amazing artistry out on a limb – floating in those heavens for the better part of four minutes. This was soulful genius – it does not get better.
ON DAY TWO, for the better part of an hour and a half, Cindy Cashdollar & minstrel/ barker/snake-oil-salesman, Steve James, consistently put themselves in that lost zone where stories & inspired playing fed off each other to the absolute delight of the intimate group that attended. This show was magic from start to finish. One of my favorite shows in memory!
ON DAY THREE, my new Canadian heroes, the VELVET UNDERGROUND-like BEAUTIES, OH SUSANNA & KENDEL CARSON joined legendary guitarist John Platania (Van Morrison – MOON DANCE & DOMINO) & me & the rest of my band in, as loose & inspired a show as we’ve done. It was new friends, with the utmost respect for each other – venturing into the unknown together – for a long show that seemed far too short. This festival was all about that!
Note: At the end of every show the buzz word was “Americana.” Folks love this stuff!
OCT 21, 2010 – NEW YORK – VENUE – HILL COUNTRY
I spoke a little bit about Americana Music & the AMA & reverently introduced the audience to my old friend Cindy & new friend (though born & raised in my home town of Yonkers), Steve.
THE SHOW – CINDY CASHDOLLAR & STEVE JAMES
From the opening note, an enchanting Bluebird-like atmosphere warmed Hill Country last night. As Cindy – queen of the dobro & slide guitar – & Steve – master musician (guitar, mandolin & dobro) & story teller – wove through stories & songs for the better part of an hour & a half – and kept this rapt audience at the edge of their chairs & cheering after every song.
What surprised me was the ease that combined the barker-like magic of Steve’s delivery of magical little blues songs, (ie: FOLK RADIO, BIRMINGHAM STEEL & COCAINE BLUES) with the charming brilliance of the accents of his & Cindy’s instruments.
I have never seen a show quite like this. Some of the songs were eerily beautiful & others just magical & fun – but the constant was that the audience was with them at every turn – there was no lull – no “good time to run to the bathroom” – everyone sat & smiled & cheered for the entire show.
I joined somewhere in the middle to guest with Merle’s TODAY I STARTED LOVING YOU AGAIN & Johnny Cash’s BIG RIVER. I loved that. It was so great to hear Cindy weave in & out of these (she is so one-of-a-kind). We hadn’t played together in years yet it seemed like we played yesterday. And Steve brought his own big-time magic to these as well.
Toward the shows end Cindy & Steve again invited me up to do WILD THING (a first for Cindy & me) – which absolutely rocked tonight with brilliant guitar solos by Steve & totally off the charts slide solo by Cindy. After spirited sing-a-long of the chorus & a wild final guitar riff by Steve, a standing ovation & some foot stomping had Cindy & Steve quickly returning for their encores.
And for the next 15 minutes, they mesmerized the audience again, and finally said good night.
At shows end, several in the audience started talking about how cool “this Americana thing is”. That was proved in spades tonight.
TONIGHT – back at Hill Country – I’ll be joined by the amazing Canadian contingent – KENDEL CARSON, OH SUSANNA & BEAUTIES – and my great friend, John Platania (Van Morrison / Moondance/ Domino etc). This will be some ending to an AWESOME “Americana LIVE IN NY” week!
I will be joined by the awesome Canadian contingent, the amazing Kendel Carson & Oh Susanna, with Toronto’s answer to the Velvet Underground, THE BEAUTIES (I LOVE THESE GUYS!!) .. as well as the amazing John Platania & the rest of my band.
See you soon.
Oct 20, 2010 – RODEO BAR
They’ll be talking about this one for years to come.
I briefly took the stage to tell the folks a bit about the AMA & what was about to happen. Then it happened.
THE JACK GRACE BAND
Jack Grace (who did such a great job helping organize this event) & his band took the stage as the house was quickly filling up. His cross between good wit, good-natured fun, serious moods & honest to God country – with wife, bassist Daria, singing tight harmony – had everybody feeling so loose & good. What a GREAT JOB JACK!!
My other cohort & board member, Jessie Scott, took the stage & talked about the event, handed out some T-shirts & held up OUR AMAZING JON LANGFORD ORIGINAL POSTER – which everybody has been totally awed by (& EVERYBODY WANTS!!)!! BIG THANKS FROM THE AMA JON – YOU CAME THROUGH BIG TIME. After Jesse’s cool intro of Jim, the magic continued.
THE JIM CAMPILONGO TRIO
By the time Jim Campilango & band hit the stage, the place was totally full with people standing 15 deep behind the venue room. I have never seen the Rodeo Bar so packed! Then Jim, fresh from a sick bed, mesmerized this audience & me for about 50 minutes.
And I had never seen anything like this performance. It was telecaster wizardry at it’s best – mixed with in between off-the-wall-humor describing his on the spot mood shifts. But the guitar madness was what was totally stunning. Jim floated to the clouds & back on impulse & he took us all with him. WHAT A PERFORMANCE!!
At shows end Jim invited his “hero”, Bill Kirchin – another telecaster wizard hero to the stage. The two blasted into the unknown on a version of Folsom Prison Blues that will never be forgotten by folks that were here. Half way through the song, people were blasting cheers & applause that rose to a deafening crescendo at songs end. This was one for the books!
THE BILL KIRCHIN SHOW
After a brief intro by Jessie & me, my old friend Bill took the stage & the telecaster mastery continued. But this time with some cool, warm Bill vocals. It was vintage & new, Kirchin songs, mixed with Dylan classics (& others) – oh, man were these ever AWESOME. Drummer Jack joined in with solid harmonies & bassist, Maurice, kept the pulse of the rock-a-billy thing warm & solid on the up-tempo songs & the ballads.
I haven’t see Bill’s show in a while, but he was on the top of his game tonight & this audience totally loved what he was giving & let him know it! Bill ended with his show-stopper, HOT ROD LINCOLN – with its’ blasts of famous rock & roll licks. And when he blasts those out, you remember why all that stuff is important – so important. And you are quickly reminded of why Bill & AMERICANA music is so important – so important. And everybody left a whole lot better because of that!
What a great night!
HUGE THANKS TO THE AMAZING RACHEL & DANA – my great friends – who worked the room selling T-SHIRTS & POSTERS. Thanks for all your help Rachel (& Will) for scattering these posters around town!! Also, big thanks to photog Jeff Fasano, who went out of his way to help document the start of this event! See you Friday, Jeff!
Now the magic continues!
TOUR NOTES – IRELAND Oct 3 – Oct 14, 2010
THE CHIP TAYLOR / KENDEL CARSON TOUR
Oct 12, 2010 – Last night in Dublin
– an off day. Had a good healthy chicken & vegetables dinner at the hotel. Then, after some work in my room, headed down the main road past Whelans, stopping at the end of the road – after a quick right turn – at a place called THE MERCANTILE.
Just purchased by the same owner as Whelan’s this a great pub & music room/
Here, I wound down with some great guys – bartenders Evan, Donnacha & Connor – & some good Ardbeg scotch. Great seeing you boys – hope you like the YONKERS CD – see you next time through.
Note: Donnacha .. ok .. we’ll give you a few days – STOP SMOKING by next Monday!!!
Oct 13, 2010 – HEADING FOR MULLAGHMORE (then BALLYSHANNON)
Kendel had left last evening with brother Tyler to stay the night in Sligo – Ty’s home for this last month or so since he’s been on tour with Sandy Kelly (the entire band & Sandy lives in the area). Sligo is generally on the way to our hotel where we will stay tonight in Mullaghmore.
Nigel & I leave Dublin around 11:15, pick up Kendel at 2:30 & arrive at our amazing hotel – THE PIER HOTEL – in Mullaghmore – an amazingly beautiful little seaside town – at 3:30.
Big thanks to the kind staff – GRAINNE (“Grace” .. pronounced “Gronya”), CHRIS, bartender/waiter, LIAM .. great talking with you my friend – & owner, John .. who shared the humble history of the place at night’s end.
Note: John told me that his mom was a housekeeper for MT BATON & was given this building & plot of land many years ago. John & others in the family have kept it going.
ROOM WITH A VIEW
My large modern Cape Cod-like room’s two spacious windows look immediately to the inlet – which leads quickly to The Donegal Bay (with Donegal only a few miles across) then to the broader expanse of the Atlantic Ocean – with it’s small boats gently enclosed by ancient low walls – with a gap leading to the bay. This is breathtakingly beautiful. Mema!!! – you’re loving this!!
BREAKFAST WITH A VIEW
There are only a few people having breakfast when I arrive at 10:15. It’s another, “Oh my goodness view!! One side of the dining room is enclosed by one long window (about five table in length) – which looks out to the Donegal Bay (just a few yards from the window) Again, this is breathtaking! I sit at one of the seaside tables & enjoy a very good breakfast served by a lovely young Russian girl, Elena.
Owner John takes a table in the back with friends & workers, Gerry & Mark. I tell him that I have some “pull” with the owner & can get them better seats – they smile & stay put. I’ve invited all of them for the show tonight.
WALKING THROUGH TOWN & ON THE PIER
In the lobby I meet John’s sister, kind Noel & son Steve & a very nice young lady, Audrey who I guess is the house friend/ photographer & Chris, who’s at the desk again this morning with little sleep. We take some fun pictures outside. Audrey says she will send in a little while so we can post.
Then I go for a walk through the entire town – which takes 46 seconds (5 small buildings) .. then walk in & around the ancient little walls & to the walkway along the bay.
Now I’m back in my room. It’s 12:30 – I’ll do some work in preparation for the two festivals I’m hosting – one The First AMERICANA LIVE in New York beginning in a few days (Oct 20) .. then THE FIRST ANNUAL MEAN BASTARD DAY .. in Kiruna Sweden to celebrate or, maybe more accurately, “commiserate” with the folks as their ALL DARK days are soon coming.
Oct 14, 2010 – Heading for BALLYSHANON
Big thanks to John’s sister Noel for the amazing hospitality here – & for the late, late check out. Look forward to seeing some of you folks at the show.
SOUND CHECK IN BALLSHANNON
It’s only a half hour drive to the venue. When we arrive we are greeted by old friend, Davy Brown & friend Brenda – who made the trip from Coleraine – great to see you guys!!! – also, I’m pleased to see an old friend, Patsy manning the controls. Patsy was at my first show in Belfast with Davy some 10 plus years ago. Both friends with Phil Sinclair –former record store owner from the north who was a big champion of my music back in the day – & largely responsible for a fan base for me in that area.
We finish checking in minutes – then it’s off to a good local restaurant, Nirvana, for dinner.
LOVED THIS!! With now old friends Sean & Maggie & several from the hotel – John, Noel, Chris & friends. Big thanks for coming! This show flew by.
This was sort of a family affair.. with the entire audience in tune with my BASTARD BROTHERS .. the BLACKBOARD JUNGLE story .. a Monday with my dad with CHARCOAL SKY.. & a return to The Chat & Chew nightclub with SAW MILL RIVER ROAD.. I loved going back to YONKERS with these great folks!
And Kendel was a total star as usual.. with the audience loving OH BABY LIE DOWN, BELT BUCKLE (this rocked big time tonight), TEN LOST MEN .. show stopper, I LIKE TRUCKS. And Kendel’s awesome fiddling was much appreciated by this great group & ME!!! She is one-of-a-kind amazing – so loose – so inspired & so rock & roll!!
A HUGE highlight again tonight was our tongue-in-cheek rant at Van Morrison & John Platania with the “VAN SONG”. And every mention of John’s name from here on in was met with instant chuckles.. a good thing. Again.. a reminder .. JP is a great guy & my best friend .. but his playing with Van so often these past few years sure did inspire a VERY cool song.
After a wild, WILD THING with a HUGE therapeutic chorus sing-a-long.. & after a warm standing ovation, we encored with a tribute to those behind bars with DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE (the audience erupted after this one) .. & the solemn, HOLY SHIT.
This was a special night – one to remember. THANKS FOR BEING HERE!! Hope to see you all soon.
AFTER THE SHOW
Sean & Maggie (from Ballybofey show) – GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!! LOVE TO THE GIRLS, Ashling & Catheriona .. So good spending a bit of time with you – I’ll look forward to seeing all of you next time! – Big thanks for all the kind words!! ..
Hi to the great Pier Head Hotel contingent!!! John, Noel … big thanks for coming .. Love your Pier-Head magic .. please send my regards to the rest of the kind folks there – Audrey, Liam, Gerry, Mark & all – , hope to be back soon – BIG Hi to Chris & crazy friends, Darren & James – as well as nice & lovely Hillary .. thanks SO much for coming!!! Chris .. tell Elena I missed her – see you all soon, I hope!
Hi to ANNE & JAMES… so good to meet you .. so glad I saw you at intermission, Anne .. your words were inspiring – great to see you both at the end – hope to see you soon.!!
Hi Kathleen (Willy Nelson’s friend) .. good to see you.. Hi Valentia.. John & Liz .. with cousin from Yonkers.. Hi Mary .. so good to see you.. Hi Anne .. hope Grace likes the CD.. see you soon!
BIG HI TO BIRTHDAY BOY, FRANCES & sis SANDRA & Brother Brannen .. hi to golf pro dad, Frankie!! – great talking to all of you!! – Frances.. hope you like the CD – wonderful to see all you guys
Big thanks to all – this was a wonderful way to end the tour!!!
Oct 11, 2010 – HAPPY BIRTHDAY KELLY!!
Today is a special day for my wife Joan & me – it’s our amazing daughters birthday!! I wrote a song for her years ago that said in part:
“I’ve been all around the neighborhood & twice around the world
and there’s nothin’ like a daddy & his girl”
And that is so true!! These days Kell is an amazing mom & daughter & wife & hard worker (an attorney who, as head of the Career Development office at Yale University, guides the job placement of law students.
LOVE YOU FROM IRELAND, HONEY!!! SEE YOU SOON!!
Oct 11, 2010 – Dublin – 9:00 AM – THE PAT KENNY SHOW (RTE RADIO)
We arrived at radio RTE & were met by Pat’s assistant, a very nice young lady name Aoife (sounds like “eefa” for us dumb Americans) & another terrific person, producer Aidan Butler. We did a quick sound check at the studio where the show would be broadcast, then went for a coffee etc. at the cafeteria.
RECORDING IN THE RTE STUDIO
Aidan suggested that while we were waiting to go “on air” with Pat. We adjourn to the famous RTE studio where U2 recorded their first album. There we met a great young engineer named Damian & his cohorts & at Aidan’s suggestion, recorded 5 tracks for future airing. We recorded, OH BABY LIE DOWN, TEN LOST MEN, CHARCOAL SKY, HEY JONNY & WILD THING. The tracks sounded so, so good. GREAT JOB DAMIAN!!
Note: I’m now thinking of adding the two songs we would later perform on Pat’s show (YONKERS NEW YORK & ANGEL OF THE MORNING) – adding them to some live with Gerry Anderson & Des Fisher tracks .. & releasing a Chip Taylor / Kendel Carson – “LIVE IN IRELAND” CD.
The main catalyst for my thinking in this direction is the recording we made here of “OH BABY LIE DOWN”. It sounds like a hit to my ears!
At sessions end we met the head of RTE Radio – a great lady named Ana Leddy – who has been part of a fairly well known band, The COSMIC BANDITOS. IT WAS GREAT TO SEE YOU ANA. Huge thanks for having us!!
THE PAT KENNY SHOW
It was great to see Pat again. I’ve done his TV show in the past. He’s kind, smart, interested (so interesting). We talked a bit & played a bit (Angel of The Morning & YONKERS NY. It was loose, warm & fun & went by too fast!
It was great to see you Pat. Special thoughts & love to daughter, Christina. I hope to see her next time through.
Oct 11, 2010 – SOUND CHECK at WHELAN’S (ROOM CHANGE!!)
Kendel & I – & Nigel – arrive at about 5:45. We waited for quite some time for the soundman to join us. At 6:25 we started to get a bit nervous. Then we found out the problem.
Our soundman, Liam, was there all the time. He was waiting upstairs in the small room. But since we did The Pat Kenny radio show, the phone’s been ringing – ticket sales are way up – & our show was moved to the larger downstairs room. And a great room it is.
Liam is a great guy & so easy to work with. We’re happily checked in minutes & head for dinner.
Note: As we were leaving sound check, we saw Luc Loucet (awesome Canadian singer/songwriter) & sweet mom Twinkle – they are on a bit of a vacation & here to support friend Kendel (& me) – so good to see you both!!
7:15 – DINNER (at a great place!)
Nigel & I found a great restaurant yesterday only a few blocks from the venue (???name???). We return there for a quick meal before show-time. Joining us is Kendel’s musician brother Tyler, who played last night with rock-a-billy legend Sandy Kelly in a town not far from here.
After some good conversation, we’re quickly to the hotel for 5 minutes – then back to the venue – on stage at 8:40.
We dedicate this show to the spirit of Derek Nally – the recently deceased (& much respected & loved) booker of roots-based artists in Dublin & surrounds. Derek passed on in July & is leaving a wife & 3 small children.
Derek booked my first Dublin show in 1997 & many subsequent ones. He was a one-of-a-kind. Everyone in the audience knows that & in that reverent tribute our show begins.
I’m not sure why, but I’ve never been more comfortable on stage than I was for this entire show. I loved every minute of this!
There were lots of musicians in the audience & that put Kendel on the spot a bit. But it brought out the best in her & by show’s end she was going places only the likes of Jimi Hendrik-like artists would dare tread. SHE WAS AWESOME!!! And that spirit helped me wander out there on that limb as well.
This was a magic night!
We drifted in & out of the YONKERS stories with my BASTARD BROTHERS, & my MAFIA friends (& my JOAN) with WITHOUT HORSES, a trip to the CHAT & CHEW with SAW MILL RIVER ROAD – & the cherished visit to the NEPPERHAN train station with CHARCOAL SKY .. with songs & STORIES, meeting with warm & long applause.
And Kendel killed with her songs tonight!! Oh Baby Lie Down, BELT BUCKLE, TEN LOST MEN .. & I LIKE TRUCKS!! – she was out there & SO great!!
A new highlight was a first-time only – I AIN’T LEAVING WITH OUT YOU.. which seemed special to all of us.
And everyone (Audience & US) had huge fun with our “tribute to Van Morrison & John Platania” with THE VAN SONG – this has become a show-stopper every night!!
As rewarding as this show was up to & including a TOTALLY rocked-out WILD THING (with Kendel’s AWESOME solos) what happened next was something so, so special. That’s when THE REAL MAGIC CAME!! And what happened next became
MY FAVORITE SHOW-ENDING, EVER!!
I asked for requests – & they came flying .. there were shouts for THE GHOST OF PHIL SINCLAIR, SEVEN DAYS IN MAY, STROKE CITY GIRL, DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE… & HOLY SHIT
And WE DID THEM ALL!! Kendel was in unfamiliar territory on many, but she listened & added magic at every turn. There was a beautiful stillness that swept over this room from THE GHOST OF PHIL SINCLAIR on – it was like we were all in church. And we truly were in church, with the good spirit of Derek Nally right there with us!
And when we finished with a huge Merle sing-a-long with I WASN”T BORN IN TENNESSEE, I was thinking I never enjoyed a show more.
At shows end, there were big toasts to this great audience, to Derek, my birthday girl, Kelly (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HONEY!!!) & wife Joan .. It was great way to wind down. I loved Whelan’s tonight – like never before!! – KENDEL CARSON is AMAZING!!!!!!! – I AM SO BLESSED TO BE PLAYING WITH THIS GIRL!!!!
SAID HI TO MANY – INCLUDING:
Old friends Mick (there is no bigger fan of my music, than this wonderful old friend) & his lovely wife Siobhan .. Mick knows the best of me & rattles off my favorite lines from my songs non-stop – It’s amazing to me .. big thanks always!! Get that “Mick’s BEST OF” to me – can’t wait!
Hi to PAT & Betty (Roger Kirkpatrick’s friends) … so good to meet you both .. thanks for the kind words!! .. Big hi to HUGH .. & Hi to TOM & KATHLEEN (in the front right of the stage) .. thanks for the kind words.. great to see you there tonight!!
Hi to Jacinta & Nick .. whose son Neil worked with Derek in the past .. so good to see you!! .. Hi Nincent .. Hope Margaret enjoys the CD.. don’t forget Margaret – “FEAR NOTHING” // hope the music helps you get to that place!! BIG HI TO “IRISH” MICK & HELEN “OF TROY” – so good to talk with you .. good stuff!!!
OK .. THEN I GOT TO SAY HELLO TO THE “TED’S” – The TEDS are a family – here’s the story – dad got tired of trying to figure out the names of his kids .. so he called them all TED .. like George Foreman’s kids .. GEORGE I & GEORGE II & GEORGE II etc – except there is no I, II, III etc.. Thy’re all just … well .. “TED’s”
But, on investigation, I found some rather nice names – NIAMH (“NEEV”), Aileen, Steve & Andrew .. & DAD …… DAVID!!! .. SO, BIG HIT THESE – VERY – NICE “TED’S” – see you soon!!!!
HI NATALIE .. great seeing you .. & EAMOAN.. & Gerry .. & Oh, yes … “INCH” … great to see you again!!! – BIG HELLO TO ANGIE & MARTY – on the road with Tyler Carson supporting the legend, SANDY KELLY .. we missed you SANDY!!! .. see you next time!! – Also, big hello to photog, COLIN .. hey Colin .. please send some of those shots to email@example.com
Note.. this goes for all who have taken some nice pictures – please send them along. LARS & MARITAL & RUNE & MARIA – where are those great pictures??? Did you send them??
AND HUGE THANKS TO LUC & TWINKLE – It was SO great seeing you both before & during the show!! Thanks for staying the entire show WITHOUT DINNER!! .. next time… Join us!!
Big hi to all .. this was some night!!! SEE YOU SOON!!
Oct 9, 2010 – HEADING FOR LIMAVADEY
FIRST STOP – “DRIVE AT 5” – a DERRY radio station visit with good friend DES FISHER.
Des – an influential musicologist (former record store owner) – has a very popular Saturday afternoon show called “FOR FOLKS SAKE” on this local nonprofit station. When we saw Des at our Derry show, he asked if we could stop by the station on our trip from Ballybofey to Limavadey. It was easy to say, “yes”, to that request.
On the radio, Des talked about how he got turned onto my music by going to a shop called, DOUGIA KNIGHTS RECORD LIBRARY, where you could pay two quid a year & “borrow” whatever CD you wanted for a week or so. Des refused to relinquish his Chip Taylor purchase – I think THIS SIDE OF THE BIG RIVER – and thus, had to pay for it – and after purchasing the rest of my CDs, got linked to me for life!! A very good thing for me!
Back to the radio show
Kendel & I loved this. Aside from good talk, we played OH IRELAND, & ANGEL OF THE MORNING, KENDEL’S TEN LOST MEN & closed with my local anthem-of-sorts – STROKE CITY GIRLS.
Loved this Des!!!! – look forward to seeing Anne tonight – hope her scalded hand has healed.
HOTEL IN COLERAINE
This is the former home of my friend Andrea – an inspiring schoolgirl-poet when I met her. Andrea is one of the friends I take along with me in my STROKE CITY GIRLS journey.
We arrive at the efficient & new Premier Inn just off the new highway at about 3:30 – time for some Internet business such as:
THE FIRST ANNUAL “MEAN BASTARD DAY/ CELEBRATION” (in anticipation of the emotionally tough “all” dark days coming – now lurking) in Kiruna, Sweden – is gathering momentum steam roller!!! The posters & T-shirts are being designed – hopefully finished in a day or so. Some terrific northern artists (plus me) & a very cool venue are booked!!!
The theme song of this occasion is my new song, I KNOW DARK, which I recorded recently in Halden, Norway with the great Willy Clay Band. On the day of this event this recording will blast in every corner of Kiruna!! THIS IS GOING TO BE SOMETHING!!!!!
Bjorn Petterson & Orjan Maki (from the Willy Clay band) are spearheading this in Kiruna & I’m coordinating from the road.
I think in years to come people will look back on this event as “THE WOODSTOCK OF NORTHERN SWEDEN”.. but, unlike Woodstock, this will be an annual, therapeutic event.
THE FIRST ANNUAL AMERICANA FESTIVAL in NEW YORK (OCT 20 through the 22nd – @ the Rodeo BAR & HILL COUNTRY BBQ), which I am hosting (& performing at) is all set!! This will be awesome!! Check for details on our web site!!
Back to the Ireland tour:
THE VENUE – THE ALEXANDER ARMS
This is a last minute venue, put together by my friend Davy Brown. A few weeks ago Davy saw our tour schedule had an open day – & said he could fill this small cool place with fans & that it would be like a off-night house concert. AND HE WAS RIGHT. AND THAT’S WHAT IT WAS!! IT WAS AWESOME!!
When we arrived we were greeted by some great guys – Don (the proprietor), soundmen Alan (with his very cute little boy, Charlie), Tom & photographer Paul (from Australia).
The venue is a pub-hotel. Don had saved a guest room just off the stage as our “green” room. THANKS FOR THAT – PERFECT.
After a quick – very efficient check – we had dinner at a most-charming restaurant nearby, THE LIME TREE, owned & hosted by a terrific lady, Maria (formerly from Oxford). Served by kind waitress, Tina, this was an amazing meal. I had the medallions of pork, Nigel had the sirloin, Kendel – the cod enclosed with bacon all served with light sauce fresh vegetables. This was our favorite meal/restaurant on the tour. BIG THANKS MARIA (& TINA) – we’ll spread the word!!
THE LOOK OF THE PLACE
The floor-level stage faced a living room-like area that we were told might hold about 40 people – 60 plus were seated there tonight. Off to the left was a standing room-only bar area, usually holding 15 or so. I guessed about 30 or more were crammed into that space tonight.
IN SHORT, THE PLACE WAS PACKED!!!!
Well, this was something!!! What a great bunch of FRIENDS (new & old) to play for!!! As soon as I got on stage, I noticed friend Des & lovely wife Anne sitting in the sofa immediately in front of the stage. It was great to see you there .. it helped put me in a comfort zone immediately!
Kendel & I LOVED this show from start to finish! This was some wonderfully warm & spirited group to play for.
We started with my tribute to country music & the southern “Race records” with THE REAL THING, then drifted in & out of the YONKERS, NEW YORK stories & songs. Again, as it has been always with this tour, the stories were every bit as important as the songs.
The audience joined me & my BASTARD BROTHERS with the saga of my first fiddle. Then it was off to a movie theater, with HEY JONNY and it’s tribute to Bill Haley & the movie, BLACKBOARD JUNGLE. Then it was off to an afternoon party at my folks house with my local “Mafia” friends with the pretty WITHOUT HORSES.
All the songs were enhanced by the soulful sounds of Kendel’s fiddle & punctuated with blasts from her new album – including OH BABY LIE DOWN & BELT BUCKLE, which the folks LOVED!! We ended the set with a preacher-congregation-like sing-along with DANCE WITH JESUS (WHAT AN AWESOME GROUP-SING!! – ranks with the best of the tour), and a chilling ANGEL OF THE MORNING. I loved this duet so much tonight!!
When we left the stage, I couldn’t wait to get bask for the second half. I felt so comfortable with this great bunch of friends!
Johnny Cash recorded a song of mine, CLEAN YOUR OWN TABLES back in the day. By request, we played that one out to start the second set – with the folks singing along with the chorus. And from there we went to the great fun of THE VAN song – a total hit on this tour. And when Kendel totally killed with a sexy, BELT BUCKLE, we were off to one of the most memorable second sets on the tour.
When we shifted dynamics, you could hear a pin drop with the first verses of SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, which led to the rockin’ reprise of BIG RIVER & then ENDLESS SLEEP. Then Kendel rocked the house with I LIKE TRUCKS!!
One of the highlights for me again tonight was a warm. beautiful sing-a-long of STROKE CITY GIRLS. Then came WILD THING with the Jimi Hendrix Brill Building era stories in the mix. The therapeutic sing-a-long of WILD THING was so spirited & awesome tonight!!
We finished with a totally reverent HOLY SHIT in solidarity with the prisoners, which, in the end, shifted back to STROKE CITY GIRLS with it’s sweet prayer for peace… then we said good night!!!
And what a great night it was!! In short order, we put the instruments away & were mixing with this great bunch.
SAID HI TO MANY, INCLUDING:
Before I start mentioning the names, allow me this:
One of the great stories for me tonight was a young man who did NOT attend! His name is EOGHAN (for my US friends, pronounced, “OWEN”).
Here’s the story:
Eoghan has a big brother – a very nice guy named Sean. Three years ago, Sean had gotten his first guitar. He played it every so often – it was not yet a passion. Little brother, Eoghan, LOVED music & searched on the Internet (you-tube etc.) for new music to get excited about.
One day Eoghan said to Sean, “SEAN, you’ve got to hear this guy, Chip Taylor, he’s AWESOME!!!”
And so, Sean listened – & Sean loved it too!! Then, Sean started learning to play & sing my songs & those of other Americana artists. Now he’s totally hooked on making music – & I hear quite accomplished as a player/singer. And it all started with his little brother’s passion for the music &, in particular, – mine!! WOW!! .. that is an AMAZING, wonderful thing for me to hear!
I will tell this story everyplace!!! Big thanks!!!!! And hi & best wishes to mom & dad, Paddy & Donna .. GREAT TO SEE YOU & SON, SEAN, TONIGHT.
NOTE: The show was sold out & since Eoghan was not old enough he would not have been allowed in the bar area. And so he stayed home, texting brother Sean at 15 minute intervals to find out what was going on – what songs I was singing etc.
FLASH!!!!!!!!!!!! – it’s the following day. I just spoke to Eoghan on the phone as we travel south to Dublin. I told him he doesn’t have worry about missing any of my shows in the future – sold out or no. From now on Eoghan will be on my permanent guest list for all Ireland shows (or all shows elsewhere for that matter!)/ Look forward to seeing you soon, my friend!!
BIG HI TO MY GREAT OLD FRIEND DES & wife & new friend, Anne – so good talking to you after the show – such nice words!! Look forward to seeing you both very soon!!
Hi to Roger .. thanks for the kind words about YONKERS . & hi Charlene hope to see you soon .. Hi to Chris & Guy!! .. good to see you again!! HI FRANKIE.. good to see you with Paddy .. hope to see you again!!
BIG HI TO MY OLD FRIENDS, Brian & Dympna.. so good to see you again & again.. HI TOM .. BIG THANKS TO YOU & ERIC (tell him hi for me) for asking me to sign the PHIL SINCLAIR collectable “GOTTA GET BACK TO CISCO” (GMT) CD.. here’s to Phil .. his spirit is all over these shows.
HI E.B. , lovely ELAINE BROWN.. OK .. formally “Brown” .. now wife of good & handsome guy, Shaggy (I believe).. great to see you both… HI MARGARET & COLIN .. LOVED SEEING YOUR SMILING FACES during the show!!! So good to talk to you at the end!!
Big hi to Jean Marie (formerly a New Jersey girl!!) & husband RAY .. great talking to you!!! .. see you soon.
Big hello to OLD FRIENDS, Liz & Cara.. so good to see you both again .. thanks for the kind words & good memories! ..best with the pregnancy, Cara.. your baby will be beautiful!!! See you both soon!!
HI LINDA (AGAIN) & P.J. .. hope to see you soon.. BIG HI TO ROBYN (with the cane at the end).. GREAT TO SEE YOU MY FRIEND.. hope to see you next time.. you as well “DA” (actually ALAN)… nice meeting you!!
Hi Hieran & Kevin at the end!! .. yes.. keep those girls in line next time!!! They certainly are an embarrassment!! .. see you all soon.
AGAIN .. big thanks to the sound guys, ALAN & TOM .. Alan .. great set up .. we adjusted little .. & Tom .. thanks for taking over – you were more help than you know (nice to meet you, Zekiya, at the end).
AND HUGE THANKS TO DON for having us – love your place, Don .. hope to see you soon!! Big thanks to the entire staff! And DAVY .. I don’t know how you pulled this off on such short notice!!! You’ve got the magic touch!!! BIG, big thanks!!!
Oct 10, 2010 – DRIVING TO DUBLIN
Kendel talented brother (plays all instruments .. brilliant fiddler) is in Ireland. We meet him at The NEWGRANGE passage tomb area – an amazing, interesting & spiritually thought provoking place. Kendel will join Tyler for the day & his performance north of Dublin tonight. We’ll catch up in the AM.
Great to see you TY .. look forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Oct 7, 2010 – BACK TO DERRY (for a show)
Nigel picks Kendel & me up from our Belfast hotel (The Radisson Encore – we liked this place) .. an hour plus later, we’re back at THE TOWER HOTEL in Derry where we were a few days ago, We like this hotel & the bonus is that it’s only a few blocks from the venue (The Playhouse Theater).
I have a few hours to catch up on business – including a return trip to Kiruna, Sweden to celebrate the coming of the darkness – The First Annual MEAN BASTARD DAY. The celebration’s name comes from a new song of mine, I KNOW DARK, which will be the theme song of the celebration – which I will sing with my friends from the great WILLY CLAY band. THIS IS GOING TO BE SOME NIGHT!!
Note: The celebration will be held at THE TRADGARN, a very cool restaurant / bar / music venue, owned by my friends, Arthur & Louise.
SOUND CHECK AT THE PLAYHOUSE THEATER
At the Playhouse, Kendel & I are greeted by kind staff folks Adel at the front desk & Lenny, who will handle the sound in the upstairs small theater. This reminds me of a theater in Holland. The stage is the floor, with the seats rising in front of you. We love the warm feel of the room & we’re very happy with the sound in seconds.
We head back to the hotel for a quick meal. Shortly after, it’s show time.
START TIME MISCUE
There was some discrepancy with the start time, as the program had us starting at 8:00 & the posters had us starting at 8:30. At the suggestion of the Playhouse management, we split the difference & started to an almost-full house at 8:15. The house filled up in minutes as the “poster” crowd got there by 8:30.
Again, I feel like I’m home when I play in Northern Ireland. And that’s the way it was tonight. The sound was great for us on stage so it allowed Kendel & I to inspire each other in the best way.
The audience came along with us on the YONKERS NEW YORK journey in story & song with BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY (which totally rocked tonight!!) & Saw MILL RIVER ROAD.
Kendel, almost totally recovered from her jet-lag, was on fire tonight. We went inspired places with her OH BABY LIE DOWN (so warm!!) & BELT BUCKLE, which was so edgy & rock & roll tonight. And I LIKE TRUCKS was a definite highlight.
One of my favorite moments of the show was a requested tribute to Phil Sinclair, with my song tribute to Phil, “THE GHOST OF PHIL SINCLAIR”
Note: Phil was a record store owner from this area, who loved my 70’s albums & gave them as gifts to all his friends back then. Phil was & is – the main reason for my fan base in these parts. I visited him in the hospital when I first came to Belfast in 1997. He passed away shortly after. I dedicate all my Ireland tours to his spirit.
ANGEL OF THE MORNING was soulful tonight. WILD THING was cool & edgy. THE VAN song was a definite highlight again tonight as was STROKE CITY GIRLS, my hit in this area back in 2002 – I LOVE singing this song!! ALSO .. so special again was DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE .. which goes different places every night & always connects .. & KENDEL is so much a part of the energy of all these songs.. she helps me make them fresh & new every night. SHE IS ONE-OF-A-KIND AWESOME!!!
WE closed with a medley of I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE, HOLY SHIT (dedicated to the prisoners) & reprised a bit of STROKE CITY GIRLS & said good night
This was a special one.
SAID HI TO SEVERAL, INCLUDING:
HI VALERIE – HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! So great to see you with husband Liam & friends Heather & Robert. Valerie wanted me to know that she’s a huge music fan & that I shot up to the top spot on her “favorite artists of all time” list a few years ago – & I have not relinquished that position – Bruce Springstein is still in the second spot, with Elvis third.
Big thanks for the kind words, Val & big thanks to Robert for the support over the years – thanks for the kind words Heather – & Liam – hope to see you all soon.
Hi Raymond, good to see you – Big hi to my new friends, MARTINA & PAUL – artists as well – sing my “Hole In The Midnight” & “I LIKE TRUCKS” & others. Great seeing & talking to you later at Sandino’s.
Hi Kevin .. good to see you .. & another Liam & MAGGIE!! – so good to see you .. hope to see you in Ballybofey tomorrow!
Hi Sean.. good to see you .. didn’t find out until later who you were. I hear you’re terrific – best with your music!! .. Hi Michael .. good to see you .. big hello to the nice guys I saw as I left, Richie & J.P. – thanks for the kind words.
Great to see my friends from Portugal – VANESSA, FERNANDO & ELIZEBETH!!! Loved seeing you close to the stage tonight!!
AT SANDINOS AFTER THE SHOW Special hi
Hi to Jeanie & Martin & son Marty (look forward to hearing your band!) .. wonderful having some laughs with you guys tonight!! Hope to see you soon – Martin!! BEHAVE!!!!
Hi Martina & Paul – loved talking to you!! .. BIG THANKS TO ANNA & THE BARTENDER STAFF!!! There’s not a cooler bar on the planet!!
Hi Elizabeth (from Portugal) – hope you have a good meeting with your boss .. & get to mix your art into your work day.. Fernando .. good lock with your Djing here at Sandinos .. hope it goes well .. Vanessa .. so good meeting you. Tell “John” you’re “BUSY” .. “very busy” .. see you in NEW YORK!!
THIS WAS A SPECIAL WIND DOWN – see you all soon!!
Oct 8, 2010 – A VISIT TO THE BEDLAM WEEKEND MARKET!!!!
The Bedlam is a cool vintage – retro – antique – crafts – weekend market, housed in a old retro bank-like structure. My friend DAVY BROWN has just become part of a group of 8 or so dealers!!
We stopped by to say hello & visit with all these great folks dealing with these “treasures” – each dealer having their own area to display their cool stuff. At Davy’s area he had the perfect pair of unique vintage jeans waiting for Kendel (THE FIT PERFECT!!!) – & a cool T-SHIRT waiting for me.
Loved this visit!!! What great place – folks could get lost in this cool stuff for hours!! Big hi to young model, Ciara – hope to see you & boyfriend (& family) at our show tomorrow in Limavady!! Loved taking the pictures with you – hope somebody sends one to me!
Hi to Elaine & Sophia & all – see you soon!
ARRIVING IN BALLYBOFEY – THE VILLA ROSE HOTEL
It was another beautiful ride down to Ballybofey. We arrived at about 2:30 in this quaint town/ Hidden off the main street is this cool – almost little Las Vegas-like hotel – THE VILLA ROSE. A very astute, nice lady – Jane – welcomes us. I like the feel of this place!!
Oct 4, 2010 – KENDEL ARRIVES
Kendel arrives at the hotel at 9:40. She flew in from Toronto – had no sleep. She sleeps for a few hours. After a good walk toward & in a cool shopping area a few blocks away, we rehearse for a bit. Then it’s an early dinner at the rather “elite” Gersham Hotel two doors down, we call it a night.
Oct 5, 2010 – HEADING FOR DERRY
OLD FRIEND NIGEL MARTYN picks us up – 3 hours later we’re in DERRY
Terrific interview (plus live performance) with new friend Brian – greeted by nice folks, Theresa, Noel & Nuala – so great meeting you all.
A BOMB & A FLAT TIRE
A bomb had gone off early this morning in Derry, not too far from the radio station. No one was injured – but any reflection of “the Troubles” & threat to northern Irelands heroic march to peace, is met with great concern. So this was the headline news in every paper today & the lead story in any radio discussion. There were several roadblocks in the area. A reminder of the late 90’s when police stoppages (& bombs) were the rule, not the exception.
Nigel was taking some back roads to the station to avoid the traffic congestion. Despite the fact that Nigel is from Northern Ireland (Belfast) & has promoted shows in this town all his life, he was not totally familiar with the area. At one point he was trying to make time by making a one-lane road double its size by driving in the parking lane. All of a sudden a sidewalk jutted out from the curb. I noticed it & called out – but it was too late.
Our old Saab’s left from wheel slammed into the raised curb & the tire quickly succumbed. We were fairly close to the hotel. Nigel offered to get us a Taxi, but Kendel & I were in the “one-for-all” spirit & with Nigel’s fast, hard work – & a bit of a team effort – the tire was changed (in the chilly weather) in what seemed like record time.
Note: Nigel would be up early the following day to sort out the damage – refreshing his severely dented wheel with an underground fix-it shop & getting a new tire. Financially, this set him back the equivalent of approximately $200 US dollars. Nigel did this with good spirit saying. “If this were a rental, it would have cost $500 to fix & I would have been charged!!! I SAVED $300!!! WHAT A GOOD DEAL!!”
We arrived at the hotel at 6:00
LOVE THIS PLACE – Kendel, Nigel & I have a good dinner at the hotel, and after Kendel retires for the night, Nigel & I head for a bar down the hill called Sandino’s.
This is one of the coolest bars on the planet – EVERYBODY’S WELCOME (nationality/sexual preference/Loyalist/Nationalist) – & THEY ALL COME … in the image & likeness of the proprietor, JOE – GREAT TO SEE YOU AGAIN JOE!!! Hi to bartender MARTIN… big thanks!!
SPECIAL HELLO TO new friends from PORTUGAL, Vanessa, Fernando & Elizabeth!!!! See you at the PLAYHOUSE in two days!!! I’ll look forward to that.
We head back up the hill to our hotel. We’re in bed by 12:30.
Oct 6, 2010 – BBC RADIO LOCH FOYLE
We arrived at the station at 10:30 & were greeted by kind folks, Michael & Michael, Diedra & Emma, who connected me to Gerry the last time I phoned from Holland.
Soundman Ken, did a great/quick job setting the sound up for Kendel & me. Then it was a a very special 25 minute show with my old friend, Gerry Anderson – who was the inspiration for my hit in these parts, STROKE CITY GIRLS.
Note – Gerry – a former bass player with Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks – had coined the phrase “Stroke City” back in the late 90s to solve the edgy debate as to the proper name of the town (DERRY or LONDONDERRY) Putting an apostrophe in front of Derry (‘DERRY) & calling the town “STROKE CITY”, was a step in the right direction. And folks on both sides of the political spectrum seemed to appreciate Gerry’s effort. And that was the inspiration for my song, “STROKE CITY GIRLS” (a wish for peace) which folks seem to appreciate with a similar reverence.
HEADING FOR BELFAST
With a brief fuel stop & Nigel at helm again, we arrive in Belfast about 2:30. Nigel & I make a quick run about 20 minutes away to a just-opened vintage guitar shop (THE GUITAR ROOMS) owned by a couple of his friends, Neil & Vinty (Vincent Gilbert). Also there was a nice lovely wife, whose name escapes me. So nice seeing you all!!
We’re there to pick up a safety stage guitar (in case I break a string). Neil & Vinty suggest a compact Guild. It sounds perfect to me. After Vinty fixes a strap for it, Nige & I on the road back to the hotel.
There are Internet problems on my floor. A kind fellow named Colin (& cohort John) diagnose the problem & change my room. I get on the net just in time to handle some business & be ready for a brief rehearsal with Kendel.
I’m a bit nervous. This is the first time playing for my Ireland friends in about 3 years. And this time it’s a humble set up – just Kendel & me. I’m not sure what the reaction will be. On the plus side is the fact that Kendel always rises to these occasions mentally (as well as with her performance). We rehearse for about a half hour & I’m feeling a special comfort zone with her. She is so magical to work with!
THE BLACK BOX
This is an awesome room!! – It is a square room that, with tables & chairs at fairly close intervals & a standing room at the bar, holds about 150.
We have a quick, solid check with soundman Barry. Big thanks Barry – that was easy!!! After Peter guides us to our dressing room to store a few things, we’re off to our Ramada Encore hotel restaurant for a quick meal. We’re joined there by my old friend, Davy Brown & his new friend Brenda. SO GREAT TO SPEND TIME WITH YOU BOTH!!!
Then, after a quick shower, & we’re ready for show time!
So great to see the room absolutely packed!!
All my fears were gone as soon as we took the stage. We could tell from the reception that we were totally playing for friends tonight!!!
The amazing connection that I’ve developed with the Northern Ireland people is the story of this show. And it was there from the beginning until the very end.
Kendel was loose & great & inspired with her own songs & added such precious stuff to mine. The audience loved her & let her know it!
I’ve been looking forward to playing the YONKERS NY songs for my Irish friends for quite a while, so that journey was so special tonight. I loved drifting through the stories & songs of BASTARD BROTHERS, HEY JONNY, WITHOUT HORSES, the title track (YONKERS NY) & SAW MILL RIVER ROAD – with it’s BIG RIVER & ENDLESS SLEEP interludes.
We were all so connected with the YONKERS stuff & several of Kendel’s such as, Oh Baby Lie Down, Belt Buckle (this was so cool tonight) & BIG TRUCKS – the folks LOVED just this one!!
But the magic wasn’t over and some the off-the-wall stuff .. like a requested CLEAN YOUR OWN TABLES & THE VAN SONG totally brought down the house. I got totally lost in DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE & the audience went there with me – this a special, unplanned highlight that seemed to come out of the blue. I LOVED THIS MOMENT.
ANGEL OF THE MORNING was so pretty & inspired tonight (Kendel gave chills) & WILD THING totally rocked .. but what got to me MOST emotionally was the warm interaction of all of us with STROKE CITY GIRLS & HOLY SHIT.. then back to STROKE CITY GIRLS again (which I had never done before & had no plan to do tonight) – with it’s gentle warm, peace message.. & then the passion of a requested BLACK & BLUE AMERICA. All of this late, unplanned magic, made this show one of my favorites in memory.
As I mentioned, I was a bit nervous before the show. I HAD ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT!!
Said hi to so many!!! HERE WE GO!
Hi Crawford (Bell) – who played with Van Morrison .. great to see you!!! Thanks for the requests & inspiration tonight. And.. from that same camp, Willie (Richardson) .. Van’s tour manager & cohort for a long while.. Willie “stole” John Platania from me for several VAN shows. Both Crawford & Willie were the inspiration for tonight’s huge crowd pleaser “THE VAN SONG”
“what’s Van got that we ain’t – what love songs can he pain’t
he can’t play the fiddle or yodel no more” …etc”
Hi to lovely Catriona (requested BLUE DRESS –we’ll do that for you one of these days!) & sister AMY & mom, Roisin & dad Jim .. great to see you guys… Hi Marie Claire!!! (so special) .. & Catherine.. so great to see you both!!..
Hi Dermot – hope son, Pearse (7?) likes the CD & comes to one of my shows next year. Hi John (Dermot’s co-worker), hope bride-to-be, Margaret, enjoys the CD.. Congratulations Margaret.. hope to see you next year!
HI FRANCES & JIM.. so GREAT to see you both again!!! Let’s make this a habit!! Big hello to Bill (who could not attend for physical reasons). Hope your friend, Chris, can hook something up for us together privately next time.. for coffee .. or something – so we can say hello. Chris.. contact INFO@TRAINWRECKRECORDS.COM when you see I’m about to come to these parts.. & we’ll work something out. All the best!!
Hi Dave & Kevin – those were nice words my friend. They mean a lot to me. BIG HI SAM!!!! SO GREAT TO SEE YOU AFTER ALL THESE YEARS!!! Thanks for all the support. Hope to see you soon!!
Big hello to Mary & Von from Donegal.. Von, thanks for telling me about your Friday night, wine & BLACK & BLUE AMERICA tradition!! Tell your Donegal friends I’ll look forward to seeing them VERY SOON!!! God Bless!! And hi to son TIM.. a BIG TRUCKS fan! Great to see you Tim.. hope to see you soon again!!
Hi to Michael.. thanks for the kind words.. nice talking to you later at the hotel ..Hi to Denis from Rostrevor (I LOVE that place!!) Big Hi to Marian & Gerry .. so good to see you both.. And SPECIAL HELLO TO MY OLD FRIEND, BRENDAN (from Rostrevor as well – who surprised Carrie & me in the UK a few years ago) Great to see you again, my friend. Send my best regards to Sadilva & Donnard & Ray & all. I MISS THEM!!
This was a special night for me. I WILL BE BACK SOON!! And Kendel feels so welcome here. Hopefully she can return with me! God Bless!!
WINDING DOWN AFTER THE SHOW
Note: good to wind down at the hotel bar with old friend Davy Brown, Michael from the show (sorry I missed saying goodbye when you left) & bartender Gary.. whose fiancé reminds me so much of Andrea from “STROKE CITY GIRLS”. All the best with your new baby – see you soon!
Oct 3, 2010 – LEAVING MALMO
Håkan picks me up at The Savoy Hotel in Malmo (hate to leave this place). We head over the long bridge to Copenhagen Airport. The check in is smooth, despite my three handheld luggage pieces – one being a fan – which I desperately need for air flow to sleep at night (it was the first item I purchased when arriving in Halden Norway three weeks ago).
ARRIVING IN DUBLIN
(note: Kendel & I are meeting in Dublin to do a bit of press to advance the Ireland tour, which begins in Belfast in two days)
Two plus hours after takeoff (a great, comfortable SAS flight, I must say), I arrive at Dublin’s airport at 5:45 & arrive at my hotel – The BEST WESTERN ACADEMY (recommended) at 6:30.
DINNER AT FLANAGAN’S / DRINKS AT “GRAND CENTRAL STATION”
As the hotel restaurant is closed tonight (Sunday) the desk clerk recommends a place two blocks away. Fitzpatrick’s is a modest place – but the service & food are excellent. After I stop at a trendy bar, “GRAND CENTRAL STATION” (formerly an old bank). Ah!!!! They have Ardbeg scotch!! I say hello to some nice folks, Kathryn (actress), Jody & Josie – all invited to our show (Kendel & me) in Dublin at WHELAN’S on OCT 11.
Oct 4, 2010
Had a very good night’s sleep & a good breakfast at the hotel. Kendel will arrive from Canada in a few minutes. Looking forward to that!!
TOUR NOTES – NORWAY – SWEDEN Sep 18 – Oct 2, 2010
Oct 2, 2010 – YSTAD, SWEDEN
THIS IS OUR LAST SHOW ON THE THIS TOUR
It’s about an hour drive to Ystad – the final destination a tiny, magnificent, 100-year-old theater.
Håkan & family (wife, Monica, daughter Elen & son, Yens) go down there early to set up the sound system & bring all the back-line (amps etc). This is a tough, tough job.
Pretty much everything is set up when we arrive. Great to see ULLA, a kind lady who is our host. THANKS FOR ALL YOUR WELCOMING ENTHUSIASM, ULLA!! It was so nice to feel that!
Yens is our engineer for the night. It takes us a while to figure the room-sound out, but the end result is that this is as good sound as anyplace on the tour. BIG THANKS YENS.
Had a great dinner at a trendy restaurant two blocks up the winding cobblestone street. Lovely Jessica was our kind waitress – so good to see you. We’ve certainly had the best of food on this tour – this is right up there with the best of those meals.
Simon did a great opening set. His voice sounded so solid & pure & his guitar playing – like always – was amazing.
We were on stage at about 9:00 – weaving in & out of the YONKERS NEW YORK songs & stories & THE BEST OF “JAMES WESLEY DAYS”.
The band was totally on fire tonight. This was show of the tour for Orjan Maki – his country heart showed through BIG time tonight.
But all the boys felt so tight & together, so the solos & ambiance were every bit as important as the songs. THE NEW UKRAINIANS are a killer band. They showed that tonight.
One of the magical highlights tonight was I KNOW DARK – my tribute to my northern friends – The song & the sing-a-long chorus sounded so reverent tonight in this church atmosphere.
Also LOVED “SAW MILL RIVER ROAD TONIGHT: with the BIG RIVER & ENDLESS SLEEP inserts. This had SO much heart!!
ANGEL OF THE MORNING gave me such chills & WILD THING totally rocked with wonderful therapy sing-a-longs ending it! The band killed on this tonight. The Tony-Bjorn bass/drum solo was definitely a huge highlight for me.
One of the most touching moments of the show was the Rune/Irena requested “Getting Older Looking Back” & the Lars & Marita requested, The Ship” Thanks my friends!! I had chills playing & singing both of these.
We ended with a totally reverent HOLY SHIT – again in solidarity with the prisoners – and ended with a request from Ulla’s husband, Bertil, I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE. Obviously Bertil was a true fan for many years.
Big thanks to all. This was a warm, wonderful way to end this amazing tour.
FIRST, HUGE THANKS TO MY DEAR FRIEND Håkan & “BIG” BJORN for setting up this tour – it was so well planned, which allowed us to just think about the music. It’s great when that happens!!
And special thanks to Håkan & the entire family for their amazing efforts with this show!!
Thanks Ulla .. loved this place. Thanks so much for having us. Great to meet you Bertil. Thanks for the kind words. See you both soon.
Hi Cilluf & Lars .. good to see you during & after – again, thanks for the kind words!! Hi Elizabeth & Eva & Peter .. so good to see you… Hi Mats .. & HUGE THANKS TO EMIL for the wonderful article in the local paper – much appreciated!!
OK .. that’s it. LOOK FOR THE NEW UKRAINIANS!!! We’re on our way!!!!!!
Oct 1, 2010 – HEADING FOR MALMO
It’s a beautiful morning in Norrtalja. Had breakfast at The Hotel Atellet, overlooking the little stream that feeds into the adjacent-to-the-hotel harbor, with BIG Bjorn and Tony Leone.
As I mentioned in earlier notes, the other Bjorn and wife Sarah & son, Olaf have been staying at Big Bjorn’s wife’s new B&B. they pick us up in the van and we’re off to STOCKHOLM for our flight to MALMO.
We arrive at 11:00 for a 12:30 flight. John Platania & I would never cut it so close, but it’s a very smooth check in (AGAIN!) and we’re at the gate an hour before the plain leaves.
Bjorn lets me use his AT&T like phone-computer Internet connection device – which attaches to my USB port just like my AT&T devise does.
ONE HUGE DIFFERENCE! THIS ONE WORKS LIKE A PERFECT AND FAST WI-FI CONNECTION! – I have to check back home to see I’m using a dated one and if they’ve made improvements. This one is awesome. Net result – I’m able to check mail quickly & respond.
ON THE PLANE NOW – LANDING IN A FEW MINUTES – hoping Håkan will be there to meet us. Looking forward to seeing my old friend again!
Oct 1, 2010 – ARRIVE IN MALMO
Håkan waiting – great to see my friend again!
35 minutes later we’re checking into one of my favorite hotels on the planet – the historic, elite yet unpretentious – Rolls Royce of hotels – THE SAVOY
After checking in we find that the Internet server is down in all of Scandinavia – SO — WHY NOT GET A NEEDED HAIRCUT?
LOW & BEHOLD.. just around the corner I find the Rolls Royce of hair salons (HAR GRUPPEN) and magician-cutter Lars Hogberg .. big thanks my friend! – After your pro wave & slash of the scissors, I feel all fresh and new! Look forward to seeing you & your wife Chrystal at our show tomorrow night in Ystad!
THE VENUE – THE VIKTORIATERN
This is one of the prettiest old/classic theaters I’ve EVER seen. Small tables and chairs are fit fairly tight/but comfortably together on the main floor. The balcony overhang fits about 30 more with typical theater seats. The entire theater holds about 180.
Due to a great promotion and poster campaign, we are sold out on the main floor with only a few seats open in the balcony. GREAT JOB Håkan! BIG THANKS!
This is one of the only theaters in the world where folks are allowed to bring their own food & drink – beer, whiskey, soda – whatever. So, the event is more like a nice picnic music fest with a bunch of friends. And oh man!! – we had friends here tonight!
SOUND CHECK –
We’re within 10 minutes walk from the venue. But because we have some equipment, we drive the van – due to one-way streets – it takes about as long. The theater is situated in quaint old but fashionable area with small cobblestone streets – as mentioned, often one-way and some for just walking – lined with shops for clothing, food – whatever. Great to meet the staff, LARS (mgr), sound tech, Matts and floor staff Pierre & lovely Luvisa. What nice folks!
We’re comfortably sound checked in minutes and have time to rehearse a few songs before heading to dinner.
We eat at a famous pub, that, according to Håkan, was a landmark long before the neighborhood got fashionable. Another awesome, beautifully presented meal – hardly typical pub food – just amazing!
After Simon’s good opening, we’re on stage at 8:40. We play straight through until 11:10.
With the spotlights shining on the band on stage, I was kind of blinded from the audience – particularly when up close to the microphone. But one thing I could tell for sure – we were playing for friends tonight. During some of John’s solos, backing away from the mike, I could see a room full of comfortable, friendly faces. I loved the feeling of this place/group of folks tonight.
Again, the spoken words and songs from YONKERS, NEW YORK, connected big time – as did the selections from Håkan’s “BEST OF” (JAMES WESLEY DAYS).
And the band was terrific & loose as usual – featuring great solos from John Platania and Orjan Maki – and solid backbeats and low end from Tony Leone & Bjorn Petterson. I just love playing with these guys. We’re always out on a limb, as we have no set beginnings and ending. We just feel it out together and go to unknown places – & that’s what makes it so inspiring. It’s that “let’s see where this takes us” attitude. I love that.
BASTARD BROTHERS, SAW MILL RIVER ROAD, SWEET TEQUILA BLUES, HEY JONNY, FOREVER’S GOING UNDERGROUND, DANCE WITH JESUS (with it’s great church-like call and response) all connected in a big way. And I loved the “extra ones” tonight – I NEED SOME HELP WITH THAT & a requested CLEAN YOUR OWN TABLES.
ANGEL OF THE MORNING was so chilling tonight – and so inspired. I went to a different “zone” with this one and the boys stayed right with me. And WILD THING totally rocked – and the therapy sing-a-long on it was awesome – highlighted by one of the best “groovy” vocal sections of the tour.
And extra-special for me tonight was DANCE WITH A HOLE IN YOUR SHOE. With it’s beat-poet-like reading turning in various unplanned directions – a touching and warm CHARCOAL SKY and in solidarity with the prisoners, a reverent HOLY SHIT.
After old friends Lars & Marita, sitting at a front table on the right, passed me a sip of Laphroig scotch (a favorite of mine), we said goodnight with a cool version of I WASN’T BORN IN TENNESSEE.
SAID HI TO SEVERAL AFTER THE SHOW, INCLUDING:
SO GOOD TO SEE MY GREAT FRIEND, Elen (Håkan’s great daughter – who did the amazing JAMES WESLEY DAYS graphics) – love you Elen.. you too Monica (Håkan’s warm & wonderful wife) .. love you guys – this was so special.
OF COURSE – HUGE HELLO TO MY GREAT OLD FRIENDS RUNE and IRENA and LARS and MARITA! – the best .. see you tomorrow .. thanks so much for all the support over these years .. remind me for THE SHIP and GETTING OLDER LOOKING BACK.. I’ll play them for you!
Hi Linda .. Estelle & Raymond (the Wild Thing guy) .. so good to see you guys .. Hi Margaretha.. so nice to see you .. Hi Ingrid & THOMAS .. and TOMMY (thanks for waiting in line!) .. nice to see you folks.
Hi Bjorn – thanks for reintroducing yourself – that makes it easy for me – great to see you again & again (missed you at the bar!) – hi to dad, Soren .. great to see you again as well. BIG HI TO NIKLAS & PETER (second time I’ve seen you!?) .. thanks for the kind words.
Hi KIM .. from one JC fan to another .. good to see you … BIG HI TO LOTTA’S FRIENDS LENA & MARIE .. so good to see you .. send Lotta my big, big love!! – Hi Peter.. thanks for the special words – much appreciated ..
HI GERT & MARIA LOUISA (who said she hated country until tonight!) .. big thanks .. OK Gert, hopefully you & your wife (M.L) will be a permanent fixture from now on! Love to you guys!!
HI STEEN & INGE (collector’s extraordinaire) .. thanks for ALL the support over the years.. hope you get the prison CD.. see you soon!! AND BIG HI TO STEEN’S FRIEND, JAN – Denmark DJ – music lover – .. so nice talking with you .. hope to see you next time!
HI CEDER! .. short for a complicated Swedish name that has something to do with a small connection where a limb branches off – bet you think I wasn’t paying attention Ceder! .. GREAT to see you tonight.. thanks for the kind words! .. Hi Michael .. great to see you
Special hi to the young friendly lady I saw at the end of the show.. who was here with her mom & some friends & had seen me 6 or so years ago.. sorry I lost my notes with your name .. was it Marie or Maria.. anyway.. thanks for the kind words – GREAT TO SEE YOU!
AGAIN… big hi to the great staff folks, LARS, MATTS, LOVISA & PIERRE .. good to see you later Pierre.. hope to see you ALL soon again!! This was special – so special! note: LAST SHOW ON THE SWEDISH TOUR is tomorrow in YSTAD.. then off to Ireland to join Kendel Carson