Summer 2018 update

Once again I’ve shamefully neglected this blog for far too long – and lots of exciting things have happened over the past 12 months, so I really have no excuse – except to say that you can also keep up with my adventures at my music promotion site True North Music and my band website for The Reckless Abandoners….although I set up this site as a way to bring together all my various musical adventures in one place!

Firstly I should mention that I actually won the Outstanding Promoter Award in the Yorkshire Gig Guide Grassroots Awards last October! You can read more about that here, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciate all the votes from all my supporters and followers.

Shortly after my last update around this time last year, The Reckless Abandoners played a couple of excellent festival performances at the Gower Bluegrass Festival (always a super weekend down in a scenic corner of South Wales) and then at the end of September we were up at Moniaive Michaelmas Bluegrass Festival in Scotland. We really enjoyed performing for the folks there – there’s a wee clip below to prove it. This year we’re looking forward to our Didmarton Bluegrass Festival debut at the end of August and a return to Cornish Bluegrass Festival in September.

As well as occasional outings with the Abandoners, Phil Stott and I have been working up some duo material and tried it out at a handful of local Open Mic events – more details on that and a video clip soon, hopefully! As ever, I enjoyed this Easter’s Sore Fingers bluegrass camp very much, taking the clawhammer banjo class with the marvellous Chris Coole, and I’ve been working on my banjo skillz (well, a bit) to accompany my singing. I also kept my hand in on fiddle by playing a bit of that with my lovely scratch band for the week (pictured), Rising Spring.

My music promotion work has been going from strength to strength. As well as winning the Outstanding Promoter Award last autumn, I’ve been inundated with requests for True North Music to book UK tours for some really top class artists! I’m gradually taking on more clients, and since last summer I’ve booked successful tours for The Railsplitters, Joe Newberry & April Verch, and Evie Ladin & Keith Terry. Tours coming up in late 2018 and early 2019 include The Slocan Ramblers, The Honey Dewdrops, Mile Twelve, The Jellyman’s Daughter, John Reischman & The Jaybirds and Ron Block & Tony Furtado! Keep up to date with tour news here.

I’m also still putting on a number of gigs myself here in Yorkshire, and the Huddersfield concert series at The Carlile Institute in Meltham has been particularly well supported, with all seven gigs there to date (one every few months) having totally sold out! It’s a lovely little venue (100 cap) and I’ve hosted some marvellous evenings there by fabulous artists including Molly Tuttle, Laura Cortese & the Dance Cards, Cardboard Fox and Tony Furtado. Coming up next week, I’ll be welcoming the wonderfully entertaining Corn Potato String Band from Detroit (and Alabama) with their fun mix of old songs, fiddle and banjo magic and good-time old time cabaret!

So it’s all go for me….although I have been neglecting my songwriting (and music making in general) a little bit this year, and as I was hoping to record an EP, with the help of a couple of my favourite UK musicians, I’d better start putting some work and practice into that project if I want to make it happen. Onwards and upwards….enjoy the rest of the festival season, and I’ll see you down the road somewhere!