Had an absolute treat of a concert a few nights ago in ‘die gitarre’ in Wintertuhr, Switzerland. Wonderful hosts and audience. So appreciative and a total pleasure to play for. To top it all they let me use a Brass and Woodbody National guitars for the concert plus a Santa Cruz finger pickers guitar. The shop has an amazing range of Classical, Steel String, Resonator Guitars and amps, it’s like heaven! Having played the night before in the Black Gate in Galway for Josh Johnsons album launch of the ‘Art of Saving Lives’ a 2am bus yesterday and playing Secret Garden on Tuesday no wonder I’m a little slow but content today!
Early in the year the Tom Portman Trio (with Karl Clews and Brian Gosker) did a few Tuesday nights in the new Black Gate cultural centre on Francis Street, Galway. Photographer Joni Nelson was around and took some great pics. I’ve just been in France to do a house concert and have holiday, today I finally got to go over the pictures. Thanks Joni and all at the Black Gate.
Soon the Tom Portman Trio is off to play in Poland at the Suwalki Blues festival, can’t wait.
Heading up to play some Bluegrass with the Old Time Rounders for the Garden party for the President in Áras an Uachtaráin. Now there’s a gig to get! I’ve got my Dobro, Fiddle and fancy checked shirt on. Unfortunately minus a couple of buttons which I’ll have to sew on the way. Thankfully I’m not driving. I’ve heard of people doing their nails whilst at the wheel but not needle work.
What a weekend just gone at the Ini festival on Inis Bofin. absolutely marvellous weekend organised by Peader King. Great music, talks, films, walks and he even booked the scorching weather. I’ve been a bit slow to post about it as it’s taken a few days to recover from round the clock fun and music. It kicked off on Friday where I had the joy and nerves of accompanying masters of songs Jack L, Doug Paisley, Steve Wall and Larry Bo. I had the Telecaster and Dobro but as a string broke on the Tele I stuck to the Dobro which which sounded sweet with Mike Nestor putting a Neumen on it. Thanks, Mike. Super songs and stories from the guys. Afterwards it was a pleasure to be asked to do a few numbers with the WhileAways who did a sweet set.
On Saturday in the afternoon I got to see the Atlantic by Risteard Ó Domhnaill who directed the Pipe which a really opening account of the state of Island communities, fishing and oil rights, EU Candian, Irish and Norwegian Governements. It was great in the afternoon to walk and Jam with Canaidian songwriter and hot guitarist Doug Paisley who I had the pleasure of playing with at his concert on Saturday night. Super musically and really interesting approach to performing as he only uses a microphone on his guitar. Really sweet sound and a really different dynamic approach. It really reduces the possible volume but makes for such a pleasurable listening and playing experience. Great job Mike and Liam. Then there was the amazing music from Portugese singer Elisa Rodrigues, featuring Pedro Vidal on guitars.
After a very late one I was a bit of a right off for Sunday and not up too much except chilling and swimming. Great to hang out with such creative people and their kids. In the evening it was lovely to listen to the genius Jazz pianist Martin Tingvall and float away. Afterwards in The Dolphin hanging out was again so much craic although I think everyone was fried and I felt like a child who’s having so much fun yet is refusing to give in and go to bed. Here’s some pics of the Island. See inisfestival.com , good next year it’s amazing.
Good to be back home this week and amazed to find the glorious sunshine. It’s great to be away but when the suns out you can’t beat being out the west (should get a job for the tourist board). Had a good last show in Toul in France last Saturday with Brother Dege and then a long trip back on Sunday. The security in Belgium airport is full on. Strange to be walking around with military everywhere and denied entry to the airport because I was ‘too early’ (there’s a first). Playing the market in Kinvara tomorrow at the none so respectable hour of 10am with Pete Lamb and I’ll be in Roisins with John Conneely on Sunday at the respectable hour of 11.30pm.
Just arrived in Enschede, in Northern Holland to play Cafe Rocks tonight. http://www.caferocks.nl/index.php/agenda
Great to have had a good few days chilling out in Sittard, in Holland after a great run of shows. It just seemed a case of getting better and better. Espace B in Paris was a great audience with fantastic support. Then Sterrebeek in Belgium was so cool, what a great place and great hosts. Ended up dancing to the wee hours. Arriving in Amsterdam we found ourselves staying in a new hotel in the old Naval buildings by the water & some sleep was really appreciated before heading to play in Pacific Park, had a kinda of club vibe inside and so was relieved to see them dig the Band and dance there socks off. Stoked to see a group come up from Sterrebeek specially for the show. Then the Ribs and Blues Festival in Raalte on Monday, was super. Great to be playing on a big stage for a big audience again. After playing clubs I forgot how good it is to have a dedicated monitor engineer on stage. Tomorrow should be cool too in Toul France, apparently there’ll be 1000 people at the show and I rumour of staying in a castle.
London bound to play Nambucca tonight on the Holloway Road with Brother Dege tonight. Awesome gig last night in the Gallimaufery in Bristol last night. Thanks to all the backing singers. https://www.facebook.com/events/1721868951431039/
Super night in Kilkenny, thanks to Stacey, Jed on sound and all at the Brewery Corner in Kilkenny. Fantastic opening set by song writer Richy Healy, then there was my self and then Brother Dege. Such a pleasure to play for a listening audience where you could could here a pin drop & play with dynamics. Great sound Jed & thanks to all attending. Had fun too yesterday with John and Martin Bridgeman at KCLR 96fm doing an early radio show. Meant only having 4hours sleep for the drive from Dundalk but beautiful to see a bit of the early morning world.