11 July 2023

I’ve never done a music cruise but I hear they are pretty cool. You know the ones: sailing the high seas with your favourite musicians on-tap nearly 24-7. I'm told there's a Blues Cruise, an Americana Cruise and even a Folk Cruise. Although I've never done any of those cruises, I have had a boating and music experience at a festival in Birmingham in the West Midlands. I wonder if that counts? 

My day’s itinerary, which included an afternoon gig in an Art Gallery and an evening gig in an historic pub, gave me the directions to a city marina for my morning show. “Follow the pavement from the shopping precinct” I read, “Look for the hole in the wall and the stairs down to the canal,” which I did, my guitar case scrapping the side of the narrow walls. “Keep a sharp eye for the canal (aka narrow) boat with the sign that reads BLUES CRUISE.” I did all that and was welcomed aboard by the captain - skipper? driver? - who showed me inside to the, err, stage

The clue, as they say, is in the name. Narrow Boat. Standing in the centre of the "stage," with arms out-stretched, I could touch both sides of the boat. For those readers who are not familiar with the vessel I am describing, if you think Peaky Blinders rather than Love Boat you’ll just about have it. (To those readers who have no clue about either of those cultural references I do apologise!) 

The audience embarked and we set off down the canal, Deep River Blues the obvious starting point. We rolled along, our cruising speed no more than 3-miles per hour, the gentle rocking of the boat hypnotic, the summer morning air drowsily warm. I played. I sang. The audience, enjoying a variety of beverages, clapped and laughed in all the right places as we motored down and back on the canal. No one in the capacity crowd of about a dozen or so got sea-sick either. Result! And, from my perspective, a very pleasant way to spend a Sunday morning.  

July 2023 
17th Ellis Theatre, Marlborough (Brooks & Aaron Catlow!)  
27th Otterton Mill, Otterton, Devon (Brooks & Aaron Catlow)  
August 2023 
5th Down Home Festival, Ilam, Derbyshire (SOLO) 
13th The Brasenose Fringe Festival, Cropredy (SOLO) 
27th Private Event, Barton on Humber (SOLO) 
September 2023 
1st Didmarton Bluegrass Festival, Gloucestershire (w Dan Walsh)   
8th-9th Swallow Theatre, Newton Stewart, Dumfries & Galloway (w Dan Walsh) 
14th Old Riverport Jazz & Blues Festival, The Oliver Cromwell, St Ives, Cambridgeshire (SOLO) 
16th Millenium Hall, Moreton (w Dan Walsh) 
21st The Institute, Laxey, Isle Of Man (w Aaron Catlow) 
22nd St Edith’s Folk Club, Sevenoaks (w Aaron Catlow) 
23rd Elm Farm Music Concert, Swannington (w Aaron Catlow) 
24th Axbridge Town Hall, Somerset (w Aaron Catlow) 
30th The Sound Box, Chester, Cheshire (SOLO) 

“My word, we’re making a good record!” That’s what Rab Noakes texted me after hearing the rough mixes of our album of Don Everly's songs for the first time. I think I know what he meant. There was a great vibe to the sessions. In fact, it was out-of-this-world! Although we didn't have a videographer in the studio with us, we did have a photographer, the great Kris Kesiak. Have you seen the video Kris made to go with the title track? If not, WATCH IT HERE. And pre-order your copy soon, as there are only a limited number of CDs available. They'll be in the post by mid-August. Get yours before they are all gone! ORDER HERE. (photo by Kris Kesiak) 

Statesboro Blues, recorded live at The Green Note in Camden Town London. WATCH VIDEO HERE

Stubble & Dust, a brand new guitar tune recorded on my phone. The title comes from my reply when asked about the conditions I found when I played at a festival famous for its rain and mud. The title says it all. Use the code at the bottom of the email to get your mp3.