It’s summertime in Cornwall, and we’re reaping a bountiful harvest from those potatoes I was just getting ready to start planting when I sent my last newsletter back at the beginning of April. Here’s a photo – digging up more just like these every few days, and they’re ever so delicious!
There are lots more photos from the garden on my Instagram page, where you can also see pics from my April-May Ireland/UK tour and the Cornwall gigs in June that followed it.
It was so, so good to be back on the road again and performing to real live flesh and blood human beings, and I actually found myself starting to write new songs for the first time since Covid hit back in March 2020. Which was a massive relief, I can tell you – I’d been beginning to wonder whether I had any creative spark left in me at all. I did do lots of work on music composition during lockdown, and had a lovely time setting a poem by Paul Cookson to music and recording it for his forthcoming album I’ll Be Bernie – You Be Elton (stay tuned for news about that as well as another exciting soon-to-be-released side project). But the songs just didn’t seem to be coming to me … and now they are, and I’m so glad.
Sadly, audience numbers are still way down on what they were pre-Covid – three gigs early on in the tour were cancelled by the venues due to low advance ticket sales – and between that and drastically increased travel costs (not to mention new expenses for carnets and customs), it’s harder than ever to make a living from touring … so I’m very, very grateful to my kind supporters on Patreon who’ve been helping to make it possible for me to continue doing what I do. Please do consider joining their number for as little as £1/€1/$1 a month – every little bit helps! Here are sneak previews of two of the behind-the-scenes videos from the recent tour that I made for my patrons:
I’ve got a few summer shows here and there, starting this weekend with gigs at the Ashburton Arts Centre in Devon and Melford House in Mayfield, East Sussex; later this month I’ll be making my second visit to Festival At The Edge, the oldest storytelling festival in England, where I’ll be giving a workshop on “Telling Stories Through Songs” in addition to my concert set. And in August I’ll be performing at the Hellys International Guitar Festival in Cornwall and Muddifords Court in Devon. As always, any help spreading the word about these and other forthcoming shows would be very much appreciated. See the Tour page of my website for ticket links and full info, and please buy tickets in advance if you possibly can!
Finally, can I put in a bit of a plug for my wonderful manager and sound engineer Martin Stansbury, who’s also working hard to try and recoup the earnings he lost to the pandemic. Check out his Cacophony Cottage website if you’re looking for help with any or all steps involved in releasing music – from recording, mixing and mastering to administering song registrations, dealing with pressing plants and distributors, and releasing both digital and physical product, as well as general artistic direction and business services. Both his audio work and his managerial acumen are first class and highly recommended!
Huge thanks for reading this far, and I hope to see you at a gig down the road.