Goodness, the summer has flown! It’s been a lovely one: I had a fantastic time teaching a weekend DADGAD guitar workshop at Halsway Manor (known as “The Folk Hogwarts” for good reason – have a look at the pics I posted on Facebook and Instagram and you’ll see why!), sang and played at the wedding of my great friend and former Mama bandmate Zoë Pollock (if you come to any of my concerts over the next few months, you’ll get to hear the wedding march I wrote for her), had a wonderful 10-day camping holiday with my husband and kids in Warwickshire and Norfolk, and just last weekend headed over to Belgium and the Netherlands to perform at FolkFestival Ham and Esway Atelier Concerten.
That was quite a journey: Martin collected me at 10pm last Thursday night and drove us through the night to get to Harwich in time for the ferry; then, after a day-long journey from Harwich to Hook of Holland, we continued on down through the Netherlands and Belgium to the festival. I’m glad to say that it was well worth it: the festival was fantastic, one of the friendliest and most efficiently run events I’ve ever attended, and it was great to meet up there with some old friends from Ireland – the great Sharon Shannon, her longtime manager/sound engineer John Dunford, and guitarist Jim Murray – so good to see them all again after more than a decade! On Monday, after an equally fantastic concert up in the north of Holland, we did the same journey in reverse, leaving Onstwedde at 9am and arriving at Martin and his other half Faye’s house in Wadebridge just before 3am – then, after a short but much-needed sleep, doing a morning interview and live session on BBC Radio Cornwall’s The David White Show before Martin dropped me home!
I was supposed to be doing an outdoor concert at the Penlee Park Open Air Theatre tomorrow night (Friday 19 August), but sadly the weather forecast is dire, so the organisers have taken the decision to move it indoors to St Mary’s Church on Chapel Street, Penzance. Doors at 7:45 for 8pm show, bar open and curry available from 7pm! Then I’ll have just under two more weeks at home before I set off on a packed three months of touring: three UK shows followed by seven weeks in the USA and four weeks around the UK, finishing with an almost-home concert at the Regal Theatre in Redruth, just up the road from me.
Next year I won’t be touring as such, in order to be able to focus on writing and recording a new album – exciting news about that to come in due course ... don’t want to say too much just yet, so as not to jinx it! I’m also hoping to pen a sequel to my DADGAD Guitar Book, this time focusing on song accompaniment, and possibly a book of my own songs as well. I will still be doing festivals, local concerts and brief rural touring outings – just not going on any more long tours until the new album comes out in early 2018.
Do check out my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages for lots more chat, updates and photos. If you’re able to make it to one of the shows, it would be great to see you there, and please do help spread the word if you can.