2nd of January

by on January 2nd, 2016

Happy New Year everyone. I am just recovering from the festivities of the season and knuckling down to a number of resolutions that are bound to fall by the wayside as quickly as ever! I had a great Hogmanay gig at the Dunkeld Hilton, singing with a smashing band – Pete Clark and Jen Knussen on fiddles, Gregor Lowrey on accordion, Steve Gillies on guitar, Eric Knussen on bass and Graham Mulholland on pipes and whistles.
Like many folkies all over the world Susie and I were very sorry to hear about the passing of one of Scotland’s most beloved singer/songwriters – Andy M. Stewart. Andy had been suffering from poor health for quite some time and it has been couple of years since we last saw him. We very very honoured to have organised one of his last ever public performances in Glasgow where he had us all both spellbound and in stitches with his songs and patter. The snaps are from his songbook which he signed and presented to us – a wonderful collection of his original songs and Scottish favourites that he popularised. As a troubador myself I am often regaled with stories of Andy’s travels and exploits particularly in America. Like me he was a keen fisherman, the beautiful Valley of Strathmore is a song I often sing whilst casting across the Perthshire streams he fished as a lad. He brought a great deal of pleasure to a great many people and left the culture of Scotland very much enriched. Thanks for all the music, Andy.
Perhaps my favourite lines of all songs…

17th of December

by on December 17th, 2015

Hi folks it has been a week or three since I last blogged and it has been dominated by this stuff. Yes it has been as wet as a haddock’s bathing costume. Fortunately we escaped some of the severe flooding that they had in the north of England. The marks on the railway bridge in Perth are where the water comes over the top of the flood defense system which has so far done its job since it was built in the early nineties.
We did have a teasing fall of snow at the end of November and here are Beth and Sandy having a birthday sledge up Kinnoull Hill.
I am very keen to get up to the mountains on my snowboard and this site was very encouraging. However it all melted quite quickly and infact this month has been good for nothing except writing Xmas cards…So let the festivities commence!

24th of November

by on November 24th, 2015

Jim Robertson in Virginia is a wonderful musician with a fabulous collection of musical instruments that he had to shift in order that I could perform at his house. This is the good stuff that has hard cases.
A two hour tailback on the way to my final gig at Catoctin Creek distillery, which deprived me of my afternoon nap! The gig was great, by the gleaming stills and amongst the barrels.
I roosted with lovely folks Tracy and Richard in Loudon Co Va. They helped me get the critical end-of-tour packing sorted out and plied me with some select malts. Snapped this majestic bald eagle on the way to the airport, it was even closer but flew up to a tree when I pulled over. Thanks America for another wonderful trip. Enjoy Thanksgiving on Thursday and I’ll enjoy St Andrews Night on the 30th!

17th of November

by on November 17th, 2015

Spare the rod and spoil the child…

16th of November

by on November 17th, 2015

James and the Giant Peach… Had a great show down in Verbena AL where it’s all just peachy.. would love to get back when the fruit is in season, but did have some wicked peach cobbler from my host Ola.
A field of cotton just about to be harvested. It is an amazing plant, which used to be picked entirely by hand. The pods are really tough and could cut your fingers to ribbons.
A fresh bale of cotton, soon to be socks!