Off the road today after twenty-eight storming gig’s around the U.K. I have to say that as the clock approaches 8pm this evening my fingers are twitching. Sometimes it’s very hard to stop. The crowds were so much a part of this last seven weeks. I saw more smiles than ever which was something I really wanted. Yes, we travel through the tough stuff but we come through laughing. I saw Ani do that in the summer and I thought ‘I want that for my girls and guys’. Thanks to everyone who came out and added so much to some very memorable nights. I have to say I can’t think of a tour I have enjoyed more and I have felt empowered to be standing in front of the ‘Evolved’ album. I have a little down time now and it’s time to write songs; you just get that sense of knowing when they are about to show up.
Odetta, the legendary Black folk singer died on Dec 5th aged 77. I met her a few years ago at the Vancouver folk festival. We shared a stage together and during one very memorable moment she graciously held the cover of a CD for me whilst I sang from the lyric sheet so I could read some words that had slipped my mind. Such was the impact of her personality and music, she had been asked to sing at inauguration of President elect Obama in January. Having lived through the great struggle of the civil rights movement and made such a huge musical contribution to the struggle of her people, it seems so cruel that we lost her at this time.
Last week, before we began the final push of the tour, I listened to a recording of a show I played at the City Varieties in Leeds in April 07. That night, before I played ‘Still This Will Not Be’ I said that part of me wished there was oil in Zimbabwe. I played it again last night in Worcester. It seems to me that having invaded countries for the wrong reasons in recent years it is time to move into Zimbabwe for the right one.