Martyn Joseph is a performer like no other: Shades of Springsteen, John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews there may be - but he stands in his own right, built on a reputation for giving what thousands have described as the best live music experience of their lives delivering his "songs of lyrical intelligence" according to BBC Radio 2's Bob Harris.

July 1, 2008 4:58 pm

A Dream Rushing By

Well a while has passed. Sorry about that, but with 13 flight in ten days and 8 rental cars there has not been a lot of time to sit down and jot diary entries. Let me give a brief summary of events.

After Salt Lake City I flew to Phoenix then drove up to Arizona. Beautiful venue, an outdoor amphitheatre enabling us to play under Arizona stars and obviously Arizona Dreams was sung. The next day Las Vegas was the venue and one I had very much been looking forward to. The show was at the Hard Rock Casino and I think it’s probably safe to say I’m only the second Welshman to play solo at a big Las Vegas Casino venue after Tom Jones! I have covered Vegas as a City amply in an entry back in April 07 but the great part of this visit was being able to track down the eighty year old taxi driver that inspired the song ‘Vegas”. I retraced my steps of the previous visit and discovered that Bob Shears was my man. I was able to give him the album and get him to come out to the show. It was a wonderful example of how music connects people and I think we were both emotional about it. I love the place but two days is enough.

Next day I flew to San Diego and the show was beside a harbour with little yachts and fishing boats alongside the stage. Then back to Phoenix connecting to Tucson for more Arizona Dreams. All these shows were great with Ani’s audience really responding and connecting with what I was doing. There was one funny moment at Tucson when after I had sung a couple of songs and had most folk won over as it were, some wise guy shouted out ‘play ‘Freebird’’. My instant two-word reaction back to him was something I have never done before from a stage and I spent the next two songs thinking did I really say that? Anyhow, it seemed to endear me even more to the crowd and at the end I dedicated the last song to ‘my friend’ and said ‘this song is called ‘Freebird’ part two!’

The last show was in Anaheim near LA. I played at the House Of Blues opening for Martin Sexton last year so it good to be back. These shows have been great fun. Big, enthusiastic audiences, with many new folk on board. Ani DiFranco and her team were a delight and Ani and I had some cool talks about life and music. It has been great to connect with this artist who I have admired for so long and I think we will do more together in the future. It made me feel like all the hastle and cost of renewing my 01 visa was worthwhile.

I’m now in Nova Scotia. Played a small house show here last night and will wait now to play the Stan Rogers Folk festival at Canso this weekend. I’m looking forward to getting home but I have heard great things about this festival and it will be good to play there. Today is Canada day, a holiday here and I’m trying to stop and slow down. It’s been a frenetic two weeks and sometimes it all feels like a dream rushing by.

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