Boy its been a crazy time. Came back from Calgary to the UK and played the Stokes Bay festival then a few days later returned back to Canada for the Edmonton folk festival. Three great days were had there with many highlights. Got to hear Brett Dennon play having bought his CD by chance in Santa Cruz a year or so ago. He is doing really well right now, great to hear Michael Franti again. Also good to see Ron Sexsmith. I was re united with Moia Brennan, lead singer with Clannad, who I last shared a stage with in 93. She sang some wonderful backing vocals on All This Time for me..beautiful. Shared stages with wonderful artists like Karine Polwart and Eliza Gilkyson and enjoyed a slot on the mainstage before Joan Osborne, where I was so tempted to play ‘One Of Us’ but thinking it might have upset her a bit decided to ignore that bad voice in my head. It had its way the next day though when I belted the song out with the help of a band of great musicians on a workshop stage. It is nice to have a few folk rocking with you sometimes, I might have to get one of those band things one day.
There was also a lovely re union with Shawn Mullins who I fist met in Atlanta in 92. I was doing a radio tour with Sony and we met and he asked me to come here him play in a local bar that evening. I went down and listened to him play as the rest of the noisy bar ignored him. He gave me a self made CD that evening. About ten years later I was watching TGI Friday presented by Chris Evans and he introduces a songwriter from America singing his hit ‘Lullaby’. ‘I know that guy’ I thought and found the CD stored away somewhere he had given me in Atlanta. Anyhow, Shawn played at Edmonton and it was great to hook up with him again after so many years. We may do some shows together sometime.
Got back from Edmonton and went straight into the studio to mix the new ‘Evolved” album. That meant greeting the dawn chorus for three days in a row by which time my body clock was no where to be seen! I’m really pleased with this recording. It’s a fairly brave record in that its entirely acoustic one takes of songs that have changed so much through the years as they have been performed. We record songs too early, we don’t know them well enough and jump in to soon. This was my chance to put a few things straight. It’s a true representation of where I have got to as an artist and I’m looking forward to getting it out there. We are also planning some beautiful art work, via the award winning designer Michael Wrycraft in Canada, to go with it and hopefully make it a compelling package.
My parents Rose and Brian celebrated fifty years of marriage on the weekend before the Greenbelt festival. That was a lovely occasion with all the family and many friends gathered together to party. Well done Mum and Dad! The it was Greenbelt, with what I felt was one of my best gigs ever there which we recorded and hosting The Rising and a few other events. The day I played my main show at Greenbelt I also played the Tenby folk festival in Wales, so I truly came home. Did a one off show at the lovely Otterton Mill in Devon on Saturday where I was pleasantly surpised to find Andrew Marr of the BBC in the audience..what a lovely guy! Will return to Devon on Thursday for a gig with Steve Knightly to help raise awareness for domestic violence victims. A busy summer indeed.