1. Hello from Galway, Ireland
2. News: Denmark report, Ireland stay extended & more
3. Food for Thought: Proof that musicians are different
4. Story of the Month: “My Dad and Suzanne Vega”
5. Recommended: Extraordinary Irish music makers: Gerry O’Beirne, Lumiere, John Spillaine
Hello from Galway City, one of my favorite Irish towns. I had no plans to be in Galway today. In fact, I was scheduled to perform in Memphis over Labor Day weekend with the New Agrarians, but my dear friend Johnsmith had emergency open heart surgery few days ago—he’s on the mend now, thankfully—and thanks to understanding partners and promoters at home I’m able to remain in Ireland through September to host the tours John was to have led. Life is truly an adventure!
Thanks to Irish friends Parisch and Pam, I’m catching my breath in Galway after hosting my own tour for a vibrant group of new and old friends who truly celebrated their time here.
2. News: Denmark report, more on Ireland tours, New Agrarians & Waymores updates, and what’s next back home
a) Copenhagen Songwriters Festival was a blast!
I had an inspiring time in Denmark prior to traveling here to Ireland. I’d not visited in several years, and I heard so many terrific Danish and Swedish artists. Also had the opportunity to teach and perform at the new Spoken Word Festival in Odense, and what a treat that was. Big thanks to Brett Perkins (Copenhagen Songwriters Festival) and Betina Folleslev (SWF in Odense).
FYI Brett sat in with me to close the festival with our song “I Love What You’ve Done With This Place”, and someone caught it on cell phone. (Video’s shaky, but audio’s remarkably good. It’s posted it on youtube HERE.)
b) Ireland, now hosting Johnsmith’s tours
While John recuperates back home I’ll be standing in for him on two tours here. On the first (Sepember 6-15) we’ll visit Counties Mayo, Galway and Clare, and I’ll be co-hosting with yoga teacher Thomas Fortel. On the second (September 17-26) we’ll be in Cork, Kerry and Clare—among my favorite places in the world.
FYI next summer I’ll be hosting two Ireland tours. The first will run July 27-August 4, and the second (which I’ll be co-hosting with Kenneth Robinson) will cover August 17-26. Watch for details in my October newsletter—or you can email tour coordinator Vicki Belinoski and let her know you’d like info emailed to you when it’s available.
c) Brief New Agrarians and Waymores updates
Hosting Ireland tours in Johnsmith’s place means I’m missing out on some great gigs back home with both trios. Wish I could be in two places at once! I do look forward to reconnecting with Pierce & Kate down the road—and with Don & Sally for Waymores October dates.
For full tour schedule, see tour dates below… or by clicking HERE.
And watch for more trio news in future newsletters.
d) Working and recording when I’m home
I got my studio reassembled in Tupelo just before leaving for Europe, and I’m very much looking forward to getting back to recording and writing as touring allows. More to come….
3. September Food for Thought: Musicians are a little different!
A recent Time magazine survey asked 2000 adult consumers, “When thinking creatively, do you think in words, pictures, or sounds?”
Fifty percent of respondents replied “pictures,” 34% said “words,” and only 4% percent replied “sounds!”
4. TK Micro Story of the Month: “My Dad and Suzanne Vega”
Back during the Neolithic Age—1987, to be precise—I managed to get a couple of videos on MTV.
(Yes, MTV aired music videos at the time.)
My father, who theretofore had not been aware of the popularity of music videos, began leaving the television on night and day, and whenever one of my videos aired he would call everyone into the room to watch. Soon he was well acquainted with the veejays and the music.
“That girl with the British accent,” he’d say. “She’s pretty cute.”
“That Adam guy,” he observed at dinner, “is a little full of himself.”
One evening as I walked through the room he said, “Hey son, check this out. This is U2. They’re huge!”
That summer Suzanne Vega had her first hit with “Luka.” Dad liked the song, and one afternoon we watched the video together. When it finished playing he sat quietly for a few moments, then shook his head.
“Suzanne Vega,” he said, “I don’t think she’s very happy.”
(To sample TK poems or purchase his book, The Sweetest and the Meanest, click HERE. You can also buy The Sweetest and the Meanest through your local bookstore.)
5. Recommended for September: Extraordinary Irish music makers Gerry O’Beirne, Lumiere and John Spillaine
Here in Ireland over the past couple of weeks I’ve been listening almost nightly to amazing music—more fine artists than I can mention. I do, however, want to recommend some especially good stuff.
a. Gerry O’Beirne’s “Half Moon Bay”
I’ve recommended Gerry’s music in a previous newsletter. He performs in the States now and then, so if you get the chance, don’t miss him. Or, better yet, visit the beautiful town of Dingle in Kerry and listen to Gerry in one of his local haunts. A great guitar player with a beautiful voice, he’s also one of my favorite songwriters.
b) Lumiere’s “My Dearest Dear”
Pauline Scanlon and Éilís Kennedy each have the voice of an angel, and when they sing together they sound like all the company of heaven. You won’t forget hearing them.
Lumiere’s website HERE.
You can also buy via Amazon HERE.
c) John Spillaine’s “So Far, So Good Like: The Best Of”
Got to hear John in person for the first time a couple of weeks ago, but his music’s been stirring me deeply for the past several years. Another album I’ve previously recommended. If you didn’t get it first time around, here’s another chance. You’ll thank me, I promise.
John’s website HERE.
Or buy the album via Amazon HERE.
Note: I’m linking to Amazon when albums are difficult to find via domestic indie outlets.