News 'n' Stuff

It wasn't that long ago that I last put finger to keyboard, but in keeping with the current way of things, much has happened since I did.

First of all, the most immediate thing: tonight on Blues & Roots Radio from 8pm (GMT) you can hear the wonderful Brian Player's Acoustic Cafe Radio Show (Brian is the gentleman who kindly compered last Saturday's album launch) where 'Striking Matches...' is his 'Album of the Week', and this will be immediately followed by an hour long F Spot Session with the equally wonderful Daria Kulesh, in conversation with yours truly, when I'll also be playing songs from 'Striking Matches...', both 'live' and from the album itself. Please do tune in and catch those, if you can. Also, there will be live threads on Facebook to accompany both shows where you can join in the conversation, if you wish. I'll be around to chat on both of those too.

Looking back a little, there was the launch concert for the album! If you made it along - thank you so much for coming. It was a virtual sell-out with a little over 100 people in attendance which made for a very special atmosphere and vibe. For any who wanted to be there but who couldn't make it on the night (and I know there were more than a few!) sorry to have missed you but thank you for all the good wishes many of you sent.

There are a couple of fantastic reviews available to read: one written by Jean Camp which has kindly been posted by on their website, and another by Adam Jenkins which is up in his own blog. Huge thanks to both for the time and loveliness they each poured into these reviews, and if I'm worthy of even half of the kind things they've said then I must be better than I thought! :o) Seriously though, my sincere gratitude to both Jean and to Adam. Please take a look, folks!

As for my part, I loved playing the gig and the audience were entirely wonderful to play for... thank you! And speaking of wonderful, the night would have been nothing like it was without the generosity and talents of Giles Newman Turner who joined me on harmonica for 'Quit Blubbin' in the Cheap Seats'; Tanya Allen who recreated her fiddle part on 'A Heart Filled a With Nothing To Do' and my dear friend Ange Hardy who sang with me on 'There We Are' as well as the song 'John Ball' which we had sung each night on our tour together last autumn. It was wonderful to share the stage with her once again (though not for the last time, I'm certain!) and all of these wonderful people helped to bring so much to the evening: my eternal thanks.

To all who helped on the night in various ways - not least my staggeringly supportive wife, Becky - my appreciation. It was no small undertaking but it was a night I shall never forget and from the feedback we've received, I think a night enjoyed by many. I'm hoping to be able to bring a photograph or more to you, and maybe even some video footage too in the near future... watch this space!

Along with all of this, the album has continued to receive a significant amount of airplay, 'Album of the Week' slots, and some wonderful reviews have been coming in too. You can read one or two here: Folkwords and She Dances In The Mind have both posted very kind and thoughtful words on their respective sites, as has Neil King at FATEA so please do click on those names to take a look. I hear rumours of more to come and will keep you informed as and when they reach me.

I'll be touring the album later in the Spring with some dates in the southern half of the UK in May, and some further north in June, as well as other bits and pieces dotted around. Please do head over to the Events page of the website when you can as they will be appearing on there, as and when they are confirmed. (There may even be a couple there already!) It'd be great if you could make it along if I'm in your area and if you do, please do say hi! Amongst it all, is a special gig in Farnham, Surrey that I'll be playing with Ange and Black Scarr. This will also be recorded to be aired on Brian Player's show at a later date. Join us for that if you can! The tour itself will be properly announced in full once all the dates are in place. And if you know of any places near to you that you'd like me to visit, either in May/June or another time, please do get in touch and we'll see what we can do! Along with the live dates, we're setting up some radio sessions along the way too so there should be plenty to keep me busy.

To all who've pre-ordered the album - my big, big thanks! It will be with you by 2nd April. And to those who bought their copy at the launch, my thanks to you too, and particularly for the wonderful feedback I've received from many who've heard it; I cannot tell you what it means to me! x If you've not yet ordered your copy, needless to say, you're more than welcome to visit the Shop page and check it out.

As ever, you can keep track of all the regular developments easily enough on Facebook and Twitter, where I tend to regularly ramble on! Aside from that, please do keep in touch and hopefully I'll see many of you along the way very soon.

This comes with the warmest of wishes and a little hope for better days ahead with the British general election not so far away. I've expressed my views on such things before, frequently and vividly, but as I see things at this moment in time, there is a positive choice out there and we just need to make that choice in order to, at the very least, help secure some potential for progress. The polls will say what the polls will say, but as I write, not one vote has yet been cast and the future waits to see what we will make of the opportunity we have been gifted. I believe change can come, if enough of us have the will to effect that change. These are my personal opinions, that is all. But I believe them strongly enough not to keep them entirely to myself.... that's a perk of what I do, I guess: mouthing off for a living. :o) Whether you vote or whether you spoil, may your conscience and your convictions guide your hand; but I maintain that for the first time in a long time, the potential for something better is within our grasp. There's still time...

Today is 20th March... it also happens to be the first day of Spring.


Steve x

Posted by Steve on March 20th 2015

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