March 14, 2022
Welcome to my new, colourful, 2022 website. It has been an interesting last 24 months but it’s time to get back at it now and this year is going to be my busiest yet!! I spent October & November last year recording and playing on Kate Rusby’s new album to celebrate 30 years on the road…30 years, how is that possible, she doesn’t even look thirty! What a woman and what a landmark year for Kate. I Produced the album, titled ’30 : Happy Returns’ and got to work with some mind-blowing guests such as Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Richard Hawley, KT Tunstall, Beth Neilsen Chapman, Sarah Jarosz, Darlingside and more. What an experience to bring me into the new year, after we did a few Christmas shows first though. The album will be released May 6th 2022 and Track 1 ‘We Will Sing’ with Ladysmith Black Mambazo will be released as a Pre-Release track on April 6th. I’ll be joining Kate on the road for an extensive Spring tour this year in April and May and there is lots more going on throughout the year like a festival show at Glastonbury and celebrating 30 years at Underneath The Stars Festival. Exciting times…
Now, onto my collaboration with none other than ‘banjo rock-god,’ multi Grammy winner, Ron Block. 2018 saw the release of our first ever album, Banjophony. It was so well received and we quickly got on with another record in 2019. We started recording the second one in April 2019 where we recorded about 6 tracks live at Pure Studios and then met up again in November 2019 when we recorded another couple of tracks during a few gigs we were doing in the UK. We were all set to finish the record in April 2020 and Covid came along and spoiled the banjo party. Both Ron’s and my life changed completely so the new album got put on the shelf for a long while. But, fear not, we finished the record remotely in February this year, sending tracks back and forth to each other and it was very fun. The new album is called Banjophonics, which again, like the first album title, is the sound we think we make, a definition of our music. There are a few more fireworks thrown in on this one and Ron and I also take a song each. It is a collaboration which makes me very happy and I love the music and banjo sounds we make together. We will be setting off on an extensive UK tour this year beginning on June 1st going right through July and then Ron will be back in October again when we’ll tour UK, Northern Ireland and Ireland. Check out the ‘Live’ page for details. Right I’m outta here. Here’s to an amazing year of music and craic and thanks to the NHS.