Jun
06

Thank you USA

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,

Well I write to you from New York from where I am, incredibly, soon to fly home. I can't quite believe this wonderful tour is over and I am actually genuinely sorry that it is. I enjoyed the UK touring I did prior to coming out here very much but this tour has been really special. Right from the opening night in Soquel, the gigs just seemed to click with audiences really loving the material, enjoying my English-ness (seriously being English over here is great!) and showing such a keen interest in the stories and the techniques and emotions in my music. I came away from each gig feeling so pleased and to boot I had some great times with my hosts, some of whom I knew previously and enjoyed hanging out with them again.


All that has largely been reported in my previous blog but that was before the Midwest Banjo Camp which I have just taught and performed at. It was an honour and a privilege to do so. It dawned on me as I got there - here was I, the only non-American, about to teach and perform alongside many of the finest banjo players in the world. I can't deny the nerves did kick in a touch especially when I realised that the faculty concert would involve 20 banjoists, one after the other, including me! I was anxious to make a good show and it seemed like I did which was lovely! You can see it on the Midwest Camp's facebook page as the whole thing was captured live on video. The lesso
May
30

Tell me how much to pay!

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


I write to you from the Deering Banjos factory in San Diego, California. It is the birthplace of my banjo who is currently getting a bit of love and attention from people who know how to build, repair and maintain instruments as opposed to...me. The Deerings are a great family who've been very good to me so it has been a pleasure hanging out with them for the last few days, even taking in a visit to San Diego zoo.


The gigs here have been a real joy this time. Not that they weren't last time, but whether it's just I feel rather more relaxed because of no visa problems or whatever it is I feel like the gigs have been particularly good here and I am feeling really happy. Special thanks to everyone who has hosted a gig, put me up, fed me, given me a drink,
May
16

A Brit in the US

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


A warm hello from San Francisco! Actually, it's a surprisingly mild hello but I'm not complaining...I'm not much of a lad for the searing sun actually. Apologies for the lack of recent bloggage. It's been a pretty gruelling tour to be honest and with so many hours taken up with driving, sound checking, eating and actually doing gigs I've rather let this thing slide of late! Perhaps I ought to bring you up to speed with the Verging on the Perpendicular tour thus far. It began back on April 19th in Sittinngbourne in Kent and the first leg of the UK tour finished on May 12th at Birmingham Town Hall. Now it's US time before I return to the UK for the rest of the gigs through June, July and early August.

So the gigs...

Sittingbourne - cracking little bluegrass club, Dog Gone Roots. Excellent night, lovely audience and some very fine spots from the regulars before my set
Burnham on Sea - a bit of an old favourite this gig and this night certainly reminded me why
Deal - great little folk club with a lovely crowd
Oxford - the first festival
Apr
07

Live Music Now - the charity that changed my life

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


It's an end of an era for me as after eight years of being a musician on the Live Music Now scheme, April marks my departure. Most musicians are only on the scheme for about half that time so I've had an extremely good deal, largely owing to the end of my duo Walsh and Pound (which I joined the scheme with) coming three years into my time on the scheme so my new partnership with mandolin maestro Nic Zuppardi was treated as a new beginning.


To assess the impact of Live Music Now for me, it's worth remembering how I came to join it. I have to hand it to Will Pound really who very much pushed to me that we ought to apply to go on the scheme. For those not in the know, Live Music Now was created in the 1970s by the great Yehudi Menuhin. The scheme auditions top musicians at the beginning of their careers and if they take them on, trains them and pays them to play in places where music makes a profound and lasting difference and brings music to those who are often deprived
Mar
17

Know your limits

Author // Dan Walsh

Dear all,


A very happy St Patrick's Day to my Irish friends around the globe. It's the first time in about thirteen years that I won't be doing a gig on Paddy's Day. In my younger years and particularly in Newcastle I used to play loads of gigs on the day and it was a vital income stream. I even enjoyed it sometimes...but I think my horror of fancy dress and groups of people acting in irritating ways is too much for me these days. In the last few years I've gigged in my normal way but this year it so happens I'm not. I will probably be staying in to avoid irritation.


Anyway, that's a cheerful start to the blog isn't it?! To bring you up to speed, after returning from Gran Canaria I had a few days practice before heading to London for a seriously hectic week culminating in 'A Night Of Country' at the Roundhouse. This was a gig with an 18 piece 'house band' of stellar musicians which I was very glad to be a part of. There were then some guest artists including Imelda May (of whom I'm a big fan!), Duane Eddy, Ward Thomas and a solo set from Seasick Steve. It was fun to be a part of it all. Rehearsals