Last Concerts In Berlin for 2011, UK Tour Ahead…

Doot-doodoodooDootDootDoot DOOOOOO!!! (Ba-bum.)

And now I have a NEWS page on my website.

So I’m just sitting at the table in my lovely homey flat in Berlin, drinking Pfirsich Eistee, which I am totally addicted to (It’s 45 cents for a liter and a half, people) and listening to Daft Punk, which really helps me, you know, get things done on the computer. I feel really in the computer zone right now. Doing it, email style, creative traditional and jazz fiddling and banjo picking, emailing, yeah, I’m so grooving on this.

This is more like a personal letter than a plea for you to buy stuff or watch my videos or anything. I just had a lovely visit from banjo/guitar-pickin and fiddlin Ed Hicks, with whom I will tour the UK til the end of the year, starting in just a few short weeks. Oh yes, this is the big exciting thing I’ve been waiting for since, I don’t know, my last tour in February. But I’ll tell you more about that in a couple weeks when I really have all the dates nailed, and I mean really nailed down. I can tell you that we will open for Thomas Dolby during the first two weeks of November and I will play in his band as well — But like I said, more on that later.

I’ve also been joined here in Berlin by the sweet and lovely Noriana Kennedy. She and Ed and I played a few concerts in Berlin, and plan on touring as a trio in Ireland — We even have awebsite for our trio! We recorded a little bit and hope to put some of that sound up on the site soon.

Last night we played a square dance for a wedding party in an old castle way out in Zehlendorf, and we flew Jo Bowis of Cut A Shine in special for the event. We were so lucky that the timing worked out such that we could all be there together. If any one of us had been unable to come I don’t think it could have worked, but as it turned out we had one of the best dances I’ve ever seen. Not only was the music tight and the calling pure expert, but the dancers were brilliant, even pulling off the flying basket like it was nothing. All this at the end of a long night of food, drink and merriment in honor of the beautiful bride and dashing groom.

Now I’ll quickly tell you about my shows for the next two weeks before I bid you adieu and goodnight:

5 Oct – Turkish Night at Lombardo Bar, 7pm, FREE

This Wednesday, the 5th, I play at Lombardo Bar with the Turkish/Greek dance music project I’ve been playing 5-string banjo with for the past few months, Latcho Nash Nash (Some nice tunes up there from our debut CD!). This will be a very special event at the Lombardo, starting at 7pm with psychedelic Turkish vinyl spinning and a chef preparing Turkish food special for the event. We’ll take the stage around 8:30 or 9 and play til around 11.

8 Oct – TWO shows: Intersoup with Dan Fib, 8-10pm, FREE; Shangl Hangl with Latcho Nash Nash, 11:30pm-?

I love playing with Dan Fib for a few reasons. Partly because he writes short, dark, funny songs that I genuinely like, and partly because it’s the only project I play in where I get to use my baritone fiddle.

And Latcho Nash Nash is the only Turkish/Greek dance music band I know of that has a 5-string banjo player…!

13 Oct – TRIPLE fiddle show at Soul Cat with Jenny Gustafsson and Annlaug Børsheim, 9pm,FREE

I’m so excited to have a show with these two incredible Scandinavian fiddlers together for the first time ever. I met Jenny Gustafsson in Edinburgh a couple years ago at the Leith Folk Club and she came to Berlin a few months later, so we got a chance to swap tunes and hang. She’s a Swedish fiddler currently living in Norway. I met Annlaug more recently, in Berlin, actually in Soul Cat at one of my solo shows, and we had some time later to do the same, swap tunes and just nerd out over different styles, history and stories of playing music in different places. I think this will be a very exciting show, both for traditional fiddle music as well as some more contemporary original material. And man, who knows what we’re going to do with three fiddles on the same stage!

14 Oct – Froggy Mountain Boys at 3 Schwestern AND my BIRTHDAY PARTY!! Doors open 9:30pm, show starts at 10, €5-10 entry.

All right, this is not only my last show in Berlin before I leave for the big tour, it’s not only the last show of the Froggy Mountain Boys for the rest of the year, it’s not only my BIRTHDAYPARTY, it’s the way we’re going to raise the money to cover our expenses when we record our new album! Yeah, we went on tour in Finland this summer and got so dang good sounding that we just had to make a record, and this little time window is the only time it can happen. And we’re going to pay for studio time, manufacturing costs, etc. with whatever we make at this event, sort of as a birthday present to myself. So if you can come, know that whatever you pay at the door is going directly into our new recording! And come ready to dance to some sweet Western swing, aah-ha!