The Year Ahead

Can I just start out by saying “Aaaahh….” That’s a sigh of satisfaction with 2011. What a year, full of surprises, full of accomplishment, full of new friends made and old friends cherished. And now I’m back in my flat in Kreuzberg, Berlin, where luckily it’s not so cold that I absolutely have to make a fire to keep warm. These days I’m catching up with my friends in Berlin and playing a few shows around town (like tonight, with Latcho Nash Nash, on my new Charlie Hardie banjo!), drinking loads and loads of tea, and planning for the year ahead. I’d like to share with you what my plans look like for now. They say the best laid plans are doomed to fail, so I’m taking care not to plan too well…

This month I’m going to Finland to play at the TunturiBlues Festival in Saariselkä, Northern Lapland, with my Berlin-based Western Swing outfit, the Froggy Mountain Boys. It’s a huge honor for us not only to be invited but to also be featured as a headline band in the festival preview and in the international blues webzine, — Perhaps even more exciting is the news that we have reached the final stage in completing our record and we will be ready to release it at the festival! The album is called Route 77. When we were in Finland last summer I wrote a tune while we were traveling on Route 77, and it seems to make a good name for the album as well. I expect to have it available online within the next month or so.

February I’ll be back in Berlin, then in March and April I’ll be in the US, recording with the likes of Ben Belcher as we prepare for our tour with Thomas Dolby. (We will support him as the opening band and then I’ll play in his band as well — Final tour schedule TBC so stay tuned for that!) I’ll also record with Ben Townsend (of The Fox Hunt) and Sabra Guzman (formerly of Old Sledge) in preparation for a tour we’re planning for fall/winter of this year. And at the moment I’m working with Joe Troop and Thomas Bailey to prepare for a tour we are planning for June/July in the US and the UK.

So that’s March/April in the US, recording and touring. May, back in Berlin (room for surprises there…), June/July on tour with Joe and Tom — oh, and check out our new website! Then in August of course there’s Galax and some time to catch up with friends and family in the States. I’m hoping to get a few shows together with Sam Guthridge and Erica Weiss, a trio I’m planning to tour with in 2013.

That’s it, roughly, as far as I can tell. Who knows what will happen this year? I wish you all the best and I look forward to seeing you again!

Happy New Year 2012