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US “Tour”

I am hugely tempted by an idea that popped into my head to visit the US next summer or autumn (Fall, dudes) and play a few places. I’m also considering combining with a family holiday – that is, I work and they holiday. For them it would by a bit of a mystery tour, the trip not having been arranged via the normal touristy methods. I reckon I can google for venues and send of a cd, or two, with a press-kit and maybe do some cold-calling. I’m used to this – or was. Although I do play gigs these days, they are none too frequent, are ad-hoc, and are offered rather than sought. Nevertheless, I have toured extensively in the past, particularly in Europe, so I’m no stranger to life on the road. But I have never played in the US.

Here are a few parameters that are in my head:

  • Venues can be whatever; coffee bars, clubs, pubs, Carnegie Hall, festivals, open air, indoors…
  • Fees are not a priority and are entirely negotiable
  • Generally I would be responsible for my own travel, food and accommodation
  • I would not carry my own sound reinforcement, so if needed, this would have to be provided
  • Set, or sets, can be anything up to 2 hours (more than that, I can’t guarantee integrity of fingernails! <- joke)
  • I’m happy to formalise by contract in advance.
  • I anticipate producing publicity material: press kits, posters, brochures, fliers and forwarding these to the venues in advance of the show.
  • I would cooperate with regard to other publicity intitiatives in advance of the engagement, as appropriate and practicable
  • That’s the way I’m thinking at the moment.

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    Why Ain’t I Gigging (very much)?

    Ooh, well…

    This is hard to write about without is sounding like a bunch of baloney and excuses. And maybe there will be some truth in that – but i’m going to give it a shot, anyway.

    If you have stumbled across some biographical material elsewhere you might have read that I quit playing in the early 80s. This coincided with a complete break from playing guitar and songwriting entirely for about 5 years. When I did get back to playing and writing I had lost pretty well all the contacts I had with promoters and agents who had helped me with gigs and tours in the past. Things had moved on and I would have had to pretty much start at the beginning again to build these contact and prerequisite reputation with new people. Well, in truth, I confess that didn’t have the appetite for that – and the bottom line was that there was no requirement for me to do it for the purposes of earning a living!

    So now I’m living in the north-east of Scotland, whilst being a perfectly habitable corner of the planet (it’s that humped-shouldered part of the UK that sticks out into the North Sea), is not festooned with live music venues that an ‘umble fingerstyle acoustic guitar player like me would get paying work. Plans are afoot, though. Oh, yes, plans are afoot and I’ll confide about them here, ‘ere long…

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    Beinn Mheadhoin

    Right, well, hills are important to me. If I can drag my ass out of bed and get enough coffee down my throat, there’s little I like better than spending a long day in the hills. So this part of the site will be about those pleasant days. For the time being, the items will be mostly retrospectives of hills “long ago and far away”.

    These hills are called “mountains” in Scotland, but to many folks living in the US Rockies, or the Alps, they’re not considered to be real “mountains” and disdainfully dismissed due to their lack of altitude and height. Experienced mountaineers don’t hold this view and know that you underestimate them at your peril.

    In the meantime, and until I sort out some photographs and upload theme to the server, here’s a nice pic of the approach to Beinn Mheadhoin through Glen Laoigh deep in the heart of the Cairngorms. Nice innit? I took the shot after I’d huffed and puffed my way to the top and sauntered back down again. The highest knob just above the patch of late snow is the summit.

    Beinn Mheadhoin

    More soon…