April 2007

Hi all

It’s been awhile since I put pen to paper, but then I’m a very busy man; just living, you know. Peanuts has kept me rather busy over the past two months, so I couldn’t get in too much trouble. I’ve been playing Sat nights (when not interstate) at Kat Bahloo Café and Bar in Acland St, St Kilda. Interesting gig, as some nights are like playing a concert as the patrons stay from 9 o’clock till 11 o’clock, but other times it’s been like I’m busking; a different set of patrons each break. I can sing my favourite songs more than once. The staff of course have heard them before, but their too busy to notice.

I had a great time at the Baraki Bar in Lonsdale St, Melb with Geoff Achison and Lloyd Spiegel, three generations of Blues. Love playing with those guys, as they’re not only sensational players, but to me they’re “stuff” (family). Geoff has since moved to the U.S. and I’m not sure they deserve him. Our loss though. Of course, he’ll be back. Who could resist living in Australia, if you’ve got the right to?

I’d like to see more of you at “Casablanca” in Mitcham on Sunday arvos (4.00pm) when I’m there (on a irregular basis). It’s a great bar, with friendly staff and cheap drinks and good vibes all round.

The last weekend of March saw me at the 5th Annual Newcastle Blues Festival. The weather spoiled the weekend some what. The heavy rain caused the cancellation of all open air performances, which was a shame. It’s not as if the Hunter Valley needed rain, as it would appear it’s about the only region not much effected by the drought, that I know of. I wasn’t booked for any outdoor shows, so I was not effected. It always touches me how many new fans I collect, while older folks (retired from parenting, I guess) tell me about the last time they saw me decades ago. Some times I remember those gigs, but mostly I don’t. Some people do have long memories, so watch yourself!

The Eastern Station Hotel has sort of replaced Sturt Street Blues in Ballarat and has it’s own Blues Club. Members get to see a free show once a month. I played there on the sixth of April with my Blusicians (Greg Dodd – Guitar, Peter Beulke – Bass and Rob O’Toole – Drums). If you live in that region, it’s a must go there venue. The Oak Tree Tavern on Forest Road, The Basin is another. I’ve played there, solo, on a couple of occasions and found it most enjoyable.

I flew to Mildura to play at a birthday party and was a guest of Gavin and Annette ‘lovie’ Graham. Gavin turned 40. But he’s still a boy at heart. A few weeks later I flew there again with the Blusicians, to play at the Mildura Beer and Blues festival, organised by the Mildura Beer Appreciation Club. A great festival, if you don’t think the Blues is your taste, there’s plenty of different kinds of beer to tickle your palate. Peter Beulke couldn’t make it that weekend so, we got Barry Hills out of retirement. He played beautifully, even though his fingers were a bit soft. Ah, but you’ve got to suffer for your art, Barry. One fly in the ointment: Barry was intimidated by some low-life into parting with some of his money. I was furious and came close to a violent confrontation with said low-life. Thought better of it, as it may have spoiled an otherwise great weekend. Twenty dollars wasn’t worth that. Made lots of friends instead. Organisers of the Festival treated us like royalty. Gotta do it again!

Well, that’s about enough of my Bullterrier-shitzu cross. Check out the gig list and I’ll see you there.

Keep the Faith