MAY NEWSLETTER


NEW MUSIC UP ON YOUTUBE!

For those of you still not on my mailing list, you should be! I’m giving away free music to download every month. To sign up go to the homepage, enter your email and subscribe.

This month I gave away a 6-track live concert I recorded in Knoxville, Tennessee last summer.

I was a guest on a great show called The Blue Plate Special, filmed in front of a live studio audience, on WVDX. I was following in some hallowed footsteps playing here. Behind me on the stage were real plates engraved with the names and photos of previous performers, chief among them Rodney Crowell, Old Crow Medicine Show, Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson – the finest of the fine in this genre of American Singer-Songwriter music.

And I was doubly blessed to have joining me (on fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar) a dear friend and mentor from Asheville, North Caroline, the mighty Josh Goforth. I know some of you will already be well aware of him, but for those who don’t, Josh is a musical force of nature. Only a few years my senior, he is already a true American musical master and legend in those parts – not to mention, a Grammy-nominee. One of the most wonderful things of my time in the US was connecting with great musicians and songwriters like Josh who took me under their wing and gave me so much encouragement in what I was doing.

You can listen to the whole thing here on YouTube:


‘SPIRIT AND ROOTS’ RADIO SHOW

Thanks so much to everyone who tuned in again, or listened retrospectively on MixCloud to the second episode of my monthly radio show, Spirit and Roots. It was a joy to have Trent Miller as my guest. We laughed a lot and he proved once again what a superb writer he is.

If you haven’t heard it yet, you can do so here:

I recently started a dedicated Facebook page for Spirit and Roots, which I hope to build into a vibrant online community. If you’d like to be part of that, please join by pressing the Blue  ‘Like’ button on the below link:

https://www.facebook.com/SpiritandRootsRadio/

Due to refurbishment in the K2K studios, May’s episode will not going to go out the 2nd Tuesday of the month as usual. Instead, our next show will be on Saturday the 25th May 3-4pm (GMT). I’m delighted to have as my guest then another superb London Singer-Songwriter, Simon Stanley Ward. It’s gonna be another good one.


UPCOMING SHOWS

I’m delighted to have a busy month ahead. Most notably, I will be touring the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) for the very first time and I can’t wait to travel there next week and make lots of new friends.

I will also be playing several London shows, so come and say hello if you’re nearby!

For gig address details, please go to: http://www.danraza.com/gigs/


WHAT I’M LISTENING TO

The great JJ Cale has just had a new posthumous CD released, which I’m inevitably tapping my toes to every time I press play – it’s superb. I’ve also had the pleasure of discovering the music of Pierce Pettis recently – I’m now a convert and look forward to spinning him on my future radio shows.


QUOTE I’M PONDERING

These two quotes I’ve recently come across seem to compliment each other nicely:

“It’s a Folk-Singer’s job to comfort disturbed people and to disturb comfortable people.” – Woody Guthrie

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of every day life” – Pablo Picasso

Sometimes, as an artist, it’s good to question, and be reminded of, what you’re doing and why. People create for all kinds of reasons and different works can, and should, have different purposes. But some of my favourite pieces of art have, without a doubt, conformed powerfully to the above quotes.

Cutting through, and shining a torch beneath, social artifices to the core of nature and humanity is one of the most enduring and poignant duties art can offer to the world.


I wish you all a wonderful month ahead – good weather, good luck and good music to you all.

Till the next time x

FINAL CONCERTS OF 2016!

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(photo by René Geilenkirchen)

I’m back home now in London after a great tour in Germany. The reception and hospitality I received was absolutely amazing – thank you so much to everybody who came to the concerts out there and my special trio of tour managers (Gudi, Rene, and Bine). I really hope I can come back again in the near future! : )

I have 3 final UK concerts scheduled for between now and Christmas. On 10 November, I’ll be teaming up with an old friend of mine, Stew Simpson, and his folk-rock supergroup, Hadrian’s Union, in Wanstead, East London.

The following week, I will be supporting pub rock legends, Juice on the Loose, who are reforming for 2 special concerts and feature the stella talents of Charlie Hart, Geraint Watkins, Ed Deane and Les Morgan, all of whom featured on my past records. I’ll be playing with them in Lewisham, South London on 20 November.

My final concert will be up in Manchester with my friends, the fantastic Lonesome Penniless Cowboys on the 16 December. All details are up on the gigs section of this website.

For everybody who asked about my recently finished 2nd album, thank you – I will have copies with me for sale at these upcoming concerts and will be putting it up on the Bandcamp website to coincide with it’s official release early 2017.

Finally, today is Walter Hyatt’s birthday, so I would like to share with you the music of one of my favourite artists. Happy Birthday, Walter!

 

See you all soon x

STEVE YOUNG – R.I.P

Steve Young

Yesterday i was lucky enough to catch my first Dave Alvin concert at Islington Assembly Hall. It has to go down as one of the best performances I’ve seen – not only is he one of the best songwriters I’ve heard, but I discovered he is also an incredibly dynamic bandleader and master of American roots guitar. Plus his band are brilliant – go and watch if you get the chance.

As he introduced their final song, he dedicated it to two of his contemporaries who had recently passed on: Merle Haggard and, to my surprise, Steve Young.

The latter’s work I first discovered through the Heartworn Highways movie as a teenager and it has been a huge influence on my own writing ever since. His style always struck me as a cross between Odetta and Hank Williams – which if you haven’t already heard him sing, I hope now does.

Anyway, I thought I would like to pay tribute to some of the music I love through this blog and thought Steve Young would be a very fitting first artist to start with. Be sure to sit back and shut your eyes as you listen to the voice of one of the greats:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcsX4zrxXXA