At this writing I’m still reeling with jet lag after two fantastic weeks in Japan. But there is still some green left on the trees and I’ll get to enjoy some fall foliage before winter settles in.
It’s been another great year with many high points.
In April I made my first trip to Ireland for the Irish International Guitar Festival and was charmed by the warmth of the Irish. The staff and crew were just first rate and great company as well. The Thomas Leddy Theatre is a wonderful place to play. In the theatre’s upstairs pub we were treated to lovely Thomasina’s very first pour of Guinness, perfectly executed. I’d always heard about how much better the Guinness is over there and it’s true. Can’t wait to go back.
Hit a couple of new places for me in California in July; had a riotously good time at Trilogy Guitars in Costa Mesa, where John and Ryan run an impressive classical guitar shop. The sound was great there and the neighborhood is very cool. Also was happy to play the new Freight and Salvage in Berkeley and was blown away by how great the new room is. With my old colleague Allen Lam at the console I got just about the best sounds I’ve ever gotten. Big love to all at the new Freight.
My full day and weekend workshops were really positive and I am enjoying teaching more than ever. The vibe at the workshops at the Wild Orchard Guest Farm is comfortable and relaxed and workshop participants were happy and well fed. Looking forward to next year’s.
My annual Autumn tour of Japan began with a two day workshop near Mt. Fuji
at a very cool place called Sound Village. Masa Atsumi translated for me and the language barrier disappeared. We got pelted with heavy rain for two days but spirits were high. On checkout day the rain moved off and mighty Fuji revealed its magnificence above the treetops
From the tranquility and sweet air of the countryside I next traveled to Tokyo, a city that never sleeps. It never even slows down a little. I was very happy to return to Star Pine’s Cafe, a fantastic club in the Kichijoji prefecture. I played there first in 1998 during my first ever tour of Japan, along with Japanese guitar legend Isato Nakagawa. In fact, Isato took the photo that became the cover of my “the live album” at Star Pine’s on that tour. I was honored to have Isato join me for a couple of tunes this year and we played great together. More fun ensued at Denpo G Studio in Nagoya, where the sound was great and the audience was warm and friendly. Major Domo! to Mr. and Mrs. Nakagami for their hospitality there. As many times as I’ve been to Japan it is still exotic and fascinating to me. I love the people and the culture and, of course, the food. I see, hear or eat something completely new every time.
Wishing you love and music,