SAYONARA USA, KONNICHIWA JAPAN!
Who says you don’t get a second chance in life?! Nearly a year ago, I arrived at the airport to depart on my first excursion to Japan – only to be punched in the gut by own self by an expired passport – by 1 week! I left a buddy, Jordan McConnell hanging – he was already there, and it was supposed to be a duo gig. I got in touch with the few folks I knew in Japan and put out a call for musical help. Mandolinist Taro Inoue stepped in and I’m told the musical experience was awesome. Once I caught my breath, I found myself with an airline ticket already purchased – and fine print that dictated I take a trip within a year to not lose it. I may have missed one gig, but now I have a two week tour of clinics and shows. The group is a trio of (you guessed it) Jordan McConnell on the guitar and Taro Inoue on mandolin – as the Pacific Rim Acoustic All-Stars.
Here’s a track to check out.
If you know anyone on the Japanese archipelago, please drop a quick note to let them know we’re on our way. If they’re an english speaker, send them to my website Gigs Page. If they’re a Japanese speaker, here’s a special Gigs link in Japanese.
Hello again, Airport! Nice to meet you, New Passport. Surprise me, Adventures.
WARREN HAYNES CHRISTMAS JAM
I had the pleasure of participating in the annual Christmas Jam held in Asheville, NC by Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule). Béla Fleck pulled together Jeff Sipe (drums), Bill Evans (sax), Jimmy Herring (guitar), Taylor Lee (bass), and myself for a couple of sets. It was a wild ride and went way into the morning. Here’s a video of Béla’s tune, Monkey See.
LOGO CONTEST: THE SINGULARITY TOUR
And the winner is….Mark Fidel! I honestly swear that his last name had nothing to do with my decision – he was using a pseudonym. That said, I do enjoy the serendipity.
HUGE THANKS to all the participants. I was surprised by the number of entries and really enjoyed watching the submissions come in. People got very creative and went in directions that I hadn’t imagined before. Have a look here if you want to cruise the entries.
You can show your Singularity solidarity with a Singularity Tour iPhone case. They come in two colors – white and grey. Check’em out!
I just returned from a week long whirlwind international expedition with Béla Fleck & the Flecktones. We hopped from Dublin, Ireland to Glasgow, Scotland to Eilat, Israel – and home again [jiggity jig]. 2 nights and portions of 2 days in each location. It’s tough to get out with one travel/rehearsal day and one gig day, but I made the most of it [sleep later]. Dublin and Glasgow feel a bit like old friends, but this was my first date with Israel. We flew into Tel Aviv and then promptly drove to the southernmost tip – which is the northernmost tip of the Red Sea. TSA, step aside… meet Israel. My most memorable experience (non-security) was an outdoor Israeli lunch with our festival liaison, and her close friends – sorry, no pictures…too busy enjoying local experience! To round out the galleries, I’m sharing my love of fire hydrants again…this gallery continues to grow – and did in Israel.
Good thing I had my holidays (wow, plural) to enjoy this year, because the holiday is over! Life is about to get silly. When I return from this 2+ week Japan tour, I’ll spend two days at home washing clothes, paying bills, watering plants, packing for Flecktones touring – and kissing the babe and baby, of course. Flecktones are hitting it hard for March and April…West Coast, Rocky Mountains, Midwest, and some Midsouth. I terminate at Merlefest with them, dovetailing into a few Singularity sets and a re-host of the midnight jam. Once I pack up camp and head home, my 3yr old daughter and I will take a daddy/daughter adventure to Scotland’s Shetland Islands for their annual folk festival. Confirmed shows for the spring and beyond can be found to the right or on my GIGS Page.
For the next two weeks, I’ll be 15hrs ahead of my country — a bit of time travel into the future. So far, the sun is out and the sky is blue. Things are off to a good start today. I promise to let everyone know if there’s any surprises you should watch out for. I close with two pictures: a view from my first morning in Japan around the corner from where I’m staying in Takarazura City; and the second I call “Houseguest.”
Sayonara for now,