Hello again from London. I arrived early last Sunday morning, bleary eyed and not so bushy of tail but have made a quick transition to Greenwich Meantime. Along the way I've had a remarkable Bangladeshi dinner in Brick Lane and been keeping up with my quota of ale at the pub. Oh yeah, we've been rehearsing as well for the upcoming autumn tour with Mark Knopfler and Bob Dylan. Things have been clipping along brilliantly, everyone sounding great as always. I don't want to sound boastful, but honestly we could do a show tonight just after this week of playing together again. The greatest band going without a doubt.
By far the best time-off was last night after rehearsal when keyboard hero Jim Cox and I took the train to Blackheath to see The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. I've been a fan of the group for many years and have enjoyed their many clips on You Tube, but to attend a concert was something else and great luck that we happened to be in the city when they were doing a show. The Uke Orch is quintessentially British with a resounding sense of humour and are monstrously talented musicians and singers. Their repertoire runs the length of punk-rock, old blues, 1920s jazz, movie themes, legit classical pieces and an acapella/sea chantey version of Pinball Wizard that has to be heard to appreciate it's greatness. All done without drums, pianos, guitars, etc.... just ukuleles. Soprano ukes, concert ukes, tenor ukes, baritone ukes and a bass uke! Along the way they pulled out several miniature ukuleles, one smaller than the other, and proceeded to play great music on each. The last instrument fitting in the palm of the hand and used as a plectrum for one of the other ukuleles! If they're remotely close to your area and are giving a show.... go! Until then, you can enjoy them on You Tube.
If memory serves me correctly, Pieta Brown's new album "Mercury" is being released this coming week on Red House Records. Pieta and her husband Bo Ramsey opened the U.S. leg of the 2010 tour with us and we all think the world of them. When it came time to make this new record, Bo enlisted Glenn Worf and I along with Chad Cromwell and the five of us made what I think is a great record, all recorded live over the span of three days. I'm very proud to be part of this music with them.
Our first show of the tour is in Dublin on the 6th of October and we're on our way from there. I plan to get these Notes going regularly again once we've begun, so please come back and check in often.