Billy Bragg & Andy Irvine
"The Woody 100 Legacy Show"
-Celebrate Woody Guthrie's Centenary-
Vicar Street, Dublin
Monday 17th September 2012
Doors 7pm / show starts 8pm
I'm very flattered to have been asked to share the bill with Billy Bragg for the Woody 100 Concert in Vicar Street, Dublin on 17th September.
Having been a devotee of Woody Guthrie's since the age of 15, it's a great chance for me to re-learn the songs that I used to play way back when!
I recently located my old Gibson L0 guitar. It was in the shed where it has been languishing for some years.
I used to be able to do a pretty good impression of Woody's guitar playing. Hope I can get it all back!
Playing 6 single strings instead of the bouzouki's 4 double strings presents a few problems - it's amazing the way the single string of a guitar is 'stopped' by the left hand, precisely between the callouses built up by the double string of the bouzouki!! There will be roars of pain after the first couple of practices!!
Also the plectrum held in the right hand has a wider string span to cover when doing Woody's 'Church' lick.
I have asked Dónal Lunny to play my set with me and I hope he has put it in his diary!! I'd better get practicing...
Life has been pretty hectic since the beginning of the year.
What with Kumiko's operation and chemo treatment, US tour, Italian tour, long UK solo tour, trips to Japan whenever I could fit them in and birthday concerts.
I had a nice break at the end of May though. My daughter got married on the Greek Island of Ithaka.
Of course I drove down there! it's a long way...
But it was so great to see all those places I used to know back on my Eastern European travels at the end of the 60's. Very little remains the same of course. I drove down through Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia.
The wedding was really wonderful! The sun shone, the sky was cloudless and the sea sparkled. We had a brilliant week there. Then took six days to drive back to Dublin with my son, Cian and his girlfriend, Astrid.
Through Albania, where I had never been before, Montenegro and Bosnia / Hercegovina.
Next up for me is a trip down under.
Going to spend all of July travelling in the outback with some good friends and a couple of 4WDs.
Rens van der Zalm will be coming and who knows? We may get some recording done in the middle of nowhere.
My wife, Kumiko has been in Ireland this last week or more. She took a break from her chemo course in Japan to come and support me and the rest of the troops at Vicar Street for the two wonderful concerts to celebrate my 70th birthday.
She is doing very well considering the debilitating side effects of her treatment. We both hope that she will be able to finish the six courses by the end of September and we can get our private lives back on track.
She has to leave here on Monday 25th June to go back to Japan which is going to be a sad parting.
Hope to write more from OZ...
22nd June 2012