Update August 21st 2017

We're back in Portland, Oregon for the rest of the Summer

There's a big "Bill's back" party at the Feckin Brewery Friday August 25th @7pm to 10pm you should come along if you're in the Portland area!!




tinyTiny and I at her 90th birthday party - she had a great time

The Beach Boys - still going strong

blar My Pal Anthony's 60th Birthday - here are the lads from BlarneygronOn stage in O'Ceallaighs, a wee jewel of a place in Groningen, NL

The rowdy mob I led in to a busy restaurant in Amsterdam...

bal All set at Balgay for the evening show after setting up and sound check

A nice wee group enjoying an afternoon of misic at the Orchar

galway Back at the Galway Bay, Ocean Shores, WA - great to be back

P2 Happy friends at Tanya and Eric's party on Saturday

Quick Update

Last newsletter I was in Florida and we had just set up base in our new house 6 miles from Dundee... and 20 miles from Mickey Mouse. We stayed there one month then it was off to the Netherlands for a month.

My first gig was a surprise appearance at Tiny's 90th birthday party in Ugchelen (I was the surprise). Well, she was delighted and sang with me. She even played the guitar. Having played guitar, ukulele and sung in a band for years in her youth, she was re-living her past.

I was delighted to hear that the Beach Boys and Golden Earring were playing in a wee village north of us and our friends Monique and Eimert were treating us to the tickets! The Beach Boys are no longer boys... but the show was great... and Golden Earring are still great.

"Sausages for Tea" is on my album "Mullen It Over", Anthony Moynihan was the culprit behind the song - he played for Blarney United as a lad and went off to Wembley with them. This July he invited me to his 60th birthday party in Waterford. I enjoyed time in Dublin, met Molly Malone then drove to Waterford where I couldn't have had a warmer welcome. The party was a blast, I played an hour ... and Anthony got some good over 60s advice... ... it was very funny, a wee bit "naughty"... so the DJ, who was a real hoot, drowned it out with "always look on the bright side of life - what a laugh! The lads from Blarney were there in good form having had a few pints in Johnny's bar in Blarney before continuing the drinking on the bus on the way to Waterford and arriving early so they could get a few pints in before the party These guys are pros!

After Ireland I headed back to the Netherlands where I played at Monique and Eimert's birthday party along with Antoinette Hommerson - a great Country singer / performer. We had a great night - she is a real pleasure to work with... and a good friend too.

One weekend towards the end of our stay in NL, I had a show up in Groningen which is the most northerly place in NL, a bit like Winterfell. It is a city that still acts like a village, so it's a pretty good place to spend some time. I was playing in O'Ceallaigh's bar and despite the torrential rain we had a good nights fun there.

We stayed over in Groningen with our friends Sandra, Stefan, Ineke and Ronald which was a great way to end the trip. We then headed off to Amsterdam by train to be part of the "surprise" at Jennifer's 30th birthday party. I met up with about 30 of her friends outside a supermarket down the road from the restaurant Jennifer was in with her boyfriend and their families. We practiced our songs then we set off to the restaurant with me in the lead. As we entered, I started playing and everyone started singing and tooting their tooters... I walked and looked, and looked and walked ... where the devil were they??? We were on our 3rd repetition by the time I saw them right at the back of the restaurant, which, by the way, was absolutely full... of startled looking people. It was a relief to see her as I was beginning to think we were in the wrong place! That would have been embarrassing. It was worth all the effort to see the shock, delight, tears, joy and sheer emotion as it swept over Jennifer's face - that was a good one! I played and we all sang. At midnight we could all wish her an "official" happy 30th Birthday.

A few days later we left the Netherlands and headed for Dundee where my first show was in the "Balgay Bowling Club" I had been booked there by Bill Stewart who knows me from playing in Mahers, Lake Oswego, Oregon. We met a few years ago when he was over visiting his daughter, Lesley (who is also a friend) ... and they are from Dundee (small world). Bill and the other committee members came along to one of my performances in the Clep bar where I was playing with my pal Pat Ferrie ... and they booked me there and then for my next trip to Dundee, which was about 9 months away at that time. It was a grand night, happy people, a great crowd, cheap drink and I met a good few people who knew me / knew of me from school days. It was also a trip down memory lane as all the old names and stories (good and bad!) were revisited!

My mum's old nursing home in Dundee is closed. That is so sad, I loved that place with its happy atmosphere, its caring staff and the welcoming residents whenever I played there. Sandra, the ex-receptionist, is also the entertainments person for the Orchar nursing home in Broughty Ferry, so we arranged an afternoon when I could play. The people there light up when they hear music... they loved it all, especially my song for Dorothy "One in a Million" An afternoon well spent.

I mentioned last time that my son-in-law, Shady, had organised a whisky tour to the Isle of Islay. Wow... that was a cracker - 9 distilleries in 5 days including traveling there and back. Islay whisky is the peaty / smoky stuff... I'll be happy to tell you the full story over a nice glass of something strong and smokey.

We also had a hilarious family holiday in Crete, Greece with Dorothy's family (all 18 of us). We celebrated Dorothy's 60th birthday and several other events there. We even really enjoyed each others company! It was strange to be back there as we had been on vacation there when the kids were young. This was a nice break, sun, sand, pool, relaxation, lots of food and a wee bit too much drink!

After we returned from Greece to Scotland, we spent a few days in Dundee then off again to the Netherlands and straight to a surprise party for Dorothy for her 60th Birthday - this was certainly the summer for surprise parties. It was so nice to see all our old friends again - and Dorothy, after she got over the shock, was delighted and very happy.

On Wednesday August 9th, we landed in Portland, Oregon, one and a half hours after we left Amsterdam... I love this time travel! Two days later I was on the stage at the Galway Bay pub in Ocean shores for the Friday and Saturday shows. I was very happy to see so many of the people who had attended my shows at last year's festival attend both my evenings there. I also met up with Fae and Ron from the band SeaStar who were recording an album in Ocean Shores that weekend. They played a set for us on the Friday - that was wonderful. We listened to their CD all the way home on Sunday - that is a great band - I recommend you seek them out.

The next weekend, I played a private party at the house of Tanya and Eric. They had set out their garden really well, they even supplied "bangers and mash" ... hooray! It was the inspiration needed to get me to sing "sausages for tea" around the firepit accompanied by a lovely Laphroaig smokey whisky! It's nice to be back again.

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Anything else?

I'm enjoying a Summer full of travel and social occasions, it's really good and we're very happy with each one. On reflection though, it would have been good to spread these over a few years. We are used to traveling - but this has been a lot, even for us. When we picked up our 5th wheel on Sunday from storage, it was so nice to see it again and live in a familiar place... even though that place has traveled all over the USA, it's still home - until we get to Florida in November.

After I play the Feckin Brewery this Friday as my "Return to Portland" We are heading off to Wisconsin to visit our son, Kyle and his lovely wife, Lauren. A great excuse for a party - and no doubt I'll play a few songs there. It'll be great to see them and all our new Wisconsin family and friends again.

The way things worked out, I will not be playing in Mahers, Lake Oswego, OR until September 15th... my recommendation to my Mahers crowd, it's time to Uber up and come down to the Feckin' brewery on August 25th for a great "Bill is back" party". It'll be great and I can't wait to see you all again.

I have a wee private party lined up at Steve and Cathi Behrens's house, we met up with them last weekend, it was so nice to see them again - I hope Cathi will read me the Dundee Gruffalo in her best Dundee accent!

The weekend of October 13 and 14th is my last in Portland for this year. On Friday 13th I will play the Feckin Brewery, Oregon City and Saturday 14th I'm finishing off this visit in Mahers, Lake Oswego. I hope to see all my friends before I go!

October 24 to 28th, you'll find me at the Annual Celtic festival in Ocean Shores. I'm looking forward to linking up with people I know from last year and of course, the many bands I've come to know and respect over the last three years I've played there. I can't wait to meet up with the Hawaii crowd who are great fun and always so nice to us. They were great hosts when we were in Honolulu in March this year for St Patrick's fortnight (it gets bigger each year!). The tickets for the festival are on sale and will go fast, as will accommodation - so if you're thinking of going, don't think too long - get in there early.

The tickets for the two live radio shows at the Common Ground Meeting Hall in North Port, FL with KDW Radio are all done and ready. We've put the two shows into a wee duo called "Coming and Going." The first one on January 4th, 2018 will be a celebration of the coming of the New Year and the going of the old one, themed around my experience of New Year parties as a boy in Dundee (enjoying myself (and sneaking some beer) at the Gibsons). The second one will be March 1st as the lead-up to St Patrick's day / week.. I will theme that around St Patrick's day including the differences in the way it was celebrated, in my experience, in Scotland, Ireland and the USA. This along with our frequent "comings and goings" inspired the title of the tour.

Newsletters There is a feature on my website - you can see the previous newsletter updates going back to August 2014. Each new newsletter is archived there.


jenJennifer and Merek singing away at Jennifer's party - great!


Cowboy Billy playing away at Monique and Eimert's party

dandmeFlower of Scotland - a song by my "one in a Million"

What's new?

Many places I play ask for a "press pack" including promotional pictures. I have pictures I use but have never actually had a professional "PhotoShoot". As it happens a friend of ours, Mandy Muller, has become a professional media designer / photographer and was only too happy to oblige when I asked her if she would do one for me. We spent a fun afternoon around the nice places in Ugchelen where Mandy struggled with her difficult assignment - trying to make me look windswept and interesting. It felt strange at first, but she soon put me at ease and we had a lot of laughs producing the portfolio of pictures. She was trying to capture the theme of "the Wandering Scotsman". I think she did a great job. I will be using them in promotions from now on and have included a collage of some of them below. I hope you like them.

(PS... the first one will likely not show up as a promo - it's one of Dorothy trying to tame my hair - a tough job!)



Click the pic to visit Mandy's web page

Take Care and hope to see you at a show somewhere


And finally... here's my list of next gigs...





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