Update July 4 2016

Writing this from "the band apartment" at the Galway Bay, Ocean Shores, Washington

Next Appearance is my return to Mahers Irish Pub, Lake Oswego, Oregon on Friday July 8th then

Sunday July 10th in O'Neill's Irish pub (formerly Biddy McGraws) located right on the corner of NE 60th and Glisan in Portland


Before I took to the road (September 9th 2014) I played each week, or certainly evry other week in Mahers Pub. On a lovely summers evening their patio is the best place to round off your week. This is the 2nd year returning to Mahers from touring the USA and I'm really looking forward to seeing the familiar faces and good friends built up over the years playing there.


O'Neill's Pub is an old pub with a new attitude. They have a lot of live music and I was very pleased to be booked there as they normally don't book solo acts - so it's confirmed - I really am "special" !

I last played there when it was Biddy McGraws. It was a hot Wednesday in July and as a result wasn't too busy - but the folks warmed up well and we had a good night. I went back a month later in August, another hot Wednesday, it was busier and I recognised quite a few of the people there from the month before. At my break I wandered round and asked them if this was their local - no was the answer from most of the folks there - we haven't been here since we saw you last month and we wanted to see you again - very nice!

I'm playing just two hours so I will play some favorites, some lesser known ones (my favourites) and a few of my new songs which I've been recording. I'm planning on sticking around after the show to enjoy the new pub and chat with people who come to see me - so if you're looking for a more intimate show - come along to O'Neills




Last stop before home - truck puncture - after 6% downhills


Outside the Toad House - got my wee car out of storage


My rehearsal home for a few weeks


Me with Tony's Fender - just finished all the bass tracks


Saturday July 2nd at the Galway Bay - video (it's on facebook - you do not have to have an account or sign up to watch this)

Quick Update

Since my last update May 31st from the High Desert of Wyoming, we have been travelling steadily through Idaho, Oregon then back into Washington. It's great to be away from the high altitude, I'm dizzy enough with whisky, the thin air just adds another layer of craziness.

I booked into a rehearsal studio (Toad House in Portland, OR) where I would have space to spread out and rehearse for the recording sessions planned in June but I needed to get my instruments together.

My banjo and bass, outcasts living in our storage locker in Vancouver Washington, hadn't been played for over two years. They were well hidden right at the back, all wrapped up tight. Typical! After about an hour of climbing over mountains of furniture and climbing down the crevice where my instruments were, I wrestled them free and set off for Toadhouse.

The rehearsal studio was disguised as an old factory building about 6 minutes drive from where we were staying.. Difficult to find, locked up as tight as a drum but perfect if you need private space and want to make a lot of noise.

I was there most days and despite some times when I was dying next door to the loudest death metal band in the universe who rehearse at stadium concert volume, I managed to get through all my songs on all instruments. That's 6- string, 12-string, baritone and bass guitars, banjo, ukelele whistles, vocals... and yes - kazoo (for Big Tam). I can imagine the death metal guys were horrified by my banjo and kazoo... take that you wailers!!

My bass sounded "too enthusiastic" for recording (I had this problem last time too) - so I managed to borrow a Fender Precision bass from my pal and ex-colleague Tony Mills - thanks Tony - it worked out great!

On one of the songs "no reels and jigs on Sundays" I needed a fiddle part to "appear" part way through the song. So I got in touch with Lisa who I played with in Honolulu - she agreed immediately and has recorded just what I asked for and sent it to me - thanks Lisa you really are a star!

The recording at Nettleingham studios where I did "The Beginning" has gone well - but will need more time.. It's great to work with Kevin again, he is a Master of the studio - we'll be done mid-late July.

Working on your own songs is liberating and challenging for the same reason - there is nothing to follow, it's all yours. The songs are sounding great, I just hope people like them, I catch Kevin humming them as he gets infected by them - a good sign.

My plan was to record in June and start playing places again in July, I started playing again on July 1st, but I'm still recording - so much for plan A.

Right now we're up in Ocean Shores, Washington staying in the band appartment of the Galway Bay Irish pub. It's so convenient to just walk next door, onto the stage and start playing and at the end walk next door and relax after the gig. Brilliant. It's also great to be on the beach at the Pacific again.

It felt a bit weird to be playing live again after so much time working on my new stuff - but after a few songs and the crowd getting caught up in the singing etc, I was back in the groove. I have a lot of gigs lined up in July - I'm looking forward to playing them.

Remember - you can join me on facebook by "liking" my facebook page


What's new?

I'm excited to be playing back in Mahers on July 8th and looking forward to seeing the crew again.

Please come along to O'Neill's pub if you can, it's Sunday July 10th , I'm playing just two hours starting at 7pm - they have good pub food and good drinkies. I want it to be a wee bit different

I will be back in Kells (2nd Ave, Portland) on Friday July 15th 9pm start - this is a good gig, they don't normally have solo musicians on a weekend... I feel like I've arrived. I'm looking forward to it.

The Portland Highland Games is on Saturday July 16th. I will be playing there on stage and doing a wandering minstrel thing - should be fun.

The plan for the summer is shaping up - I've put a list of my bookings so far at the end of the newsletter

If you know someone who would like to book me, contact my Tour Manager extraordinaire - Michelle by clicking here

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


meatbeachNice to see the Pacific Ocean again- at Ocean Shores

dorothyDorothy enjoying the Pacific too

Anything else?

From July 25th I'll be out of action for 4 weeks. Years of playing bagpipes have caught up with me, I've blown my insides a bit too hard - I'm having a double hernia operation, but will be back on the stage in Mahers on August 26th - all tightened up!!



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



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