I’ve now been in Scotland for almost 2 days and it’s been a whirlwind of activity. The little tweets, fb posts, videos, pics being posted capture some of the action– and I’m so thankful for Karen and Lori getting this stuff out to you… At the same time, I wanted to take a few moments to write a little more so I don’t forget everything– and so I can share with my friends all of this stuff.
I arrived in the middle of a rainy, cold, dreary day. Although I slept on both of my flights, the sleep wasn’t great– and I was coming off a very busy northeast band tour that was sleep deprived. After traveling through Edinburgh a bit, I got to my flat and did get to crash for a bit- before my dear friend Gary Blair arrived with the accordion I’m living with all week! I don’t get to see Gary too often, so I treasure visiting with a friend and artist I respect greatly. (and am so appreciative of him allowing me to use one of his signature accordions!)
We visited a ceilidh (Scottish dance party) and got to watch a fine accordionist and a large crowd of dancers– mostly in their teens, enjoying a traditional dance. Some of the people knew the dances, and others were learning– but it was a tremendously active scene.I was truly amazed and just wonder how we could cultivate more of this attitude in the US with the polka dances… I was honored to go up and play a song–so I played Zillertaler Hochzeits Marsch– the Austrian Wedding March– which we taught the dancers to do– and had a great time…
It was beyond time to sleep…… but that was a short amount of time because yesterday, my first full day here-was full of scheduled activities… An early sound check at the cabaret I’m performing with… a showcase on a street stage–which was unamplified and completely solo/ acoustic–demonstrated how hard it is to get attention by yourself… I started getting people to stop and watch- then an accordion strap came loose! Well, that stopped that… next act… After fixing the strap– I went out on a street corner… busking… (just playing the accordion and seeing if people would stop and listen!) It was cool to see what people would stop and listen for… surprisingly– it was slow, pretty music! A unique change for me… I even made about 6 lbs in tips… 😉
As I was walking back to a meeting point, I found a German bratwurst street vendor… turns out the guy working it was from Atlanta, GA and had been to Helen, GA as a kid–small world… Played a few tunes– and got a really good bratwurst… Onto The Melville Bar– for a little afternoon showcase– met some other musicians, played for a few people and moved on to get ready for my actual show…The cabaret was set great– there are wonderful acts there all evening… For my first night, i had 11 people in attendance! (That’s considered good for an unknown , I guess… but…) On the upside, it felt very good. The audience was receptive– and bought 6 cds… a pretty good sales %.. A few people posted that it’s a good show– so hopefully, i can get some buzz going and meet some more people to entertain…
I got back to the flat and have had a real night of sleep for the first time in a week. Let’s see what today brings….. Keep the posts, tweets and pics coming… when i get to sit down at some point with a connection, I hope I have some more good stories to tell….
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