Tuesday
Dec172013

Interview with Greg Trooper

 

A New Jersey born singer-songwriter who has released twelve albums of crafted writing to date and who has had his songs covered by such respected songwriters as Steve Earle, Vince Gill and Billy Bragg. He has worked closely with a number of producer's including Garry Tallent, Buddy Miller and Dan Penn. His current album Incident On Willow Street was produced by Stewart Lerman and included the songs Living With You, Mary Of The Scots In Queens and One Honest Man. Trooper has long been a Lonesome Highway favourite and took the time to answer these questions.

You can look back over a career of over twenty years as a singer/songwriter. What reflections do you have of how things have changed or evolved over the years?

For me I’d say my songwriting has hopefully evolved. I’ve learned to take more time with a song and go over it and edit, edit, edit! 

Your ambitions will have obviously have changed over the years and the fact that you are still performing and recording suggest the core inspiration is the music itself. Would that be your inclination also?

I still have professional ambitions. Still want to reach a larger audience, still want to work larger venues but the youthful “rock star” thing is long past. I still believe, and maybe more so now, that the work is thing. What I mean by that is working at songwriting and performing and trying to connect with an audience is my priority and goal.

 The landscape for delivering music has changed dramatically over the last few years. How has that affected you?

’m now the artist, record label and publisher. This takes more time and effort away from concentrating on just being “the artist”. Kind of had to pay attention to it all before anyway but it’s a different psychology.

The digital age has it’s pros and cons. I can deliver my music on my own and see more financial reward right away from selling and downloads but no matter how much I pay out to promote my music I still don’t seem to have the reach I did when recording for a label. That may change. We’ll have to see. The first rule in this business is there are no rules.

The advent of such funding sources seems ideally suited to an artist with a reasonable fanbase. Does that make it easier or are things still as problematic as ever?

Funding is a huge issue for the independent musician. Kickstarter and the like have been a great asset but how many times can you go back to your fans for your recording and promotion budget? I’m hopeful this record can generate enough income to finance my next project although life and bills can be quite demanding.

Has the lived circuit changed too and has the age of the audience been a factor in how and where you play these days?

My audience ages right along with me. I’d like to see more young people at my shows but it’s a tough sell. I believe my songs relate to any age audience but it takes some convincing to get 20 somethings to a 50 something’s show.

You lost your friend the late, great Larry Roddy who was a great supporter of your music, Has that been a factor in not being back in Ireland in recent times?

Larry was not just an agent for me. He was a dear friend. I learned so much about so many things from him. It has been hard for me to tour Ireland with out him there to talk about Dylan, The Blues, and Irish history. I’ll be back though.

The new album Incident On Willow Street is another great addition to your fine body of work. Was there a particular inspiration behind the songs?

Not really. It was more subconscious than that. The songs have a lot to do with escape or finding a different path than the one you’re traveling. This all came out from the writing more than contemplating what I was going to write. I will say the songs are not autobiographical. That would bore the listener. I like to say my songs are reality based fiction.

You worked with some fine players on the album such as Larry Campbell and producer Stewart Lerman. How does the selection of the producer/players effect the outcome of the music?

Casting players for an album is key to the outcome. I’m lucky to know such great players. They’re musical instincts are just incredible. Couldn’t do it without them.

What are the highlights, for you, of the work you have produced to date?

Hard to answer that. I still look forward to every gig. Still love the writing and recording process. It’s all still fresh and amazing to me.

The nature of what you do can be lonely as you tend to travel a lot solo. Has that become more difficult as time goes on?

Yes and no. Alone can be productive and positive but there are those mornings you wake up, wash your face, look up in the hotel bathroom mirror and say “ oh no, not you again”.

Do you still draw inspiration from similar sources?

I look for it everywhere. Books, articles, movies, music, conversations etc. I just wish I could remember all the mental notes I take.

What are the next projects for you and for the future?

Right now I’m trying to work and promote this record as much as possible. As I go I’ll write songs and I’ll have to see where they take me. Hopefully Ireland in the fall of 2014.

Thursday
Dec122013

Interview with Tom Bridgewater of Loose Music

 

Tom Bridgewater set up Loose Music the independent record label based in Acton, London in 1998.  Previously he was behind the vinyl only record label, Vinyl Junkie. With roots singer-songwriters, Americana and country providing the core direction they heave released music by the following artists: Giant Sand, M Ward, Mark Mulcahy, Neko Case, The Handsome Family, The Felice Brothers, Dawes, Deer Tick, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Johnny Fritz, Israel Grips Nash and  Danny & The Champions Of The World. Lonesome Highway took the opportunity to ask some questions from someone operating in that side of the process.

Your musical ventures have always been related to Americana/Roots/ Country music. When did you become aware and awakened by that genre of music?

An old family friend - the actor Kenneth Cranham - used to make us tapes to play on long car journeys. The beautifully decorated tapes were made up of music by the likes of John Prine, JJ Cale, Emmylou Harris, Randy Newman and Jesse Winchester. So I became unusually fond of country music as a youngster.  

Did DJing at Nashville Babylon point the way to releasing music through Vinyl Junkie and Loose Music?

I had already set up Vinyl Junkie (and then Loose Music) by the time that we found ourselves in Dublin in late 1998, spinning tunes and drinking Guinness by the gallon. But it was all part of the journey.

In the current climate it’s tough to sell records yet you seem to have found a balance to make it work. How have you done that?

Loose is run on a wing and prayer and we have always spent our budget of half a shoe-string. But we manage to trudge on heroically! People ask me “how’s business”? and I proudly say “well, we’re still in it”! I reckon thats no mean achievement these days. How have we managed it? Thanks to the good people who buy records by our bands. We salute you! 

For Loose is the physical product still outselling the downloaded versions?

Indeed it is, but digital sales are increasing while physical sales decline. We issue most of our albums on CD and LP these days. We usually make the LPs limited edition and numbered with download codes included. I think that the limited edition element helps. To me it’s all about the physical product. Having something to hold in your hands.

In the CD versus Vinyl debate where do you stand?

Personally I like both but if I really love an album then I will usually buy it on vinyl. Artwork is a big but increasingly forgotten element of records and obviously you cannot beat the sound of an LP. Thats been scientifically proven, by Neil Young! And some people say that records smell of bananas so thats good too.

There was a time when it was though a single act could break through for Americana - Nirvana style - and thus focus attention on the music. That look’s unlikely now but do you see a similar possibility for mainstream success?

We work with a number of bands that really could appeal to a wider marker: Danny & The Champions Of The World, Israel Nash Gripka, Treetop Flyers and Frontier Ruckus (if they write a chorus!) to name but four. However, to “break through” you need serious marketing muscle which Loose simply does not have. So we depend on good press, radio, online and TV where possible. If you can achieve all those four pieces of the jigsaw on a decent scale at the same time then you have a chance. With The Felice Brothers we had “Frankie’s Gun” on two TV shows at the same time: Outnumbered on the BBC and Skins on Channel 4. It soon became our biggest selling record.

How frustrating is it to know you have a great album on the label but the actual sales are not commercially significant?

I made a change in career about 20 years ago and started to put records out. It wasnt really that I saw myself swimming in a banjo shaped swimming pool and admiring my platinum discs on the wall of my Malibu beach house; it was because I wanted to see if I could enrich people’s lives with the music that I love. To me the best moments are seeing any sized venue full of smiling faces watching one of our bands that the crowd probably wouldn’t have heard of if we hadn’t signed them. Thats something that makes me very happy and proud. Its not all about commercial success, to me its about doing something worthwhile with your time on this earth, man.

In choosing which acts to release do you rely on your own judgement or are there any other criteria involved?

We have a very small team here at Loose and we all have to agree that its a good plan to sign a particular act. We sometimes play them to our distributors in other countries but really its down to us. You just have to go with your gut instinct.

You are based in London and have released a number of UK acts. In that light you must fell that these acts are as good a those from the US. Would you agree?

Some are. Danny & The Champs and Peter Bruntnell and Treetop Flyers definitely are. To be honest, I don’t really like comparing USA and UK acts but I certainly wish that here in the UK and Ireland we started getting more behind our own talent rather than giving disproportionate amounts of airplay and column inches to American acts because they come from towns with romantic sounding names.

What do enjoy most about running the label?

As I said before, seeing happy faces at gigs and that feeling of doing something artistic and creative with my life. It’s also good to be your own boss and just not turn up to work occasionally.

Has your love and enthusiasm for the music been diminished by the financial side of making music happen?

Not really, I find it more disheartening when we lose a band because some bigger label comes along and lures them away from us with offers of all the gold they can eat. If you want loyalty in the music business get yourself a dog! There are of course exceptions to this rule and I am forever indebted to those acts that have stuck with us through thick and thin. They know who they are and I love them.

What have Loose got in store for 2014?

Fabulous music from friends old and new. We just want to keep on keeping on.

Interview by Stephen Rapid

Link to current Loose Sampler:

https://soundcloud.com/loose-music/sets/loose-2013



 

 


Sunday
Oct272013

Interview with Peter Bruntnell by Paul McGee

Your new release Retrospective, is a collection that spans almost 15 years of recording. What motivated you to look back at this particular point in your musical career?

The idea for the retrospective was not mine, it was suggested by my new manager and sounded like a good idea at the time.

When you started out as a recording artist, who were your musical influences?

Neil Young, Nick Drake, Tim Harding, Acetone and Uncle Tupelo.

How has your song-writing evolved over the years?

It’s become more English as a result of the realisation that an English/Welsh songwriter will always suffer if they are trying to be Americana. I don’t consider my songs to be Americana even if some journalists or punters do?

You lived in Canada for a period of time as a younger artist. Can you talk about how this influenced your music?

Living in Canada was great, I met a chap called Bill Ritchie, who I write most of my songs with. These days over the phone.

You have steered a path that did not include major recording contracts or major labels in your past and I wonder if this has added to your reputation of being ‘under the radar’, but held in high esteem by many within the industry?

I don’t really know about that, perhaps it has though.  Artists on major labels have bigger marketing budgets so that would obviously help with radio awareness. I can’t listen to the radio, it all stinks, as far as I am concerned.

Would commercial success earlier in your career have altered your world view to any great degree?

Yes, but I’m not sure how though, other than I would have a bigger house, more guitars and my wife wouldn’t give me such a hard time for being a loser piss poor musician?

Eight releases over 15 years are reflected on the current Retrospective release and I wondered if the process of looking back revealed any unexpected insights?

Listening back was interesing and brought back some great memories. I had a great time in the recording studio with the players and the producer Pete Smith.

What does it take to write a complete, fully realised, song in your view?

That depends, some songs happen straight away and others can take a month.

Have you ever had the offer to place your songs in a movie/ TV series?

A song called Ghostdog was in something, I can’t remember right now.

Did you ever tour America to any great degree, given your connections with Son Volt?

I’ve toured a fair bit in America with Son Volt and Jay Farrar solo, also the North Mississipi Allstars.

What is your view on the changes in music distribution today?

Nobody is buying much, so touring is essential. The majors still control the radio and press.

As an essentially independent artist, does the new environment of downloads, YouTube and a return to cottage industry herald a new dawn to you?

The internet is good for gig awareness.

What continues to motivate you to write and perform?

I still love playing live and retain some interest in writing songs. I also like the recording process and have started recording other songwriters in my studio which is something I will probably continue to do.

Friday
Oct182013

Interview with Yvette Landry by Stephen Rapid

 

 

Yvette Landry grew up in Louisiana she is a musician and writer playing a variety of instruments in several Cajun bands, She is also an educator and teacher. Yvette released her debut  album titled Should Have Known in 2010. She also fronts her own band. Yvette has played numerous festivals and played and toured outside of the U.S. She has performed with the Red Stick Ramblers, Pine Leaf Boys, Bill Kirchen, Cindy Cashdollar, Darrell Scott and many more. Yvette co-produced her new No Man’s Land with some of those friends including Bill Kirchen, Cindy Cashdollar, Geno Delafose, Dirk Powell, Richard Comeaux, and Joel Savoy. Not content with that Yvette also published her first children’s book The Ghost Tree. She kindly agreed to answer some questions for Lonesome Highway.

It says "Musician, Author, Educator, Interpreter" on your website. That sounds like a pretty rounded full on life style. How do you make them all fit without compromising any of these aspects of your life?  

It's not easy, but if you keep things organized and learn to manage your time wisely, it's very doable.

You grew up in Breaux Bridge in Louisiana and growing up must have absorbed the music and atmosphere of the area which has filtered through to your music. What was the overriding influence and how did country music fit into the overall scheme of things? 

Well, growing up, I was involved in music in school. I took piano lessons and played in the school band. Unfortunately, my parents were not into the cajun music scene. We mostly listened to records and the radio. The one record that my parents played over and over again was Willie Nelson's Stardust album. I guess that's where I my first taste of country came from. 

The songs on Should Have Known and No Man's Land have a pretty timeless quality that suggest you have listened to the some classic songs. How do you set out to write your songs?  

Interesting question.  I don't really "set out" to write songs, they just sort of write themselves. It's hard to explain, but I get this feeling and when it comes, I pick up my guitar, grab my paper and pencil, and before you know it, I've got a song.

Do you have a preference for writing over performance or as you do both is it more of an integrated process?  

I love the performance aspect of music. It's something I can sort of control. Writing just comes. I never know when it's coming or even what is coming!

Did you find writing your book The Ghost Tree very different from your song writing?  

The story about "how" the book was written might be even better than the book itself! Short version, I told a story to the four-year-old son of a friend.  Just sort of made it up on the spot. I never had any intension of writing a book, it was just a story - but before I knew it, I had an illustrator, a publisher, and this thing was going to print!

You produced both your albums Joel Savoy and used some fine players. Where both what you expected them to be or did the process change the songs in any way? 

For the first album, I had no expectations. Matter of fact, I never intended to record an album. I had written some songs and had played them only for my parents.  My dad was battling brain cancer at the time and he would always tell me I needed to record the songs, but I insisted that I didn't know what I was doing and was not going to record. A couple of months later, he passed away and in his memory, I recorded the album. I just phoned a few friends, explained the situation, and we went into the studio, unrehearsed, and laid down the tracks. It was magic! For No Man's Land, I was scared to death! I knew that this album needed to be a strong one to follow up Should Have Known, but I didn't really know how to do that. So I took my ideas, called up some friends and thought, "well, if it worked the first time, it'll probably work again!"  Went in with no expectations except for wanting to do my best. I figured if I had that attitude, then I couldn't be disappointed with the product.  Most of the songs came out just as I had heard them in my head. The one song that changed was "Yea, You Right." Once we got in and started recording, I knew that I needed Geno Delafose and his bass player Pop Esprit to lay down the grove. Other than that, not much changed.

Your albums are self released does this give you the freedom to record and release exactly what you want with the obvious financial constraints? 

Pretty much. Because I work full time as a teacher, I don't go on tour. I think most labels want someone who can be on the road to "market the product" so I really didn't focus on that too much. Just wanted to put it out there as quickly and easily as possible.

You play locally and have toured internationally. Do you find the audience reaction and expectation changes with the territory?  

Yep. At home, we're a dance band. People come out and dance, drink, talk, have a good time. It's very social. When you get outside of our little area of "Acadiana", especially out of state and overseas, people tend to sit and listen. It's got more of a concert feel. That's a really strange feeling for me, to have people just watching. But, the more I do it, the more comfortable I get doing those type of shows.

Having played with other artists do you enjoy the break of being less in the spotlight as happened when it's your show?  

Absolutely!  I love the variety that I have playing with different bands. When I'm playing bass, I'm just sort of along for the ride. I love holding down the rhythm section. When I'm on accordion, I'm sort of in the front, but my guitar player does most of the vocals, so they're the ones in the "spotlight." Then every once in a while, I get to be up there.  It's scary, but I love being able to have my own voice.

As a teacher and as a musician you have exposure to different aspects of life. Do you draw on that for your songs? 

A friend of mine once told me that song writing was easy - all you have to do is pay attention. I took those words to heart. It was absolute genius, because if you truly open your eyes and pay attention to everything that's happening around you daily, you have plenty to write about. So whether it's in school, or in a bar, or walking to the mailbox, there is always something happening that you can potentially draw from.

Perhaps the best know country musician from your home state is Webb Pierce is there a lot of country music there now?  

There's a small country scene around my hometown, but as far as the state, not so much.

When you record your next solo album will you continue in the direction of your two albums or do you see yourself moving from that?  

Wow, that's a tough one. I take things day by day, so we'll just have to wait and see on that one.

Do you see your music as a reward in itself or is there a desire to reach a wider audience. If so would that make you compromise given that mainstream radio is moving towards a heavy pop/youth bias?  

When I started playing music, my one goal was to play at Mulatte's in Breaux Bridge (my home town). It's a famous cajun restaurant and I thought, "Man, if I could just play there..." With that said, (and I did play there), everything else is just lagniappe! I'm along for the ride. I make music and play music because it lights up my soul. I love seeing the smiles on the faces of people who come out to dance or to listen. If my music reaches a wider audience, I would be ecstatic for sure, but I can't see me changing what I'm doing.

With all that you have done and achieved what's next for Yvette Landry?  

I never know what the universe is going to throw at my doorstep next. I do have another book in the works, I'm continually writing songs, trying to be a good mother, daughter, sister, friend and teacher. Right now, that's enough, but I'm always ready to travel along new paths, so time will tell.

Finally, who are you favourites artists from the past or present?  

Right now, I just can't get enough of Darrell Scott and Tim O'Brien. I was fortunate enough to play with Darrell several years ago and have been a huge fan ever since. As for Tim, well, who doesn't like Tim O'Brien?!  

Sunday
Sep292013

Interview with Joe Henry by Paul McGee

Thank you for taking the time to speak with Lonesome Highway and your fan base in Ireland?

My pleasure to take a few moments with you here, truly. Thank you for your attention.

When you started as a musician who were your main influences?

I was obsessed with songs long before I ever thought of that as something one might choose to be. I just recognized songs to be my language, and saw myself within them –did not see in them where I wanted to go, but saw in them, in fact, who I was. We are all most vulnerable to influence when we don’t know we are being influenced; and as such, when I first heard Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, Glen Campbell, and Dusty Springfield as a young boy of 7 and 8, I was completely seduced and accepting of their collective version of reality. Not to sound overly dramatic –though it was-- the atmosphere their music created was the air I breathed.

Did you find it hard to gain a foothold in the industry at the beginning and what was your first big break?

It is still hard, and I am not sure I have ever had what one might refer to as a “big break.” I still operate very much under the radar –not exactly by choice; but I do recognize that what I do is not for everyone, and am at peace (most days) with that. There is a lot of freedom that comes along with my low-grade recognition: I feel I have no one’s expectations but my own to serve, creatively-speaking.

With 12 studio recordings, spanning 20 plus years, what subtle changes have you noticed in your approach to song writing over the time?

Well, the most notable change for me might be that I used to be concerned with whether my songs, lyrically speaking, might be too obtuse and abstract for some listeners; and now…I don’t give that much of a thought. I don’t ever mean to be difficult; but at the same time, I don’t ever deliberately shift my direction on behalf of what I imagine might be more “accessible” to others. I offer what I have open-heartedly to whomever the song might speak. We are all called to own our voices and to offer what we each can most uniquely offer; and I am trying to be less fearful about doing exactly that.

Do the early recordings stand the test of time or do you wish to revisit them and bring the perspective of an older view to bear, in hindsight?

I rarely listen to my old records on purpose; and if I did, it wouldn’t be as entertainment. I did the best I could at every juncture, but I have no illusions that I would be satisfied with them from this vantage point –or even if I am supposed to be. I am proud of the work and the accomplishment that it all represents; but I happen to think I am better at my job now than I used to be. Hearing an old recording is like looking at your junior high school year book picture: I know that that’s me; I just don’t know why I was dressed that way on picture day.

You have produced many recordings for other artists; Solomon Burke, Loudon Wainwright III, Rodney Crowell, Salif Keita, Bonnie Raitt, Mary Gautier, to name just a few; tell me about the challenges here and how you got started on this road?

My professional godfather is songwriter/producer T Bone Burnett; and he was the first person to encourage my work as a producer alongside my work as an artist. But I never decided to be a producer, consciously. I just…found myself being asked to assume the position. I was as surprised then as I am now by the work that continues to come my way, and am grateful for it. I love making records –for myself and with others.

The goal is the same, on my record or anyone else’s: to make something meaningful come out of a pair of speakers. And the challenge really comes down to allowing a song to dictate policy…to not being married to an idea beforehand, and letting the song identify itself and be the compass blade. If I am ever at a difficult moment with an artist on my watch, the solution more often than not is to remind the artist that it is all about “it” –the song/recording—and not about them. As soon as we are serving the song, not an artist or an idea, problems vanish.

I have heard that some of your earlier recordings were described as "idiosyncratic broadmindedness” – is this a view that you subscribe to?

I am not sure what someone meant by that, exactly, though I think I am broadminded, musically-speaking. Anyone growing up roughly when I did has been exposed to a wealth of music from across time and distance. And all of it is fair game; all of it is valuable as human expression; ad I have been influenced by everything I’ve heard.

I have also read a quote from you that states; ‘If you are being honest, you are being entertaining’ - can you elaborate on this please?

I have never said that, but have said the exact opposite, when talking about the so-called “confessional” songwriters: I said that it is foolish to ignore song craft in favour of believing that just because you are being “honest” it is automatically meaningful –or entertaining—to others. I have also said that in this context, I believe honestly to be wildly overrated. Just because you are willing to rip a page from your diary and set it to music doesn’t make it a good song. Further: just because you made up a story in song from thin air doesn’t mean it isn’t “true.”

Eclectic is a word that describes your muse and the reach that you have into the creative firmament. So many artists have wanted your guiding hand and your particular take on song arrangements and melody – is this ever daunting?

It is daunting and flattering in equal measure; but I am very wary of trying to direct anyone else’s songwriting, as I hold that statement to be very personal. If someone asks for songwriting help or opinion while I am producing, I will offer it; but I would never volunteer without being invited that someone else’s song needed my help. I might decide a particular song doesn’t speak to me, but that doesn’t mean I should manipulate it so that it might.

One of the great unsung bands, in my opinion, is Over the Rhine and I know that you have produced some of their recordings. What does it take for artists like this to break through the queue of talented hopefuls to sit at the commercial table for the feast?

I have no idea, truly, what it takes to “breakthrough” commercially, at any significant level. But I do think that the best gamble is deep and generous writing, and soulful singing; and Over the Rhine are heroic in that regard. I can’t say enough about them.

Lisa Hannigan is an Irish Artist of great talent that you have worked and performed with – can you speak a little about this special bond and how it ended up with you playing your first show in Dublin recently?

Well, Lisa in not only one of the greatest artists I have ever worked with, but she is quite honestly one of my favourite people I have ever met. My entire family loves her as I do…she’s a remarkable and –I don’t use the word lightly—a special person; a truly great singer, a gifted songwriter; a generous, open-hearted, and egoless collaborator; and she will only get better, I am quite certain.

When I first worked with Lisa on her album “Passenger,” I was warmly embraced by her whole band, and I have become more than casual friends with most all of them, sincerely. I had never been to Ireland, but there was nowhere else on earth I more wanted to visit. I feel deeply connected to the creative landscape there, and always have. Anyway…my relationship with Lisa’s world convinced me that the time was right; and that whether invited or not, I was going; so I accepted a well-paying date in Switzerland with the notion that it would facilitate, at long last, my arrival to Dublin.

Were you surprised with the reaction that you received to your body of work at the show?

Yes, I was surprised to be so warmly received; but then again, Lisa and her camp –most notably her dear friend and tour manager Una Molloy—went to great lengths to see that my inaugural visit would be a satisfying and successful one –and it was in every way.

You were very generous with the inclusion of songs from Lisa and I wonder what you see for her into the future?

I wasn’t being generous, but selfish: I wanted Lisa onstage with me, and wanted to sing with her. Period. She was the generous one, letting me ride her coattails into Whelan’s as she did. As I said above, she will only get better. She has that kind of voice, that kind of soul: I believe ten years from now, her voice will take on some additional overtones, and there won’t be a better singer on the earth.

I was interested in your encore of a Jackson Browne song and I wanted to ask if he was a particular influence on your approach to song-writing over the years?

Jackson and I have been friendly for two decades; but I must say, he’s a bigger influence on me now than he was during my formative years.

When Lisa and I was touring in America last summer –and with John Smith and Ross Turner in our company—I invited Jackson to come to our show in Los Angeles, and mentioned it in passing to Lisa and the boys; and once I had, I realized what a significant thing it was bound to be for them to have Jackson there. That led to us listening to and talking a lot about Jackson Browne as we travelled, inching our way toward California. And out of that, we began singing “These Days” together as an encore, just because we all have a mutual love for the song. It feels great to sing it together in 3-part.

Once we finally arrived in Los Angeles, I told Jackson we’d been performing “These Days”, and asked if he might care to sing it with us, which he did –and it was a highlight of the tour for all of us; and as such…we have continued to sing it --Lisa, John, Ross, and I—whenever we perform together.

Finally, having teased your Irish fans with a premier performance, can we expect a return visit in the near future?

I would love to come back –and sooner than later. I am discussing with Lisa now how we might collaborate on a full tour of Ireland. I am not sure when it can happen, but I am committed to the idea.