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So January, like many folkies, was quite a busy month! I had a great time playing for ‘Top Floor Taivers’ at their CD launch in St Andrews in the Square as part of Celtic Connections. There were so many people supporting the night and indeed their new album  ‘A Delicate Game.’  Well worth a listen! I want to say thank you to the band for having me along to play and to everyone who attended the night.

 

At the moment I’m attending an outdoor course so it was back home to build a log store out of Sycamore using an axe, saw, mallet and some twine. It’s rough and at the moment unfinished but thanks to a temporary piece of tarp, we had fire in amongst the heaviest rain we have endured on the course so far. I am learning the basics about maintaining our precious woodlands and how to live with them as part of the John Muir Award. I absolutely love it! A big thank you to ACT for organising the programme and to the Oban Mental Health Team for this hugely beneficial opportunity.

 

While Celtic Connections was coming to the end, I was on my way to play in Michelle Burke’s ’Step into my Parlour.’ This is quite a show with family collections of housekeeping tips, not to mention Michelle and James’s living room coming along for a road trip too! In a car containing Michelle Burke, James Ross, Rick Taylor and a bird cage, how could I not have fun? We had two gigs, starting in Derry and finishing in Manorhamilton. The audiences were great and embraced the parlour and of course Michelle’s pin dropping performances of these songs with my personal favourites being ‘Dan O Hara’ and ‘Gypsies.’ Thanks Michelle, it’s a joy to play in you’re parlour as well as hilarious craic!

 

 

 

Tia’s news

Finished off the previous year with a tour of Austria playing for Michelle Burke in ‘Welcome to my Parlour.’ Here I learned some questionable old school tips on various aspects of life, definitely worth checking out if you get the chance.

Then it was off to Shetland Folk Festival to play for ‘The Outside Track’ with Baltimore Fiddle Festival and some other dates round about it. I love the ferry, which is where the festival really starts. It’s an intense 12 hour opportunity to catch up with people I haven’t seen for years and ultimately have tunes with these folk as well as people just met for the first time. It really is a great journey to the festival and a brilliant way to start a tour so thanks everyone!

Over the last couple of years, I have been fortunate to cover guitar for a few bands and was excited to learn Gillian Frame’s new album ‘Pendulum.’ I loved the album but then playing it at such a well supported CD launch was great to be part of. We finished off with Arran Folk Festival which had various highlights, but for me it was learning that the average number of steps in a group is 13. I enjoy a good fact and interesting people. Brilliant time all round.

The overall highlight of my year has been joining the Poozies. It has felt like such a natural fit and ideas from all four of us are flooding out which is exciting! To me that’s what a band is, people who trigger and bounce ideas with each other respectfully and with ease. Also being comfortable to just say if something doesn’t sound quite right is hugely important to me. This combination of people is working, from my eyes anyway, and I’m over the moon to be part of it. Thanks Poozies!

At the start of this blog, I mentioned being in Austria.. here is a wee video of tunes after a gig in a Garden Centre.

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