Greetings from Glasgow, Scotland. I really like this city.
The days have been gorgeous and clear and I heard it didn’t rain at all for the entire two and a half weeks of the Celtic Connections festival.
I arrived early on Wednesday morning and had the entire day off to settle in and get sorted. Walking around, stretching out away from the hotel, little, ghosts-like memeories came to me from Nickel Creek days: Walking on Buchanan with Mandy and Chris in 2006, and then I came to a dirt parking lot and had a quick vision of seeing it about eight years ago on our first visti to Glasgow. I know it now as the corner before Gandolfi’s Cafe.
I was invited to Celtic Connections to be a part of the Translantic Sessions, a fantastic show organized by Jerry Douglas and Aly Bain involving a batch of muscians from Ireland, Scotland, England, the States and other countreis as well. The 11 piece band had two rehearsals to put the show together and, let me tell you, the rehearsal on Thursday was just heavenly. My main job is to sing a few songs and jump in on harms, although I get to sit in with the fiddle on a few songs too
The Transalantic Session band is Jerry Douglas, Aly Bain, Phil Cunningham, Tim O’Brien, Russ Barenberg, Mike McGoldrick, Bruce Molsky, Danny Thompson, Donald Shaw, James Mackintosh and John Doyle. Good LORD! Most of these guys have been musical heroes for me and the others are quicky becoming so. The singing guests are Dan Tyminski, Karen Matheson, Eddi Reader, Mollie O’Brien, Darrel Scott and myself. When we aren’t singing or playing, we all sit on a couple couches on stage with a couple bottles of wine and enjoy the concert. It’s amazing
Just before my second batch of songs, Karen leavs us all in tears singing her verson of a gaelic song (the name of which I don’t know how to spell on my english keyboard) is about a children’s cemetery. Right after that Tim sings Hey Joe…You have to understand, the way Tim sings that song is so wickedly awesome, I can’t sit still! I get so amped up I’m in no condition to do anything but run in circles – certainlty not in a good place to sing a sad, mellow song. It took me until the third verse to sink into it last night. I have to figure out how to deal with it.
There have been very late night jam sessions. Last night I went down to the hotel lobby to find Mollie, Eddi, and Karen singing old songs and new ones – accompanied by Phil Cunningham on the accordion. What a beautiful sound.
We start on the first ever Transatlantic tour tomorow! Manchester, Gateshead, Belfast, Birmingham and then London. Traveling in planes, trains and automobiles – it’s going to be a blast!