The sun is shining (for now) and I’m drying out my clothes after a very wet but very wonderful weekend in Cork, playing at the Cork Folk Festival with Rick as the Sons of the Delta duo.
It was a weekend of not much sleep and a lot of beer, so pretty much what you’d expect from one of Ireland’s best live music cities. We arrived at our hotel lunchtime on Thursday after a three-hour drive to Pembroke port, a four-hour overnight ferry trip then another three hours driving from Rosslare port to Cork. Needless to say we grabbed a few hours sleep before heading into town to check out our first venue, the Lee Delta Blues Club held at the Corner House, only a five-minute walk through the rain from our hotel. Words can’t do justice but the atmosphere in the place was fantastic as was the warmth of the people – and that’s true of all the venues we played at. See the Sons of the Delta Facebook page for some of the photos I uploaded during the trip. It was especially gratifying to see a large number of younger people in the audience. Not only did they really enjoy our show but several of them bought our CD, proving my belief that if they are exposed to good blues and roots music they will enjoy it. Take note all you major radio stations!
Friday. After one of the most fantastic coffees we’d ever had, at the wonderful Cork Coffee Roasters, we spent the day as wet tourists and then headed to the wonderful Crane Lane Theatre for our gig that evening. The theatre was less a theatre in style and more like a club from the 30’s. Think of a darker version of New York’s Cotton Club and you’ll get the idea. Again there was a good crowd and apart from some trouble with Rick’s amp the gig went very smoothly and we had the crowd dancing in front of the stage. The rain certainly didn’t stop people coming out to enjoy the festival.
Saturday. The day started dry but by the time we’d set up and started to play at the open stage on the Grand Parade the rain had started once again. A real shame as although we were covered the crowd wasn’t but it didn’t stop a brave few from huddling under umbrellas to watch us play an acoustic set. Job done and Cork conquered; we headed back to Rosslare for the night ferry home.
Other highlights since my last blog have been the South Coast run of gigs for both the Sons of the Delta and the Jigantics, most notably the Southsea Folk & Roots Festival, and the Jigantics were proud to headline this year’s Gig @ the Quarry in Avening. This annual event is a fundraiser for the Meningitis Trust and everything is given to the event by sponsors and volunteers. My youngest son had meningitis when he was young and so this cause is particularly close to my heart.
This coming weekend the Sons of the Delta duo have three gigs at the Swanage Blues Festival. Really looking forward to those and catching up with the friends we made last year. After that I’m off to Ottawa again to spend time with the Myers Brothers Blues Band. Mike and Stevie have asked me over to play some dates with them around Ottawa and up in Quebec. We’ll also spend some time out at Mike’s lakeside cottage mixing down their latest CD on which I play harmonica. I may take my laptop and keep you updated while I’m there and I may just wait til I get back and tell you all about it then. I’m going with the flow.