December 11th 2012

An Austria tour update

Bad Ischl, Austria is covered in a blanket of snow – everything is bright and beautifully silent.  We drove here yesterday and spent the evening off with snow falling outside and us in the warm – talking and relaxing.  It was our first and only night off so we all really appreciated it.  I thought I’d be blogging up a storm on this trip, not so.  There isn’t much time to spare and when there is – a lie down is good!

Bad Ischl is a spa town and was the summer home of the Austrian royal family.  It has that feel – beautiful architecture, a gorgeous walk along the esplanade beside the river (such clear water), and a sense of history that is palpable.  The town is nestled amid lakes and majestic mountains.  Edenic.

We are looking forward to the show here tonight. Without exception the shows have been brilliant, sparkling. The audiences are generous and enthusiastic, and listen deeply.  I think this is the one country I could actually sing a full show of slow songs and it would be ok.  In the USA I mix our sets up with slow songs, medium paced songs, and then the rafter-raising tunes on the fiddle.  At festivals we play primarily up-tempo music.  I always try and keep it moving, don’t want to do slow songs one after another.  It  is different here.  And, the change of pace is lovely.

Do have to say, though, that when we launch into the high-octane songs and tunes, we all love it.  Patsy O’Brien and Patrick Mangan have been playing brilliantly – heart and soul. I am proud to be on stage with them. The communication that happens between the audience and us is dynamic – every night is a different buzz, a different feel. The fact that there are some in the audiences who don’t speak a lot of English has made no difference at all. They seem to be listening with their hearts.

And we couldn’t do any of this without the exceptional soundman we are travelling with – Martin Zimmer. Doesn’t matter what venue we are playing, he makes it sound huge, clear, and pitch perfect. There is nothing in the way between the audience and us.  Singing/playing each night has been a pure pleasure.  Martin and Egon (his brother and assistant) are there hours before us and stay long after us.  I watched them tearing down the sound system the other night. They did it with precision and speed – impressive – and it is the same every night. I sat there thinking that we musicians have a much lighter load to carry on the road. We are very lucky to be working with them.

We also share the show each night with Full Set.  They are fine company and are playing and singing beautifully at every single show – true professionals.  Their sets feature lovely, lovely instrumentals and seriously good songs/arrangements – and “take the roof off the room” tunes too!  If you haven’t had a chance to see them live yet, do!  You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to all of you have come out to hear us here in Austria.  We are having a blast!  And to those of you in the States: we will be back to start our Spring shows in January – right into February and March – new songs from the new CD!:)  Looking forward to the shows there.  I’ll be posting the dates on the site soon.  We hope to see you at one of the shows.  And I’ll be joining Cherish the Ladies as their guest vocalist for some shows too.  Will be fun to sing with them again!