Friday 26 October 2012

Highway Liverpool Revisited

Welcome to Melbreck Road in South Liverpool. It's Friday morning at Peter and Gabi's house, there's a train occasionally rolling through not far away, and I'm going to pause to go put some coffee on. Be right back.

If I remember correctly I left last time just a bit late to get to the Amberley Folk Club in Sussex. Well, the show was great and I was joined for a few tunes by Sussex fiddle guru Jonny Wigg. It's quite likely Jonny and I will be playing some tunes together again soon and I'm pretty....amped(as the kids say) about the idea. Sussex was also a reunion for us with Suzie who is a great friend we met last year who also has an awesome VW van.

October 18, Brighton, awesome. We had a show at a venue called the Basement which is aptly named as it is in the basement of a building next to some amazing graffiti of James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Joe Cocker. I opened up for Sam Baker and Carrie Elkin and had a brilliant time. Not going to lie, I'm totally OK with the opener playing an encore.

Song From The Shed. So what would you say if I told you I played in a garden shed along side garden tools in a guy's back yard? Then what would you say if I told you Alabama 3, Fairport Convention, Deer Tick, Richard Shindell, and Charlie Parr(just to name a few) had also done the same thing? Songs From The Shed is what happens when a few friends are out at the pub talking music and one friend says to another friend jokingly, "hey, you should record a guitar player friend of mine in your shed." The friend takes him seriously and does it, has a few more people play in the shed, then a local journalist writes about it, the BBC does a feature on it, then the New York Times writes about it and the next thing you know....whoa.....1.3 million views on Youtube.  You need to check this out.
not bad for a garden shed

Would you like to know what happens when you have a night off and find a random pub/B & B with a live band in the back room? Otis Mack and the Tubby Bluesters happens. I suggest preparing yourself however you need and watching some of these videos. The recording of Hush is epic. Just stroll through the website and enjoy.

Typically to get from Bath to north London you'd spend maybe an hour and 15 minutes. Unless of course your electronic navigation lady sends you through central London at 3 in the afternoon. This little maneuver then allows you to spend 2 hours to go 8 miles.  My patience lets just say was tested and I'm sure many of the CCTV cameras in London caught images of my reaction to this little detour. It was all worth it, however, to see one of the coolest people in all of London, Barry Marshall-Everitt at the House of Mercy.
  "the Snake Pit"

Last thing: BBC Merceyside in Liverpool!!!!! This station is the biggest of the BBC radio stations as you may know a few bands have come out of Liverpool. Here is a link where you can listen to the interview with Freddie Connor (it's only up for one week though!).
 where the magic happens. . . 

 Alright. Tonight with the Good Intentions in Liverpool!
take care

Wednesday 17 October 2012

UK. Week #1.

Hello Folks,
Welcome to Arundel, West Sussex, United Kingdom where it's currently 61 degrees with a 17mph SW wind and 78% humidity....all in all, not too shabby. Arundel is located in the South of England 49 miles southwest of London and just 18 miles to the west of Brighton. Arundel is home to Arundel Castle which is which is the Seat of the Dukes of Norfolk. I digress.....
 We arrived in the UK 7 days ago on a pretty uneventful Delta flight #38 with only a two day touch of jet lag. After the usual 2 1/2 hour Tube ride we were in Walthamstow at our good friends Alex and Vanessa's who have now begun to refer the October as Josh and Jess season

The first show of the tour was in Camden at the Green Note, a great acoustic spot right in the heart of the borough. The Green Note was recommended to us by our good fried Rod Picott whom we met in Sheffield last year. The show went great and it was also an opening slot for Eric Taylor! You may recognize his name as being the fellow who penned a tune called If I Had A Boat for Lyle Lovett and well as countless others for several other musicians.

Next came a day off in London, a fair amount of walking(a lot), the British Museum, double decker buses, and the new rental car. We did turn the car back in though as it really wasn't economical at all...and it was orange!
                  I couldn't get my guitar in the "boot" of the Mclaren

Day 3 we picked up the next rental car. We had reserved a Vauxhall, which is much like the Panda we had last year. Refer to previous posts for photos and further information. Dollar Thrifty had mistakenly given our car to someone else so we were forced to take an upgrade at no extra charge. Ladies and Gentlemen, the 2012 tour machine....The Silver Bullet.  This thing has leather interior, something like a 29 speaker stereo, 6 speed transmission, and a big ol diesel engine that still manages about 55 MPG...and it's hard to drive slow. Apparently this is what all the starving musicians are driving these days.
     The Silver Bullet

We then flew the Silver Bullet to Worth Matravers in Dorset for another visit to the Square and Compass, exactly 363 days after our first. The Square and Compass is one of the best places on the planet complete with lodging, housemade cider (3 varieties), endless miles of hiking, and a fossil museum...and it's a great place to play. And we were able to hook up with David, Nicola, Bev, and Beck! Again, refer to previous tour posts for more information. Thanks so much to Kevin, Jean, Charlie and Kath for a wonderful time!
    Best audience ever!
    They weren't bad either.

Oh goodness, I forgot the Railway Hotel and Freehouse! So the night before the Square and Compass it was cold and rainy so we decided an inn above a pub with a fireplace was what we needed. We decided for no particular reason to pull off the motorway at Ringwood and pulled up to the very first of such looking places we came across. The bartender/innkeeper showed us one of two rooms upstairs which we took and then proceeded downstairs for a bite. We started chatting with Tricia and Keith, the proprietors,  and a  few others. Eventually, the music subject came up and the next thing I knew the guitar was out for an impromptu show. This led to our only night off this week (Friday) getting booked. So we'll be returning to Ringwood in a couple days. Not that I'm complaining. . .
                                                   Didn't have time to fix my hair.

That brings us to last night and the Amberley Folk Club but that's going to have to be included in the next post.....I'm late.
take care and thanks for checking in the tour!


Monday 8 October 2012

So yea, this week happened....

Well hello everyone,
It's Monday, October 8th, approximately 1:54pm with 26 hours and 6 minutes until departure to London Heathrow via Hartsfield Jackson (ATL). Typically getting ready to head out on tour isn't a big deal at all, unless you're getting ready to be out for a little over 9 weeks....and then another 9 months. Biggest issue today is packing the smallest piece of luggage and to put a strap on the guitar case as to accommodate carrying a cup of coffee in the airport and through the Tube in London on Wednesday. For those of you having to face such stuggles I suggest looking into for a fashionable fix to some of lifes little curve balls.

On the easier side of things we received some great news today in the form of an invitation to perform on BBC Radio Merseyside in Liverpool October 25th!! We've also nearly confirmed a new show on the Cumbria Coast which will be either November 4th or November 7th so I'll keep you updated as any news comes in. There is also some exciting news coming in from Ireland which I'll have to hold onto for just a bit but.....stayed tuned.

Another reminder that the best way to keep up with the tour is, of course, these wee little emails, the blog at, and the best of them all is the Josh Harty Road Club. Just click on Membership at and all the details will be at your fingertips.

In other news I spent a reasonable amount of time this past week working on the Previa (extreme tour vessel) and with a little less work than I had anticipated she's up and ready to go. We have two months to decide on a name with which to christen her so suggestions are welcome.

 after. . .

In other, other news prior to reviving the Previa Blake Thomas and I ....after years of threatening, recorded a duo record in an undisclosed attic in the Minneapolis greater metropolitan area. 7 hours, 10 songs, some first take keepers and bam...done.  I will also mention that engineering the record was none other than Mr. Jeremiah Nelson.

Oh wait, then we went to South Dakota and my sister and Dave had themselves a wedding....
I'm tired.
That's all for now. I'll keep in touch and you do the same....find me on the Facebook.
take care