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December 2007

November 2007

India beckons

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Salut! Live is on holiday. After a fleeting visit to London, I am heading to India for a fortnight and you would be highly optimistic to expect anything new to pop up here while I am away.

In early December, I hope to review a few CDs which - as a direct result of my chaotic France-London-Abu Dhabi movements of recent times - reached me too late for consideration as my preferred albums of the year.

Among these: Steve Ashley, Duncan McFarlane, Wendy Arrowsmith and Ruth Notman (pictured). So far, I have heard a little of Ruth's, a copy of which did arrive in France before I left, but none of the others. Watch this space, and feel very welcome to navigate Salut Live! for earlier postings that might be of interest.

Thanks to those people who have contributed thoughts to the Albums of 2007 debate, either on this site, in response to the thread I opened at Mudcat or in private e-mails.

I have not forgotten my promise to dig out a prize for the best, most challenging or most whatever comment received. Let's leave it open for now and see if anyone else chips in with some ideas. One Mudcatter has even promised an article for posting here; if you are reading, Wayne, you are way past deadline!

A bientôt.


Broken dream

Who wanted to be a folk singer? Professionally, I mean, not just getting up, as many of us did, to do floor spots at the local folk club.

Like Christy Moore, I certainly yearned for the life of the troubadour. There were two key obstacles: unlike Christy, I was a rotten singer and extremely limited guitarist.

But the will was there, as I was reminded during my recent moving epic when poring over old letters that passed between my (then) future wife and me.

It bears no date, but the contents make it clear that it was written when I was still living in Shildon, Co Durham and Joëlle was back at home in Le Mans.

The letter began with some waffly excuses for not writing enough. Later I revealed a modest improvement in my parlous financial position; my boss, the editor of the local paper where I worked, had said I could start charging all of £1.50 a week in expenses for writing a folk column.

Then these words appeared:

"Also, folk music looks like beginning to pay me. Phil Steele and I have a booking a Guisborough on Jan 29. We'll get £8 inclusive."

Continue reading "Broken dream" »