News, and other observations
posted Tuesday, November 12, 2019
A huge thanks to Stephen and all the team at Yachats Celtic Music Festival on the Oregon coast where Gillian and I spent the last few days. There were some great acts the festival and we really enjoyed hanging out and playing tunes with Beolach, Cassie and Maggie, Nuala, Eamon and the guys from Vishten. Great to see some other old friends turn up for a tune on the last night as well... thanks again to all. What a great way to finish up our US tour
posted Sunday, November 03, 2019
Thank you to Tom at the Burren in Boston MA, and Joyce for great sound last night. We had a good crew of Boston locals in for the show at this iconic venue, and sat in on a great little session afterwards in the front bar - thanks to Helena and the guys for making us feel welcome. Onward!
posted Saturday, November 02, 2019
We had a great show last night in Lebanon, hosted in fine style by Dan and Carla in their lovely place just outside Hanover, a very pretty town and the home of Dartmouth College. Thanks so much for all those who turned out to make it a packed house and a great night. Thanks for looking after us folks, until next time!
posted Monday, October 28, 2019
Many thanks to Pauleena and all at the Next Generation Theatre in Brewer ME for putting us on last night, and Eric for terrific sound. Hope you all made it home safe....
posted Saturday, October 26, 2019
OK, it's not really - they've just painted it brown. Made a great job of it though... so Gillian and I played in the Chocolate Church Arts Center in Bath, ME last night. Wonderful venue and many thanks to William, Peter and all the volunteers for seeing to our every need and giving us great sound in the hall. Very pleased to see so many folks come out to hear us. We also survived the drive back down through the storm to Portland. xx
posted Thursday, October 24, 2019
Last night Gillian and I played at Port City Blue in the fantastic town of Portland ME. We were playing a show as part of the Irish night concert series, but I don't know how Irish we were... managed a few Irish tunes in the set though... Thanks to Tom for putting on the show and all the folks at Port for making us so welcome - and to all you guys who turned out, see you next time...
posted Monday, October 21, 2019
Huge thank yous to Lisa and all the guys at the Carleton in Halifax Nova Scotia last night and to all the folks who turned out to make it a great night. Great sound from John, and thanks to Mike Campbell for making the whole thing happen. Halifax is a great town, wish we had more time to hang and check it out. Tomorrow, New England...
posted Sunday, October 20, 2019
Huge thanks to Shauna, Dawn and all at Celtic Colours for having us over. We finished up yesterday with a second show with Mairi Campbell, Nic Gareiss, Adam Young and the most excellent Dardanelles. Tomorrow we head south for a show in Halifax, farewell to Cape Breton. Thanks to everyone who turned out to watch us!
posted Saturday, October 12, 2019
Tonight I had the rare pleasure of sharing the stage with some fine musicians; Cape Breton singers Buddy MacDonald, Cyril MacPhee and Darrell Keigan, and the prodigiously talented John Doyle. All these gentlemen are Celtic Colours stalwarts and they know how to make a guy feel welcome; likewise all the CC festival guys and the Drive team, and the volunteers who put on a fantastic supper. Cape Breton fairly put on some weather for us but this didn't stop us having a good night. Great food, great music and I got four new music mates out of it. What more can a fella ask? Thanks guys
posted Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Race for the Sun, the debut album by Wellington duo Gillian Boucher & Bob McNeill, will be released on CD and streaming on 16 October, 2019. That night we're playing at St. Mary of the Angels Community Hall, Glendale, Nova Scotia, with a whole bunch of other people, so perhaps they'll help us celebrate if/when the thing finally arrives....
posted Wednesday, September 04, 2019
Amazing as it may seem....
The California Tapes is available now on all major download & streaming platforms, including:
posted Friday, August 30, 2019
Last night I had the huge pleasure of playing with Criu at D4. Thanks to everyone for turning out and Cathy and the rest of the guys at D4 for having us.
posted Saturday, August 03, 2019
At the end of 2018 - during a lull in recording, while Emily was changing dresses, Rob was summoning the tardis and Bob was learning the next 8 bars of the solo - Project Feijoa put a small satellite into orbit around Neptune (it's in preparation for a trip we are thinking about). Today, we released The California Tapes to streaming. This is the most complicated thing we've done since.
The California Tapes will be released on 1 September 2019. It's on all streaming platforms. iTunes pre-release is 14 August. Hallelujah
posted Friday, August 02, 2019
A huge thanks to Yanick and all the staff at Baobab for putting on the inaugural Music in the Glen gig in Newtown last night. A great night had by all, etc. Also thanks to all the folks who turned out to watch. It's a thing: we'll be back on 29 November. If not before...
posted Thursday, July 18, 2019
Gillian and I have been working not very hard on our debut album for an awfully long time, and awfully hard for not a very long time. She tells me we're going to finish it, it's going to be great, and it's going to be called Race for the Sun. It's going to feature four songs, three which I've enscribed especially for the occasion, and one by a young, up-and-coming-songwriter from these parts, one Andrew London. It's called Emily Bay and it's a belter, folks. We're gonna try and not mess it up. You won't have heard of Andrew; he's new and has no profile around the Wellington area. Natty dresser, though.
We may or may not just get this puppy out in time for our tour of Nova Scotia and New England in October & November this year (we're also playing in Oregon). I've heard of Nova Scotia; it's bloody miles away, and Gillian tells me it's warm and extremely modern.
This is amazing. Not having had my name on a recording for nine years, shortly two of the buggers could be finished. Mixed blessing; all those recordings I've not had my name on have sold like hotcakes.
posted Wednesday, July 17, 2019
OK, so I suck at updates. But I'm still alive. And tonight, however incredible it seems, we finished the last of the masters for the new Project Feijoa album, The California Tapes. I wrote the first of the songs (Jesusita) in California on a Greyhound bus on 17 September 2009 (I keep meticulous notes), so if we take a month to get the thing onto streaming, it'll be exactly a ten year project. Of course, I haven't been fully committed to it for every day in between. Other things have at times seemed important; just not recently, when I began wondering where the years beginning 201.. had gone.
Oddly, as it became (quite recently) apparent that Tapes might actually be finishable, I've often found myself thinking back to the Scottish summer of 1995, when (- wait: I just used Scottish and summer in the same sentence; let me backtrack. Between about April and September 1995, I finished and wrote up a PhD, which is to say, I spent those months actually doing it, as opposed to climbing and playing music in the Scottish Highlands and occasionally getting absurdly drunk at pointless conferences in appalling concrete-and-brick eyesores in various parts of England, which is what I'd previously been led to believe a PhD at a Scottish University actually consisted of).
Yeah, anyway. Did I put all those brackets and full stops in the right places? My point... yes. I haven't worked as hard on anything since 1995, so I hope you like it. If you do, most of the credit is due to Emily and Rob; but buy it for God sakes, because the royalties are due to me.
posted Friday, July 12, 2019
I just heard something incredible. From the horse's mouth, as it were. Mark Knopfler is apparently giving up touring. Something to do with being old or something. Marky! Nooooooooo
Go watch any of the recent vids posted from the '19 tour and tell me this is a man who needs to hang it up. If you ask me, he's goin back SOUTH on some of those old songs.
Seriously, this is a man who's been showing us all what it's about for 40 years - the art of the picture-in-a-song and how to use the guitar when you're painting that picture. Ain't but maybe 5 other guys who've ever been able to do it.
Mark, stop this nonsense. You got it more than ever dude
posted Sunday, March 24, 2019
OK, so you might think that I was bound to think this show was great, being a huge fan of John Mayer. But no, actually, I was terrified it might not be great. He's one of my favourite songwriters and one of my favourite guitar players and I knew what I wanted out of this. He's also done stuff I don't love, he plays blues which I don't love, and at big concerts like this you just never know what you're gonna get. Even big, big talents can get drawn into the twaddle of modern R&B pop - that sort of warbly pastiche that's on top of everything - and John has skirted around the edge of it. Tastefully, that's the point; he knows just where to stop. Or so it seems from his records. But I'd never seen him live.
So what did we get? We got... the lost art of rock music. For two stunning sets. Terrific songs, great band (actually if anything too many cooks in the guitar department, you don't fly to Auckland to a John Mayer gig to hear somebody else play guitar), but more to the point, John Mayer in the front. He's the whole package, this guy. And rock music? Not dead, thank God. On the strength of this, he might be saving it all by himself.