December 31, 2015

A 2015 Retrospective and Some 2016 Plans

It's New Year's Eve in Lunenburg and time to have a quick look back at 2015 and to let you know about some of the things coming up in 2016.  We had a green Christmas but the snow started falling a few days ago and now we're in the white wonderland that is Nova Scotia in the winter.

We are celebrating a number of successes from this year and looking to build on them for 2016.   2015 started with Craftsman being ranked at #15 on the Zone Music Reporter top 100 albums of 2014 after peaking at #2 on the monthly charts.  Thanks to Ed and Stacey Bonk of LAZZ Promotions for their efforts in support of the CD.

I was off on my travels in May for a tour through New England, playing coffee shops, house concerts, and a couple of festivals from Maine to Rhode Island.  

The big news was the release of Eight Winds in the latter part of the year.  The CD went out in early November and we're very pleased that it has been receiving airplay and very positive feedback.   The production of a CD is a team effort and many thanks are due to everyone who contributed to the recording and manufacturing:
  • Lisa Buchanan of Focus Gallery in Shelburne, NS provided photographs;
  • David Findlay produced the project, mixed and mastered it and played on a number of the tracks;
  • Alex Hickey helped with artwork layout and converted it to InDesign for production;
  • Duncan Woodcock co-wrote three of the songs and played on those duets.
Of course, a huge debt of gratitude goes to all the program hosts who play it, all the loyal fans who have bought it or streamed it on-line and everyone who has come out to a perfomance to hear me play live.

The other major high for me was that I was invited to play at the Lancaster (UK) Music Festival in October.   The LMF was my first major festival in Britain and it was a great pleasure to participate.  The LMF organizers estimate that around 60,000 people attended festival events over the weekend.  They didn't all come and see my performances <smile> but it was great to meet everyone who did come out and support live music.  I also found time to hear some of the 200 or so other musicians, which is a fringe benefit to playing at festivals.

Work is now underway to make 2016 another great year of music.  The music gods are continuing to treat me well and sending ideas for new compositions.  One of the reviewers of Eight Winds asked me where the ideas for my music come from and I had to answer that I honestly don't know.  Melody lines come in to my head and I tinker away at them until I have a cohesive piece.  Sometimes it takes a very short time, sometimes it takes weeks before it all comes together and I do understand the process I go through;  I just don't totally understand how the ideas get there.

Live performances will be a big part of 2016 as well.  I'm very pleased to announce that I have been booked for a couple of festivals in North Western Ontario in the summer and plans are taking shape for a return to Nova Scotia through the Midwestern US and the North East as well.  So far I have a confirmed date at a monthly concert series, and we're working on details for three house concerts.   More to come once things are confirmed.

Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2016.  Hope to see you out on the road somewhere and we wish you all joy wherever the journey takes you.

Cheers, Bob

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