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Holohans for our first jam this week and then a gig in my home village of Drumconrath on Sunday after the All Ireland final details below

Life is a funny pile of crap most of the time! You get dumped on in the worst possible ways and then the most amazing acts of human kindness hits you the next second, I have always been a believer in Karma…as you sow, so too do you reap, but it’s not always easy to define what or when you have transgressed, so I try to adopt an attitude that even the worst things have something positive to gain, BUT!

So our story begins last Thursday at 3.30pm, we hopped in the van, my ford pictured below, (and it will be my Irish Logo for the rest of this tour) and headed off to The Corner House in Cork, for the Lee Delta Blues Club, Hector and Brian were on board for the night, first time with this line up, first set was a bit shaky, but we really got it together for the second set, Hector is just an amazing player and kicked it up a notch with some incredible solo work, Brian solid as ever holding down the bass parts and supplying some backing and lead vocals. Both Hector and Brian sing and it’s nice to get a break and just play drums, I believe there is some video footage on the Lee Delta Blues club fb page https://www.facebook.com/leedeltablues/videos/1771484396328276/.

All good, gig done and off we headed to drop Hector back in Dublin. About 50 klms from Dublin the engine cut out, got it started again and drove for another little while eventually it stopped and wouldn’t start again. Lucky for us we were on a new part of the freeway where they tow you for free to get you out of harm’s way, (they call towies recovery over here and wreckers are breakers)

Bugger we are stuck in Naas (pronounced Neeth) at least we are near to food, coffee, toilets and  most importantly beer!

Also a mechanic shop, into see the mechanic around 9, just after opening, The Irish are very civil in many ways and don’t really do early starts and you can stay in your hotel room until midday.

The owner was just not interested, too much on and it’s Friday.

So I start calling people, got a mobile mechanic who was going to turn up by 2pm…didn’t show, I was getting into a mild state of panic by this stage as I know from previous experience that if it ain’t done by about 4pm Friday it ain’t going to happen until Monday, so we were facing our second night in the van, which isn’t a camper, Lesley and myself lay out on the carpet with our coats for blankets, we’d packed nothing, no clean clothes, no knickers, no nothing. Stayed in same clothes for 5 days PHEW. 

You may ask why we just didn’t leave the van and come back Monday, well you’ve heard the Joke… A muso is someone who loads 20 grands worth of equipment in to a 2000 buck car to do a 100 buck gig, waaal I couldn’t leave the gear of which only some of was mine. I stayed and Lesley would not leave me, I tried to get her on a bus but no go, an amazing trooper, I is a lucky man.

About 50 calls later and absolute hours trolling the web I found a guy who said he would look the next day.

Towie organised for 9am arrived at 10.20 100€ for 8 minute tow, was quoted by same company 160€ to be taken to Dublin 45 k’s away, go figure.

Arrived at mechanics, he tries to turn over engine and immediately hits on most expensive part, a fuel pump replacement cost €1500-2000 and not done until Monday, must have had my sucker hat on that day.

The old Ford (Fix Or Repair Daily) is not worth that sort of money and I had just spent 1000€ about 1700 Aussie Dollars and that’s about the limit. 

Stressed to the Max not! start looking for pump prices online and get an idea I am being had, about 900 online, get me out of here but where to go? Do I abandon the van, fucketyfuck.

So unbeknownst to me Lesley has gone for a walk to the hotel across the road who have only one room left, but a lock up yard and a number of locals who work in the Auto trade.

First one on the list to thank from The Town Hotel In Naas West (PLUG) is mine host Mary what a wonderful and gracious woman who runs a very classy hotel.

Next one was Greg who towed me across the road from the licensed bandolier. Pat had a bit of a look and came to a different conclusion.

All through the day Mary continued lining things up for us.

David who introduced us to Shamie who with the help of Declan actually fixed the Van for a mere €180

So after arriving into town at 4am Friday morning we were on our way almost a hundred hours later.

Whenever I play “can I help you Brother’ it will be dedicated to the fine folk from the Town House.

The fun wasn’t finished yet hit the wrong button on the gps and got lost on the way home.

And somehow broke to smithereens the inside glass on my cousins oven. WTF, just how many china men have I run over?!

There are a couple of people I must apologise to, Derek from the Ritz in Tramore and Bean Dolan from Mariners bar in Bantry.

I really don’t like letting people down and was pretty disappointed that I didn’t make it to either venue, but unfortunately it was right outside of my ability to do anything about, I usually have a plan B but worked my way through to R and still nothing worked.

All in all a very expensive weekend for us both.

Waaal I have a few song titles to think about for the next CD, all grist for the mill.

Peace and love you all

Jim

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Week three done only four to go…seems to zip by very quickly. 

Clifden in Galway on last Thursday and Friday with my old pal Nicholas Timothy, this is always a blast, just him and I. A great little combo.

Last Sunday was the Harbour Bar in Bray a quaint little coastal village near Dublin, very nice and a new bass player Andy Christ who did a great job and will sit in on a few more gigs before it’s over.

Ireland is about 500 odd K’s long, but I have done over 3000 klicks on buses and in cars since we have been here. 

Frank Fracone has been my guitarist so far and doing a stellar job under some trying conditions, he also sings a few tunes and knows how to belt out a solo or two. 

This week I get to play with one of my favourite guitarists in Ireland Hector Castillo on Thursday and Sunday.

Brian Hyland on bass and vox for the 3 gigs this week, be good to have him back.

I should have my old ford van back by tomorrow?!?.

Off down South this weekend, details below.

Irish gigs list Irish gigs 2019 updated 13/08/2019

August

Thurs 22nd Cork Blues Club Corner House Bar Cork, 9.30 pm

Sat 24th Mariners Bar Bantry, Co Cork, 10.30 pm

Sun 25th. The Ritz bar Newtown, Tramore, Co. Waterford 6.30 pm

Wed 28th. Holohans Enniscorthy Co Wexford, jam night come along and have a play with the band

Sat 31st Muldoon’s Drumconrath, Co Meath, (my home village in Ireland)

September

Wed 4th. Holohans Enniscorthy Co Wexford, jam night come along and have a play with the band

Sat 7th. Ryan’s Bar, Kilkenny 10.30pm

Wed 11th. Holohans Enniscorthy Co Wexford, jam night come along and have a play with the band

Sun 15th 9 Blackstairs blues fest Holohans Enniscorthy Co Wexford

Peace and love you all, Jim

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Well here I am in Ireland again, a land of mixed blessing for me.

I am writing a new song called ‘phones, cards and motor cars’ no matter how much I plan and how many plan b’s I have there is still trying times, but I should have my old ford van back by next Monday.

Now for the positives.

Had a fantastic 4 days at the ‘Rock and Roll food festival’ in Enniscorthy the first weekend we were here, met some new pals saw some fantastic Rockabilly and Rock and Roll acts. What a festival over 120,000 attendees, all dancing all singing all have a grand craic, all ages from 4-90, 

Last weekend we played at Ryans in Kilkenny one of my faves and we are back next month there, and Cranelane in Cork, the band really hit their stride and only second gig in.

The trials and tribulations will continue I guess and as Rob Reilly wrote….’we won’t be beaten’

Irish phone number below if you need me urgently, or Whatsapp

Peace and love you all

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