As you know, I get all the emails when you hit reply to this newsletter, and I wanted to address this one from Julie from Los Angeles, CA, USA.
1) Is there any possibility of you coming to tour in the US at all? I’ve been listening to you for a decade now, you’re one of the few artists on my Buy Unheard list when new albums come out. I would love to see you live someday!
Full disclosure; many years ago, when I was first getting a bit of success, I made a few big life decisions. I realised that I wanted to find balance in my life; eventually. I decided that touring Australia, and the UK, as well as writing and recording music, doing stuff with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and wanting to start a family one day, would mean that pursuing another (VERY LARGE) territory like the States, would make that goal of balance, pretty hard to achieve.
So I decided that I’d leave the US off the table, hence why I’ve rarely played there, apart from a couple of shows in LA and NYC, and of course a few appearances at SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Having said that, because of Streaming services like Spotify, it’s slowly becoming a place where more and more people know my stuff, so it’s not impossible that I’ll get over there some day, but I have no immediate plans!
Thanks so much for your support though Julie, I hugely appreciate it!
2) What is your cat’s name?
My Cat’s name is Atticus Finch. Named after the father from To Kill A Mockingbird. He was an abandoned cat, and was about 6 months old when we got him. He’s been a total legend with our kids, and is also affectionately known as “Captain Cute Face”, “Splatty”, “Splatimacus”….you get the drift. He’s a good guy, and helped me reach over 1000 of you in a comment on Facebook’s ridiculousness!
Feel free to shoot me an email if there’s something you’d like to share!
In April, I did 3 shows in NZ for the first time in 10 years, and it was bloody awesome.
Usually when I tour, I either travel with my band, a Tour Manager/Sound guy, a Stage guy, and sometimes a lighting guy. Even when I’m touring solo, I’ll usually be with a Tour manager/Sound Guy, and the support act.
So whilst I am of course a “solo artist”, I’m rarely flying solo.
But because NZ was a place in which I really had no idea of my following, I went over by myself. Just a bag and a guitar….and it was fantastic.
In Auckland, I played with my old mate Ed Costello, (AKA Dictaphone Blues,) and it was a joy to play music with him, as well as catch up as mates. We worked at a record store together in Sydney almost 12 years ago now.
I was playing tiny club shows, really intimate stuff, and as some of you may know, they’re some of my favourite shows to play.
Christchurch was next, and I played with a great artist called Fraser Ross.
The venue was amazing, but I must say, it was confronting to see how many buildings are yet to be re-built in the city after the earthquake there, apparently due to large insurance companies refusing to pay out on the many claims made after the disaster. As always though, there seems to be a really vibrant creative community, despite, and maybe even because of the struggles the city is having. This memorial work sits in the space where a church used to be.
Wellington is one of my favourite places in the world, and it was a pleasure to play at a little club style venue there called Caroline. I was supported by an awesome band called French For Rabbits, and as with all 3 shows, the crowds were really warm and engaged audiences. It made me want to get back there ASAP.
Thanks to everyone who came to the shows, it was truly a pleasure to play for you, and I plan to be back later on this year.
As I write this blog, I’m just back from a trip to the Tiwi Islands, as an ambassador for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
As some of you may know, I’ve been an ambassador for the ILF for almost 10 years now, and have run a fundraising event called Busking For Change, as well as writing and recording a theme song of sorts with Justine Clarke to raise money and awareness for the organisation.
I’ve travelled out to East Arnhem Land with the ILF before, but this was my first trip to Tiwi, and it was truly amazing.
Myself and a 9 other Ambassadors, Board members, ILF staff and guests, travelled over to the community of Milikapati, which is on the northern coast of Melville Island. The place is tiny and pretty remote, with a population of only about 500 people. They have an amazing school there, and the community is incredibly warm and supportive of what the ILF is doing.
The ILF runs an annual mini literacy festival, and myself, as well as fellow ambassadors, Alison Lester, Karen Wyld, Mark McBride, and Gregg Dreise, all ran separate workshops on the day, engaging the wonderful kids, and basically having fun with a focus on the importance of literacy.
For my workshops, I taught the kids the song that Justine and I sing, and then we performed it as a group for the school and community in a lunch time performance.
It was a hugely rewarding experience, and so amazing to see how the ILF’s work there has helped to raise literacy levels, especially in their early literacy program.
Whilst there, we also had a trip out a beautiful waterfall, and visited the Jilamara Arts and Crafts Association, where I purchased an incredible artwork, assured that 100% of the money would go back into the community, which is sadly not always the case.
I want to thank the ILF for having me there, and an enormous thanks to the Milikapati community for being so warm and welcoming. It was truly amazing experience.
If you are looking for a really worthwhile cause to support, please check out the ILF’s website here:
The beginning of April also saw the annual APRA Awards happen, and I was lucky enough to attend as I do most years.
It’s always a great night, and a chance for Australian songwriters to be honoured for their achievements.
I was seated next to my Ol’ mate Phillip Jameson….oh dear 😉
I’ve added some new tracks to the JP Squad Spotify playlist this month. Check it out and SHARE it here
And as always, please check out my other projects, Bolterz, and An Empty Flight .
See you soon, with some VERY BIG NEWS!!!!