It’s been a while since my last post but it has been a hectic few months with plenty of work from Mindsong, Alzheimers Society and other charities as well as a few gigs. This included a stint with ukulele band ‘The Old Night Train’ at the Taurus Crafts Ukulele Day near Lydney. A lot of the songs that I have been asked to perform have taken me well out of my comfort zone but, conversely, I have also performed some of my own compositions which is something I haven’t done much for a while. It was good to revisit ‘Black Satin Sheets’ and ‘Wheel of Every Car’ for example as well as including a brand new song ‘She’s Gone’ at Taurus Crafts. However, the last two weeks have been very frustrating as I have had an injury to the index finger of my left hand which has prevented me playing my collection of guitars and ukuleles. Especially frustrating as an old friend gifted me a beautiful hand-made telecaster type guitar which plays like a dream. Anyway, my finger is improving and I have even been able to play a little ukulele today. Just as well as I have lots of work coming up. Thankfully, I only had to cancel one engagement although I did have to lead two ‘Singing for the Brain’ sessions armed only with a tambourine!
I am so lucky in that virtually every working day now evolves around music. Since my last post, my work with the Alzheimers Society has increased and I have taken over as Singing Group Leader for the 'Singing for the Brain' group in Stonehouse and well as continuing with the one at Coleford. Additionally, I have been busy working with the Gloucestershire charity, 'Mindsong' taking therapeutic singing sessions into eight care homes in the Forest of Dean with another waiting for a team of volunteers to be organised.
On the performance side, I have continued with fortnightly sessions for the Brandon Trust Music Club, playing for adults with learning difficulties and have given the occasional solo performance in local care homes. I have even been booked to play at a funeral service where they want not 'Abide with Me' or 'Danny Boy' but a medley of cockney favourites including 'The Lambeth Walk', 'Knees up Mother Brown' and 'Any Old Iron'.
One recent highlight has been giving a talk to the U3A in Lydney about my musical journey. Rather than just talk, I thought I would perform a few songs and I recruited a few of their members to join me on ukuleles, bass guitar and backing vocals. That made it great fun and gave them an opportunity to perform in front of a fairly large audience.