Update January 2014

Happy New Year

Welcome to Tom’s irregular newsletter

How quickly 8 months can pass since my last newsletter – its a good job you don’t rely on me dear readers; or my various cures for constipation, i’m never regular.
I’m writing this on New Years Day 2014. For once, I thought Jools Holland’s Hootenanny was damn good last night. Enjoyed the singing by Mel C and especially Charlie Wilson but most of all, that band Jools indulges in; and the ace drummer. Mr. Gilson Lavis. Loved it.
So, sitting here in the office banging these thoughts out and watching the rain fall outside. We’re going to travel to Wiltshire tomorrow (about 200miles), to look at an old  camper van that we might buy….Bit of tyre kicking, wheeling an dealing.

So lets start with a link to a new piece of music: https://soundcloud.com/tom-doughty/audible-space

Seems the best place to start, especially as i’ve just started recording another CD. The piece above will be on it, an experiment with a contra bass classical guitar. This was accorded in a man cave (where else) in Northwich, where all good man cave recording stuff takes place. We filmed it too and shortly, i’ll upload the film to youtube.
The tracks for the CD are again a smattering of originals and some covers. I like to include an American standard and a Dylan track along with my usual blues stuff. The originals are in the blues mould, with some instrumentals and some singer/songwriter material. There will be advance notice of the release date to you folk, through a future Newsletter posting.
My good friend and duet buddy,Graham Bellinger and I intend to do some recording together. either separately or on this CD, its still in the ether whirling around looking for a home.

It has been a wonderful period for me in terms of music and gigs. Great to see so many familiar faces in audiences especially as I’m playing more gigs within this region.  Variety is the spice of life and I feel lucky to have been able to play such a wide range of venues. Its good not being pigeon holed! From my solo gig at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall, (21st June) to a session at the Bridgewater (Canal) Festival at Runcorn, in September; its all spreading the word of music and its all fun.  Other high points have been topping the bill at Darwen Blues festival, The Great British R & B Festival in Colne, Alexander’s Jazz Bar in Chester, Lords Cricket Ground (1 hour….not out), Middlewich festival alongside my friend and original mentor, Woody Mann and the Folk on the coast festival. Just last month I was at the International Guitar Festival of Great Britain and apart from a number of private gigs,  my next outing is at The Prospect Folk Club in Runcorn later this month. Live and local.  The variety of audiences too is a delight; music has no cultural, societal or class boundaries – from the challenging but moving Hobbs Rehabilitation Seminar in Wiltshire where I discussed the importance and power of music as a human need (and just played my guitar a lot), to playing as part of the ParaOrchestra at our gig as part of the Ipswich Festival and David Cope’s 50th birthday party at Tyldesley Rugby Club; its life.  I need to add an obvious point for those of who don’t know me -I’m not very good at publicising my concerts, so thank you all for checking my web site and turning out to support live music.

My audition with the Orchestra was successful, in so far as i’m now a member of it!  http://www.paraorchestra.com/index.php  and have played my first gig at The Ipswich Festival.  Amongst other things, the sound of Ravel’s Bolero came out of my 1929 National Tricone Lap guitar; marvellous and could it be a first? Well, for me it is! For a start its the first time I’ve played with so many other musicians, there’s 26 of us in total, and the feeling of depth and the power of the music is addictive. Our next gig is a one week’s residency in Qatar – so on 24th February, we all catch a plane to Doha International Airport where our week’s adventure will commence. At least my steel guitar will be warm for once.

I recently met a musician, journalist and photographer. He goes by the name of………. Lars Mullen. Lars lives in Devon, so combined his visit here with another interview on the previous day with some chap from Marillion in Oxford. So he travelled up the M6 and stayed with us prior to the photography and interview session.  You know those occasions when you just click with someone. We found a whole raft of similar interests from dogs to humour, music to food and our day flew by with lots of serious guitar stuff interspersed with laughter. How Lars will make sense of the guitar collection, my approach to music and life god oily knows. I’m looking forward yo article which will appear in ‘Guitarist’ magazine within the next few months. 

My song Journeyman Blues, successfully got through to the last 15 (from 60) of the British Blues Awards, but no further; but heartfelt thanks to all those who voted for me. Ian Seigal as the well deserved winner with his song, Sunday Morning Soul.

I’m teaching more, also through Skype now our broadband is sorted out and started a process of re learning and understanding more about music through making contact with Salford University and trying to be a student. Details to follow.  The idea behind this is that I might get some of grasp of what i’m doing when I play the damn thing!

So along with a new CD, teaching, learning and gigging solo, with Graham in our duet and with the orchestra, its going to be a busy year even though I’ve not been actively searching around for gigs. Developing a more consistent  number of performances will be the goal for late 2014 and into 2015.

Future Performances

I’ve purposely taken a month free during December, but Janurary sees the start of my live performances. Please keep checking my web site for details but here are a few of my next gigs:

23/01/14        Private gig at Alexanders, Chester

03/02/14      Prospect FC Runcorn

-01/03/14      Paraorchestra in Qatar

08/03/14     Clonter Opera near Macclesfield

21/03/14       Poynton pickers with Graham Bellinger

23/03/14     RMMGA Derbyshire

19/04/14       Nantwich Jazz and Blues Festival

25/04/14     Leigh Miners

that’s all for now folks. Keep in touch.