Every artist website will tell you how wonderful a year they’ve had!...
Truth is, I haven’t made much money this year....BUT, I’ve had my most amazing year ever! Firstly, my wife Lara and wee daughter Ruby continue to make me the happiest man alive, so I’m already winning. My mamma in Italy is good in her new little flat, misses papà as we all do, but she’s soldiering on in her own adorable way...Music is going pretty well too...
In 2018 I’ve worked with my all time musical idol, Danny Thompson. I feel I may have actually reached the pinnacle of my apprenticeship thus far! Although of course I keep the absolute certainty that life itself is an apprentiship which only finishes when we kick the bucket (at least as far as we can keep a record of it..). I have written a wonderful collection of songs, which I premiere in 2019. But especially, Danny has helped me to become the artist I always wanted to be, which required a healthy battery of my self doubt in favour of just being honest and play from the heart.
Highlights of my own gigs were “inventing” a way to be a stage “compère” whilst grooving on double bass at March into Pitlochry, hosting the Acoustic stage at Southern Fried Festival, the obligatory late night gig at the Belladrum Festival, my own headline gig at Perth Theatre, all with my musical brother Owen Nicholson. And then of course the great commission for the Edinburgh Multilingual Stories Festival, in which I met great people, delivered workshops to wonderful kids, explored my own bilingual identity and sang about it in a great gig at the Roxy, accompanied by Jon Mackenzie on guitar.
I’ve also played a load of gigs on double bass with other great artists, from blues to jazz, from folk to country and literally everything in between. Great times especially backing the legendary Dougie Maclean, guitar wizard Pete Caban and a bunch of other very talented guys & gals in the regular “Butterstone acoustic sessions” in the rural Perthshire village halls. Last but not least, running about the woods of Perthshire dressed as a giant panda with Andy Tucker (see videos for a proof of this one...)
So, what is 2019 looking like? If everything that is currently in negotiation actually happens, it’s going to be magic!...But we all know it in the arts that, as my papà would say, ‘tra il dire e il fare c’è di mezzo il mare’ (there’s a sea between promising to do and actually doing)...so we’ll see.
There is of course going to be the finishing off and launching the new work. Then some great gigs of my own and the obligatory sideman gigs too. I have some very exciting projects I hope to sink my teeth in. There is especially a lot more family life, which always takes priority.
To start with, let’s fly to Montreal to this mad Folk Alliance International I’ve been invited to as an Official Showcase Artist. I’ve done it before playing bass with Kilmarnock Edition and I remember it was nuts, so I should feel right at home.
Ciao e Buon Anno. 🎈