On the Road
We are gradually making our way into southern Germany - Aschaffenburg, actually, which is not too far from Frankfurt and officially Bavaria. We have a day off! Everyone is either shopping, taking saunas or massages or eating in the excellent restaurant at the Wilder Mann Hotel - one of our favourites. They have a particularly interesting wild boar dish on the menu tonight which I have a mind to try. As they say, it’s a hard life but someone has to live it.
New tires have been acquired for the Ashmobile which hit a large plank just laying in the road a few days ago and we now have a new clutch to replace the old blown one, so we are back up and running. Some great shows so far and tomorrow night promises to be a good one. I always love playing the Colos Saal since the acoustics and PA are so good and the staff are such pros. Aynsley has now settled in well and has quite a tricky job to do, switching from acoustic guitar and mandolin to keyboards and congas. I’m proud to say that as an accomplished drummer, his percussion skills are really bringing something to the table, having studied under the reknowned Jamey Haddad at Berklee as well as having spent some study time in Ghana, Africa with the wonderful drummers there. With the addition of the acoustic guitar, it takes some of the pressure off Muddy and myself on a couple of tunes giving a fuller, more rounded sound. Dreams Outta Dust now sounds the way I always wanted it to sound on stage with the mandolin and of course Throw Down the Sword reaches an even mightier climax with the organ part, as featured on the original recording.
The charming but fiercely efficient Ms. Tara Honeih Vessali is handling merchandise duties on this tour. The fact that she’s Aynsley’s girlfriend, gives the tour a family feel. London’s, Harry Callow is again working the backline when he’s not training in the martial arts and practicing Chinese Chi Gung. ( You don’t want to mess with this guy - he’s quick. ) Of course Monsieur Vetter is still re calibrating PA systems all across Europe, showing them how it’s done, doing a fantastic job, with his excellent live sound mixing for the band, especially with the addition of all these extra instruments. Our regular tour manager, Hamburg’s Holger Brandes holds the whole tour party together and always amazes me with his calm efficiency and resourcefulness. We cruise through problems like a finely tuned Mercedes, with this man at the wheel - an amazing tour manager.
The excellent Shawn Kellerman from Canada has been a pleasure to get to know and he’s been regaling me with stories of his time living and playing blues in in Mississippi which can be no better way to do a blues apprenticeship. He’s a really muscular player and wrenches the most amazing tones out of his Telecaster when he’s not picking on his vintage 50s resonator guitar. Shawn’s band mates on this tour, Joost Tazelaar and Jules Van Brakal, from Holland also have many musical tales to tell, as our bar time is starting to uncover.
Back to the merchandise we are carrying for Germany; we are of course carrying the new Rockumentary - This is Wishbone Ash plus the new Live at the Grand CD. In addition, we have more of the popular Live Dates T shirts which people have been asking for. There’s also the very popular new sepia print photo style brown T shirt and a brand new - for - this - tour, alternative silver pendant design again by Pat Hyre of Moonpaths Jewelry featuring the wishbone - in - circle logo.
It’s great to catch up with all our old German friends once more on tour and I‘d like to thank you all for being so supportive. Many of you have attended multiple shows. I don’t know how you do it. We had a strong British contingent in Holland and one or two have also made it over to Germany this week. I’d like to thank these friends for their unwavering support.
By the way, I want to let folks know that right after the Spring UK dates I’ll be heading over to Ireland where I’ll be joining up with my old mates Pat McManus and Co. for a few dates listed below. Any Wishbone fans in the area will of course be most welcome.
Thur April 14th - Spring and Airbreak / Belfast
Fri April 15th - Irish Guitar and Blues Fest - TLT Theatre ( the line-up will include Barry Barnes ex-Sinner Boy, Henry McCullough-Wings,Grease Band and so much more) plus a local band.
Sat April 16th - The Lamb/Dublin - The Pat McManus Band’s home from home!!
Best wishes ~ A.P.