Friday, 6 November 2009

Book Review: The art of looking sideways by Alan Fletcher

The art of looking sideways by Alan Fletcher

The introduction ends: 'The art of looking sideways is the ultimate guide to visual awareness, a magical compilation that will entertain and inspire all those who enjoy the interplay between word and image, and who relish the odd and the unexpected.'

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

TIGRE 1996-2009

12 kgs of cat & character! For many years, he would spend every day sitting on the lap of an lovely old lady called Annanina. After she died, for some time he went every day and waited outside her apartment.

A lot of people will miss him. I know I will.

Monday, 2 November 2009


Glorious weather in Rome for two days. Played at Il pentagrappolo with Blues Trail and Blue Fuse

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Thinking Neologisms . . . again

Absurd public transport

Saturday, 24 October 2009

I'm thinking neologisms.....

monotamy a boring marriage.

mahogamy a solid marriage.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

the wonderful Stephen Wright

I went down the street to the 24-hour grocery. When I got there, the guy was locking the front door. I said, "Hey, the sign says you're open 24 hours." He said, "Yes, but not in a row"

Monday, 14 September 2009

Tropea Blues

Not posted for a week or two because I was invited to play at Tropea Blues! It was wonderful!!

Friday, 14 August 2009

Puzzled of Umbria

Why when I innocently type into Google 'belt clip watch' do I get

adult sex video clips, all pantyhose sex....??!!


Legend: Les Paul Dies at 94

Les Paul, the virtuoso guitarist and inventor whose solid-body electric guitar and recording studio innovations changed the course of 20th-century popular music, died Thursday in White Plains, N.Y. . He was 94. Apparently Les Paul guitars account for 50% of Gibson Sales!!!

Monday, 27 July 2009

Trasimeno Blues

Opening night with a collection of 80 vintage Fenders!!

Then Matt Schofield: great young British Blues player: good voice!


Did a series of three gigs with Carmelo: Cortona in the main square: a location I've always wanted to play!...ever since I saw Steve Winwood and Tito Puente there, eleven years ago........ Then Citta della Pieve at Bistro del Duca and then I Girasoli in Camucia.

Cena della amicizia PACIANO

Played with Alberto di Giacomo: percussionist from Rome: great fun!

Monday, 13 July 2009

Reflections on the starving artist

Reflections on the starving artist

'The artist looks back on a poor, unfortunate but colourful upbringing and reminisces about a personal struggle to achieve their goals, despite the negative elements of their early days. It also implies that a certain level of personal suffering, is beneficial, almost mandatory, for the creative soul. I don't believe there is any evidence that implies any correlation between suffering and creativity. There are certainly examples of artists dying in poverty, only to be discovered' posthumously, however that doesn't imply a causal link between starvation and inspiration!'


I read this on you tube today!

'I was six and my grandpa introduced me to the james gang.'

where did the years go.....

Friday, 10 July 2009

Good ole Jean-Paul

‘Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do’
Jean-Paul Sartre

Friday, 3 July 2009

Helium An introduction to Jazz guitar: ten great jazz guitarists

Elvis Doom and Gloom

"There are now at least 85,000 Elvii (SIC: Elvis Impersontaors) around the world, compared to only 170 in 1977 when Elvis died. At this rate of growth, experts predict that by 2019 Elvis impersonators will make up a third of the world population."

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Michael Jackson

Whist uploading the previous post, I was browsing idly, and came across a site claiming that Michael Jackson had faked his own death, with friends of the paramedics who found him saying, it didn't look at all like him etc. etc.. Quite a 'believable' conspiracy theory? yes until you read that the next story is, wait for it:



This is part of an ongoing project entitled: 'At a slight angle to the universe' completed for an exhibition entitled Contaminazioni Urbane: this year's theme being love.

Love can put our lives out of balance. We don’t know where (and often, who we are…) Every second alone could be a year; but every hour together seems like no time at all. Time changes. We lose our sense of equilibrium and sense of direction. In this project, I wanted to try to emulate this sense of confusion; when love contaminates our daily normality.

'At a slight angle to the universe' AMORE from Rowland Jones on Vimeo.

Friday, 26 June 2009

thoughts on user names

Why DO people want to call themselves moondrivel gumboot macvitie or some such??!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

GIG: Caffe Venezia Chiusi

Stefano as usual delighted to have live music: played ate and drank for three hours.........

GIG: Panicale

Festa in Piazza in Panicale to celebrate the opening of Simone's restaurant!
Free food and wine : hence loads of people, so we did an impromptu concert! Great fun!


After every flight, Qantas pilots fill out a form, called a "gripe sheet," which tells mechanics about problems with the aircraft. The mechanics correct the problems, document their repairs on the form, and then pilots review the gripe sheets before the next flight. Never let it be said that ground crews lack a sense of humour. Here are some actual maintenance complaints submitted by Qantas' pilots (marked with a P) and the solutions recorded (marked with an S) by maintenance engineers. By the way, Qantas is the only major airline that has never, ever, had an accident.


P: Left inside main tyre almost needs replacement.
S: Almost replaced left inside main tyre.

P: Test flight OK, except auto-land very rough.
S: Auto-land not installed on this aircraft.

P: Something loose in cockpit.
S: Something tightened in cockpit.

P: Dead bugs on windshield.
S: Live bugs on back-order.

P: Autopilot in altitude-hold mode produces a 200 feet per minute descent.
S: Cannot reproduce problem on ground.

P: Evidence of leak on right main landing gear.
S: Evidence removed.

P: DME volume unbelievably loud.
S: DME volume set to more believable level.

P: Friction locks cause throttle levers to stick.
S: That's what friction locks are for.

P: IFF inoperative in OFF mode.
S: IFF always inoperative in OFF mode.

P: Suspected crack in windshield.
S: Suspect you're right.

P: Number 3 engine missing.
S: Engine found on right wing after brief search.

P: Target radar hums.
S: Reprogrammed target radar with lyrics.

P: Mouse in cockpit.
S: Cat installed.

P: Noise coming from under instrument panel. Sounds like a midget pounding on something with a hammer.
S: Took hammer away from midget.

P: Aircraft handles funny.
S: Aircraft warned to straighten up, fly right, and be serious.

The Rt. Hon.?!!

This is unbelievable, but true!
Can you imagine working for a Company that has a little more than 600 employees and has the following employee statistics?
It's the 635 members of the House of Commons.

29 have been accused of spouse abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
9 have been accused of writing bad cheque's
17 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drink driving in the last year

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

World Crisis solved!

As the Pound gets to parity with the Euro, then surely we can revalue the mile closer to the kilometre and then everywhere will be closer together and we'll use less fuel! Hurrah!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009


'A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it starts to rain'

Mark Twain

'A management consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time and then charges you.'

A management consultant: yes, he did say it to me and with a smug laugh!

The Italian Way

I have good friend who does odd jobs for me around the house; they have always been beautifully and efficiently done................. until now.

Just over a year ago I realised that the gubbins on the bath taps which switches from tap to shower was blocked solid. He came along and with great patience and skill, wacked it as hard as he could and snapped the gubbins proclaiming 'See it's broken!' He then ordered the part, saying it was silly to change the whole thing, and also saying that it might take some time. After a year I felt a little impatient. 'I'll go this week and get it': another month passes. I get angry he say 'I'll go Monday.' He doesn't. A week later, I said 'You've forgotten where that shop is then?' He laughs: I tell him I'm pissed off. At this point the story changes: he's doing work removing of these fittings which I can have. Nothing happens, until he arrives at my door with a full new set. It takes him five minutes, to fix it taking the route that I was happy to take a year ago... Mamma Mia.
PS His reason for not changing it was that the whole unit would have cost us €40: in the end, this is what we did at a cost of €50.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Helium 'Article'

This is the introduction to an article published on under the title

Comparing digital and film photography in visual arts

Digital photography uses organizational tasks and management from photographers including those who are not experienced in both visual arts. There are total features spared on an old digital camera's image than on an image from a film camera. Using digital cameras is hard because no manufacturer has strengthened the flexibility to create the usual pictures on a regular 2 by 4' paper. .................

Helium's tag line is 'where knowledge rules.' Discuss

The offending article has been removed as being 'off-topic' : off world would have been more appropriate.

The 10 weirdest MP expense claims

The used to be referred as the Right Honourable? Any suggestions for a new title

1. Glitter toilet seat

Who: John Reid, former Home Secretary

Reid's Glasgow flat must be quite something - he claimed for a DFS sofa, which comes with instructions to 'plump cushions daily', a £199 'pouffe' and a toilet seat that would make Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen blush.

2. Three Kit Kat Chunkies

Who: Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

According to The Sun newspaper Blears bought the late night snacks while staying at the City Inn hotel. A ‘friend’ of Blears said she had been “feeling lonely” and had “wanted something to cheer her up.”

3. Moles removed from country estate

Who: John Gummer, former Tory Cabinet minister

The former Environment Minister claimed £9,000 a year in gardening expenses over a four-year period including £100 to rid his lawn of moles and bills to remove jackdaw nests, combat insect infestations and an annual 'rodent service' contract.

4. Light bulb installation

Who: David Willetts, Shadow Innovations, Universities and Skills Secretary

We can't decide whether it's more embarrassing to pay someone to install 25 lightbulbs in your home, or to admit to such a thing by submitting receipts for the workman's bill?

5. Horse manure

Who: David Heathcoat-Amory, Tory MP

The former Foreign Office Minister claimed for 550 bags of manure, as well as £5 to repair a wheelbarrow puncture and £6 for use of a chainsaw. Frightening.

6. Moat cleaning

Who: Douglas Hogg, Tory MP

Mr Hogg has agreed to repay the £2,200 it cost taxpayers to clear the moat on his country estate, Kettlethorpe Hall. His neighbour, Frank Barton, 69, remains unimpressed though, telling the Daily Mirror: "I've met [Mr Hogg] and he's very arrogant. It's like he's Lord of the Manor. I've been trying to get him to sort out the vandals on my street but it seems he was too busy filling out his expenses."

7. Jellied Eels

Who: Andrew Rosindell, Tory MP

It is good to see that the MP for Romford, Essex, is supporting local business by sampling his constituency's traditional snack but, surely, he could have found the £1.31 from his own pocket?

8. Fluffy dusters

Who: Steve Webb, Lib Dem Work and Pensions Spokesman

No flies on Mr Webb who managed to get us to pick up the bill for stamp duty on his Westminster pad, and none trapped in cobwebs either, it seems. Wonder if he donned a pinny and did the dusting himself?

9. Sit-and-ride lawnmower

Who: Geoff Hoon, Transport Secretary

Mr Hoon lived rent free for three and a half years in Admiralty House, London, when he was Defence Secretary meanwhile earning money from a London property he called his main home and claiming for the upkeep of his consituency home in Derby. What's more he gets a ride-on lawnmower while the rest of us have to make do with a Flymo.

10. Ice cube tray

Who: John "disco bathroom" Reid, (again) former Home Secretary

The former Home Secretary makes our list twice, for claiming for two ice cube trays at £1.50 each. We bet he had Llewelyn-Bowen over for Mojitos.

I need my debt relieving.....

So the US has bailed out GM to the tune of $50 billion: and I hear the CEO say this has relieved our debt from which the company has been suffering:

Oh that we could all go to the bank/state and say I need my debt relieving!!!

I haven't got a company jet to sell.

Friday, 29 May 2009

The selected works of T.S.Spivet

I have just come across this site/book thanks to Notebookism.

I have to say, I think it is stunning: it is always fantastic to see when somebody uses the medium of the net in a truly creative way.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Finance and obfuscation.......

I don't think I'm unintelligent; but I don't understand finance.

So the British Government is borrowing over the next three more money than the previous 300 years of Government have borrowed in total: is that correct?

And the US is also borrowing Xty twillion squillions?

As one economist said: 'nobody knows what a trillion is: but 100 trillion is 10 times bigger that 10 trillion, or to put it another: 10 trillion is a HUGE sum of money and 100 trillion is F****** HUGE sum of money' So all w know is that these are sums bigger than we can really imagine.

So where is all this money coming from? From 'other countries' apparently: but who owns that money? surely if a country collects taxes; then that should be to pay for services, and any other surplus should either be put away for a rainy day: or more logically returned to those who'd paid it. If I give somebody 20 euros/pounds/dollars/shekels to pick up a few bits of shopping for me, and they spend 12 I expect.. yes that's right 8 shekels change. But we're not talking about a loaf of bread and jar of peanut butter, we're talking about funding a state: oops Freudian slip, funding a population and providing services. Absolutely correct. So even more need for it to be transparent and above board..... sorry where am I.... just woken up and realised, that things aren't like that; they're not simple... and that suits some people.... that's spelled O B F etc. etc.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Gig: Bar Venezia

Was invited to sit in with a band here last Sunday, but the keyboard player was delayed so I played for an hour with them as a trio: we just busked. It was great fun!


I love this quote from their site.

'I just read a report saying 4,153,237 people got married in 2003. I don't want to start any trouble but shouldn't that be an EVEN number.....'

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Thursday, 30 April 2009

my love affair ... with Italy

I fell in love with Italy many years ago; but like most relationships, it is not 100% perfect; because nothing is, nothing can be. However where Italy exceeds above anywhere else in my experience in letting itself down, is in their administration.

I had been reliably informed that I needed to be registered with a Doctor, which had to be carried out a certain office. I go there and explain what I wish to do. They answer that this process has to be done with a certain officer who isn't there today. However there are several other offices where I can do it and one is open today. I drive twenty minutes to get there and I explain what I want to do: again I need to see a certain officer .....who isn't there today. However I can go to another office (only five minutes drive away. ) I ask at the desk, and you guessed I have to see a certain officer who is in that office 'over there'. It is empty and there is no queuing or ticket system, so we all lurk around the door like vultures until the man arrives and I pounce on him. He is friendly and I explain that I wish to register with a Doctor. I display my full complement of documents, passports and my Health Card, and ask him what he needs. He says 'I don't need anything' picking up my Health card, with one of these you can go to any Doctor.' Laughing, almost hysterically, I say: 'No. Surely that's too simple for Italy.' He laughs agreeing with me. He phones a colleague, to confirm the facts, and to tell him what I'd said. They laugh and I leave with a smile on my face.

But wait a minute: to how many people did I explain what I wished to do? They all said 'you register with a Doctor there'. The manual my friend had clearly said that I didn't need to register with a Doctor. So why did they tell me with false authority that that was the person to speak to about registering? I guess I'll never know.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Internet Protocol

I have this big problem with the protocol on the internet.
e.g. somebody sends me an e-mail and says this is what I'd like to do
I reply and say could we do it slightly differently like this instead for reasons a,b, and c.
And what do they do?
They don't reply?
What does that mean?
Apart from not respecting your fellow human being, it doesn't resolve anything....
and yet it happens all the time..

Monday, 27 April 2009

'The Blues and Beyond' with Rowland Jones

First programme 28th April 18.00 Tuesday
Every fortnight also available as podcast
La prima puntata 28 Aprile 18.00 Martedi
Quindicinale anche come podcast


Picasso had been commissioned by a wealthy businessman to produce a portrait of his wife. After a few sittings, the businessman visited the studio curious to see the work’s progress. Seeing Picasso’s interpretation of reality, the man was furious. Pulling a photograph of his wife from his wallet he exclaimed, 'That’s my wife!'

Totally nonplussed Picasso replied, 'Small isn’t she?'

Friday, 24 April 2009


Felt the urge today to try and write a Haiku...this a Haiku about Haiku

Short, neat and formal

Thoughts pruned to perfect essence

Bonsai poetry

Wednesday, 22 April 2009


On Saturday Jamencuz played at a benefit here in the village for the Earthquake fund in Aquila: it raised 1100 euros.

Very pleased especially as the weather was very cold so not many people wanted to stand outdoors, not even for a good cause.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Talking to old friends....

Had a message today from a friend with whom I did my MA. It included the line;

'Lex and I got married in 2007, we had a medieval do - I made my own frock and some of Lex's chainmail. Also, there was a zombie.

I'm proud to have friends like that.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Cuttings and Articles

I've been looking for a source of cuttings and short articles here in Italy and finally found one: Il Messaggero Umbria. In yesterdays editon they were talking about this years Umbria Jazz Festival, saying that they have invited for the newly emerging artists: Nonna Summer: excellent!

lunch is here, lads!

'So yes let me get this straight madam... you jumped into a pool with what?'

'Three polar bears: those massive white things with large teeth and claws that could probably cut through steel?'

'And they did what?'

"They attacked you? quel surprise! You willingly entered the territory of one of the most ferocious creatures on Earth: carnivores that have been known to eat their own young.' Hmm.

I wonder why this bear appears to be smiling......

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

great site

Utterly surreal and very funny...

Monday, 23 March 2009

good writing vs bad writing

Yes I'm worried about writing on the net, but what about this incomprehensible gem:

Since I had started to break down all my writing and get rid of all facility, and try to make instead of describe, writing had been wonderful to do.

It's Hemingway. Worrying? Oh yes.

A day later: it's still puzzling me; though I think if you stress the words make and describe it almost makes sense; almost.

Is this the level of writing we are descending to on the web

This is taken from a well-known 'how to do stuff' type website- I won't say which but it sounds a bit like a cowboy yell..... anyway, read this gem.

How to Design Your Own Beach House Landscape

When deciding how to draw or design a beach house landscape for a cartoon, picture or any other sort of animation or drawing, it is best to keep the main elements of a beach house--weather, water and open area--in mind.

So true , but then of course, it is best when cooking a chicken casserole to keep in mind that you will need some chicken: but I probably didn't need to tell you that, did I?

And anyway who is this aimed at?

how to draw or design a beach house landscape for a cartoon, picture or any other sort of animation or drawing?

I despair.......

I'm not interesting enough .....apparently

The day I finally had it confirmed that I am simply not interesting enough it came to me as a bit of shock, I must admit. I'm well educated with a brace of degrees, I read, go to the cinema, am reasonably au fait with the visual arts, an accomplished guitarist and speak fluent Italian. Not earth shattering but a reasonable CV I would have thought. There are blank spots, of course. My knowledge is totally lacking when it comes to football and in fact, sport in general, a factor that I do not consider a disadvantage, and some might consider a positive benefit along with my total lack of interest in soap operas, reality television and anything to do with Simon Cowell.

So how did this revelation come about?

I'd received a call from a journalist on a National daily newspaper. They wanted to do a piece about a web-based venture which I had launched a month or two before. We discussed the project in some detail. Satisfied that there was more than enough to do a piece, the discussion turned to taking a photograph. Are you married? asked the journalist. I replied simply no (not wishing to get into the divorced versus single discussion) after a pause she responded with Have you got any children? I replied no. There was a longer, more poignant, pause before she said with a slight air of desperation in her voice any pets? Fortunately I was able to say yes, though I believe that my cat, Archie would probably consider himself a co-habitee rather than in the deferential role of pet'. So with a sigh of relief she suggested a time for the photographer to call at my house. So my existence and my interest factor had been confirmed. But why do I need partner, offspring or pet to be valid'?

I was thinking that the era of people, in particular women being identified by the nature of their husband's work was long gone. Then I remembered a story a good friend told me some years ago, about a visit to the hairdressers. After the usual preliminaries about what you doing this weekend? where do you live? etc The hairdresser asked my friend the $64,000 question.
"So what does your husband do?"
"He's a nuclear physicist." she replied truthfully.
After a pause the hairdresser asked (innocently)
"So does he work for himself?"

I still maintain that when the proportion of people living alone has trebled over the last 40 years, it is anachronistic to define people according to their associations, but then I don't have to worry anymore, as I'm married now and my wife said she loves me, whether I'm interesting or not.... and I think that's alright......

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

It made me laugh.....

Sometimes you wander aimlessly around the web for what seems like days (but is actually close to a fortnight) and find nothing but then something makes it worthwhile.. sort of

This was posted on Twitter by someone called Stephanie.
"I read the headline "Pope visits Africa" as "Elderly cross-dressing virgin lectures AIDS-stricken continent about dangers of condoms."

Even this gem doesn't quite justify the 2.7 million clicks I've probably done this week but anyway.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Reviews of Classics when they were issued ...

Nice piece on The Word podcast abut album reviews: I’d like to add a couple of golden oldies from a long defunct magazine called Beat Instrumental. Here are a couple of excerpts from reviews by John Ford.

Nov 1968
Music from Big Pink
‘It has that beautiful amateurish sound the Americans capture so easily.’

Dec 68
Electric Ladyland
‘…of course, this is a chart and artistic success. And let us not forget the cover with all those lovely ladies there upon.’

I’m not quite sure which I prefer most; the ‘damning with faint praise of’ the first or the quaint use of ‘there upon’ in the second.


Saturday, 14 March 2009

depressing thought....

I read today that Twitter membership has gone up by 33% in one week: from 6 million to 8 million people!

The thought is this: there are millions of us out here: but how many direct contacts do we actually get? If everybody is writing articles or 'content' --God I hate that word, makes it sound like the newly rich who used to buy books by the yard to fill their 'libraries'...

Anyway if everybody is writing articles with SEO in mind, then the sole purpose of that type of 'writing' is to attract the 'bots, so you may as well write a list of keywords, if all you want is to appear high on the Search Engines.

So I ask myself, what does it have to do with writing....

Thursday, 1 January 2009

The story so far......

It was on 24th July 2007 that Lesley and I started our plan to meet people in the Italian blues world: the first stop being Trasimeno Blues: a major festival and near where we live. The first people we met were Papaleg Acoustic Blues Duo, Pierluigi and Marco: two lovely guys from Abruzzo. I also met Brit Andy Martin, a great steel guitar player, who lives in Perugia. Then Crystal White appeared and asked me if I was Smokin' Joe Kubek- that night's headline act! Also met up with Gianluca di Maggio, the brains behind Trasimeno Blues which now includes an Autumn Season called Bianco Rosso e Blues and Soul Christmas.

It was few weeks later when we heard Cjmbaljna Blues Band playing in Panicale: I knew the drummer, and they invited me up to play a few numbers which was great fun. A few months later we met at another of their gigs, a friendly pizzeria called ricomincio da tre, run by Fabio, a great bloke and a crazy for guitars: we got on immediately..... It was at this point that CBB and I set up a 'project'. We did our stage debut in February after several months of intense rehearsal, and then recorded a demo. This started the ball rolling.

After a number of local gigs to keep us match fit, we were invited to Sicilia Blues to play for 'Blues Band on Stage 2009' We were on after a band called Cotton Field Hollers; who had done well previously. Unfortunately for them (but not for us) this left them a little overconfident: they were very good but .... after all, who was this bunch of youngsters with some 'ole guy' fronting them? We took the place apart, and in fairness they were extremely (and genuinely) complimentary after the gig. 24th May we were back South for the final in Sicily. This was fantastic fun, and we met some lovely people who have become close friends: in particular, Enzo and Teresa from the Walking Trees , and Sandro Pittari drummer with, amongst others, Marco Gioe's Shotgun. In the end, the judges decided to invite all the bands to Etna, rather than selecting three as was the original plan!

June began with a solo gig here in the village, then 26th June we were at the other end of Italy. We were in the final of I.B.C. to select a band to represent Italy in Memphis 2009. We eventually came 5th. Had a great time and met more lovely musicians: including Tillamook, who deservedly won. Jimbo Mathus from New Orleans and hs band were fun: the only downpoint was the mosquitos who devoured Lesley!

A few days later it was The Blue Sunset where we again met the Papaleg boys, Andy Martin, Kellie Rucker and Olga, Jimbo's wife who were all launching new CD's: Also met Livia Palone who's become a good friend.

8th July we arrived in Sicily for Etna Blues. We were also invited to play with Max Stratos and the Border Radio in a little town called Lentini, which was a good night out: more great guys! For Etna Blues, I reckon we had the best support slot as we were opening the first night : it went down really well and then we jammed with Nine Below Zero, and the guys from the King's Brothers. The next few weeks were frantic with three gigs during Umbia Jazz, and then (on my birthday) the debut at Trasimeno Blues: which went well although the sound system let us down a bit. A week later I went to see Bluesindrome at Taverenelle and ended up playing with them and Crystal (White) which was excellent.

August saw my last gig with the project. So we ended where we'd started in Panicale. Again a great night, and fortuitously I met Carmelo Russo a guitar player from Genova. We rehearsed a few weeks later and though our musical backgrounds are somewhat (!) diverse: - - Gypsy Kings& Flamenco vs Blues&jazz - - it works! So another project Jamencuz was born.

At the beginning of September, I was involved with a project called ContaminazioniUrbane, during which I fronted a jam session at Urban, and did a set at Al San Giovenale in Orvieto for the closing night, when Carmelo joined me for a few numbers. We then went off to Tropea for the blues Festival during which I jammed with Red Onions Band and met old friends: Enzo, Teresa, Kellie and made new ones Maurizo Pugno, and Sophie Kertesz and generally had a wonderful time!

October was my first major solo gig supporting Gege Telesforo for Bianco Rosso e Blues, part of Trasimeno Blues, which went down extremely well.

November and December have been relatively quiet on the gig front, but I did play wth Livia Palone at Lettere Caffe in Rome and did our first full gig with Jamencuz! which went down very well. The rest of the time (musically) has been spent in recording: since moving here March 2007 I have written 30 complete songs! Also I've been researching where to go next.

So that's the story so far,

Next week I'll post some of the plans we have and what we have done so far.


adventures of a middle-aged rock god... well, maybe not

As with most people, at New Year I start to think about doing something new: ridiculous I know but we all do it.... or at least a lot of us do it.... at least a lot of us try do it. Well anyway, let me tell you what this blog is about.

I'm a musician and I live in Umbria, Italy: for a long time I worked in the UK as a sort of all round media prostitute: making films for corporate clients, organising large scale events and did lots of pretty interesting stuff, but alongside that I've always played music. Since first being hand a guitar by my cousin at about 16 years old: I've always loved the instrument.

So leap forward to Oct 2005 when I meet Lesley, we got married in July 2006 and decided to move out here, which we did in March 2007. I decided that this was the chance to go at music full-time. So we did: I say 'we' as I could not have done any of this without Lesley: lover, wife, partner, best friend and muse. And we've done pretty well and had loads of fun. I went back to where I started; the blues, played several major festivals, and got to know a lot really nice people and great musicians.

However the world of music is changing all the time, what with MYSpace, mp3, Facebook blogs etc.. So I've decided to document my path through this morass, in the hope that it might make me understand better what I'm actually doing, and that it might be interesting to others planning something similar.

So Jan 1: I'm going to post the story so far and a plan of where we are heading. If anybody wants to comment, please do! Advice, personal experience whatever all welcome.

So bye for now, and have a Happy New Year,