So kids, after a long annoying flight with some irritating delays getting off the ground
to start her off, I returned home after a great and productive little tour. You win some and
you lose some with tours, and I am not afraid to say out loud that, financially, I most likely
lost on this one but that wasn't the point of this particular one.
Yes, that may sound a little crazy, but think about it. I invested in this region of the
world, I took a risk like any businessman does, invested some and money into it and, honestly,
I feel I've laid the groundwork for a longer and more profitable tour, say, this fall. Re-investing
is probably the more accurate term to use because mostly I was returning to markets and venues
that I had visited four years ago. True, I had some newer audiences, but I did have some from
the audience of the past come out, which felt great.
So, yeah, I did all these gigs in a bunch of these places, not focusing on how much money
I could get (without ignoring that, though). Rather, I put my energies into "winning hearts
and minds". I wanted to build a fan base over here. Probably, this is why I was so eager to
play my ass off each night, with sets that would stretch into hours like little musical marathons.
My last weekend in Germany was spent in a cool town called Karlsruhe. Some years back, like
seven or eight of them, I had reached out to an American dude who was trying to build a hybrid
"jamband scene" in Southern Germany with a number of expats and German music fans. He had a
little company and a website called Ebong.org (www.ebong.org)
that discussed music and writing and culture in general, but most importantly for this story,
produced some shows. I had reached out to them because I had booked a bunch of spring dates
in Ireland (in the Republic as well as the North) and wanted to try to get something somewhere
on the mainland. A quick flight over to do one or two shows in Paris or Brussels, or maybe even
Amsterdam. Just something different.
So Jambase.com was running a feature at the time on these Ebong guys, about the scene they were working on in Europe, etc., so I gave them a shout. After
a few phone conversations, I suddenly found myself doing three nights in Switzerland and Germany,
doing the support slot on the last shows of a tour that a couple noteworthy American jamband
pioneers were doing. Suddenly, I was being flown from Ireland to the mainland to do a little
tour that I am still feeling the effects from. My first official release of songs, a free downloadable
album called "JPAT LIVE Vol 1" included some tracks ("Frontier" recorded live in Switzerland
can be heard at www.reverbnation.com/jamesdalton).
So, anyway, I reach out, and great things happen, and even today, the people from Ebong have
remained great friends, supportive and encouraging. At the moment, they've got a great company
called Special Machine (www.specialmachine.com)
media that is getting shit done globally. Over the next few weeks, I will be talking to Craig
Judkins about Special Machine, Ebong and maybe some of the finer points of expat living.
So, anyway, I am home from my little adventure, plotting and planning the next couple. It
looks like Oregon and Barbados are in the works. I hope to get some recordings from some of
the shows in Germany because why not do another live release? More on that later...
Philadelphia is this week. I will be reuniting with John Lee from Caveman to play as a duo
(special guests are expected) at the Fire this Friday, May 14th. We'll be one of the acts celebrating
the release of Citizen Band Radio's new album. Past readers will remember that I went overseas
this fall with a great musician named Andrew Keenan as my partner who played guitar and banjo.
Well, this is one of his main gigs, and he rocks the pedal steel.
For more info on this show, or just to ask any question in general,