At the beginning of this year, I wrote a blog post explaining some of the issues that had kept me from updating this blog, I promised myself and whoever happens to read this blog that I would reboot myself and get back on the saddle.
Well, then some work issues happend – not bad ones but stuff that had me repositioning myself at work and learning new stuff – and then Russia did what they did and continue doing. I’m in Finland so you can just look at the map and figure out what shit like that can do to someone who’s always been peaceful and sesitive to conflicts of any kind.
I found myself meeting a doctor and the a psychiatrist and it was oddly relieveing to hear I have a diagnosed anxiety disorder: I was not going mental but the war so close to home seems to have broken some of my defenses. I got good information and advice and orders to do certain simple practices daily to keep me going.
So, feeling quite a bit better, me and my wife set out to travel to Shetland for the Folk Festival and then to Edinburgh for the TradFest gigs. And was that ever a therapeutic journey! The SFF2022 was such a joy, as was riding e-bikes in the vicinity of Lerwick and surrounding areas for five days, with festival gigs in the evenings – sooo nice, the people, the landscape, the music! Ross Couper, La Vent du Nord, Heidi Talbot, our very own brilliant Frigg, Denmark’s ass-kicking Habadekuk, JP Cormier, Della Mae, Herkja… I mean, musical healing, people!
In Edinburgh, we caught four gigs of which two were simply breathtaking. Karine Polwart and Dave Milligan’s gig was touching and musically so perfect and I loved it when I got to say a quick hi to Karine and thank her for her amazing output over the years. And then Project SMOK: such a blast of virtuosity, impossibly driving grooves and just lots of fun – again a special bonus in a quick chat with the stunning Ali Levack and also Ewan Baird, whose bodhran playing was just… blazingly great!
So now what I’m doing is recalibrating this blog a bit. As I have to admit to myself that I’m not a professional critic and that my time and energy are limited in this strange and frightening time, I will post more often but in a music diary style: shorter pieces with more concise reflections and impressions instead of the deep dive reviews I have attempted to do so far. After all, there’s Songlines, there’s Irish Music magazine, there’s FolkRadio UK and there’s the excellent Bright Young Folk web site that all give you the learned insights to the latest releases much better than I can.
But as I do keep listening to this music and want to write down my reactions and feelings, I will keep posting, only in shorter pieces and mainly to keep a kind of a music diary for myself – and perhaps someone else may find it fun and also a source to find some great music to listen to.
Cheers! Sláinte! Slàinte!