6th July 2015 - Update from Leo
This is a combined June/July newsletter. I'm always running late! It seems that every time I write, it's a glorious sunny day here in Cardiff. That is, sunshine in between the rain showers of course. I hope you're enjoying a relaxing summer wherever you are.
I've just returned from Music City after a few weeks spent songwriting and visiting family and friends. For those who don't know, I lived and worked in Nashville as a staff songwriter for many years and only moved back to the UK, and the city of Cardiff, 3 years ago.
Unfortunately, we have some very disappointing news. I regret to say that we have had to cancel our July North American tour through no fault of our own but for reasons beyond our control: namely, our work visas were not processed in time. This is a huge disappointment for Joe, Damon and myself and we send our apologies to the fans and promoters involved. We will endeavour to re-schedule the shows, and are already making plans for US gigs in 2016.
Despite there being no US gigs, we are still able to play The Blues Festival in Windsor, Ontario, Canada on July 12th. It will be a short visit to Canada, although we're flying in a few days earlier to enable us to enjoy the Festival weekend. I hope some of you who live nearby can come along.
We are using the 'off road' time to work on songs for the next record scheduled for release in Spring 2016. It's always exciting seeing a project take shape: title not yet decided.
Throughout the summer we play festivals and concerts in Europe. There are shows in Norway and France: these will be posted on our web site as soon as we have the details: most dates are already on the website here. Please visit the page for new additions.
'The Road 2015' autumn tour starts on the 9th November. It will be fun to do a long run of gigs and we will be adding a few new songs from the upcoming CD to our set. Many of you ask when we will be playing in your country. HSS would love to play everywhere: we're hoping our agents can make it possible!
That's all for now. We have a rehearsal in two days time for the weekend gig and I certainly need to pick up a bass and refresh my memory!
See you all soon.
22nd May 2015 - Update from Leo
Hi - me again! The holiday period is fast approaching and HSS are taking a break from the road: it seems strange to write a newsletter with no imminent tour dates to prepare for, but it's always good to stay in touch.
There are of course some one-off gigs and festivals over the next few months in Europe and the USA but HSS are not doing any extended touring until November. I know you'd like the dates for your calendars and I'm pressing our agents for the schedules so that we can pass them on to you. All shows will of course be posted here as soon as they are confirmed.
We're using our free time to write for the next studio record. The project began in Nashville earlier this year with longtime friend and co-writer Fred Koller and, over the past few weeks, Joe and I have finished six new songs. We'll write another batch over the coming months and then go into a rehearsal studio with Damon and put the pieces together.
Songs come to life on the road so our plan is play some of the new material on gigs during the summer and have the record ready for release early 2016. The CD title is yet to be decided.
Many people have written to us asking about future vinyl releases. Our biggest obstacle is the ever increasing, exorbitant mailing charges of Royal Mail in the UK. I love the sound of vinyl so we need to find a way round this.
On a personal note I'm working on my upright bass skills and enjoying the sound of the acoustic: we will use it on some of the tracks on the new record. I won't be giving up bass guitar but playing songs on a different instrument gives me a different perspective and makes me work outside my musical comfort zone.
That's all for now. Apologies for this rather short letter!
13th April 2015 - Update from Leo
Hi - me again,
It's a beautiful, sunny day here in Cardiff. We've just returned from 'The Road' March European tour. We had a great time meeting up with old friends and making new ones. We're always working on new material and hope you enjoyed the new songs we included in the set - it's likely that you will hear something new each time you see us play.
On the last date of the tour, April 1, we played the beautiful city of Tallinn, Estonia, for the first time. I hope on the next visit we will have more time to explore it. Thank you to those who came to see us and for such a warm welcome - we look forward to returning soon.
On this run of shows, I realised a long-time wish and played the 'upright bass' (see the photo above) on a couple of songs! It was the first time I'd played upright bass on a gig since the first two TYA records… and I loved it! I have to thank Dave 'Roe' Rorick, former bass player with Johnny Cash, for introducing me to Charlie Chadwick and the amazing 'Chadwick Folding Bass'. His invention makes travelling with a 'large beast' a practical option.
More shows are scheduled for The Baltic States, France and Holland for later in the year and an extended European tour is already booked for November. We continue looking into the possibility of playing in other territories including Australasia, Japan and South America. You have also asked us to play some more UK dates and we have set the wheels in motion to do this.
The US tour is coming together for the period July 11 to August 1. Confirmed shows are The Windsor Blues Festival (July 12), The Iridium, NYC (July 15), The Sellersville Theatre (July 18), and The Mount Baker Blues Festival (August 1). More shows are to be confirmed.
Our new CD 'The Road' is in the Top 10 Amazon.de New Release Blues Chart, having reached #1 a few times. Thanks for your support and for the many encouraging emails.
We will be updating our gig list within the next week or two and will add it to the May newsletter: it will be posted on our web site here.
Have a wonderful week!
3rd February 2015 - Update from Leo
Hi - it's a beautiful, sunny day here in Cardiff, but very cold. I'm staying indoors in the warm and taking the opportunity to sort out my bass gear ready for the 'The Road Tour 2015'… and making the difficult decision as to which bass to take this time. Ideally, I'd like to take all 18 on the road but I can't: sometimes, when it comes to choice, less is more: well easier! Which ones would you like to see?
Our tour kicks off on 13th March in Germany and we'll be promoting our live CD 'The Road', which will be released there on 13th February. The CD was recorded in Europe during our October/November tour last year.