Travelogue from Scotland … Isle of Skye and live music.

Travelogue from the United Kingdom tour: I read an article about, um, me, having “gone international,” which I think is funny since I’ve been focusing most of my touring on the UK for the past three years. It’s nothing against America. I love any chance to travel, but I admit that playing music is more fun over here. There is some sort of reverence for musicians that just isn’t found in the United States. Maybe it’s an old-fashioned respect for the troubadour lifestyle, or maybe it’s a love of storytelling. Whatever it is, it’s really nice to be on stage here — whether playing a proper concert venue or a tiny pub. People are respectful, even in these lively pubs, and they pay attention to the musicians in a corner.

I’m not one of those artists who doesn’t want anyone to talk while I’m singing. At the same time, I’ve been in the audience plenty of times when it just seemed inappropriate to be talking … and yet people were carrying on and on.

Last night we played at the Isles Inn in Portree on the Isle of Skye. It was kind of a selfish booking, in that I really just wanted a good excuse to see Skye. On a Monday night, it’s hard to find any gigs at all, much less paying gigs at an arts center. But paying gigs at a pub are not too hard to come by, and the Isles Inn was happy to have us play. There was a mixup with the PA system somehow, so we ended up singing acoustic — not my favorite thing because it pretty much destroys my voice for a few days. Still, the show was fun. Dan sang a bunch of tunes to help me rest my throat, and the crowd was respectful. And we got to drive around the Isle of Skye this morning, seeing volcanic craters, ancient stones, castles, and dramatic cliffs. Win win win.

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