Another large mailbag. If I didn’t get to your question, it’s most likely because I’ve answered something similar in recent months, and some of those questions weren’t really questions! Thanks for all the kind thoughts and provocative inquiries.
Tabitha MacGowan: Is there a historical context to 'Devonside'?
- It’s just fantasy. The river Devon is in Clackmannanshire, and is mentioned a couple of times by Robert Burns:
"How pleasant the banks of the clear winding Devon,
With green-spreading bushes, and flowers blooming fair!"
Bill Stafford: As much as you are pigeonholed for your gloom & doom, you frequently throw funny songs into your live set. Might we ever get a full album of these type of songs? I realize some are too topical to want to immortalize forever, but things like "My Daddy Is A Mummy" has a definite timelessness about it and wouldn't sound dated after a few years.
- At some point, a collection of ‘funnies’ could appear. It has occured to me that there are enough over the years to fill a CD.
Tim Gause: I was listening to "From Galway to Graceland" off the latest CD the other day. It got me to thinking about how Elvis' fans sometimes threw their unmentionables on the stage for Elvis. In your long and storied career in the music game Richard, how have you dealt with the random bra or unmentionable thrown your way?
- In my long and storied career, I’ve never spotted a single piece of underwear, male or female, arcing through the air towards the stage. Folk Rock is, of course. every bit as sexy as anything Elvis came up with, and the fans are routinely driven to sexual frenzy, so I must conclude that my audience just don’t wear any. If they were to start doing a ‘Tom Jones’ now, it would be more on the lines of support hose and incontinence wear.
Andy Weller: When are you coming to the UK?
- We have a major solo/band tour from August 28 till September 20th, supporting our new record. See the Tour page of the website for details.
John Louis Lefsky: ”Henry The Human Fly" and "Hokey Pokey" have recently gone out of print and are now going for big bucks online. Any chance of a reissues on CD and LP?
- They will be back - I can’t say exactly when. These records are owned by Island, so beyond my control.
Mike Mooney: Who won the F.A. Cup in 1927?
- See below…
"David Baird: I like Mike Mooney's question. My father was there in 1927 to watch Cardiff take the cup from Arsenal! He told me the day before he died! He remembered it clearly. .. no question!"
Sarah-Jane Rich: when you next doing Crops??
- 2017 will be a big one, so I hope to be there for that, God willing. And maybe next year?
Mike Ile: What has surprised you the most about Frets & Refrains?
It was instantly idyllic. On about day 2 of the first camp, we said, “What a great location. What great attendees. What great staff.” We didn’t feel we had to change very much about it. I feel it’s only gotten better. The other surprise for me is how much I enjoy teaching.
Peter G Upton: When you toured with Linda shortly after leaving Fairport you played a pedal bass I think (saw you at City University). it seemed a long way from current wah wah pedals etc; what was it like to play?
- It was a set of organ pedals, just a couple of octaves, and nothing as good as you might find on a Hammond. I found I could play guitar and do something with my feet at the same time. The impact on the audience was probably minimal, as they were rarely miked up.
Bobby Pennock: A couple of items -
1. My son Isaac and I offer an overdue thank you for the time we were able to spend with you (and Simon) after your show at The Ark in Ann Arbor. Thank you. And to think, you, Simon, and Isaac spent the time talking about running track.
2. Years ago, I owned a book about guitars (well, I've owned several over the years) and I swear there was a picture of you in the book holding a Rickenbacker 12 string that had belonged to Roger McGuinn. Am I making this up? Did you ever own or hold one of his guitars? And, if so, was a photo of this ever published? I can no longer find the book I remember this picture being in. Perhaps it was a dream.
Anyway, thank you for your time and for the music you've brought to us. It's helped build a connection between my 17 year old son and me. He's an RT fanatic!
- I did own a Rickenbacker 12, allegedly ex-Byrds. The story was that the neck broke on a UK tour, so they left it behind. I lost it in a divorce.
Robert Krause: Milwaukee Irishfest 2015?
Kevin Bruce Aldridge Bartlett: At one time didn't you have a lesson/teaching series for the mandolin?
- I did a course for electric mandolin with Niles Hokkanen. Might still be available…
Sheky Tom Davis: Why don't you play more electric gigs?
- In years when we have a band CD released, we play a lot more band shows - like this year! We have just toured Japan, Australia and New Zealand with the Trio, and have major US tours in June and October/November, and a European tour in September/October. Other years I do more solo work.
Cid Gardner: Do you like Pizza? If yes, thick or thin crust?
- Thin crust, and it has to be genius good to get me interested. That little place by the lake in Umbria…
Jez Denton: What's your favourite cricketing fielding position?
- As a member of the Sharps, Jez, you should know that I favour square leg and point - not so close to the bat that it hurts, and not too deep to expose my total lack of arm.
John Saltarelli: Many artists have recently made full classic concerts available for download (Springsteen for example)..is there any chance that you may make archival concerts available for download?
- We have a bunch of live CDs available - don’t know how ‘classic’ they are - Dark Side Of Dunoon, Tammy, Corporal Salt’s Lovely Hertz Club, etc.
Mark Burge: Favorite cover version of one of your songs? One answer only, please.
- Great Valerio by Swan Arcade.
Francois Roux: When are you coming to South Africa?
- Soon, I hope.
Mark Burge: The album Small Town Romance was unavailable for a long time, reportedly because you didn't like it. Why?
- With reissues we own, we print up a certain number, and when they run out, there’s usually a gap till they get reprinted. It’s more about that than about me not liking a record. I don’t like most of my records.
Mike Moroney: Please come to Ireland it's been too long.
- Should be back at Vicar Street, Dublin, on September 1st.
Elaine Shute: Loved your Electric Trio cover of 'White Room' on Youtube. A whole album of classic rock covers...maybe? And please include Maine on your current tour.
- We’ve talked about this - maybe. And check the Tours page of the website, we should be in Maine in May.
David Jackson: How did The Dawes manage to persuade you to guest with them, but also to guest with them on Calvary Cross. They must know some REALLY bad things about you.
- They are a great band, and I love them because they know their musical history, and they know their roots.
Lisa Lazarus Brown: When will you be back in Florida? My husband and I have never gone a calendar year without seeing you once or twice! We started our concert tours the night after we got married in Newburyport, MA in 2008! We don't know what will happen of we go an year without seeing you! We made out wedding date around your concert!
- No plans for Florida right now, sorry.
Jason Linden: I seem to recall hearing that a 4th songbook volume was in the works. Am I correct, and, if so, when might we expect it?
- I think there’s enough new material for a fourth songbook. I just need to sit down and do it.
Jim Forst: Will you ever do a studio version of "From Galway to Graceland"?
- Haven’t I done one? Then sooner or later.
Kenneth Baird: can you still wear the tights you did on henry the human fly?
- I can still squeeze into them - just for you, Kenneth.
Chris Davies: Have you got an old Lowden that you don't want?
- "Unwanted old Lowdens" - least common sentence in the English language.
Kenneth Sinnock: When will you be playing the half moon putney London
- I did it last year as part of Danny Thompson’s 75th celebrations. The old place has changed a bit, smartened up. We’ve had some classic shows there over the years. Nothing planned for the future though.
Jerry Kern: When will you be playing in Philadelphia, and more importantly, which song can I play with you on bass????
- We are projected to be playing Philly in June, and you’re welcome to come up and jam on our rock arrangement of Webern’s 6 Pieces For Orchestra.
Eric Fullilove: Why don't you play any of my songsI I cover some of yours! PS I can never find any legal guitar tab books for your material either!
- I play yours all the time! There is some TAB of mine in the songbooks.
Thanks everyone. Part 2 coming soon...