Dave Mattacks Snares
Photo Credit: Jim Primmer
New England, USA / May '06

** Gig List Updated: November 23rd, 2006 **

** New Tech page (#5) added - May '06 **

 Good day to you, one & all.

Thanks for your patience - this update is somewhat overdue & the usual excuses [schedules, etc] once again apply - apologies. The last time I wrote we were approaching Christmas - I hope that time was as enjoyable for you as ours was here in New England.

Sometime in late December, I received an e-mail from an old friend, fiddler Dave Swarbrick - for those of you not of the folk persuasion, do look him up on Google. Dave informed me that the UK's BBC radio listeners had voted "Leige & Leif" [the first LP/CD I recorded with "Fairport Convention", the band I joined in '69] the most "influential folk-rock record of all time".
Apparently, the BBC have an [early February] annual event known as the "Folk Awards"; they wanted to put the original line-up together to perform at said event & Dave was writing to tell me he wouldn't do it without me. This was all news to me & I was flattered that Dave felt that strongly about my involvement.

I agreed & contacted the relevant parties @ the BBC who kindly offered to fly me over to London. The actual event was very professionally run: many new faces from the UK folk scene received awards & presenters included Bob Hoskyns, Charles Dance & Mark Knopfler, the latter presenting a special award to Richard Thompson.

The "Leige & Leif" line-up [Swarbrick on fiddle, Simon Nicol on acoustic guitar, Ashley Hutchings on bass guitar, Richard Thompson on electric guitar, yours truly - & Chris While substituting for the late Sandy Denny on vocals] played the song "Matty Groves" toward the end of the show & we were individually presented with plaques by the BBC.  It was a most enjoyable evening & a wonderful opportunity to see many old friends. [For those interested, I believe there is further info' & some pictures -  go to "Folk Awards" after getting on the BBC website.] 

The following day I traveled from North London to Greenwich to do a drum masterclass @ Trinity College of Music -  I focused on drum tuning & cymbal selection & all present seemed absorbed & to enjoy themselves. All being well & with the excellent Dave Wickens' [head drum-set teacher] approval, there may be another one this year. The next day after that, I flew home to Boston - with a gig the following night!

Dave Mattacks Snares
Steve Smith, Charlie Watts & DM after Steve's recent gig @ Harvard Square's "Regatta Bar"
Pic' courtesy of Jim McGathey/John DeChristopher of Zildjian
Prior to all of this - as well as the usual round of sessions & gigs in Boston & environs - I traveled to Los Angeles in late January to visit the NAMM show. This is the biggest musical instrument show in the world [or is Frankfurt's one bigger?] & if you're into "gear" the way most musicians are, it's quite a feast. I managed to hook up with friend/guitarist Jerry Donahue [Fairport/Joan Armatrading/Fotheringay, Helecasters, etc] & performed some tunes with him @ the Peavey booth  -   Jerry has his own signature guitar made by Peavey.

One particularly enjoyable interlude was an autograph signing session @ the Zildjian [THE cymbal company] booth. As well as seeing all the great people with Zildjian [a change from my regular visits to their South Boston factory], it was a pleasure to get to talk to fellow drummers Andy Newmark, Peter Erskine, Tris Imboden, Joe LaBarbera [a personal "hero"] & Mick Fleetwood - to name a few - albeit briefly.  I was also bemused to see seemingly hundreds of drummers eyes' "glaze over" after getting the great Steve Gadd's autograph; Steve takes it all in his stride & is graciousness personified.

After three very full days which ended @ Yamaha's excellent "Groove Night" - I took part in '04 - [the whole NAMM show quickly gets overwhelming; imagine half-a-dozen or so aircraft hangers filled with equipment - & how do the actual exhibitors stand the pace??], it was time for home.
Dave Mattacks Snares
Photo Credit: Jim Primmer

The "Feast of Fiddles" Spring UK tour [the13th one] was positively mammoth by comparison with other years - three whole weeks of dates!  We won over some new friends & once again had a great time. If you live in England & have yet to see us, don't leave it any longer. I'll be over in the UK again to join the band when it plays the Cropredy [Oxfordshire] music festival on August 10th & the Broadstairs [Kent] folk festival on August 12th. Go to www.feastoffiddles.com for more info'. 
On an FOF day off, I also managed to squeeze in some recording for Jerry Donahue [& friend Peter Barton] in Peters' Yorkshire studio - a most hospitable environment.
Some disappointing news closer to home; John Troy is moving back to his [roots!] home in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, this effectively spells the end of the Troy/Mattacks/Brown trio -  fortunately for all of you, the "Live from Captain Carlo's"  CD is now available!  Go to www.johntroy.com for info'. We've still a few Boston/New England dates in the calendar - see my "gigs" page - so do try to see the band before its hiatus this summer.
Recorded music-wise, do check out that TMB one - & also as previously mentioned on this page, Paul Ahlstrand, Grey DeLisle, Four Piece Suit, Liz Carlisle & Teddy Thompson CD's to name a few others.... you can hear me on the new [John Jenings produced] Jen Cass' CD too.

I'm pleased to report that [1] mixing has [finally] started on the Rob Laurens tracks  -  that's going to be a special one ...  & [2] we're fast approaching the mixing stage for the second "Super Genius". I'm genuinely excited about the latter & you'll be hearing all about it later this year on this page 'pon its release - trust me on this one! [ www.supergenius.us ]

There's also several other CD's in the final overdubs / mixing stage - sessions recorded over the last few months - & I'll tell you about them as & when they're out. As I've mentioned before, if you're interested ,Google these folks named above for news & info'.
Drummers - don't hesitate to contact me either for lessons or if you've a wee problem you think I may be able to help with - I'll do my best to answer as long as you're not in too much of a hurry.
Photo: Caron Mattacks
Finally, say a prayer for "Rover".... we lost our #1 Jack Russell terrier at the end of January, one month shy of his 17th birthday - we miss him terribly.
Thank you again - I'm grateful to you for reading this, being interested in music & my small contribution to it ... I hope to see you soon ...

PS : For those of you of a "folk persuasion" who may be interested, check out the August / September copy [ #125 ] of "Dirty Linen" magazine; it has a nice piece on yours truly.

Ditto the Oct.'06 copy of "Modern Drummer" magazine.