On this page I want to share some of the memories I have of my 2015 US tour. It lasted 3 months, saw me visit 21 cities in 17 States, driving 11,000 miles. Along the way I wrote the 11 songs that make up the American Odyssey album. 

Let's go...

New Mexico 

My destination was the town of Taos (pronounced Towce) where the following night I was due to play at the Historic Taos Inn. The Dalai Lama once said that God inhales in Nepal and exhales in Taos.  It is regarded as a spiritual, mystical place. 

I was staying with Keith McHenry, a political activist and founder of Food Not Bombs who have been feeding the homeless for over 20 years. When I’d contacted him to say I’d like to meet him and could I stay with him, he’d said, “Sure, you can sleep in my tepee…

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Colorado Springs 

I hitched up my wagon – well, I put my suitcase and guitar in the boot of my Buick La Crosse and headed out west. My destination was Colorado Springs but it was too far to travel in one day, so I looked at the map and chose Ogallala, Nebraska as an overnight stay for no other reason than I liked the sound of it. I like saying 'Ogallala'. It’s fun to say 'Ogallala'. Try it. Don’t you feel better for saying it? It’s fun. However, saying 'Ogallala' is a lot more fun than being in Ogallala. I’m thinking that…

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Omaha, KC (again) and Des Moines 

When travelling across the USA I usually have my Sat Nav set so it avoids going on the Interstate. I prefer the two-lane blacktop and the back roads that take you through small towns because that's where the people are, and hopefully that's where the stories that eventually become songs are, too. 

As I headed north for Omaha, Nebraska in June of 2015 I think the navigational device was annoyed at having to work so hard. It’s probably used to saying, “drive straight for 300 miles”. At one point, it suggested…

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Kansas City Here I Come 

If there is any place in the US that I could claim as my home, it is Kansas City, Missouri. Every time I visit the US, some time is pencilled in both to perform and hang out with the good friends that I have made there. But as I drove west out of St. Louis in June of 2015, I knew nothing about Kansas City other than that the Beatles covered a song titled Kansas City on their 1964 album Beatles for Sale. And I knew that there are two Kansas Cities – one in the state of Missouri (the one where I was playing)…

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Meet me in St. Louis 

The state line between Illinois and Missouri just happens to be the Mississippi River. And it is magnificent. Just the mention of it makes me think of a dozen or more songs. I wanted to add to this canon so after I had crossed the bridge, I pulled off the freeway, grabbed my guitar and my digital recorder and made my way down to the river bank. I wrote what I thought would make a good chorus for a song. It went: “I'm gonna ride the Mississippi down to New Orleans / the river of my dreams.” I couldn't think…

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Chicago - My Kind of Town 

About a week before I was due to leave Nashville to start the tour proper in Chicago, I called into a well-known car rental company to book a vehicle. They are an international firm, and they have an advert that runs on UK television where they espouse the American virtues of courteousness and are very proud of their friendly service. 

The girl behind the counter gave me a big beaming smile, told me her name was Tammy and asked how she could help me. I told her and she put together a special deal for me as…

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Still in Nashville  

It was three days before I felt like I was on Tennessee time. This was just in time for my slot at the famous Bluebird Cafe.  

I could have taken a cab directly to the Bluebird but I took a bus instead. I like buses. Buses show you much more of a city than cabs can. Cabs go direct; buses go where the people who do all the work live. Cities are the same the world over. On the margins, you will find disadvantaged communities, where the rest of society doesn’t go. I have walked at night through rough areas of…

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Nashville, here I come 

My flight from Heathrow was due to leave at 8.30am so I was at the airport for 6am. This was a great time to drive through London; the city was not yet fully awake; the only activity seemed to be from birds and bin men. The calm I saw from the window of my black cab was at complete odds with the excitement I felt.                                              

It was my first time flying United Airlines. It was hopefully my last time, too. The flight was packed, the seats were cramped (I was in a middle…

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