Sunday, September 13, 2015

Martin Stephenson & Helen McCookerybook's Recent US Tour

With lots of business going on lately, I haven’t had the chance to write about recent visits from Martin Stephenson, Helen McCookerybook and others. I first met Martin in 2002, as he was visiting North Carolina from his native England to finish work on an album. I ended up contributing photos to that album, the Haint Of The Budded Rose, and have been friends with Martin ever since. 

It had been nine years since Martin and his friend Helen had visited the US, so it was a surprise when Martin emailed me over the summer to ask if I could put together some tour dates for him. We settled on the first week of September, and he recommended contacting some friends. Before too long, we had a tour with three shows lined up, as well as a visit to the Carter Family Fold (where I had taken Martin to in 2004), and a quiet ice cream social with friends. I even recommended a recording session with my friend Chris Garges at Old House Studios. I even provided transportation from the airport when they flew in. 

I have to say that the tour went really well. The goal of the trip from Martin and his friends was to experience the Southern US, and to have a good time. And they succeeded on evey count. And I took lots of photos, along the way. The recording session went especially well, and you can hear some of those recordings now on Martin’s Soundcloud page. I have to admit that I felt a bit of sadness when the band left to head home. It’s that moment that all of the fun, and all of the planning, was now at an end. But for a first time booking a (mini) tour, I couldn’t have asked for better. 

I’ll post some photos soon. Cheers to Martin, Helen and the two Jims that accompanied them on the trip. Roll up, roll up! Let’s do it again sometime soon.
September 14, 2015

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