This past January I got an email from my friend Bryn, “Lewis, give me a call! do you want to play a tour in Germany this summer?”
This really caught my eye, mostly because I rarely, if ever, get (non-spam) emails from friends asking me if I’d like to play a tour in Germany.
I met Bryn when I lived in Chicago, about 5 years ago. He writes and records great music (check it out!) and had been asked to do this tour in Germany himself, but because of other commitments, was not able to, so he passed the opportunity along to me.
So, after much preparation, all the tickets are purchased, and plans are in place to head to Germany August 13th and do this thing!
Let me try to premeditate what kind of questions you might have about this trip:
Q: “Who organizes this tour?”
A: “Songs & Whispers” a live music and artist development network. It is presenting live music in venues in Bremen, Germany and other places in Europe.
Q: “Is this a paid tour?”
A: No. I have to pay my own way to get there and stay there (plane ticket, apartment to stay in, food) but there will be ‘pass-the-hat’ style tip collections at each gig I play which I will get to use to recoup my expenses. Also I will be able to sell and keep all money from selling my own CDs and other merchandise. I have been in contact with several other musicians who have already played for Songs and Whispers and they told me that after all was said and done, they were able to make back their expenses plus a little more.
Q: “Are you goint to stay in hostels during the tour?”
A: No. The musicians rent a flat in Bremen and use it as a ‘home base’ for the duration of the tour.
Q: “How long is this tour?”
A: From August 17th to September 8th
Q: Is there anyone else on the bill?”
A: Yes. Most shows I’ll be playing will be with a band called JeConte and the Mali All-Stars
Q: “Do you speak German”
A: Very little. I bought all 3 levels of Rosetta Stone for German a long time ago, studied for a while, forgot about it, and am now picking it back up again, learning how to say things like “Dog” and “Egg” and “Sandwich”, but probably won’t know enough for any practical use. Just enough to maybe make a couple of German people think I’m cool.
Q: “What songs are you going to play for the shows?”
A: Songs and Whispers encourages their guests to do mostly original music with a few covers.
Q: “Are you bringing your piano?”
A: No. Just my acoustic guitar and a suitcase.
Q: “While you’re in Europe, don’t you think you should see some sites, and visit some people?”
A: Yes. After the tour I plan on visiting a friend from college who now lives in the U.K. and then over to Denmark to meet some very distant cousins who my uncle Jim met while doing some family history research online. I found out about a good place to busk in Copenhagen. Also it’s the 200th Anniversary of Soren Kierkegaard and I hear there are some cool exhibits on him.
So it’s coming up, just a few more weeks away. In case you or someone you know happens to live in or near Germany, here are the dates/venues of the shows:
Saturday, August 17th @ Big Buttinsky, Osnabruck, 21:00
Sunday, August 18th @ De Nul, Hengelo, Netherlands, 16:00
Sunday, August 18th @ Lambooijhuis, Hengelo, Netherlands, 20:00
Monday, August 19th, @ Litfass, Bremen, 20:00
Tuesday, August 20th, @ RadioWeserTV, Delmenhorst, 14:30
Tuesday, August 20th, @Hafen Casino, Bremen, 20:00
Wednesday, August 21st, @ Strandgelanda am Weichelsee, Rotenburg, 20:00
Thursday, August 22nd, @ Altes Gymnasium Bremen, 13:30
Thursday, August 22nd, @ Moma-Cafehaus, Worpswede, 20:00
Friday, August 23rd. @ Sonnendeck, Dangast/Varel 20:00
Saturday, August 24th, @ Litfass, Bremen, 14:00
Saturday, August 24th, @ Whiskey Tasting – Summerfest, Bremen
Tuesday, August 27th, @ LOX, Bremen, 20:00
Wednesday, August 28th, @ Strandgelande am Weichelsee, Rotenburg, 20:00
Thursday, August 29th, @Elephantseven, Hamburg, 18:00
Friday, August 30th, @ Altes Amtsgericht, Lilienthal, 15:30 and 20:00
Saturday, August 31st, @ Schwarzer Bar, Wilhelmshaven, 21:00
Sunday, September 1st, @ Kulturambulanz, Bremen 13:00
Sunday, September 1st, @ Katakomben, Achim, 20:00
Monday, September 2nd, @Grusewsky, Emden, 20:00
Wednesday, September 4th, @Radio Jade, Wilhelmshaven, 14:30
Wednesday, September 4th, @ Pumpwerk, Wilhelmshaven, 22:00
Friday, September 6th, @Harlekin Pub, Neuharlingersiel, 20:00
Saturday, September 7th, @ Slatterys, Delmenhorst, 21:30
Sunday, September 8th, @ Club Moments, Bremen, 20:00