Journal 

Pinchos, Pinchos, Pinchos and Celtic Connections 

I’m back in the Peg and it’s cold but sunny and all is well. Still sleeping off some of the travel and jet lag but feeling more alive every day.

We’ve recently had some amazing experiences. Spain and the Basque Country were incredible. We had great weather, we saw the Gugenheim in Bilbao, we ate Pinchos. A lot of Pinchos. I’m not sure I ate a vegetable while I was there but then why bother with vegetables when you can have a combination of eggs, bacon, bread and potatoes with every bite? Gorka, our trusty tour-God, also introduced us to croquettes (deep fried potato balls), the truck stop ‘cafe con leche’ (road coffee in Spain is as good as any espresso anywhere) and Crawfish – Basque style. We walked around the Old town of Bilbao and saw some beautiful architecture. I bought an ‘almohadilla’ after I left mine in a cab (you’d think I would have learned that lesson by now…) and now I own a pillow that fits none of my pillow cases. But it’s a nice memory. The shows went well – the audiences were warm, and forgiving of our very limited Spanish. Bilboa was Annabelle’s last night with us and it was very special show and audience. It felt like a lovely way to end not only this amazing tour but also this chapter of the Jennys. Gracias!

Our time in the UK was also lovely, as usual. Lots of great shows, beautiful drives and familiar faces. Thanks to those of you who came out to several of our UK shows (you know who you are!). It was great to have Jeremy with us on this tour (he’ll be joining us on our next few as well!) to add another dimension to the sound and keep us generally entertained. Our first experience in Scotland at Celtic Connections was one I’m sure none of us will ever forget. We got to share a bill with Bruce Molsky for our concert, which was a treat for me as I’ve been a fan of his for many years. The following night we got to be part of the Transatlantic Sessions, with Bruce again, as well as Jerry Douglas, John Doyle, Phil Cunningham, Roseanne Cash, Russ Barenburg, Mike McGoldrick, Ally Bain, James MacKintosh, Donald Shaw, Karen Matheson (whose singing I’ve been listening to forever) and Daryl Scott. It was a truly inspirational, and surreal, experience for us. At the end of the night everyone joined Roseanne Cash for ‘Forty Shades of Green’. Jeremy and l continued the celebration later on that night with our old friend and band-mate, Leonard Podolak, who happened to be flying through Glasgow that night on his way home to Winnipeg. We celebrated till the wee hours and took some great pics…

Thanks again to everyone for making this tour such a success and for all your support during this transitional time. Now we have a bit of time off to recover from the road, during which I will surely attempt to eat large doses of kale and spinach and do some form of exercise at least somewhat regularly and play lots of banjo. In 3 weeks time Heather and Jeremy will be in Winnipeg and we’ll begin working up the new show! So much is about to unfold…!

~ Ruth

We’ll keep you posted.