Photo by Beth Childs
This article appears in our July/August 2015 “British Issue,” now available on newsstands.
For the past six years, when the summer gets oppressive in New Orleans, I head to the U.K. to play a run of shows with a guitar and a backpack full of the essentials. My original vision of crossing the pond for a “U.K. Tour” seemed as dreamy as it did intangible. I had no ‘ins’ or leads in the U.K., so I pursued the scheme as non-cleverly as you could imagine, by typing “London folk club” into Google and proceeding from there. Six months later I arrived in England with a handful of booked gigs and a plan to figure it out from the ground, exploring London’s open mic scene over the course of a few weeks.
Eventually, I discovered folk clubs outside London, in the Midlands and beyond, but it took a tour or two for me to find them or them to find me. When it was time to crash, it was all hostels the first year, but as with any repeated touring circuit, the hostels gave way to new friends with old couches, and other, more entertaining scenarios. Suffice it to say a wandering 22-year-old fellow open to certain freedoms will wander his way right into girls with accents, and naturally, there are songs in that process.
Of course, the process wasn’t even close to a financially successful tour in the beginning. I’d call it a “tour-cation” to save myself from dwelling on the fiscal bottom line, but even the first trip proved profitable in ways priceless to a songwriter. There’s something about England in particular... Sign In to Keep Reading