Dave Whitford gave us a snapshot of "A Thousand Kisses Deep" rural tour so far:
We've been very lucky to work with and receive a lot of help and support from ‘Jazz Services’ in the past but this is our first time to work with the ‘National Rural Touring Forum’. This tour is a result of the NRTF/Jazz Services scheme. Both organisations do great work supporting live music and the arts. For more information about the touring scheme and to find out more about these organisations, please visit. http://www.jazzservices.org.uk/ https://www.ruraltouring.org
We're just about half way through our NRTF/Jazz Services tour now. It’s our first experience of rural touring and the 16 gigs we’ve done so far have taken us to Devon, Somerset, Cheshire, Herefordshire, Monmouthshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, County Durham, Cumbria, Northumberland and Dorset.
It's been a great experience and we've found the audiences very warm and receptive. The local promoters have been extremely friendly, helpful and accommodating. They've provided us with plenty of good home cooked food along the way too. We've also been enjoying seeing parts of the country that none of us have visited before.
I think the thing that has struck us the most is the sense of community and the open mindedness towards live music. We've had people specifically coming to see our show because of the program we're performing, but there was also a sense of people coming to see the show simply because it was happening on their doorstep. Our shared musical background traditionally sees us playing mainly in clubs or theatres in large towns and cities, so its been a very different, but thoroughly rewarding and enjoyable experience playing in small towns and villages, sometimes where the population is only a hundred or so people.
I'd recommend Rural Touring to anyone as it's an informal and highly sociable way of bringing your music to people who wouldn't normally get to hear it. There's something wonderful about playing in a small and intimate space, almost like playing in a friend's living room. We've felt very welcome in the communities we've visited so far and are really looking forward to hitting the road again in 2014.
"Doing the Rural Touring circuit has taught me that community spirit is alive and well and thriving up and down the country. I've witnessed first hand that people are hungry for live music. These intimate performances provide the perfect catalyst for uniting people and reinforcing bonds. " Christine Tobin
None of us are particularly prolific photographers but a few of highlights include:
Christine made some new friends in Somerset and the next tour might be done in a traditional Gypsy caravan.
The village library in Great Budworth
Over the past few years NRTF has developed a partnership with Jazz Services to bring high quality jazz artists to perform in village and community venues across the country. We are currently in the middle of a 35 date tour by Christine Tobin with Dave Whitford and Phil Robson performing their version of Leonard Cohen songs – A Thousand Kisses Deep.
Feedback from touring schemes and audiences has been great and a recent Arts Council artistic assessment found that "Their opening piece was, despite the theme of the show, Joni Mitchell‟s song The Priest, and set the tone for the evening with its clear acoustic sound, rich and perfectly-intoned vocals and assured instrumental playing. The trio conveyed a sense of enjoyment in each others playing, which also beamed itself onto the audience… Her skills show that she is amongst a small select group of virtuoso British vocal artists who are able to make genuine and excellent improvisatory contributions to jazz performance beyond the initial content and delivery of the melody and lyrics."
Looks like schemes, audiences and performers are enjoying this NRTF/Jazz Services project.