First, let me say THANK YOU to all of my hosts, friends, and fans who made my tour in the USA completely wonderful. I came away with so much inspiration for new songs about my home state and the SOUTH which was my secret hope when I flew across the ocean. Let's see what happens!
My summer tour in Britain starts on Saturday with a concert in Crystal Palace (London) and ends with a concert in Carnforth at the end of July. All of the dates are listed on the flyer above and you can find all of the details on my website. This year, I am playing far fewer dates than usual because I have lots of other projects going and I am trying to strike a balance between performing, which I love so much, and the new work I am creating. So, if I'm not coming to your area this time around, how about a mini-break to Liverpool or the Yorkshre Moors? OR we could plan something for late fall or next year?
You can always write to me and we can dream up a concert together! firstname.lastname@example.org When I was visiting Mawmaw on Smith Ridge, I went to see our old family cabin – a pilgrimmage that I have made for many years now. You can see the cabin it in its heyday in the photo at the top of this letter. The man in the photo, John Rufus Smith, built it. He was my great great grandfather, killed in cold blood in the line of duty as Justice of the Peace at the age of 60. He's the fella I sing about in the song "Aunt Erma" on Heart of the Mountain, which you can order directly from me by email, if you'd like. I have been looking after the cabin in my own quiet way over the last five or six years and was shocked to find that, since last November, vandals had cut five large timbers out of a wall of the cabin. After getting my wits about me, talking to the sheriff's office, and the fella who checks the gas well near the cabin, I went and spoke to the gas company about my concerns. And you know what? They were kind, helpful, efficient, and started an inquiry into the vandalism since their well is near the cabin. I'm not saying that I support hydro-fracking, so hang on there in case you are getting any ideas. Anyhow, the Englishman and I spent a big long and beautiful day working on the cabin and shoring up the damage as best we could. Mawmaw's trusty dog, Rusty, was a big help.
Joe, from the gas company, said something to me when we were talking about the cabin. He said, "We build roads into places here that have been forgotten about for a long time, maybe fifty, sixty, even a hundred years. Things that were hidden are exposed and then they become vulnerable. It's our job to protect them as best we can." I think there's a song in there.
I also went to our family reunion which was rained out and a bit of a comedy, but I met some relatives I'd never met before including Aunt Ada who was completely glamorous and told me a story about having only two outfits during her last year of high school – two skirts and two short-sleeved sweaters. So, she and my Aunt Princess and Aunt Katherine and their friend Ellen from down the ridge all traded clothes around to look like they each had more outfits than they did. I've been working on a song about that!
Here I am with glamorous Aunt Ada!
For a long time I've heard about the legendary sewing skills of my Aunt Fanny who also kept a general store, but I actually got to meet her daughter Geneva, who told me about regularly pointing to a skirt in a catalog before school and asking her mother to hurry up and make it before the school bus arrived. She would put the skirt on right there at the sewing machine and run out the door to catch the bus.
These are the kinds of things I love to hear about and I hope I will be equal to writing songs about them.
Below, I have written about how this email list works because it's privacy awareness time in the cyberworld, so give that a look, if you don't mind. But, always, if you don't want to get my emails anymore, just "Unsubscribe" at the bottom.
I look forward to seeing you or hearing from you. If you're on Facebook (I know, Cambridge Analytica, oy, but I have chosen to remain -ha- since it's the only way I can reach some friends), Instagram (owned by Facebook, you know, oy again), or Twitter, then you can find me there, too. Or occasionally, I will post on my blog, but am a little miffed that the blogspot app seems to have disappeared and am at a loss about how to update it using my phone, therefore it's a bit moribund right now . . . ahh, technology. Back to the autoharp!
I started this email list back in 2005. When Billy and I started touring together in 2008, we combined our email lists. You are on this list because you signed up at a Jeni or a Billy or a Jeni & Billy show over the years. Or you put your email in the sign-up box on the home page of the Jeni & Billy or Jeni Hankins website. Or, on rare occasions, you gave me your business card or wrote a note on a piece of paper and asked me to add you to this list. No one has ever been added to this list without their permission. I will never share this list or your contact details with anyone else. And Hostbaby, who host this list on their server, cannot share your information either.
This email list is a simple one. If you are subscribed, you will get all of my newsletters. I don't have software for sending newsletters to specific geographic regions, dog-lovers, onion-avoiders, or fans of Strictly Come Dancing. So, if you are in Bora Bora and this email is about a tour in Greenland, you will get it anyway. But when I play in Bora Bora, the Greenlanders will have to hear about the upcoming Bora Bora shows and see the photos of warm sandy beaches and grass-roofed huts while they sit over a fire in their down jackets. I cannot exempt people from getting certain emails, etc. So, you are all in or out.
If you get this newsletter at an email address that's old and smells of socks, you can always update your profile using the button at the bottom, and add your new shiny email wearing it's bow-tie or best hat.
Thanks for reading and for being interested in what I make!