Northern Germany – week 5

The last couple days have been harbor days. I’m spending time traveling between many of the Northern German Hanseatic cities that I learned about when I studied Scandinavian History in Oslo, Norway in 2010. It’s something else to see those places in person and what they once were and exist in the places where those trading empires once thrived. Being a West Coast American, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with historical places, old buildings, ruins, when you realize the oldest buildings you grow up around are from 1896. July 3rd I travelled with Heiko in his van to Bremerhaven to play at Passage Kino to a lovely local audience. I’m still amazed by how Germany is just a fantastic place to play music. After playing, Heiko and I retrieved Vietnamese food from the venue and headed down to the docks, where the sun was setting in the west, creating lines of color in the distance. The unfortunate thing about the curry we got at the restaurant is they forgot to give us forks, so we were stuck, laughing about the situation while trying to eat curry and rice with our hands and using the pieces of peppers as spoons. Let me tell you, it’s not easy! Bremerhaven is one of Germany’s main ports where ships arrive with cargo containers. Got to see a cargo vessel guided in by a pair of tug boats. The horn sounding from the ship echoing off the hill in the night. What a great way to end the night after another wonderful gig. It also happens that Bremerhaven was one of the major emigration ports was that so very many people traveled from to America and Canada. I wonder if any of my ancestors left through Bremerhaven. I’m curious enough to do the research. Yesterday, July 4th, I took a train from Bremen to Hamburg to Kiel, Germany to play at Prince Willy Cafe. Willy is a gentle type with a great smile and a humble personality. I played to a wonderful crowd, many who had heard my music on or an announcement of the show on the radio in Kiel. People listen to the radio here which is so fantastic. I’ve found that promotion makes all the difference too! For those of you who may be far from Kiel check out this video I uploaded last night of me playing a piano version of Reaching Jefferson, warming up for the show: I had my first real moment in weeks where I had thought about going home, missing one of my favorite holidays, 4th of July. I guess I’m a bit of a pryo. The tour is sadly coming to an end. It, like all things that you love seem like they last forever but are gone in a flash. I have to say though, this wont be my last trip out. More ideas are in the works for future European tours and trips to record. For now, I’m just looking forward to the concert in Hamburg and trying to take things day by day. I’m going to miss Germany. Everyone here has been so wonderful to me. I have looked forward to each day that I’ve had the chance to play here. What an amazing ride it has been. Right now, it’s one more trip by train… and I’m on it right now, from Kiel to Hamburg to meet Paul Creane and The Changing Band for a show tonight. I’m really looking forward to seeing those guys. It’s nice to have Irish brothers. They say that I’m turning a bit Irish. I don’t know about that, but it’s nice to have these guys around. We all take care of one another and work so well together. Paul and I were talking the other night about how it feels strange, like we have known each other for years. As all the Irish boys would say “Cool beans!”

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