Norman News

Here we dun go

SHOW – Portland, Tuesday Oct 23rd, Kenton Club in North Portland

The World Record – 8:30
Garret Pierce – 9:15
Norman – 10pm
Special Guest! – 11pm

The World Famous Kenton Club in North Portland

Ron Toms Show

Burnside Musicfest Northwest Party – Ron Toms (in Portland) - Saturday the 8th (tomorrow) – 3:30 in the afternoon is when we play

Facebook thing here

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!”

Germany week 2

Four weeks into tour, jeez almost five actually, and things only seem to be getting easier, which could be my mind is just playing tricks on me.  Usually tour can be an exhausting task, but the crew at Songs and Whispers has done a stellar job in organizing things and keeping both Paul and me current on all the happenings.

I have to say I’m a bit disappointed that Germany lost the game to Italy last night in the Semi’s for the Euro Cup.  However, Germany fans in the NW of Germany will have another week and a half of shows to look forward to instead.
Yesterday was a great experience, and a highlight of the tour.  I had the chance to work with the music students at Altes Gymnasium in Bremen on a couple of my songs, and lead a workshop on song writing.  I’ve been involved in 3 of these workshops and all of them have been nothing short of amazing.  There is nothing more wonderful than sharing the gift of music with other people.  That’s what being a musician is all about.  Working with kids and giving them the opportunity to meet with and ask questions of a touring musician from another country is such a unique experience.  I wish I would have had that opportunity as a student.  Very awesome kids with amazing talent.  I’ve made friends for life with some of the students.  We’ll keep in touch and I’ll continue to work with them on their song writing, sharing music, and listening to their progress.
I’ve got to close this blog for today, as I am in a rush to get out the door to drive Ostrittrum toplay at Hof Schweers.  Looking forward to playing a farm!  I’ll be in touch.
Check out this video of me rehearsing with the students at Altes Gymnasium and ENJOY!  —

Germany and The Netherlands part 1

I’m having a such a wonderful time touring this part of the world. Sharing the tour with Paul Creane and his band of wonderful Irish brothers has been nothing short of amazing. I had an absolute blast yesterday working with students at School Voor De Kunsten in Groningen, Netherlands, where I lead a workshop on songwriting and song craft. It’s such an exciting thing to see such a dedication by young people to all forms of art and music, and a school program that is completely dedicated to the arts. It was an honor to share their classroom and play for them as well.

After visiting the school I spent time in a part of the old side of Groningen, checking out the record shops. Oh man, I found a particularly great one that carried tons of 60′s psych called “The Magic Buzz” and picked up a couple of comps. I totally recommend going there if you find yourself in Groningen. The owner is wonderful and knowledgable. I waited outside Kroeg van Klaas for it to open from across the street at a little cafe, where I traded playing a couple of my songs (by request) for a cup of coffee and a glass of wine. Locals gathered around and sure enough, before long people on bicycles were stopping to catch a listen. Pictures were taken, laughs were had and so many good memories.

After playing a comfortable set at Kroeg van Klaas for some locals and even some of the students that stopped by from the school, I packed up to drive back to Bremen for the night. One thing I’ll always remember is the kindness of the bartender, and looking back at the bar from across the street, hearing the echo of my music, “Hay, Hay, Make a Wish” playing over the bar stereo. I’m living one of my life dreams, spreading my music all across the land. Thanks for listening. I’ll update again soon! Cheers, Eric

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