Hi Everybody,

I’ve just been reminded that it was December since I wrote to you last. Please accept my apologies, but time flies when you’re enjoying yourself, as they say!

My Christmas and New Year was quiet and family-oriented here in Edinburgh and that’s how I like it... ideally followed by a holiday in ‘dreich’ January - but not this year sadly.

I missed the ‘Far, Far from Ypres’ set at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections because I went off to Bristol to record my new album, 'Through Line’ with John O’Hara, who arranged and produced it for me. He’s a masterful musician and treated the songs with the loving care which I hoped would be the case. The album is terrific and I can only apologise to you all for its delay in being released. This was entirely due to permission we needed for a poem to feature on the CD. The story is that this permission wasn't forthcoming until mid-April, by which time I’d had to sign off the work to allow everyone to get on with their lives. The poem is not on the album after all, which is sad, but I hope that the rest of the material more than makes up for the delay. I’m hoping for a September release, but please keep visiting us to find out more.

I’m about to go on tour with Nick. We have eight dates, all over the place, coming up from May 7th until the 18th, the latter being a second show in Cardiff due to a sell-out. Talking of which, we’re sold out almost everywhere which is great news for us, having not played or sung together since Ireland last autumn.

At the end of May I’m off again to sing live with Sam Lee and the Nightingales, if they turn up! The wonderful Sam assures me that the birds have arrived and are at Green Farm in Ashford, Kent, where I’ll be visiting them. It’s the most thrilling and emotional of musical offerings and I cannot wait. Thanks to the Nest Collective for organising it all for us.

Nick and I are doing very little live work this year, in anticipation of my big tour in February and March next year with our other band members, Troy, Russell and Brad. David and Colm will be on sound and Gerry is our Stage Manager again. Liz will be our Tour Manager and Jerry Bloom will be our merchandiser, so it’s business as usual, I’m happy to say.

Nick and I do have a festival at Petworth to do when I return from the US at the beginning of August and then I embark on my ‘Far, Far from Ypres’ concerts and, in November, ‘The Ballads of Child Migration’ dates.

I’m already thinking about music for the tour next year and have been writing some songs for the future with the possibility of something being included in the new set for those shows. I already have some ideas and have been talking to Troy. So hopefully something exciting to look forward to.

Thanks for your support, as always!