Realising - albeit belatedly - the opportunity provided by the recent explosion of Zoom-type music events, I decided to embark on a virtual world tour of online open mics and singer-songwriter sessions. My first foray into this internet-based form of globetrotting was, by pure chance, on 1 January 2021, but that gave me a vision for the coming year – a year that has started out pretty much where its predecessor left off. In that vision, this is the year my songs will be heard everywhere across the pandemic-struck world where an online live music session exists!
So far, while not stepping out of my log cabin studio at the bottom of my garden in Somerset, England, I have played in Tallahassee, Florida, Oslo, Norway, and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and it’s been heartwarmingly wonderful! To get to play to brand-new, appreciative audiences is fabulous in itself – and for them to be spread all across the world is the absolute icing on the cake! Tonight I’m performing a 30-minute set in Tucson, Arizona, which I’m looking forward to pulling out my southwestern desert-type songs for.
I came across Virtual Open Mic Tallahassee on Facebook. It’s hosted each Friday evening on StreamYard by singer-songwriter Robynn O’Leary and her co-host Adam, and is broadcast on Facebook. The night I first went along (and it certainly was ‘night’ for me rather than evening – it’s midnight in the UK when it’s 7 p.m. in Florida…), there were about five or six other performers, including Robynn, Adam, a heavy-rock duo, a pianist with a big, theatrical voice and a singer-songwriter from Nashville. For some reason my internet connection was particularly unstable that night, which was disappointing, as it made it very difficult for me to join in with the chat between songs. But everyone was so welcoming that I made a return visit to the state capital of Florida the following Friday night, when my internet connection was much more reliable. It was another really enjoyable session, and although the initial idea of the world tour was to visit as many sessions as possible, the friendships I’m forging there have made me think that it’s better to make repeat visits to the same sessions as a way of getting to know people better and familiarising people with my music. And just because it's more fun that way!
To be continued...