Dirk's letter to his friends (July 9, Summer Tour 2008)
hello to all and sundry—
(whatever that means)
it's dirk from my bed and breakfast in ferrara, italy. so i arrived here somethin' like two weeks
ago. this summer i'm playing solo shows, duo shows and concerts fronting "the bluesmen", an italian band that
plays blues, rock and swing. we began as a 'project'and now are all friends and have grown into
a...'thing' i guess you could call it. we do classic blues and rock tunes but mostly original stuff. i co-wrote and sang "come with me"on their newest CD, "wild in the country" and will at some point, God
willing, release another album with them. our first album "dirk hamilton and the bluesmen: sometimes ya'
leave the blues out on the road" is still available, i think.
the day before yesterday we did a press
conference in bologna. we sat in a room at city hall
and answered questions about this prison gig we were
doing the next day. i guess it was kind of a big deal
because it's the first time in italy a profession band
went into a prison to perform a show. so the next day
we went to la dozza prison and played a concert
followed by performances by the inmates. some
interesting stuff went down there. some of the
inmates sounded and looked mid-eastern and did some
pretty exotic singing and playing. apart from a couple
disturbances between residents and cops where they had
to drag a few guys out kickin' and screamin' for some
reason, it was a good vibe occasion and everybody
seemed to have a pretty good time.
in predore, a beautiful little town near brescia, i played a
solo concert in a deconsecrated cathedral. the acoustics
were way too echoey, as always in those places, but i've
played tougher cathedral gigs and the soundman was
good and everybody seemed to dig the show so....good.
it's good to be back in italy. i've been coming
here for twenty (gulp) years now. it's great to play
these tours with italian musicians because we don't
have to pay for everybody's room and board so we don't
have to jam 15 gigs in 15 cities in 18 days and that
makes this old boy very happy. inotherwords, i don't
have to half kill myself and every gig is a pleasure
not a trial as it gets to be with one nighters.
i've been hangin' out with commander cody and his
band because they have the same promoter as me and
we just happen to be in ferrara at the same time. we're
sharing a bill together in l'aquila july 18th and that
should be fun. the commander is, of course, quite
wacky and a fun hang and the guys in the group are
cool and it's great to be able to speak english for a
change. nobody speaks english in my band and it's no
problem for me to speak italian but it's refreshing to
get to speak without conjegating verbs and trying to
make genders agree in sentences etc., the commander
and i reminisced about a gig we played in (i'm gulping
again) 1971. it was commander cody, sopwith camel and
the first dirk hamilton band. it was in wastsonville,
california. it was at a time when no dentists, lawyers
or businessmen owned harleys and, anyway, an absolute
orgy of violence ensued. i remember driving out of
that field for our lives, the stage aflame twenty feet
high. the commander tells me he saw one guy stabbed
to death and says two others were killed. strange to
get this information thirty somethin' years after the
fact. it did seem like a notable event to me. i was
surprised i heard nothing about it in the news. of
course i didn't pay much attention to the news back
then or watch TV much.
anyway, i'll be here until august 16th. august
31 i'll be playing the kerrville wine and music
festival in texas and the 29th i'll be sharing the
bill with somebody at the new casbeers in san antonio.
i'm not even sure what they're calling the new club
but with steve and barbara calling the shots, i'm sure
it will be a very hip (hip in the old sense) venue.
oh yeah, and we've recorded a new album in los
angeles. i think it's going to be called 'coming to
light'. my friend, the beautiful and talented craig
eastman produced and is mixing it right now. it's
about half band stuff (my beloved, incredible american
guys) and half solo or duo stuff. my writing has
taken a turn to a more roots and words direction. i
think this is a very cool album. i'm a proud daddy.
as soon as we get it mixed and i find the money to
master and press it it will be available for your
please keep buying ALBUMS (CDS). we recording
artists need your support and because you're on this
list, i'm betting you love the idea of the album as an
art form too.
luck, love and happiness to you all!