The first three months of the year are always a mixture of excitement and nervousness about what the remaining months will bring. Unfortunately the year started with more nervousness than usual. I was due to return to work on the 4th January, but the first day didn’t really plan out as expected.

For over seven years I have been working at Intersales Music as a drum teacher. Three years ago I was asked to help manage the teaching school. This involved acting on ideas to bring new students into the school and also creating other opportunities for them to perform. During this period we have produced many student shows, Rockschool courses for those who wish to be in a band and even a theatre production. (See my previous Blog). On the 4th January this year my part in this plan came to abrupt end. I am still currently teaching at Intersales and have no intention of changing this situation, but my responsibilities as Intersales teaching manager are now over.

Of course I went through many thoughts, but I finally came to the decision that drums would still play a major part in my life. I believe the saying goes “As one door closes, another one opens”

Although January is always very quiet with regards to playing, my phone didn’t stop ringing with enquiries for Wild. Paul does a fantastic job of advertising Wild as a band and is very keen to have us performing on a regular basis. Without this passion, I certainly wouldn’t be as busy as I am. Currently I have been booked for most months of the year and Wild is going as strong as ever. My lessons with Intersales have also been consistent and I’m still as passionate about education and the students I teach. I now offer lessons at home and thankfully this has taken off really well. I have also been asked to teach in various educational establishments on a regular basis. The door seems to have definitely opened.

Three months on I have a full diary of teaching and I am also looking forward to playing in Canada next week. I have been recruited by The Pete Turland Band and will be performing at Rusty Reeds House of Blues in Edmonton. Pete has been a long-term friend of mine since the age of sixteen. During the nineties we played in a Rock n Roll band called PT & The Shakers and although we didn’t really play any major events, it certainly helped me progress as a musician. Pete went onto playing with Ray Condo and his Ricochet’s. He has also performed at pretty much every major Folk and Blues festival in Canada as well as the Hemsby Rock & Roll Weekender (England), Viva Las Vegas (USA), the Lincoln Center (New York), the Hollywood Palladium, and on the CBS Good Morning show. With such an impressive back catalogue of major venues, I was really honored that he should have me play drums for him.I will of course keep you up to date with events in Canada through this blog page.

On my return from Canada I shall be back with my usual band Wild, performing five shows for the Derry Jazz Festival. I always look forward to this event because the Northern Irish audiences never disappoint. The whole city is taken over by music fans looking for a good time and great music. I am expecting this year’s event to be extra special because the Festival is celebrating its 10th birthday. As has been the case for the last few years, we shall be releasing our new live album at the festival. I will keep you informed when this will be released on iTunes as soon as I know.

That has just about covered everything, should I have been nervous at the beginning of the year? Was the 4th January a significant part to how the year has turned out so far? Who knows, but I now have only myself to look after and I’m still playing. Advice? Go with what you feel is right and look after your friends.

Thank you for reading, see you in Canada and Northern Ireland.