Wishing everyone reading this a very happy, prosperous, peaceful and musical New Year. May 2024 bring you everything that you desire – . As has become traditional I present below my Top 10 SK highlights of 2023, which (tied with 2019!) has been my very best ever….2024, you have a lot to live up to.
1 – I started 2023 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and to tour in Argentina as a professional musician and to travel in this incredible country was the culmination of a lifetime’s dream – . The people here were so kind, and the shows fantastic, and it was a great privilege for me to be featured on Argentinian Television (watch here and see photo one below) and in the newspapers. Already working hard on a return tour as soon as is practicable.
2 – Performing my first ever concerts in beautiful Brazil, again a life-changing experience and one I very much hope I have the opportunity to repeat. Was great to make the printed press there too, which you can read here.
3 – My favourite English Tour to date, taking in disparate and fascinating locations such as the Isle of Wight, Margate, Barton upon Humber, Sheffield and King’s Lynn, England and the audiences had a hard act to follow after my South American sojourn but I’m happy to say they managed it with ease – !
4 – The release in Spring of the video for ‘Still So Far To Go’, filmed near San Juan, Argentina during my time there. Filmed by Victor Suizer of Suizer Imagen, it surpassed all of our expectations and if you haven’t seen it, please watch it here – and of course, please help me fulfil some New Year ambition and subscribe to the channel here if you haven’t already.
5 – Three long years after commencing the composition of the solo piece for classical guitar ‘Moonrise Over Mostar’, I Simon Kempston finally released my debut album for classical guitar of the same name, featuring 12 original compositions. You may purchase the album here, if you are interested – and I’m delighted to announce this journey is one I certainly intend to follow up in the future.
6 – Five long years have passed since I last performed in Finland and late July saw me return for a series of fantastic and well attended shows. Finland, I missed you, and the chance to travel and perform in Eastern Finland in the beautiful locations of Savonlinna and Koli has heightened my desire to return again much sooner.
7 – Another year, another triumph at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a highlight being the lunchtime show with Paul Tasker, Songs Without Words, which received five star reviews and award nominations (sadly on this occasion we didn’t win but it was great to receive some recognition for what we’re trying to do with the show). The collaboration is set for an even bigger and brighter 2024.
8 – My 8th tour of Canada, this time only in the East, in Ontario and Quebec, an area of this amazing country I’d only briefly been to before. I really enjoyed it, very different from Western Canada, but just as beautiful, it’s a country which never fails to inspire me. People of the West, fear not, I’m coming back this year – !
9 – To see in print my contribution to the new Blaze Foley book, compiled and edited my Kai and Carmen Nees and available (German only) here – It looks fantastic and is a worthy testament to one of my own songwriting inspirations.
10 – The best SK Autumn Tour yet – taking in Belgium, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, audiences were really appreciative and enthusiastic about the songs and the new instrumental music, whilst the press reviews were highly complimentary and it gave me a lot of confidence building into 2024 and the tours to come.
Once again I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to anyone who has hosted a concert and/or helped me on the road in any way, attended a concert, purchased an album, subscribed to my YouTube Channel or followed my Instagram Page, read my posts and website blogs and written supportive messages and comments. The support has been amazing, and I simply could not continue in this incredible yet insane life of a troubadour without you all.
2024, you have a lot to live up to….but for those of you asking, you shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear new album of songs, please don’t worry – !
Here’s hoping 2024 shall be a successful and prosperous year for us all – may you all be healthy, wealthy and wise in the year to come.