If you can, head over to our client Marie Marshall’s poetry blog and see if you can put a tune to some words she came up with one night.
Talking of twanging guitars, It’s festival time here in Scotland, and Paul is out-and-about. If you spot him at The Foodies Festival in Inverleith Park, Edinburgh, or at the International Book Festival in Charlotte Square, or at Edinburgh Fringe events such as Harry Venning’s ‘Release Your Inner Cartoonist’ (the Pleasance, Venue 33) rubing shoulders with ‘Clare’ (see opposite), say hello! The twanging of guitars was what was happening at Perth’s Southern Fried Festival, which took place over the last weekend in July. It is Scotland’s biggest celebration of Americana and regularly hosts musical acts from both sides of the Atlantic. Paul was visiting on behalf of the Scottish review site ‘The Mumble’, and managed to see, and in many cases meet, some really interesting musicians, along with other festival-goers. There were performances from the likes of Martha Fields, aka ‘Texas Martha’, Black Diamond Express, Yola Carter, Imelda May, Dean Owens, Daniel Meade & the Flying Mules, Amythyst Kiah, Andy Fairweather-Low, and many more.
One exciting pre-festival event was a press and media briefing, and premier of American Epic, a four-part documentary series which will be shown this coming winter on BBC4 in the UK and PBS in the USA. The documentary, which took ten years research, uses hitherto undiscovered archive material, and documents not only the sudden flood of recordings of blues, bluegrass, and other grassroots music, but the technology that gave rise to it – along with the reason why so much of both the archive and the technology was lost during the Depression and World War 2. Co-writer and producer Allison McGourty was interviewed after the premier, and took part in a question-and-answer session.
Paul says, “I look forward to this festival every year, and every year it seems to go from strength to strength.” Amongst the highlights for him were “… meeting and talking to Yola Carter and Martha Fields, both of whom were utterly charming… getting to know Marc Marnie, the larger-than-life photographer, who has been photographing musicians since 1977… hearing Imelda May live… eating soul food… chatting to Lloyd Reid about Hofner arch-top guitars…” Some of Paul’s memories of the weekend are captured in the photos here.
Images © Paul Thompson / Bookseeker Agency