2009 went out with a bang at Casa de Rossi, an assortment of dancefloor emperors and a Frenchman who stole my Stetson to use to his advantage. Next thing I know I'm on a plane to Sao Paulo with the worst turbulance I've ever experienced. It was great to be back in Brazil after 16 years. Spending time with good friends, swimming, eating healthily, and generally relaxing. The calm before the storm that was Argentina, which wasn't so calm. I did two acoustic shows in Buenos Aires which went down well. I was lucky to meet up with some musicians who learned and practiced my songs well, and we enjoyed playing together. Two of the Argentinian band are currently working with me on next years album releases 'Herencia' and 'The Brink'. I travelled across the country by bus, bound for Chile as I had another gig booked in Santiago. Though tragedy struck with the collosal earthquake and I had to turn back, so I flew back to Buenos Aires. Luckily we managed to book another date in Santiago so the show went ahead. Again it was a pleasure to play with musicians who actually bother to learn and practice the songs, it's been a rare thing for me in Europe so it's exciting when it does happen. I ended up playing three sets in Santiago. First an acoustic set, then a few songs with a brilliant Pink Floyd tribute band Brain Damage, then a full band set with Anathema tribute Eternity. I decided to stay in Chile after that, following an amazing gesture from Dutch legends The Gathering. They had planned a benefit show in aid of the earthquake victims, with all the proceeds going to the charity. Rene Rutten even raffled one of his guitars to raise more money. I was invited to get involved so I booked a later flight out of Chile. Unfortunately I was struck down with a virus a few days earlier and it only got worse. I managed to catch most of the gig though and it was a great experience to be part of such a special night. Just a pity I wasn't fit enough to get involved more. Big respect to The Gathering! Next up was Mexico where I just relaxed and went horseriding and did Mexican stuff for a couple of months. During which time the Immaculada album was released. Returning to Europe was a bit of a comedown really. It was great to catch up with friends but a different universe compared to the Latin American adventures. I did some more gigs in France then played around the Irish bars in Portugal a couple of months later. Then it was time to get back to work again and start preparations for my upcoming albums. Firstly a collection of traditional and medieval songs with Argentinian flautist Augusto Reinhold, which is being handled by UK independent label Music In Stone. Then late 2011 will see the debut of my new Alternative 4 project 'The Brink' for which currently in discussions about the release. I also did some session work for Corde Oblique and Greek spaceheads Phase. Then I decided to return to Latin America to continue with the pre-production for my projects. The North American release of Immaculada is approaching in mid-January, I'll post more details soon. At the time of writing I'm recovering from a serious illness that could have gotten much worse if I wasn't looked after by people here in Guadalupe, Mexico. Infinite thanks and gratitude for that. For anyone interested, The Yuen Method has been a great help to me in recent weeks. I'd advise everyone to check it out as I've never experienced anything like it. Onwards and upwards!
Best wishes to everyone for 2011, even the 'wellwishers' and those sporting the evil eye! Light over darkness everytime la.