Tour Diary, August 30, 2023

It’s an easy 4 stop tram ride from our hotel in Dublin to Hueston Station and then onto track 2B for the 2.5 hour train ride from Dublin to Cork. We get to our Airbnb at 3 and then set out to explore the city a bit.

Today that means a walk through the shopping area and buying some feet stuff, bandaids and the like for our hurting hoofs. We find a nice spot to have a cider and some fish and chips on the bank of the river as the sun sets and it’s cool and crisp but not cold.  If you’re a FitBit or step-tracker, we’ve done well over the 10,000 step goals every day we’ve been here.  We love all the walking but our feet let us know we’re doing a lot.

I messaged Rufus Coates and Jess Smithabout meeting up for some coffee/tea/brunch time stuff and it’s going to be great to see them. They are a music duo that have a couple of fantastic albums under the name Rufus Coates and the blackened trees. I think they have started going by just their names now (forgot to ask) but they are amazing. Best I could describe would be Gothic Irish Folk. I love them. They’ve recently moved down to this part of the country and are working on new stuff and a Germany tour in February and they are just the sweetest couple. *

They’re making great plans for their place here in the south of Ireland and I really hope I get to come back and visit them. I would also love for them to get to the U.S. and do some recording in my studio - I think that would just be amazing but there just might be too much sun in California for their music.

From their we wander over to a church/convent that was started by Nano Nagle. She set about educating the poor girls and eventually boys of Cork. Insane story of struggle and strife and British Penal codes and the Catholic Church and Jesus Mary and Stone Face Joseph - this is a lot.  It’s proper interesting/fascinating but it’s a lot.

We finish up by eating at the vegetarian place connected to the convent and my lentil “burger” is quite tasty and Tracy had a poached something or other and there was wine as well.

I’m messaging with my friend Martin Praetorius that I met last year in Galway as he’s sort of in the area now and we make plans to meet at the Corner House for a bit of craic, a drink and to listen to some Irish sessions. Martin is also a songwriter and he’s got some airplay happening right now with a new single. We talk about proper radio djs and we both of course mention Noel Casey.  

Tracy and I get there early and as we walk in I hear someone call my name and it’s my friend Ollie! I haven’t seen him since Inisheer. He’s a crazy bastard in the best sense of the phrase and we all sit down and have a drink. I sort of knew he lived near Cork, didn’t realize it was actually in Cork and just happened to be in the same pub!

World keeps getting smaller.

It was a great session, heard some proper jigs and reels but about 10:30 we figured it’s time to walk the mile back across the river and up the hill to our flat.

We all make plans to meet up again and maybe tomorrow night or maybe next year. Ollie says he might come to LA sometime soon. I tell him he can play my mandolin when he does. “Yeah, but you use that crazy tuning.”  

That’s Ollie. The “crazy tuning” I use is normal mandolin tuning.


*Just seeing Rufus reminds me of the last time he and I hung out in Berlin and it was a drinking night where we got in an argument about which direction his apartment was in. (I was correct)

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