Livin’, Louvin, Losin’

Nope - not a typo! The Louvin Brothers were an American musical duo composed of brothers Ira (the taller of the two) and Charlie Louvin who performed secular country music, as well as fire and brimstone Gospel. The album cover shown above is for the latter. Designed by Ira Louvin, the cover features the brothers standing …

Gandy Dancers

Continuing my preparation for the upcoming 'Tracks Of The Deep South' Tour and I came across the Gandy Dancers. Their songs, combined with the spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants of Black America feed directly into the creation of the Blues, and since we'll be visiting Beale Street, Memphis, the birthplace of the Blues, …

Zydeco or Cajun?

Think of New Orleans and you think of Jazz, or at least that's the prevailing wisdom. When I think of visiting New Orleans I tend to think of it being another opportunity to enjoy both Zydeco & Cajun music - but what are they exactly, and what is the difference between them? In simple terms, …

Do You Know What It Means…?

Continuing research today for the upcoming 'Tracks of the Deep South' Tour (or, as I like to call it 'The Music Tour'). I'm looking at New Orleans at the moment. Sometime in the next few days I'll post a blog entry about the differences between 'Cajun' and 'Zydeco' music and why I love them both. …

The Million Dollar Quartet

My next Tour is a second chance to enjoy the "Tracks of the Deep South", a romp through the musical heritage of the USA and some of the slightly less well visited states and places in my favourite country. It's early days yet, but I'm beginning to start the process of doing my homework on …

China

Well, it’s a funny old world. I’m in China. This is interesting because I shouldn’t be, at least not yet... My Grand Tour of China tour got brought forward by a week due to some problems for the Tour Manager due to operate it, so I ended up going to work a week earlier than …

Cruising the Douro

We had a lovely, peaceful day cruising down the Douro river from Barca d'Alva on the Spanish border to Peso da Régua. It took all day, but the weather was perfect and the river was almost completely empty of other traffic. https://vimeo.com/234671125

Home

Got back home from Sicily last night and slept for 9 hours, then today. Unpacked.Completed PaperworkPosted QuestionnairesPolished ShoesWalked DogReceived Information pack for next Tour in 7 days Now, relax with glass of red and a very garlicky Spaghetti Bolognese for dinner. And the music to do it all by comes from the woman with one …

Fame at last!

There's a new Great rail Journeys video on their web site, and I'm in it! I'm waiting by the phone for offers from the major studios. A new world beckons - I shall mingle with the stars, live in Hollywood and be constantly followed by Paparazzi no doubt. Fame, wealth, and glamour are calling me. …

Hotel Room Hacks

I once calculated (It's amazing what you do trying to stay awake on a long night flight) that I had spent nearly nine years of my life staying in hotel rooms). If that sounds even slightly exotic to you, then you probably don't travel that much! Over the years I have picked up several good …

How To Pack For A Tour

The internet is chock full of advice on how to pack a bag efficiently. There's so much advice that it's tough to know which method to choose. Part of the answer lies in asking what kind of Tour you're on? Sometimes the tour will stay at one destination hotel exclusively, so you'll only need to …

America’s Founding History

I'm now in the final stages of prep for this tour, and I have to say that I'm rather looking forward to it. In just under two weeks we cover a little bit of the early colonies (Jamestown), The American Revolution (Yorktown), The Civil War (Gettysburg & Virginia) and The Declaration of Independence/Constitution (Monticello, Washington …

Hyperlapse Manhattan

There are no end of Manhattan videos available but this one is really something different and special. If your bandwidth allows, run in HD and full screen. I'll be there in two weeks and will need to photographically up my game if only for my self respect. https://vimeo.com/217449774

The Transamerican Rail Tour

Summer is starting to get busier - after a short rest, I'm already preparing for the next tour and this time it's the big one, the Cadillac of tours; the one that I joined for. It's some way out but so far the weather looks to be more settled than the last time I did this …

Tracks of the Deep South

My next tour leaves on Saturday - Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans and Houston. This is going to involve all of my favourite music! From now on I'm going to need to do a Welcome Meeting for my clients on the first morning. Nothing too fancy, just a chance for the clients to know what …

Hurt

With just over a week to go before I set off on the 'Tracks of the Deep South' Tour and I'm getting myself in the mind set with Dusk-to-Dawn Country, Blues, Cajun, Zydeco & Jazz loaded on the iPhone and streaming from room to room. I keep returning to one song. Despite all his previous excellent …

Southern Rock Reborn

Try and imagine... Bonnie Raitt is working in a recording studio when in walk the Allman Brothers Band and ask to join the set as do various Jazz & Soul session musicians. Next, add to the recipe a little of the improv feel of a good Dave Matthews Band gig, a sip from the whiskey jar of …

Amtrak Conductors

Dawn Albuquerque, New Mexico This photo caught my eye because it captures some of my favourite things about travel with Amtrak in the USA. Firstly, the metallic coach exterior; for me there is something exciting about this exterior finish which may be related to my airline background. It just looks more appealing to my eyes. Secondly, the …

Airlines: the pre-Truth industry

A compelling case for change?

Learmount.com

Airline pilots today are obliged to steer their machines according to an instrument discovered in the earth’s Iron Age: the magnetic compass. Ships’ commanders only use that these days if all else fails.

By modern navigation standards the magnetic compass is not an accurate device. An aviator flying along a magnetic meridian toward either the North or South Magnetic Pole flies “a wiggly track” according to the Geomagnetism Team of the British Geological Survey. The pilot’s magnetic compass may display a constant heading, but the aircraft relying on it follows the gently wandering vagaries of the earth’s dipolar magnetic field.

In 2011 a Boeing 737 suffered a fatal crash on approach to land because of the artificially-induced complexities of a navigation system based on Magnetic North in a digital era (detail later). All four crew and eight of the 11 passengers were killed.

Modern aviation navigation can be conducted using…

View original post 1,467 more words

Thunderstruck

Spain often surprises in extraordinary ways, particularly when it comes to the sheer variety and enthusiasm for displays of local heritage. Provinces throughout the country take fierce pride in their regional traditions as demonstrated here by a Galician band 'A Rondalla Santa Eulalia de Mos' playing (unexpectedly well) a cover of the AC/DC song 'Thunderstruck'. Bagpipes are …