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Writing is Music to a Writer

While plugging away on my next book idea, its always helps to have music playing in the background. For me it is an important part of the writing process, so the subject of this blog is my other passion, which is music.

Most of you know I play acoustic guitar. I also like to dabble on the bass and know a few simple chords on a mandolin, An Irish tenor banjo and a bouzouki – any instrument that can blow up a tank is pretty awesome!

At the advanced age of 37 I decided to learn to play guitar, a decision that did not please my fiancee. Not surprisingly the relationship didn’t last! Over the new few years, I performed around various buskers nights around Newcastle and Gateshead. I must have sounded awful in the early days because let’s face it I was never a great singer. I don’t think I’ve improved much!

I’ve been running the buskers night at the Benton Ale House in Newcastle for over a year and it has been very popular so far. Buskers is great because it gives us amateurs a chance to perform to an audience. Its not about the standard of playing but the enthusiasm you have.

As well as performing, nothing gives me a bigger thrill than to see a great live band. My blog pays tribute to The Tommy Bentz Band, a Wisconsin based three-piece that specialise in rock and blues, original songs and covers. I met Tommy (a brilliant lead guitarist) and his lovely actress wife Jen a few years ago and we’ve become great friends over those years. The band also includes Jason McClean and Alex Burgess – two of the nicest young fellas you could ever meet. All four of them together are a joy to know. As a band, its first class music all the way.

Their recent gig at the Benton Ale House was nothing short of amazing.

On the writing front my date for the Books on Tyne Festival has been confirmed but will let you know in due course. Also waiting on a couple of other things so as usual you should all watch this space!

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