So in June, I went travelling for a few weeks. Well actually, driving! I travelled from Austin, TX to New York City (my favourite place in the world!) - which was approx. 2200 miles. Yep - a long way! It was a music road trip of sorts, incorporating influential music cities whilst showcasing my own original music along the way... Here's an abbreviated journey through my explorations... Austin, Texas (stop one) was a stunning place - bright, clean, HOT (but I did go to visit in June!) & door to door music venues, all with talented players filling the street with the glorious sound of deep blues & rock music. Next up was New Orleans. Now I've always thought I'd like it there, but it was another level of what I had imagined. On every corner stood an amazing band, usually with the most talented brass section you think you've ever heard, then there were again multiple streets of door to door music clubs & the people were just the sweetest. Despite many of them not having much at all, they were all still smiling. You can just feel the history in NOLA. The vibe is unforgettable. It stole my heart. I didn't really want to leave to be honest, but onwards I went... Next stop, Memphis, Tennessee. Again, we all know the many reasons Memphis is on the 'music map' but visiting Graceland was so incredibly inspiring & actually quite emotional personally. I recently covered Heartbreak Hotel off the back of taking in that crazy place that Elvis used to call home. Check it out on Youtube here. Then I travelled to Nashville. What a place Nashville is! So colourful, so happy! The transition into country music was super clear here! Again, I didn't see a single restaurant without live music featuring. It's just everywhere (I wish London was like this!). Nashville was a very happening place and I'd happily pop back there just for a taste of the positivity it offered in the weekend I spent there. Then, heading North, we stopped in Durham, North Carolina. This was an open mic stop for me to showcase some Charlotte Lubbock specials! Americans are such a great crowd. I've done so many gigs around the UK and getting a real welcome out of a British audience can be seriously hard work (no offence Brits... but it's the reserved thing we all have in us here!). In the US, they're so inviting and supportive. It's bloody lovely. Then on the home stretch, Washington DC was a very London like city. Lots of good food & cocktails (what's not to like?) & then finally to NYC to finish this dreamy time away. I sang at another show in NYC (the oldest open mic in the city actually) & spent the rest of the time wandering around pretending I lived there. 'Cos that's the dream really isn't it? Playing music on your very own rooftop overlooking the New York City skyline. Well, it's my dream!
If you're ever thought about going to any of these destinations, DO IT! Book it right now and have the trip of your life. I've got enough memories from that one trip to last a lifetime. Truly magical.