Howdy! Hope y'all are well :-)
Apologies for the radio silence. I am half way through my 2 month US tour and having the most amazing time so the moment has come for an update and some travel tales.
Before I regale you with my adventures, I have a couple of important announcements regarding my plans on return to the UK...
...I have just had the mixes through for my Limited Edition Christmas EP, "A Winter's Day", which I'll be launching at Stroud Subscription Rooms on December 8th:
It's a 4 track EP including 2 completely new songs, my cover of Autumn Leaves and a remixed version of Turn On The Lights! All copies of the CD will be numbered and signed and we're only printing 100 so get in there quick before they're gone! I can't wait to share it with you guys. Here's the link to preorder http://www.hattiebriggs.co.uk/christmas-ep
With regard to the launch gig itself, I'll be hosting the evening and sharing the stage/collaborating with some wonderful local artists including The Black Feathers (https://theblackfeathers.com/), Natalie Holmes (https://www.facebook.com/natalieholmesmusic/) and Asha McCarthy. The vibe will be Christmassy to say the least and there'll be lots of surprises, laughter and tears as well as mince pies and mulled wine. Tickets and more details here - http://www.subscriptionrooms.org.uk/whats-on/christmas-hats
For dates and details of my US gigs which are being added to the website as they are confirmed (more to go up tomorrow) - http://www.hattiebriggs.co.uk/current-gigs, feel free to email me with questions.
Now, we'd be here all night if I went into detail about everything I've done on this US tour so I'll try to be brief and let the pictures tell a thousand words each (try being the operative word).
We started in Florida, where it was 90 degrees so we spent a lot of time on the beach or in air conditioned rooms. Some very generous friends leant us a soft top VW Beetle with eyelashes to drive around in so we explored a bit of the area including Corkscrew sanctuary where we could hear the alligators calling but couldn't see them, eeek. The same friends organised a beautiful gig for me in their local chapel, which had the best acoustics and sound system ever (check out my Facebook or Instagram feed for some little videos we recorded there). I caught a tan and then it was time to fly to Boston!
Highlights in Boston included discovering how brilliant Uber is, catching up with friends from my days teaching at summer camp in Maine, walking round the city, visiting the aquarium, taking various boat and bus tours, playing a wonderful house concert and making new musical friends, and seeing/getting to know relatives who I hardly ever get to see. I also learned a fair bit about the history surrounding the 4th July, the Patriots and the Minute Men. From Boston we took a train to Connecticut.
In Connecticut we stayed with some lovely friends who happen to also have the surname Briggs though we're not related. Even more coincidentally one of our hosts is called Peter and his middle initial is S - my dad is also Peter S Briggs. While there I played a gig in a cute little cafe called "The Kitchen Table" in Pound Ridge (they also made the best latte of the tour) and wandered around the beautiful countryside. Also drove past a lot of incredibly huge houses including Ryan Reynolds'. Popped into New York for a couple of days on the train to explore and play a Sofar Sounds gig. Highlights included going up the Rockefeller building, visiting The Met, The Harvard Club, 9/11 memorial, Central Park, walking The Highline and all round Manhattan and topping it off by seeing The Lion King musical on Broadway. Shame there's not more to do there.
From New York we jumped on another plane to Oakland near San Francisco where I played two house gigs in San Rafael and Los Altos and then busked at a farmer's market in Stonestown. Also celebrated Oktoberfest while in the area and went to see a Helio Sequence gig with our wonderful hostess, Nancy. We couldn't leave without going into San Francisco itself, so we stayed in a hostel downtown for a couple of nights and walked around Union Square, up to the top of Lombard Street, round Fisherman's Wharf and Embarcadero, round Golden Gate Park where we visited the flower conservatory and the Japanese Tea Garden and anywhere else our feet would carry us. Walking is the only way to get to know a city!
From San Fran we got a shuttle bus south to Monterey where we went for a glorious walk along the coast to Lover's Point and beyond to watch the sunset. The next day we visited our second aquarium of the tour, and this one was even better than Boston's! Having realised after we arrived in Monterey that Pacific Coast Highway buses only go south at weekends apart from during the summer (and it was midweek so we were stranded), we were extremely lucky to get into conversation with a German family who happened to have not only space in their car, but also the exact same plan as we had for the next few days, and the generosity to give us a lift. It was a bit of a tight squeeze, but after seeing all the fish, sharks, sea otters etc we piled into their back seats and headed off toward Big Sur national park, where we stopped for Coffee at Cafe Nepenthe and the views were spectacular. The sun was going down as we wiggled along the highway with the sea stretching out into the distance to our right. I've never seen so many Ford Mustangs in my life - next time I'll have to drive it in a swanky car. Just as we came down from the mountains we stumbled upon a beach absolutely crammed full of elephant seals, so we stopped there to watch the sun set. What hilarious creatures they are, honking, bonking, and sleeping all piled on top of each other ("there's a song in that" - I know you're thinking it). Anyway after it got cold and dark and the smell was no longer bearable we continued on to San Luis Obispo. Once again the luck was with us and that night happened to be the night of the weekly evening farmers market, which was amazing, so we ate there and listened to some live music on the streets before heading back to the hostel and collapsing into bed. The next day we wandered around the Mission then got back in the car with our new German friends for another day of adventure. This included a picnic on the beach at Santa Barbara, then a wander round the pier and downtown area. From there we drove the final couple of hours to LA where I currently reside.
I shall pause my tale at this point and return to it in a week or so's time as I realise that your lives only partially revolve around me and that you may have other things to do with your day. In case you don't, here are several very well recorded live sessions that have come out in the past few weeks and that you may have missed if you don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Enjoy! xxx
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