Q&A May 2011, Part III
6/10/2011 (updated 6/10/2011)

I'm not sure on the logistics or economics but have you ever considered putting various shows from your tours (current or past) on line available for download (for a fee of course)? An official bootleg series if you will.  I have noted other bands with a great live reputation are doing and would be more than happy to pay for a live recording of a current tour of yours especially if you are not touring the Antipodes at the time. Of course my next question is any plans to play some gigs back in Australia. All the best, Shaun Cronin

We're always looking for ways to give the fans what they would like to hear, and this is an area we're already considering. Working on a plan for Australia…

Off the top of my head, I can't think that you have done much in the way of songwriting collaborations since Dave Swarbrick in the days of Fairport. Is this something deliberate - ie. do you avoid working with other people in this way, or have you attempted to write songs with other people and it just hasn't worked out? Jim Howard

I find it an uncomfortable thing to get into, but I find the results really good sometimes…so I am a reluctant collaborator, but I admit it can work.

I am a huge fan and have seen you solo and with the band perhaps 35 times. Not once have I been present for a performance that was anything less than outstanding. Now, I am happy to admit that you are one of the music world's best performers, live and in studio, but I do have a question: As with anyone who "goes to work" and even among those who truly love their jobs, there are days when, for whatever reason, you're just not in the mood. For some the solution is a "mental health day" but for you, especially with your demanding schedule, that is a near-impossibility. My question is, how do you manage to perform so well and so consistently, even and those days when you're just "not in the mood" or you're not feeling well or your voice and/or fingers are fatigued? Thanks for the decades of superb music. You are my absolute favorite. Rick Geyer, Bay Shore, NY

I can't do a Miles Davis or a Van Morrison, and just go through the motions (or not even) and piss everybody off, if I'm not feeling it. First of all, I think it's important to be physically as ready as possible - fit, well-rested and limbered up - and mentally prepared to perform. Then you've taken care of your end of things. Then there are all the million things that can go wrong - power cuts, horrendous sound, flight delays or traffic jams that can have you scrambling to make the show - that are beyond your control, but you somehow have to deal with and overcome. People have paid to see you, so you have to do your best, even if you are experiencing some enormous problem. There are truly gigs where the sound on stage is so bad that you are playing and singing pretty much from memory, but you do your best, and tomorrow is another day. What I hate the most is having a blister, or losing my voice, and having to compensate in order to get through the show. Those are usually the nights when someone comes up afterwards and says, "Wow! Best show I ever saw!".

If you were going to put together an all-star rock/folk rock band, who would be your 2 guitarists (excluding yourself), keyboard player, bassist and drummer? My wife uses a wheelchair and doesn't get out much, but will go anywhere, anytime to see you play. Thanks for all the great shows (about 30 and counting) and making our lives more fun. Dave Hinder

Rock bands have been done to death, but a dream folk rock combo could plunder the best of the UK scene:

Martin Carthy
Martin Simpson
Dave Pegg
Dave Mattacks
Richard Harvey
Maddie Prior
Sandy Denny

Too many girl singers? Too many boy guitarists? Not enough fiddlers?

Re: RT Folk Rock Guitar Lessons On the Music Path iPad App
Any chance these RT lessons will make it onto a media that folks without an iPad can access? Regards, Mike Trent

Too technical a question for me really. I know that the iPad has the touch screen which makes possible some great shortcuts, and that might be applicable to the iPhone. Beyond that I couldn't say, but it sure looks/sounds good on the iPad.