Q&A November 2011, Part I
12/5/2011 (updated 12/5/2011)

Re: George Harrison
Have you seen the George Harrison film by Martin Scorsese (George Harrison: Living in the Material World)? What did you think of George Harrison as a guitarist, musician, songwriter? Ramona Cunningham

I did see Living In The Material World, and I enjoyed it and thought it presented a good balanced viewpoint, and gave a few interesting insights as well. I thought he was an ever-improving guitarist - fairly painful on the early stuff, to being accomplished on his later solo work. I always liked his songs, often the most interesting and structurally daring on any Beatles album, and as a human being he seemed a genuinely spiritual man.

My two favorite musicians are you(Richard Thompson, if you are the one reading) and Frank Zappa. I was wondering if you two had ever met, had any thoughts on him, or had ever even heard of him? Thank for the years of great music, and happy days to you! Jake Jericho

I never met Frank Zappa. I enjoyed some of the Mothers' music, and I thought Frank was a very original guitarist, one that I would not try to emulate.

Very occasionally you have mentioned an interest in birdwatching. Is this an interest that you have had for some time or did it develop after you moved to California? I live in Scotland but have greatly enjoyed birding in San Diego when I have had the opportunity to go there. The birds there seem to be both more colourful and more approachable than in UK

I've been a bird watcher for about 25 years - Simon Tassano, my tour manager/engineer, and Danny Thompson are both keen ornithologists. It's a great thing to do on the road, visiting different countries and habitats. I regularly travel to Central America, where they are even more colourful.

Do you put out feeders in your garden for hummingbirds and other species and, if so, what do you get? One of my SD highlights was doing a Birdfest cruise down to the Coronados Islands and seeing the likes of Black-footed and Laysan Albatross and Brown Booby. I'd love to do one of the seabird cruises in Monterey Bay. Have you ever done one of these?

If you put out feeders for birds, you need to be consistent, as they will come to rely on the food source. As I spend a lot of time on the road, it does not make good sense. I've been to the Coronados Islands, but only land-based birding around Monterey Bay, including the wonderful Elkhorn Slough.

One of the reasons I prefer cds to downloads is that downloads rarely come with the artwork sleevenotes, lyrics etc that accompany the cd. Looking at the Strict Tempo piece in the website I get the impression that the notes for the album only come with the cd. Is this correct? I don't understand why downloads cannot come with sleeve notes included in the form of a pdf file. Sometimes this happens, but this is rare. (FRoots magazine now have their compilation albums in downloadable form with a pdf included in the folder). Is it because you prefer to sell cds to downloads? Thanks, Graham Thursby

I don't know the answers - I'll check.

Recently saw your show at the Keswick Theatre. Despite hearing them for the first time, I really enjoyed both of the two new songs-- I believe they were called Northern Winds and Good Things Happen to Bad People. Does the introduction of two new songs so soon after the release of Dream Attic imply that a follow-up album might appear sooner as opposed to later? Just hoping! Russ in Pennsylvania

I try to introduce some new songs as they become available. I'm working on new acoustic and electric projects, and most likely the electric would come out first.