28-Dec-2010 Lookback On 2010

Another fun packed full year – might be an age thing, but they just seem to fly by quicker and quicker!

We’ve continued working closely throughout the year with Anthony John Clarke. His songbook ’50 Songs’ came out as planned in January and is selling well. He also asked us to do a number of support spots at his gigs – most notably the Songbook Launch concerts which took place in Liverpool and Stockport in February (we even sold some of our own CDs)… and a Village Hall concert in March. We’ve designed his website www.anthonyjohnclarke.com and maintain this, we produce Newsletters, we’ve designed flyers, posters, business cards, and all manner of other things for him. We produce basic packaging album and artwork for 5 of his early CDs which are no longer available in full shrink wrap packaging. Sales of these are going well too. We’re currently working on making available all the tracks from his current 12 CDs as purchasable downloads from his website.

We’re still helping Allan Taylor with his website orders and this year have also designed a poster for him and business card. We helped co-ordinate his special birthday celebration (65th) for him in Wengen, Switzerland which took place in September. Fans from all over the world attended and there was full house with over 100 people attending! A lovely evening.

Recording projects with musician friends continue unabated. Throughout the year we’ve been producing a ‘Jim4Kids’ album for Jim Wigfield (we’ve done 2 CDs for him in previous years) which has involved us visiting schools and recording children singing his songs – we even recorded a Samba percussion band for him! Hopefully we can get the last few tracks recorded early in the new year with a Spring release date for the album. In January we did an album for Stewart Shackleton from Cramlington Folk Club, and we’re nearing the end of recording an album for John Jeffrey. We’ve also helped fellow musicians ItsAcoustica with the final computer-print-readying of the artwork for their new album ‘Here We Are’.

We had our musician friends, Steve and Kristi Nebel, staying with us for much of April and May when they were over from the USA for their Spring tour. It was lovely to spend so much time with them.

And what of jiva, the gentle blend of acoustic guitars and vocal harmony? We’ve travelled throughout the country playing – constantly out and about performing at folk clubs, care homes, garden centres, village halls, festivals… you name if we’ve been there. Highlights for the year included:

We were in the Bishop fm radio studio in February doing a concert. March we played at the Big Do for MIND Active in Morpeth. April we played at The Stanley Arts Centre as part of a triple header concert night and we also took part in a Christian Aid concert in Morpeth. May we were at Clennell Hall Folk Festival performing and running sessions, headlined a concert at Seaton Delaval Arts Centre, travelled to Edinburgh Folk Club to do a support spot for German virtuoso guitarist Ulli Boegershausen (we know Ulli well from our visit to the Allan Taylor Songwriting Workshop in Ulli’s in 2006), and we rounded off that month with a 30-minute Hot Spot at the Friday Folk Club in Guisborough.

June to early July found us in Liverpool where we paid our first visit to a number of folk clubs in the area. We were well received, sold a few CDs and had a great time.  July also featured the annual Nature’s World festival. In August we played at the ‘Havestock Festival’ and travelled to Saltburn as we’d been asked to be the judges for the festival songwriting competition. We took part in the Angel Inn Extravaganza in Topcliffe, North Yorkshire ending the month at dinner with friends in Stanley.

September was more care homes and the trip to Switzerland and then early October we played a concert in the Ingleton Folk Weekend. Also in October we did a support slot at the Baa Club in Bellingham, played the ‘Thank Folk It’s Friday’ café slot at the Woodhorn Colliery Museum and played live in the studios of Lionheart Radio in Alnwick. We closed that month with a performance in a care home Halloween party for the residents. We had managed to find black and purple hairy spiders to hang off our guitars and as we already wear purple and black we were suitably dressed!

November saw our return guest night at the Foggy Furze Folk Club in Hartlepool and a few days visit from Anthony John who was performing at Cramlington Folk Club and we then drove him to and back from Falkirk Folk Club on the Thursday night (in the blizzards – this was when the snow really began!).

The blizzards and sub-zero temperatures in December curtailed many events, but we were able to fulfill all our bookings for the month including five care homes, a Freemasons’ Lodge and a charity concert.

And if all that still wasn’t enough for 2010, in addition to all of that has been our usual round of regular visits to local and not so local folk clubs singers nights.

This year has seen a significant expansion to the care homes we play at through the charity MIND Active, which we’ve been doing now for 6 years. We’ve also been performing throughout the year independently in care homes – we love it. In February we were asked to play for an over 50s group called Evergreens in Bishop Auckland which involved not only playing but also talking about our influences, our song writing methods, etc and we had a lovely time. Recently we have become involved with St Oswald’s Hospice in Gosforth and we ‘busked’ in a Garden Centre and also played at their recent Christmas Fair.

Val has also continued temping throughout the year for a firm of solicitors in Morpeth and this year was invited to their Christmas dinner!

There are two new instruments in our family; not Taylor guitars this time, but a matching pair of Kala ukuleles. They have a beautiful sound and look gorgeous. Already we have two songs using the ukuleles. At a recent visit to a folk club we were videoed by a friend of ours who uploaded them to YouTube. You can also see them on the Videos page (www.jiva.co.uk/videos.htm) of our official website and the jiva Videos page (www.jivacoustic.co.uk/jiva-videos) of this our blog/happenings site.

www.jivacoustic.co.uk has full details of all jiva happenings, so why not drop by here occasionally and drop us a line or give us a call?

Hope you’ve had a good 2010, including a good Christmas – we wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011… Hopefully our paths will cross soon.

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