Friday, April 02, 2010

Times they are a'changing

This is a significant month for me. I will turn 64 next week and will be retiring from my job this month as well. I have negotiated an early retirement package so my last day at work will be April 21st. On my actual last day of employment - April 30th - I will be in New Orleans, which seems an appropriate way to bow out. When I get back from the 2010 US trip I will be a free man. I plan to move to Hampshire where I have a close female friend and where I have got to know quite a lot of people over the last few years on frequent visits. I hope to do some consultancy work a couple of days a week but the five days a week commute will be a thing of the past. I may not get to many gigs in London, but then I haven't been a regular for a while now.
The US trip will probably be my last road trip through the southern states. I arrive at Houston (BA strike permitting) on April 22nd and the plan is to drive to Lafayette for the night. Then it's off to Baton Rouge where I'm hoping to track down a genuine juke joint nearby and take in the Baton Rouge Blues Festival. After a couple more days at the Festival Louisiane in Lafayette it will be off to New Orleans. There are quite a few promising looking gigs in the evenings, including Dave Alvin, Irma Thomas, Walter Wolfman Washington, Marcia Ball and Allen Toussaint, and then there's Jazzfest, which has a couple of days that look appealing, although I'm sure it won't be as good as it used to be when the New Orleans R and B greats were still alive and performing. Still, it will be great to be in the Big Easy one more time and I plan to savour the experience.
Then it's back home to retirement - if I can afford it!


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