And then COVID hit. How many times have we heard that?
March 2020, I was booked on a flight to LA to finish recording with Hutch when Trump closed down the airports. Like all of us, I didn't go anywhere all year but recorded ‘Home is Your Shoulder’ at home and remotely with Hutch and Chris Pepper of Saltwood Studios. We released it later that year.
Next came the 2021 summer Kickstarter vinyl single – a double A-side featuring ‘Carmel’ from the LA session and ‘Mighty Big Sur’, a co-write with Hutch. He'd written the music a few years before when he was touring with CSN and sent it to me to see if I had any ideas for lyrics. It was January 2021 and I was missing Big Sur big time. One lunchtime I sat down and started writing - Mighty Big Sur is the result.
With lockdown easing, I got together with my band The Tendrils and we had a summer launch on a beach in Norfolk. A secret gig for our Kickstarter crowd – it was lovely - but by the end of the campaign I was burnt out. I hadn’t been on a road trip since 2019 and was missing it. Where could I for some r & r ? How far could I drive in the United Kingdom? It was either John O’Groats or Land's End. I found out about the NC500, bought a one-person tent, read up on wild camping in Scotland and a few days after the beach gig was off to the highlands with my faithful dog Cass.
It was another road less travelled – from the first scary but beautiful night sleeping on a beach on the east coast, to the incredible west coast and the Middle Earth nooks we found.
One woman and her dog – a road trip I’ll never forget.