Chicago Airport

Dear all,

Greetings from Chicago Airport where I have been since 617. I don’t mean the year 617 although frankly it slightly feels like it…it’s now 9.30 here and it’s still a good four hours before I board my flight to San Francisco. I’m so grateful to American Airlines for moving my flight from Lansing to Chicago three hours early. Anyway…

I am tired but glowing with pride and happiness about the wonderful Midwest Banjo Camp which I’ve just been teaching and performing at alongside many of the world’s finest banjo players and some of my own heroes. Such a great atmosphere permeated throughout the camp during all the classes, sessions and concerts. Special thanks to my old mentor Ken Perlman for having me and to all the lovely students and fellow instructors. It was an amazing way to start my US tour.

It’s been a busy old time! The trio tour was great fun and it was lovely to see so many of you at the gigs. The album seems to have gone down well too with some lovely reviews (although one spent two paragraphs focusing on a previous one he didn’t like which seemed an odd move…). I’ve been on the radio a fair few times which has been very nice and I gather more is in the offing.

I must say America is great to be in (once you’ve managed to sort your visa and political leaders aside….) but there are some quite interesting misunderstandings. For one thing, I never realised my name was so complicated. I’ve always thought of Dan as quite a simple name. Yet here it causes no end of trouble. A typical introduction to someone goes like this:

‘Sorry what was your name?’



‘No, Dan’


At which point I either have to just go with Don or do a terrible American accent and say ‘Day-en’.

There are one or two other language barriers too. I saw a sign at Chicago airport today which read ‘anyone who asks if you need a ride shouldn’t be giving you one’.