|Tunes & Travels|
by Jennifer Matthews
The first word I can think of to describe this trip is ADVENTURE! From the moment we landed in London and reached customs I knew it was going to be pretty wild. I stood by my managers side as she created one story after another why we were traveling there with two guitars and a bag full of cd’s with my name on it. We couldn’t very well tell them we were on a music tour due to fear of having no visas. I stood with held breath and sweat on my lower back as I watched her stumble over her words. Finally they stamped the passports and we were clear to discover this awesome country. I love England!! It is one of my very favorite places I have ever toured due to road tripping being ideal there. For one reason it is so green. It radiates green and big blue sky.
We flew over night and arrived at 7 am England time. Once we got to the car rental and pulled out onto the highways it was in the heat of rush hour traffic. We were jet lagged and I was driving a car on the opposite side of the road with a stick shift in my left hand. Everything was reversed in that car for me and I had no idea what I was doing. It should have taken us 30 minutes to get to our hotel in downtown London but due to the fact that the street signs were barely visible it took us three hours. After multiple heart attacks we finally got the hang of the car and learned how to read street signs and maps better.
I played shows in London, South London, Putney (Half Moon Putney), Glastonbury, Northern England and ended the tour with a show at a place called Aspinall Arms which was a ghost infested old Inn and bar where they had live music a few nights a week. That place was an absolute trip and I can’t wait to go back and play there. It was a haunted place with a rich history. Check it out at www.aspinallarms.co.uk. I played a set at a venue called King Arthur pub in Glastonbury and it was really special. The audience was so alive and receptive. When I found out that the town Glastonbury really exists I was really thrilled and driven to go there. For you King Arthur fans out there it is the place to be. There is an old abbey there where there is a history of Jesus going there with Joseph of Armithea. There are two headstones on the grass next to the abbey marked possible burial site of King Arthur and Guinevere. We hiked the green hills up to the Tor which was really something. It was mysterious and mystical and overlooks the farmlands and old castles, etc. When you descend the Tor and cross the small road there is a well there that apparently has holy water dripping all the time. (I think all water is holy but apparently that well has a special lore) GO TO GLASTONBURY READER … it is an awesome magical place. On the road trip from London to Glastonbury along the roadside in a huge green open field we came right up on Stonehenge totally unexpectedly which added to the amazement of it all. There are all the Lay lines that run through that whole geographic area which apparently generate and emit a strong magnificent energy. They also have the Glastonbury Music Festival every year which has musicians and people from all over the world playing and attending a three day musical event. Check it out at www.glastonburymusicfest.com.
I found another significant spot in England was along the ocean shoreline called the Firth of Forth. Especially where Scotland and England meet. There is an old crumbling monastery there along the ocean cliff. Another fantastic place is the Howard Castle near York. It is unreal both inside and outside. The grounds are gorgeous and offer a ton of great photo opportunities. Don’t miss on going to Worcester where there is a fantastic Cathedral with an underground crypt and a circular monks room where they would go to worship and have meetings 1,700 years ago. I sang in those crypts and felt like I was connecting to a very beautiful place of history and creation. In the church are very old carved stone caskets with the bones still inside that sit out in the middle of the floors and along the aisle ways. A really fun club I played in Worcester was a place called the Marrs Bar. It was great rock room where I opened for the Traci Hunter Band. Apparently Robert Plant lived only 15 minutes down the road from the club and often goes there to check out music and to join in sometimes. If you get a chance go to Nottingham. The castle there is the real deal and a lot of fun to explore as well as the Windsor Castle where there is an incredible display of old swords, armor, art work and a chapel. Windsor Castle is still active in the where the world of England’s royalty is concerned. The Queen goes there and treats it as one of her residences. Check it out at www.WindsorCastle.com
I have been a professional singer for over
twenty years and teaching voice lessons for over ten years. I received
my vocal training at the University of Colorado School of Music at Boulder
and Denver and at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University
in NJ. Singers who influenced me greatly in my early years were Linda
Rondstadt, Anne Wilson from Heart, Robert Plant, Ian Anderson from Jethro
Tull, Judy Garland & Aretha Franklin.