Well, it's that time of year again when The Hat traditionally hangs his big red balls on the front door of Hat Mansions, gets out that bottle of strange unfinished advocaat - (and puts it away again), tries to think of one Blessing to Count and writes his heart-felt Thanks to those of you who have stayed the Words course for yet another year.
We have rambled together all over the place this year – from Bonamassa Ticket Prices to the Blues Eating Itself and from the awful Charlie Hebdo to the unspeakable Kanye West. Fittingly one of the most read blogs, shared massively across the world this year was about losing big Barry Middleton, who even for those who had never met him, represented much of what is so good about those behind the scenes in the blues world - selfless, hard-working, caring and supportive to all and everyone in a tough and often wearying, thankless and unfair blues music world.
We also lost BB, moaned about austerity cuts in music education, had the usual 'chat' about the British Blues Awards, got the sun to rise by playing the guitar and worshipped (again!) at the feet of the ever-growing number of brilliant female blues and soul singers currently ripping our musical fermament asunder.
Despite some close attention this year from the brilliant NHS, The Hat is constantly amazed at his own Blogevity. By rights I should have packed up years ago – I believe 6-9 months is good going for any blog, especially an opinionated one peppered with Pointless Capital letters and lots of...interruptive...dots... But, am I bovvered? Is this the face of someone who is losing sleep? (Ok, don't answer that..my face is not up for discussion...). Actually, I like my job. I am Author and Editor. I laugh loudly at my own jokes. I admire my svelte and subtle prose and I enjoy, every so often, Poking the Bear and being on a mission. Sometimes I put Stoly in a small glass, look at myself in The Mansions huge hall mirror and toast myself. Above all though, I remind myself that I just put words, words, words together and if nobody reads them then I am in trouble.
So this is my annual Thank You – to those of you who occasionally respond, to those who shout at the page and call me things that your Mother Would Not Like, to those that quietly read and nod, to those that share and those that join in. Above all, Thank You to those fine musicians, fans and DJs who give me an excuse to beam and ramble in print.
So, let's all drink to a terrific 2016 – when our music will flourish and fly and once again, I will attempt, and fail, to hide my pellucid light under a behemothic bushel....go on, look it up, you know you want to...
Take care out there next year my friends...
The Blues Man in The Hat
(No advocaat was drunk in the making of this blog.)