and writers from my travels
of the things I love most about travelling is the meeting
of interesting people from around the world. In all my
years of travelling I've had the good fortune to meet
some very talented people indeed. To this end I've decided
to create this page in order to share this talent with
others. In this world of crappy, manufactured pop where
all you need is a pretty face and no mind of your own
to succeed, it's refreshing to know there is real talent
out there; although somewhat annoying to think that they
don't always get the recognition they deserve. So here
it is, a full page dedicated to real talent. I will keep
adding to this page as time goes on.
feedback is welcome: email@example.com
Chris Powell, Visions MP3.
so technically I didn't meet Chris during my travels,
but I suppose you could say I met him on the journey of
life. It seems fitting to include him here because he
is one of the first really talented people I met.
in the mid-nineties I went to watch a rock band play in
my hometown. The band was called Grace in Danger, and
Chris was the guitarist. A few years later, to my surprise,
Chris came to work where I worked. I say this is a surprise
because I and many others were convinced that Grace in
Danger was on the fast-track to fame and fortune. Unfortunately
the band was splitting up.
the years Chris played for another local band, but has
always wanted to work on his own stuff. Chris not only
plays guitar but writes his own songs, so it was inevitable
that he would soon start to record them. Advances in technology
has meant that he is now able to do this. Chris is currently
working on his first solo album. He writes all songs and
plays all the instruments. To listen to the first of his
songs, Visions, then click on the image above.
can email Chris on: ChrisPowell@noise44.freeserve.co.uk.
is now playing with Flaxen Rock. Visit their website:
Adam Lopez, My Raw Truth:
trains are very slow in Southern California, but when
you are travelling there is no hurry. There is just adventure,
time to sit back and enjoy the scenery, soak up the atmosphere
and chat with others on the train. I was en-route from
Salinas to San Diego. One of the train's carriages was
built especially for panoramic viewing of the golden hills
of California. It's a truly beautiful State, and this
is just the most perfect way to view it, with your feet
up on the window sill. But when the sun goes down, there
isn't much to see. So I was thankful that the guy sitting
next to me was not a mind-numbingly-boring anorak whose
idea of fun is discussing the great trains of the world;
or even worse, recently released from prison (as is often
possible on the Greyhound buses). The guy sitting next
to me was Adam Lopez, who was in the process of moving
from San Diego up to Monterey and was on his way back
to San Diego to collect his wife (an important thing to
was interesting to talk to, and during our conversation
I learned that he is a musician and writes most of his
own songs. So to while away the hours, and with a little
coercion from me, Adam brought out his guitar and sang
songs as the train rolled on into the night. His style
is very bluesy, and he has a good strong voice. I was
impressed, and was convinced this man would go far in
the music world. So imagine my disappointment when I learned
months later that his music had had to take a back seat
for a while, due to other more pressing commitments.
was all in the summer of 2000. Well, I got an email from
Adam recently telling me that he had moved back to San
Diego and was back to playing music. Adam grew up in San
Diego and was born into a musical background. When he
returned to San Diego he began looking for someone to
jam with. Then out of nowhere came all these serious professional
contacts, which had set Adam on the road to a very bright
future indeed. He is currently playing alongside a well
known singer who has his own record label. So the long
and short of it is that Adam is now back to doing what
he does best.
sent me his most recent album, an 8-track CD of live acoustic
songs all written and performed by the man himself. And
I'm happy to say that it is absolutely brilliant. I for
one will be keeping an eye on Adam's career. If you would
like more information on him, and how to buy his album
(which I highly recommend you do) then feel free to visit
his website: Adam
Lopez You can also listen to Butterfly, one
of the songs from his album, My Raw Truth. Just
click on the album cover above.
chilly evening in the Kirwan House hostel garden in Wexford
Town was the venue for a meeting with two girls with an
amazing amount of talent. On the second floor, just outside
the window is a small balcony. I wandered up one evening
to join a group of people already out there. It's a small
balcony with no furniture, just an old mattress. Most
people stood or sat on the floor. Among this group was
Rebecca and Emily. Rebecca was from the US and Emily from
Wales. They had just returned from living in Spain where
they had been writing songs, and were now travelling around
Ireland. With them they had their first album, Winejig.
Rebecca plays guitar and Emily plays the violin. Both
girls sing. They warmed up the chilly evening air with
their beautiful voices and had everyone in the hostel
stop what they were doing, come out onto the balcony or
look up from the garden below and watch and listen as
the girls performed with the stars as their backdrop.
and Rebecca stayed with us for a few days, drinking with
us down the pubs and entertaining people in the street
and in the pubs with their wonderful music. They became
good friends, and returned briefly after their journey
around Ireland. Then it was off to the US, where they
would play concerts and gigs in various venues near Rebecca's
girls are back in their own countries now, for the time
being. But they will soon be back together performing.
Ember have just launched a website that will keep people
up to date with where they will be playing next.
whole album is amazing, but I had to choose one song for
this website. Well, I simply couldn't decide between these
two songs: Northern Wind and Winejig. So
I have put both up here. Just click on the relevant song
above to listen.
the ember website
Chris Larsen, screenplay writer.
the summer of 2002 I returned to Kirwan House. Chris was
staying there, in the same dorm as me. I chatted with
Chris briefly upon arrival and he told me he was from
LA, loved movies and wrote screenplays. The next morning
when I awoke, Chris was gone. No one seemed to know what
had happened to him. Corrina, from Germany, came by that
evening saying she was supposed to meet him. She didn't
know where he was either.
few days later it was revealed that during the night he
couldn't sleep and so phoned home. His mother told him
that Dreamworks had been on the phone and wanted to interview
him about one of his scripts. Chris had shot up to Dublin
and got on the next available plane home.
the downside to this story is that Dreamworks wanted to
make changes to his script, and being a true artist Chris
refused to allow this and decided he would wait for a
better offer. So a week later he was back in Kirwan House.
of Chris's screenplays has so far made it to the quarter
finals of the Nicholl scholarship of screenwriting. After
returning to Kirwan House Chris began working there for
the rest of the year. His website is basically just a
mouthpiece for his everyday descriptions of life and his
time in Ireland, but told with his talent for telling
a story with amazing description and clarity and for making
others laugh. Personally I love the way he can paint a
single image with words, or describe with extraordinary
depth the simple little things that often go unnoticed
by most other people. This man truly has the gift that
will put him on the road to the success he deserves. Keep
watch on the opening credits of future movies, and I've
no doubt that one day his name will be there.
Efrain Cantu, Drummer and Latin percussionist Foggy
met Efrain in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. I was working
in a hostel there when Efrain arrived with his girlfriend,
Zonelle, and her eight year old boy, Devon. Efrain's passion
for music was evident from the first day he arrived. Before
long he was hosting jam sessions in the hostel common
room. Efrain didn't have any drums with him at the time,
so he would simply turn an empty water container upside
down and drum on that. Such is his skill that even this
sounded great. I hitched a ride with Efrain and Zonelle
to the next town, and ended up travelling for the next
five weeks with them through the whole of southern Mexico,
during which we made music in the van, on the beach and
just about anywhere else.
year later I met up with them all again in their hometown
of San Jose. Efrain was playing in a Latin American band,
and had a couple of gigs in Northern California. We all
went with him for the weekend, where I really got to see
Efrain's talent at work. The photo above is from one of
Efrain doesn't really play that much now, and I dont have
any recordings of his Latin American band. He did, however,
use to play in a rock band called Bed of Thorns
who made an album called LatinoCelticAfroCentric.
Unfortunately the album is no longer available.
favourite track from the album is a traditional Irish
track called Foggy Dew. You can listen to this track by
clicking on the album cover above.
out Efrain's new band here
If you want to know all about my time in Mexico with Efrain
and Zonelle, you can read about it in my e-book, Down
Mexico Way. Click on the
image to read more about it.
watch here for more talented people from my travels