Dear Switchback fans,
2016 has turned out to be a strange year thus far for our tours. While we had a blast in Costa Rica back in January, we have decided to wait a while and see what happens with the Zika virus before planning for next year. Seems to be the prudent thing to do as our experts cope with a strange new disease.
However, Ireland has become something completely different. For the first time in a long time, we may not have enough fans joining us to justify a tour. And that, I think, has more to do with a more threatening element than any virus-laden mosquito can offer. One family that withdrew from the tour was honest enough to say that they were afraid. Terrorism was the reason they gave, the idea being that away from home they might be more exposed.
And I suspect their fear is probably something that we all have to some degree. And it might be making people hesitate about traveling.
As a traveling musician and one that has to travel outside the United States, the odds of something happening ramp up. The odds of getting hit by a semi-truck are equally enhanced in our business. Or electrocuted on stage. We've dodged three tornados in our career. Bad things happen.
The point I am making is that this year is one of great uncertainty. The election cycle in the United States isn't at all reassuring for anyone it seems. The violence that just devastated Orlando, the vacation mecca of the United States, certainly makes one think it might be better to hunker down on the farm. And the senseless killing of a young musician is just that, senseless and beyond the capacity of understanding. Can one come out to a show and not have to dodge bullets? It makes the mind reel.
And so it seems that Ireland, one of the most benign places in the world, might even be giving people a chance for pause this year.
Franklin Roosevelt said, "The only thing we need to fear is fear itself.” And ultimately he was right. As someone explained to me, the people of Lockerbie, Scotland, probably thought they were in the safest place in the world until one night a terrorist act brought a whole plane crashing down on the village.
Nowhere is completely safe. And our thought that things were safer in the past might be just as illusory. Things have always been dangerous, probably not just as well-covered and excessively detailed as in today's media-hyped world.
So what to do? We can stop traveling, stop going out to shows and just order in, but again, that doesn't make things any safer or really lessen fear.
As much as I am afraid of dying, I know that I have to keep on living. As much as I am afraid of the bad guys, I know I have to be a good guy and continue to give joy to the world. And Brian and I offer you, our fans, an opportunity to celebrate life by joining us in Ireland this October. We are running out of time to make this trip a reality, but my hope is that our fans will rally and truly help us keep it a WayGood World.
American Roots & Celtic Soul