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London after “London” July 3rd, 2010

After seven days at The Drive Shed in Toronto, my musical friends and I have finished recording all 12 tracks for my new CD “Light to Shine.”  The sessions, which, by chance, were held concurrently with the G8 and G20 Summit meetings in Toronto, were marked by a sense of exuberance that was heightened by the G20 riots:  while police cars burned, windows were smashed, and 900 people were incarcerated in downtown Toronto, we had a great time making music, including a rocking rendition of Blake’s “London.”  I’m now in London, England, where, during the day, I’m researching a new book at the British Library, a literary project generously funded by the same government that spent upwards of a billion dollars on G20 security.  Walking Blake’s “chartered streets” this evening, I was filled with wonder–and perplexity.  Tomorrow, with my good friend and songwriting partner, the Cardiff-based poet Grahame Davies, I’ll be heading to Felpham, Sussex, to visit the cottage where Blake lived from 1800 until 1803.

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