600 cd's sold.
12,000 miles driven.
We had a pretty good balance between work and play. Although we still had a pretty busy schedule, there was always something breathtaking to go and see.
I have to also give a huge thanks to Olly Knox (my booking agent and PR guru). Well done brother. Well done. We took care of business and made a solid friendship along the way.
Wimpy was less than 15 feet long. Inside the van we had a mattress (with storage underneath) and a cooking stove and buckets (for washing dishes). Believe it or not, boondocking (aka traveling/living out of your vehicle) is fairly common in NZ. In fact, when you pull up to any gas station (or busy parking lot) most people don't really bat an eye at you.
The great thing about NZ is there are heaps of freedom camping spots all over the country. Freedom as in you have to have self containment (toilets, grey & black water) and a $200 sticker on your car. So, not entirely free. But pretty close. It's sweet to park for the night and wake up to views like this.
We talked about a lot. (Which I'm grateful and still encouraged that after being literally together 365/24/7 for the last 5 years, Katie and I still have a lot to talk about). We found ourselves full of dreams. Some old and others new. Including a plan to launch another business (or two) completely separate from the music/non profit.
What we didn't expect is what our mind and body and spirit told us when we left. "Trying to go back to Africa and New Zealand is crazy."
We thought about it long and hard.
We prayed that we could find discernment as to what and where we're supposed to do after this fall. The more and more we prayed the more we felt the calling and the clarity.
Africa is calling our name, again.
Somehow, in that blur that was known as March and April of 2015, I managed to get into the studio and work with some amazing people to make what I think is my best record yet.
I don't like to self promote (any more than I already have to) but this record is something else. I brought in three other musicians; Dave King (on bass), David Lessing (on keys) and Matt Pizza (on congas & washboard). These guys, combined with the mastermind of Cinch dB, really brought this record to another level.
I hope that all doesn't sound arrogant or overly confident. But I don't know how else to express in words how excited and proud I am of this next record. I hope you all love it as much as I do.
Ubuntu can easily be explained as 'I am because we are.' It essentially means that I am because of you. If you're hungry than I am hungry, if you are thirsty than I too am thirsty. You can say that what effects you effects me and that we're all in this together (whether we like it or not). Here are two quick videos of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu speaking about Ubuntu.
We know that we'll be touring South Africa sometime between November and February. We also know that we will be going back to Kenya to follow up with the Journey4YOUth projects currently on the ground.
After that we're thinking about checking out Uganda again and Ethiopia, but more than anything we're answering another calling to India and Nepal.
Our hearts break seeing the destruction and fury of this planet reign hard upon an area that has already been stricken by poverty, inequality and injustice. We're not ready to put a timetable on things yet, but our intentions have been set and our spirit has given us the green light to continue praying about all of this.
We came back to this country with A LOT on our plates. Buying/converting a school bus, recording an album, touring, booking etc.... We're stretched past our limits right now. The only way we've been able to get as much done right now is because of the dedication, love and service from our close family and friends.
Thank you again for really supporting us.
It's much more than we deserve.
Take care everybody.
Brian & Katie