A couple of months ago, I got into work on a Saturday evening to find the following e-mail in my inbox:
I manage The Joy Formidable. The band will be touring the East Coast of the US at the end of March and would like you to join them to do some work for a tour DVD.
This is the intinerary:
26 Arrive in New York City
27 (day off) spend time with band
28 (T5) NYC show / interview
29 (Philly) show / interview
30 (Boston) Welsh day
Would this be agreeable to you?
Agreeable! AGREEABLE! It's easily the most 'agreeable' correspondence that has ever landed through my letterbox / in my inbox.
So, here I am. Sat in a hotel just off Times Square, two hours from going over to meet the band for a YouTube session - more excited than I have been since my daughter was born. That's some exponential level above 'agreeable', is that!
The only hiccup was that Radio Wales Music Day was scheduled to happen whilst I was away: an annual event that I'm proud to have (verbally, at least) been the instigator of, and an event that has become so, so important at sharing Welsh music to a broader audience.
Fortunately, our editor and senior producers saw the worth in my being over in the United States with one of Wales' finest bands. I don't say that loosely. The Joy Formidable are right up there in my estimation with Super Furry Animals and Future Of The Left.
My musical love doesn't get any deeper than that. The fact that the Joy Formidable are from my hometown of Mold just makes the whole thing that much sweeter. Mold, a humble market town in Flintshire, exporting a band whose hard work and inspirational music has brought them to the brink of full-on, international success, would have been unimaginable when I started out in a band there in the early 90s.
So, over the course of my visit - and to coincide with Radio Wales Music Day - I'm going to bring you backstage, front-of-stage and tour bus access to a Welsh band making a real name for themselves and their music on a much wider stage. I'll do my best to keep a daily diary of events on the road with the band here on the BBC Wales Music blogs. And we'll have interviews and live tracks on BBC Radio Wales as part of Radio Wales Music Day itself.
My show on Saturday 31 March will come live from Boston. And not the one in Lincolnshire.
It should be something of an inspiration and an education. It will be for me. That is, if the band haven't kicked me off the tourbus after one night of vegetarian(ish) flatulence and occasional, baritone snoring.
Here's a picture out of my hotel room window just to prove that I'm here and not typing this in from the studios in Wrexham.
Watch - and listen - to this space...
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