Portadown musician Rodney Cordner this week headed off to America for an ambitious tour that will combine family, friends and old favourites.
Rodney may be best known in local song circles as the key man behind the popular Folk Club showcase that proved such a welcome part of the town’s arts scene for around three decades up until the early 2000s.
However, his reputation further afield has been built on a steady recording and gigging career developed around America and Europe.
“I have been spending time in America for around 20 years, from first attending festivals in the late 1980s,” said Rodney. “I have spent a long time touring with a French fiddler called Jean-Pierre Rudolph and, more recently, with The Goldmine Pickers from Indiana.
“I will be joining up with the Pickers on this tour, plus Sean-Ellsworth Hoffman.
“This latest tour will be my first in America for a few years and quite long, with dates across four or five months.
I still think of myself as a folk-roots musician and am proud to be going out on tourRodney Cordner
“On my last birthday I marked 840 months old so expect such a long schedule to be more of a challenge than previous tours.
“However, it is also very exciting and I have shows spread out around the country.
“Most of the gigs will be at folk, country or bluegrass shows under what you would call Americana now.
“I still think of myself as a folk-roots musician and am proud to be going out on tour.
“I loved the Folk Club sessions and really believe there is still an audience for this kind of music, even in the days of so much manufactured stuff.
“There is a wealth of talent on this island and I am not totally against the internet as it is great to see how one kid in his bedroom can now produce music and send it out to find an audience.”
Rodney recently completed a compilation of live recordings - with a twist.
“It is called ‘Live at last warts and all’ and my first collection of live tracks after 15 studio albums,” he said. “The tracks come not from live gigs but, instead, recordings from formats such as radio shows.
“I wanted to do something a bit different and it will serve as a calling card, plus for sale at shows.
“I am also planning on catching up with some relations and old friends during the America tour, then have plans to hit the road around Holland and Portugal once I get back to Europe.
“It should be great fun.”
Visit www.rodcordner.com for further information or find performance clips via YouTube.