*****BluesToday.comThe ***** Blues spent a lot of time on the road in 2013, with an itinerary that included almost 40 shows in the U.S. and more than a dozen concerts in their home country of the United Kingdom. The year also saw the band host its first-ever fan cruise and frontman Justin Hayward mount his own U.S. trek in support of Spirits of the Western Sky, his first solo studio album since 1996's The View from the Hill.
Hayward tells ABC News Radio that, looking back on the past year, it's hard for him to pick out a single highlight, while noting that The ***** Blues did play quite a diversity of gigs.
"The standout things, really, are things that happened on the tour, and being together, and playing in the freezing cold and the boiling hot," he declares, adding that "we did a couple of outdoor gigs on the last tour…and I never knew California could be so cold."
One of the aspects of last year's trek that the singer/guitarist says he particularly enjoyed was dusting off a couple of obscure ******* tunes -- "You and Me" and "Nervous" -- and adding them to the group's set.
"The whole idea of sort of rediscovering our own catalog and playing some of these things for the first time on stage is very rewarding," he notes.
Looking ahead to 2014, Hayward says, "It's going to be an interesting year, as long as our health holds up." He adds that he and his fellow founding band mates, singer/bassist John Lodge and drummer Graeme Edge, are "having the best time of our lives" on tour.
So far, The ***** Blues have confirmed U.S. dates scheduled throughout March, as well as in early May, and the band also will be embarking on its second fan cruise on April 2. Justin also reports that he likely will be lining up more solo dates sometime during the early summer.
One thing Justin doesn't expect The ***** Blues to do this coming year is work on new music. He tells ABC News Radio that if the group does put together a new release for 2014, "I think…it'll be a visual thing more than a recording." However, while Hayward points out that he "can't see anything on the horizon," with regard to new music, "that doesn't mean to say there won't be."
The ***** Blues kick off their 2014 tour schedule on March 5 in Morristown, New Jersey. Visit *****BluesToday.com to check out the band's full itinerary.
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