I’m really thrilled to be opening up the first ever Fingerstyle Guitar Festival in Europe, which we’re lucky enough to have here in Devon at the Exeter Phoenix.
I’ll be running an exclusive Masterclass in extended acoustic guitar techniques at 11am on Friday 9th Sept in order to kick the festival off, and then playing a full set at 1pm.
I’ve been working with the festival sponsor G7th Capos to get to grips with how capos can be used as an inspirational composition tool, and will be debuting my new compositions: A song, a solo guitar piece and a solo ukulele piece.
It’s so much fun to be back playing fingerstyle guitar again, after a break for the Pandemic. Join me, at Exeter Phoenix on Friday Sept 9th.
My fiancee Emily and I made a home video to celebrate Pride 2022 (London Pride is today, 2nd July). This song is about when you have to ask someone to accept a drop in privilege in order to be in a relationship with you, meaning they start experiencing discrimination in areas where they didn’t before. It’s something that can be hard to talk about and coming out isn’t always easy.
Please share this with anyone who needs to hear it, whether it might be for them or for someone they know. Sending love out to all those in the world who simply can’t come out because it’s a threat to their safety. Also, remembering that coming out and experiencing a privilege drop doesn’t just happen to the LGBTQ+ community, but to those who are disabled, neuro-different, those with invisible cultural heritages, activists and many more. We salute you. Let love find you.
VERSE 1 Will you dare to hold my hand and get shot down where you stand? Oh everybody warned you. Will you dare to hold my hand? Did you have your whole life planned and loving me will turn it upside down? Oh never mind my darling let it turn upside down.
CHORUS 1 Come out with me tonight. It’s not gonna be alright. Oh everybody told you it’s not gonna be alright. Come out with me tonight. We won’t win if we get in a fight Oh never mind my darling, come out with me tonight.
VERSE 2 Will you be here by my side when my entry is denied? Oh everybody warned you, will you be here by my side? Did you hope to reach the stars instead of walking down my path? Oh never mind my darling. Will you walk with me down this path?
BRIDGE ‘cause we’ll lose and we will win each other again and again and again. Oh and everyone will tell you how they knew that we would win. And our path will catch the sun and be seen by everyone and everyone will follow as we walk towards the sun.
CHORUS 3 Come out with me tonight. It’s going to be alright. Oh everybody will tell you how they knew we would be alright Come out with me tonight. We won’t have to put up a fight, Oh ‘cause everyone will love us as we walk towards the light.
OUTRO Come out with me tonight x3 Oh ‘cause everyone will love us. Come out with me tonight.
Turns out that Europe’s first ever Fingerstyle Guitar festival is actually in Exeter (they must have KNOWN I was here!) and I’ll be opening it! Couldn’t be more thrilled and I’m SO looking forward to this weekend. Stay tuned over the coming months as I reveal my new vision for the acoustic guitar as I work towards my new album and giving you tasters of the brand new material I’ll be playing at The Fingerstyle Collective Guitar Festival!
With love in my heart I wrote this song on March 2nd 2022 for the people of the Ukraine and recorded and uploaded it online as soon as I could. I was thrilled to have receive news that within 24hrs it had reached some people in the Ukraine. One woman wrote, “My family is at the Polish border right now. Your angel song has helped.”
Next a crowd of people joined me in Totnes and we sang the song together.
After that I was joined by an international group of 25 singers for this incredible splitscreen video performance.
We have this to say about the above:
“We are a group of professional singers and beginner singers who have come together – these are our voices, sending love in solidarity with Ukraine at this time. It’s worth also saying that despite the lyrics of the song focusing on Ukraine itself, there is no reason not to send this song out to all affected in any country affected by this conflict. Because I wanted the song to send our message in its most natural form, no auto tune or corrective editing has been used. Singers include two Ukrainian refugees who crossed the border safely only a few days ago, as well as singers in 8 different countries in total. We are sending angels now, with love from:
Kimwei McCarthy, Grand Bard of Exeter, UK
Ami Jo Lee, Singer, Devon UK
Laura Kamau, Singer, UK
Liz Franklin-Kitchen, Royal Opera, UK
Phil Hogg, Singer, Totnes UK
Tammy (Singer) & David Heathfield (Storyteller) Exeter UK
Tom Pottage, Musician, Nottingham UK
Adrianne Greenbaum, Singer & Professor of Flute at Mount Holyoke College USA
Jennifer Parnall, Singer, Spain/Canada
Kimaya Gurung, Storyteller, Kathmandu Nepal
Laura Collins, Singer/Vocal Coach, Birmingham UK
Oli Savill, Musician
Emily Grossman, Singer, Totnes UK
Andii Diamond, Singer, Birmingham UK
Marina Rolink, Singer, Glasgow UK
Alla Goeksu, Storyteller, with family and friends, Germany & Ukraine
You can donate to support the people suffering because of the war through any of the following
Thank you to the people of Totnes for singing with me, to St Mary’s Church for having us, and especially to Chris Dance for organising. Please share this video far and wide to encourage as many people as possible to send prayers, hope and angels to Ukraine. If you can send this to anyone in Ukraine or refugees of Ukraine, even better, since at this time morale is so important.
My poem “Pandemic Reflections” was featured on BBC Spotlight to celebrate a year of my “artist in residence” creative work for Sarah Gosling’s Arts and Culture show on BBC Radio Devon as the Grand Bard of Exeter.
“Kimwei McCarthy, who is the Grand Bard of Exeter, created a series of Pandemic Pieces for BBC Radio Devon’s Arts and Culture Show [presented by Sarah Gosling]. Well, 12 months into that process he’s compiled a spoken word reflection on a year unlike any other.” Thanks to Sarah for your ongoing support, and to John Danks for doing an amazing job of shooting and editing this item.
I so enjoyed presenting a session on Embodied Activism at this amazing event, the likes of which have never been seen before. Over 1000 sessions ran over the course of 12 days and I was thrilled to attend several transformative sessions and I’m sure I’ll be working through the bank of recorded sessions for months to come. There were keynote sessions from some of the planet’s best teachers – such as Peter Levine, Tara Brach, Dr. Gabor Maté, Ken Wilber, Stephen Porges, Charles Eisenstein, Betty Martin, Jack Kornfield and many more.
Emily and I presented a session we designed specifically for the conference: “Emergency on Planet Earth: Guiding Environmental Activists through Environmental Crises in an Embodied Way”
Here’s how we described the session:
Let’s move from panic to power – and use the wisdom of our own bodies to be the most effective activists we can be and stay healthy
With all that we face in 2020, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and paralysed, or even to try to fix it all and burn out. In this free online session at the Embodiment Conference, , Kimwei and I will lead you through a process in which you can find your most empowered inner activist through harnessing the wisdom of your nervous system, grounding you in a state of both power and peace. You’ll learn more about the climate and ecological emergency and learn more about yourself and how you want to act in response.
If you’d like to have access to all the recordings from the embodiment conference, including ours, it’s available to buy through this link:
So many of the key moments in my life took place at a live performance of some kind, from seeing a busker to seeing a huge concert or a play. Its so important that we support our creatives so that they can support us. That’s all I have to say – the song says the rest…
I’m thrilled to announce that my first book chapter has not only been published, but the groundbreaking book “Non-Binary Lives” which collects the stories of non-binary transgender people, has been picked by The Independent as their number one LGBTQ+ book for 2020.
This beautifully curated collection of essays is a welcome tonic in a cultural climate that seems hellbent on misunderstanding and misrepresenting those who do not fall into gender binaries. With a focus on intersections, this anthology specifically aims to examine the ways in which a person’s other identities – such as being a parent, having a faith, being black or having a disability – intersect with their non-binary identity.
For the past 14 weeks I have produced a spoken word piece every 2 weeks for Sarah Gosling’s Arts show on BBC Radio Devon. After working with the title “Today’s Calls” for the first 6 pieces, last week I changed to “Only in 2020”, because this year is such a unique one. I think most people will think of their lives in years to come in terms of ‘pre-2020’ and ‘post-2020’. I’m keen to keep representing Devon’s experiences as this unusual and historic year goes on.