Our Blog

Sammy & Kylie & 2023 '?' 

    "Life is what happens when you're busy making other plans.” 

                                                                 - John Lennon.

 

It’s almost here,  and like many of you we are wondering what shape 2023 is going to take.  World economies running out of control, basic living costs skyrocketing, travel costs increasing and war on our doorstep…it all really does make you wonder.  Both our tours in 2022 (UK & USA) cost just about double what they did before the pandemic.  Almost three years of no travelling left us out of shape for our usual 40 odd weeks a year on the road.  Health issues and Covid19 slowed us down, (along with everyone else in the arts) and we couldn’t really go and do our mission work because countries like Thailand and Burma were closed. 

It all looks pretty bleak on the face of it, however halfway through 2022 we did hit the road again and also had the opportunity to go help a little in Ukraine.   These trips reminded us of why we do what we do and how we do it.  It’s really all about community and relational work and so we are spurred on to look ahead to 2023 with hope and, hopefully, a smarter way to work. 

Some studio work has helped sustain us over the past year as well as a few other things (more on that later) and we had a  great time on the road.  Our UK trip brought us back to venues we have played for many years but also new places with new opportunities to play there  in the future.  The USA, as always was generous, kind and supportive of all we do but a few things have made us rethink how we do it.  It was about 10 weeks and a 10,000 mile road trip playing venues from Vegas to Mississippi…a massive tour.  This was nothing new to us, we normally do this every year, however,  Sammy's health issues got worse because of the eleven weeks without treatment,  the condition in his eye got worse and fatigue was a factor.  This setback now means he is back to six week hospital visits and we really think it is crucial that we make this happen.  End of year check up and tests were encouraging for Sammy.   Blood sugar almost normal, heart looks in good shape and eye improving, but we need to pay attention to all these factors if we are to stay in shape.  Some more tests and shots in 2023, but all in all, if we pay attention we will do OK.  We both had Covid  and wonder if that has contributed to the fatigue factor but frankly, we are getting older and even though we try to stay in decent shape you begin to notice things getting a little tougher as the years go by.   Kylie has also had some medical stuff, jaw and knee issues that we are working on getting sorted. 

So, what does all this mean for 2023?  Well…being smarter in what we do, how long we do it for and how we do it is key.  We are thinking that six-week tours for the likes of USA, Australia will be as much as we do.  We realise it means we won’t see some of you as often but we seriously need to consider our own wellbeing if we want to continue to tour and serve. 

So as far as music goes, apart from some local stuff,  we are thinking  West/SW USA only in 2023.  We haven’t been to Germany and Switzerland for a few years, (although The Electrics are playing two German Festivals  in May) so we’d love to head back over to you there.  We may do a few UK dates in there somewhere and late year Australia is calling us.   Message Sammy if you are keen to host a show.  There will be a new Electrics album sometime in 2023 and Sammy will be working with long time friend Phil Madeira on the first ever MERCYLAND Songwriter Retreat Ireland in April ’23.  We are also considering some more collaborations with Phil later in the year, stay tuned.  Sammy has, as usual, a million ideas and another Rev. Sam album is possible, plus the second FINN  (Finn And the Land beneath.) book is due to be edited through the year.  He will also be finishing producing an album for Scots singer/songwriter Sheila Easson and Kylie will be helping with instruments and BGV’s on this project.  We haven’t planned on a new Sweet Sorrows album yet, but you never know. 

Our work of serving people will continue with Sammy heading to Ukraine early January to bring out supplies and play music at military bases and possibly hospitals around the country.  We hope to be on the border of Thailand and Burma to run our TRADE OFF  work, just trying see when it suits for us to go there. One other aspect is using our home as a place of rest for other artists, friends and co-workers. We already have folk coming to stay here  for short periods about every month for the first half of the year,  giving us the chance to reciprocate and give back to many who have done the same for us.  All of these aspects of the work are covered by two sources. PATREON and MODERN DAY.  Both allow us to perform non-profit service without getting ourselves in serious debt.  We can see this area of our work taking more of our time in the future. 

PATREON allows you to support this non-profit work by giving a small amount per month, (1 Euro, 3 Euros or 10 Euros) .  In return you get exclusive videos, music, early access to new projects, news and  more.  MODERN DAY  allows you to support the work at any level- monthly, weekly or one time donation.  This has the benefit for USA supporters as they get their 501c3 tax relief.   These two supports have been life savers for us, so if you’d like to help with these  message us or hit the links below. 

We are also aware how important it is to see our families.  In the past we often fit in visits around tours meaning time with parents, family, kids and grandkids is cut short. We need to change this, so we will be making spending time with family a priority every year.    

Finally,  it is easy for us to fill up a year, but in 2023 we hope to also carve out some time to stop.  We are pretty sure that “our usual” touring- constant driving, playing, travelling etc. is adversely affecting us, so in a Celtic tradition and dare I say it, even  a biblical sense, we will be having times of stopping. Discipline if you will…this, as much as anything else needs to a part of our year or we will burn out. 

So,  unless ‘Life Happens’ as John Lennon reminds us, (because you just never know what unexpected thing might come up),  this is a rough outline of how 2023 might look for us Horners. 

Hoping we see lots of you in the coming year and we wish you all good health, hope and peace in 2023. 

Sammy & Kylie 

https://www.patreon.com/SammyHorner 

https://www.modernday.org/profile/sammyandkyliehorner/

 

Rev. Sam's Christmas Rant 

It’s nearly here again. This past year I have noticed more than ever a common theme on media sites/newspapers/seats of government and TV. If you say it long enough, and loud enough it soon becomes the perceived truth…even if it is far from the actual truth. Repetition makes a fact seem more true, regardless of whether it is or not. Psychologist Tom Stafford says ‘Understanding this effect can help you avoid falling for propaganda.’ Seems like a good plan, so I got to thinking about one of the great stories that’s been told for centuries, how it’s been served up to us and how that version has impacted so much of what we think about the person at the centre of the story. 

Who doesn’t love the kids with tea towels on their heads acting out the nativity? It’s cute right? Gentle, sweet, peaceful and even a bit funny. Every feel-good vibe is wrapped up in the kindergarten theatre version and sure, it’s sweet to watch the kids act out their version of the Christmas story. Problem is, we get the same version in churches all over the world. Gentle, sweet, lambs, cows, camels, Thing is, every Dec. 25th we repeat the story, print it on cards, have models of it on the mantelpiece and in the town square and mostly we love it. It’s cute, It’s cuddly, it’s…mostly wrong! 

I mean, never mind Hallmark movies and cards, plum puddings, mince pies, trees, tinsel, flickering lights, stockings, coal, Santa Clause and maxing out the credit card….the depiction of the story isn’t what’s actually in the story…. at all. 

No cows or camels to be seen in the actual story. Not even three wise men. Oh, and forget Dec. 25th ..didn’t happen, and the star lit barn is most likely, well, unlikely. There are shepherds, so maybe we can forgive the tea towels after all. Funny thing is…the guys who did show up, the shepherds, were, to put it mildly, the scum of the earth. Back then shepherds had bad reputations, untrustworthy, shady characters and no one had a good word for them. Yeah..his first visitors were not exactly the best examples of humanity, plus the fact they were tending sheep outside most likely meant it was more like spring, not winter. Mind you..his questionable birth etc. all went before their arrival…you know- pregnant before being married in that culture, and a bizarre story about that particular impregnation…it didn’t start well. 

As for the ‘wise men’…probably astrologers….you know the kind of people the church has been warning us about for years…yeah them. They were the guys who showed up with the three gifts….(not three guys, three gifts..could have been two guys or sixteen guys…who knows, but still, they were dodgy astrologers). So, not three, probably not from the orient, maybe not that wise….they had no clue that Herod ( a well known psycho who had killed family members and rivals of any kind due to his own narcissistic, paranoid personality) wanted to kill the baby…but luckily they were warned in a dream..and Magi paid attention to dreams, so that paints a different picture of the wise guys …right? 

Then there was that neurotic king who felt it was easier to kill all the baby boys under two years old rather than have someone usurp him one day. Now, images of thousands of dead babies might be an exaggeration , but let’s face it, even the notion of killing kids to keep your own political position safe is nasty, and killing babies, even a few, is largely frowned upon. 

The stable probably wasn’t a stable, more like a spare room where sometimes animals might have been brought inside at points, but not necessarily at this point, and we read that when those wise guys showed up eventually, (aye, two years so no Magi GPS then lads?) it was two years later and the family were in a house. 

Then there are the angels…who on our cards, look all lovely and artsy wearing long white gowns and basically being shiny. Well, if you believe such things, have a look at the reaction every time they appear, these suckers were terrifying…pant-wetting scary …everyone that sees them generally needs a change of their base layer. 

So a peasant family with some serious social stigmas attached get a visit from the dodgy guys one spring night as they settling into a basic multi purpose room, spend a couple of years there and are then visited by dodgy astrologers as a mentally unstable king kills a bunch of young boys in the hope that he wipes out any rival early on……the dodgy, the violent, the disreputable, the social outcasts, the confusion, the neurotic leadership and terrifying other worldly preternatural beings, bring us a truer version of the Christmas story…but it just doesn’t play as well as the cute one does it? 

OR……maybe it is the Christmas story we need..the story of the hope of the world coming in amongst it all…all the violence, all the socially despised, all the dodgy characters, all the insecurities, all the murder, the mistrust, the terror, the fear and the confusion…hope.. in all of it…Hope in a messy, broken world..in it with us. 

For me, that’s a better Christmas play, ( tho' perhaps it needs Quentin Tarantino to direct)…a better Christmas story… 

Hope in all of the mess, my mess, your mess, our mess..with us…hope. 

Probably won’t fly in the local kindergarten production this year though. 

Merry Christmas and a hopeful 2023, 

Rev. Sam 

 

 

Autumn Catchup. 

Well hullo!

Oh what a summer! It was SO good to get back in the saddle, on the road and 'with' you all again.  Sammy's Ukraine trip in May was not thwarted by the covid we came down with a week before he went! It proved to be likely the first of many and he covered a lot of ground and came home with much to share. Our hearts and prayers are with our friends, and all there and he is planning on being back there early '23.

Kylie's lungs took awhile to bounce back, and June in the UK was a great way to work out the kinks as we dusted off our trusty PA system and hit the road. 2 weeks home in July and then we were off to tour the USA - and covered a fair bit of it in over 10,000 miles and 14 states from California to Pennsylvania and Montana to Georgia.

Grateful...is the word. SO grateful and thankful for all who help, support, book us, come listen, and buy merchandise. You validate us in our endeavours and our hearts overflow with the kindness, not to mention the great craic that we have shared with so many. 

We have been home in Wexford over 2 weeks now and still processing all we have done and the 'hows'  of what we do, as we re-cultivate the rhythms of homelife.  Apple harvest, studio production work, writing for a new Electrics album in the new year. Good things.

More news to come before the end of 2022, but as the weather gets cool and crisp and the trees explode in a last hurrah of riotous colour, it is nice to be by the Irish Sea again. 

With every blessing from our hearth to yours ♡

Irish/UK Tour and Fundraiser for Ukraine in association with GSCMC 

Greetings from Springtime in the sunny south east of Ireland!

Things are hotting up as we nail down the last few dates of our "AT LAST" Irish/UK Tour 2022 which will start and finish in Co. Wexford and cover Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales from May 22 throughout June. ( *NB first Wexford date was double booked, thus 22 May in Wexford is postponed TBA.)

Bookings are also in earnest for what looks to be a busy USA Summer Tour (late July into September).  We are grateful and excited to hit the road again. Bring it on! Please holler for information and especially if you would like us to play your town.

Closer to home and our hearts at present is the plight of Ukrainians and their precious country. Sammy wrote a song earlier this year and we have used 'We All Have To Row' and offered it for sale in a fundraising effort that has so far yielded just over €1150.

Our brothers in the Ukranian chapter of God's Squad CMC are working relentlessly providing aid, vital medical supplies, all of their military and chaplain skills. Its a considerable coordination effort and fraught with imminent danger given the offensives that are ongoing. The needs are great, we do all have to row and do what we can. Thank you to all of you who have helped, and please do share.

https://youtu.be/dT8ptbmzkMY

Meanwhile, Himself is painting up a storm as he prepares for Gorey Art School's student exhibition later in May. To say he has enjoyed the last 7 months is an understatement. He may go into a decline when it all ends, fortunately he will be busy touring and hey, you can draw wherever you are!

Here's to seeing you somewhere on the road.

Love & Revelation ♡

   Kylie and Sammy

 

Christmas News from us 

Well, here we are in 2021 and things have hardly changed in terms of what we do for a job.  More lockdowns (Ireland had one of the longest lockdowns  running for 500 days) and further restrictions due to Covid have left us firmly stuck in Ireland.  The positive side of that is that we live on the Wexford coast…a pretty beautiful part of the world to be stranded. We have enjoyed our own home, bed, neighbours and local artists and art workers in our vicinity, but not being able to tour has caused obvious problems.  In 2020 we had a children’s book published and produce two albums.  Thanks to everyone who helped us with those projects but 2021 has been a bit slower.  The studio finally died meaning a complete upgrade and some new learning curves to get it all running. 

We are so hopeful that 2022 will mean working again.

Meanwhile we have started a subscription Patreon account to enable continued relational interaction with our global community, realising that 40+ wks per year aren't going to be endurable as this pandemic caper  continues and it will enable a small income to tide us over the months at home  (if we can make it a successful venture.) 

It’s a bit hard to know how this pandemic will pan out as the bug becomes endemic.. meanwhile, we bloom where we are planted and have developed beautiful relationships here at home. 

Sammy is largely working on writing, working with new software in the studio, getting the word out about the children's books - Evie Versus The Dark, a rhyming bedtime book for young children, is available in hardcopy, and Finn And The Wild Goose in both hard copy and audio book. Available on his WEBSITE. We can and shall ship to you wherever you are!
 We were so so grateful to get to see family/grandkids in Scotland twice this year after a long 20 months without hugs. 

Kylie did a course with Dr. Baxter Kruger and Perichoresis Australia, Feb - April which was timely and wonderful, called 'Introducing the Trinitarian Faith', zoom lectures and seminars and times of encounter and rich fellowship/teaching. 

Since then she has been asked to help facilitate 2 further courses, one on Australian time, the other USA timeframe which is a challenge given it runs midnight to 3am our time zone...regardless it has been a delight to see Jesus, Abba and Holy Spirit at work and participating in what they are doing in people's lives and hearts. Such a privilege. 

Joy and Love and Revelation to you all, we sincerely hope to see you in 2022!



        Kylie and Sammy xx

November news 

Greetings all,

Its been a wee while since posting here. We had hoped to have seen some of you in a UK tour off the back of book launches late Sep and Oct but the pandemic made that counter-intuitive. Not making money for this long means touring requires a positive fiscal outcome. So, back to the drawing board and we shall tour in earnest next year. 

In the interim this has been a time of online zoom courses (Kylie) and attending Gorey Art School (Sammy) both very enjoyable pursuits as well as getting to perform locally here in Carlow for the book launch of 'Smith Happens' Sammy's humorous book on the many mishaps that that great man survived despite all odds. The craic was mighty and validated that we've all been far too long without the joy of live performance.

Some of you who follow us on social media will know that we are looking at the "hows" of doing our thing at this juncture. Being global peeps means adjusting to how we reach fans and friends best. We have gotten some encouraging feedback on our plan to start a Patreon account to better enable connectivity and some regular income and whilst our hope is to be touring as soon as practical, Patreon ensures accessibility to our tribe without the algorithms and bollocks of Facecloth and the like.

So, stay tuned, we plan to launch on Himself's birthday Dec 1st, and if you want to get the details, sign up for emails. 

Love & Revelation!

Mid-year @ Camp Horner 

Heya!

How are you?

As we think on how this year is flowing and gear up for the rest of it we hope you are managing life-with-the-plague and various related issues okay. We are both jabbed up and "ready to roll" when travel restrictions ease. 

Himself has been busy on all things 'Sammy Horner', tweaking a brand new website that will provide info/sales on every front be it music, books, The Electrics memorabilia and not least Rev. Sam & The Outcasts merchandise.  The latest addition to this is RS&TO Bourbon from the wonderful people at Spirit of Alba... made in Kentucky it is a topnotch whisky with 'spicy complexity a little like the Reverend himself'. First order has sold out, more ordered, our only regret is that no international shipping is available, so UK and Ireland sales only at this stage. We'll let you know how it goes down ;)

Many thanks for the response via social media for a Book/Music tour for Finn & The Wild Goose in September.  So far we have interest in Wexford, Belfast, Glasgow, Dundee and Balloch...all of these dates are of course, dependent on restrictions being lifted by that time. We'd love to fill out a couple of weeks, and we realize that 'book tour' isn't what we usually do, but we promise it will be fun with readings from Finn & The Wild Goose, thoughts on writing, Q & A and a little bit of music from the two of us for good measure. Message us for details....thanks in advance...Let's get some live events happening again! 

Meanwhile, take care of one another, consider/pray for our friends in Myanmar who are doing it tough, and hang in there, the best is yet to come.

Peace.

 

Trade-Off project 'On Yer Bike' 

So…a lot of you know that we run a little charity thing called Trade-Off. The idea is simple…we both have various skill sets so we go and teach them to people who have no access to educational possibilities. We have done this in Eastern Europe and Thailand in northern Chiang Mai and the Thai Burmese /Border. The idea is to give people skills that will either help them find decent paying work, or simply keep them alive! Sammy trains young men (mostly) to be basic electricians (lights power, earthing/grounding and safety) and Kylie trains basic first response medical skills and hygiene etc. Last year we introduced another area of training when Australian musician/writer and producer Rhys Duursma came with us to build a recording studio and train audio engineers. In 2020 we were invited to Myanmar to build a brand new training centre. This was amazing on multiple levels but then COVID kicked in and now Burma/Myanmar is in crisis. We were left wondering what we could do this year, since we cannot physically travel and teach. We had long chats with some of our friends and underlined the issues. We haven’t been able to tour, so we haven’t been able to put the funds to the side for our annual work…but we have a plan -if you want to help us! 

We will be launching a project called ‘ON YER BIKE’ and it’s a simple but brilliant idea. If we can provide 20 front line health workers with a bicycle and a basic first aid back pack we can help around 25,000 people in remote villages. These workers would teach hygiene, family health, pregnancy advice, basic health check ups and would be able to communicate more serious health issues to the bigger clinics. We know it sounds like a lot,  BUT a bike in Thailand costs around $50 USD and the medical backpack around $100 USD. …so for $3000 USD we can help, support and care for 25,000 people. That is great value and it will actually save and prolong the lives of a lot of people. We are going to auction off some authentic Thai / Burmese items, art work and more but we hope that you can join with us and bring some good news and hope to some of the very poorest people on the planet.

Just for anyone wondering about our 'Trade-Off' or 'On Yer Bike' projects..there is no middle man and every cent goes to the given project. We don't work alone..we have friends in two amazing organizations who live and work on the Thai/Myanmar border doing incredible work. The Trade Off schools work along side these incredible people in The Charis Project and Global Catalytic Network

Please don't hesitate to go directly to them if you need any information or you see some of the other work they are involved in. In this case, 'ON YER BIKE' will be supporting the ongoing family support work with The Charis Project and, hopefully by next year we will be building a training center in Myanmar with the Global Catalytic Network. These folk are already impacting thousands of lives in some of the poorest communities on earth...let's lend a hand. We will be putting up items for auction via Facebook...thank you to everyone who wants to be in.

Use this link:

On Yer Bike Paypal

March, Merch and More 

Spring tidings to you all as we relish sunshine ( a bit more) and welcome definite signs of a new season.
Continued 5km lockdown aside here in Ireland, we have given our local postmaster a run for his money with all the Kickstarter pledge-rewards being thrown at him!

The combined joys of brexit and covid made actually getting our hands on Rev. Sam & The Outcasts and Far Away Places somewhat of a challenge, but obstacles were over come, and vinyls, cds, t-shirts, artwork, hip flasks and all manner of swag are in the mail on their way to all who participated in our crowd funder to get these albums made. Huge thanks, we are so grateful!

The house is full of merchandise, we cant tour for the foreseeable future and our turn for vaccinations is doubtless months away.

We shall be launching the new albums on Bandcamp on April  2nd, digital downloads and hard copies. Thanks to those who have already written with orders and purchases, we are delighted and glad to off load all this stuff to anyone interested. Stay tuned we shall plug it all on social media etc.

Peace and Love to y'all.

Read more

How's Your January? 

G'day folks, from our wet but pretty part of the world...Day "I-dont-know" of Lockdown #3 - or is it 4?

We lose count and it will continue into March here as they trickle the vaccine out. Staying home, minding ourselves etc.

There's not much news and won't get into the mundanities of home water leaks and damage  but on the music front all is coming along.  Our Kickstarter campaign last year enabled us to get Sammy's first lockdown projects manufactured and we are delighted that both Far Away Places and Rev. Sam & The Outcasts are  (nearly) in our hands - both Brexit and covid have slowed down delivery. ygt ;)  Test pressing of the vinyl Rev. Sam sounds great and all is go on that front.  

We are so grateful for all the help we have had from so many  to help these albums to completion. Thank you! Release of both albums on band camp is slated for April.  Himself has recorded an audio book of Finn and The Wild Goose, an immersive experience complete with side effects, stay tuned for more info about release on that.  Writing continues, as the weeks stretch in the meantime.. Herself will be able to - at last- apply for Irish naturalisation in March. No travel is imminent so may as well get that process going. 

The wild garlic is coming, the birds are definitely louder and happier, bring on the Spring as we wait in hope for change, safety and a better new normal.

Peace xx