By nature I’m not a patient person.  Who is?  Despite the fact that I’m not home much, my hobbies are time consuming.  I love gardening.  I start my plants from seeds and watch for months while my seedlings turn miraculously to vegetables.  In 2009 I started infusing things…oils, vinegars, cordials…and could hardly wait for my concoctions to mellow into deliciousness.  It was awesome to realize how easy it is to make bread, crackers, and pasta.  This year I started keeping bees. I learned to can.  I picked wild blackberries and turned them into jam, syrup, vinegar, and pie filling.  I’ve brined my own olives.  If my bees get through the winter I’ll harvest honey by early summer, about the same time I expect the olives to have lost their bitterness and be worthy of a cheese platter.  I also learned to make soft cheeses, butter, and yogurt this year.  Not terribly time consuming but has lead me down the slippery slope to hard cheese, which must age for months and sometimes years.  That’s my 2011 project (I’ll start with cheddar), along with the mushroom farm.  My newly inoculated logs will spring forth with fungi in Oct 2011.  

And what’s this got to do with music?  Well, in Jan 2009 my band began recording a project that’s been pampered from seedling to veritable jungle.   The record is called “The Goodbye Party,” but don’t worry, we’re not leaving.  As a matter of fact, I hope this is the first of many collections of songs that we bring to you over the next few years.  Soon I’ll send you an email letting you know how you can help us get the disc into your hands.  I hope you’re waiting impatiently.

Video killed the radio star

(I apologize in advance to all the fine video artists out there.  This post represents my insecurities much more than your talents.)

Last night we played the opening party for the RiverRun Film Festival in Winston-Salem.  The Millennium Center was all done up in white taffeta and strategically placed lights, and the band was beautifully lit with gels and draped fabric.  It seemed most of the audience members were brandishing cameras, both video and still, which was appropriate for a film festival, I suppose.  We were prepared…sharply dressed and ready for our close-ups.  

This is not always the case.  I was appalled to find myself recently on YouTube with bad hair and no lipstick, singing my heart out, looking too hippy for words.  At that show I was blissfully unaware of a video camera.  They’re everywhere!  Even I have one on my cellphone.  And I hate to say that it happens but sometimes the sound isn’t good at shows (which may cause one to sing out of tune) and that shows up on YouTube too.  I’m not a big fan of reality TV.  I want to look and sound better than I really do.  Is that wrong?  

I love live music.  I make my living doing live music.  When I listen to live music I don’t want or expect it to sound like the record.  Spontaneous magic can happen when least expected.  A former choir director once said, “Making a joyful noise is all well and good, but God deserves our best.”   Amen to that!   Music lovers, you deserve a transcendent noise…which is hard to capture on homemade live video.  And the professionals? Please stop pointing those hi-def cameras at people!  Do you see what it does to their skin?  

I’m currently reading Thich Nhat Hanh’s “Teachings on Love” and am trying to envelope myself in compassion and loving kindness so that reality doesn’t make me want to slink off to a corner with a bag on my head.  On the other hand, every time I link concert footage to my website or facebook profile I see a big increase in traffic.  Breathing in…I express peace, happiness and light in my music.  Breathing out…I close my eyes to the horror.

P.S. Facebook users, wanna see some new footage?  This link will take you to The Blue Vine in Salisbury, where on April 9, 2010 Sam and I started the second set with a song that he wrote from the new record.  Enjoy!!/pages/Salisbury-NC/The-Blue-Vine/175630192365?v=app_2392950137&ref=ts

Writing a bio

After writing all the band member bios (which I enjoyed immensely), Ben insisted that I have one too. It’s excruciating work to write your own bio. People who hire me need to say something about who I am and what I do in their advertising.  Almost everytime I’m introduced on stage, a litany of my “accomplishments” follows, and I think, “Wow, that was years ago” and get that feeling that I haven’t done enough with my life.  I’ve also tried hiring writers to do it for me but you still have to tell them what you consider to be your accomplishments.  Wouldn’t it be refreshing to simply say, “She tries to be a good person and always do her best.”  Would that motivate you to come out to a show?

And I particularly like the question, “What type of music do you play?”  The answer?  Good.  I play good music.  The truth is, the lines of genre are blurrier than ever.    I play the music I like.   

I’ll try my best to come up with new accolades to help in the publicity blurbs, but if y’all could continue your support by just listening to the music…..