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Penne Sandbeck / Blog

relocating SUCKS

Well, I've been out of the loop for a bit due to a new job and getting adjusted. It's been three weird months, but I hope things will be getting better soon. I've got songs to finish and songs to learn!

Influences

Everyone is original and unique--so I feel odd having a statement that I sound like Etta Baker or Joni Mitchell or Nancy Griffith. Of course, I don't sound like them any more than they sound like me. I think this particular effort to help listeners identify artists they can relate to is a little misguided. Let me help you here--lately, I've been thinking a lot about women who I think have paved the way for a lot of us, especially for me, and women I listen to and look up to. They're mentors I've never had the pleasure of meeting but here they are: first, anyone who knows me knows that I have revered Joni Mitchell since I was eleven and, even though I haven't had the nerve to tackle many of her songs, I'm feeling a pull, more and more, to get in the water and try. Another person is the late-great-incredible Kate McGarrigle. Still another is Lucinda Williams. There are more, of course (there are always more--I left out Libba Cotten, Etta Baker, and Kate Wolf!), but I think these three women share an indomitable spirit and artistry--and belief in themselves--that I aspire to.

2014 at last!

On one hand, every year is another year older. On the other hand...what's wrong with that? I'm looking forward to growing as a writer and musician, and getting to play out more this year.

summer's winding down and things are picking up

I've got a box of CDs burning a hole in my closet floor, so I've taken a few to Mary at the 4Cs in downtown New Bern. Price is very reasonable, ask Mary or Chantal and they'll fix you up. I'll have them at the next few gigs (see schedule), too.

mumfest is coming...

Hey everyone in our corner of eastern NC--a group I work with, the NC Songwriter's Co-op (NCSC) will have a stage at Mumfest in New Bern, on October 14--we've just got that Sunday, but I may have a few slots for local folks. I'm pleased to hear from one of y'all already! Check in with me, and I'll see what I can do. NCSC does have a songwriter's contest (deadline is October 1) so you might want to join them anyway--their annual dues are very reasonable. Check them out: their link is http://www.ncsongwriters.org/fr_home.cfm. Otherwise, I am REALLY looking forward to opening for Jon Shain on August 25 at New Bern's Broad Street Social Club...fun starts around 8. Come see us! Between Jon coming to town, finally getting to play at the club I pass by every day on my lunch break, Mumfest, the day job, trying to get some songs written, hoarding money to get my CD packaged, designed, and out...I am one busy human being! But the CD mastering is coming right along, which makes me very-very happy. We're hoping it'll be ready for everyone right after Thanksgiving.

nat turner's dark virginia night

Crazy weekend, sick daughter, husband giving a presentation...and I realized I haven't been giving this site much attention lately. But--here's a freshly-uploaded song I wrote. Judy Woodall did all the great resonator and electric guitar layers, there's a taste of bass (not the fish), and I'm soldiering through on acoustic. Hope you like it all...some notes to go with it follow:

The hills scrubbed bare with winter grass, they glow in the dark. It's a ghost land, here.

Barns slowly divesting themselves of nails and studs and boards, just slowly sinking into earth.

Farmhouses high on the rise, a light on. But no one's lived here for six years. The heirs don't know what they'll do, how they'll sell the land off.

Local radio station, as I turn to the Nat Turner Highway. A black folksinger named Narissa Bond told about going into a 7-11 in Smithfield, and the white clerk being mean. She is very gracious about it, and sad. It makes me angry and ashamed that I couldn't be there to stop his boorish behavior.

And in the middle of all this, I'm riding through a ghostscape.

Riding, riding, riding into the night.

so much going on...

ReverbNation is asking me to write an entry to complete my profile...so here's a thought: how many of you in New Bern and thereabouts participate in a songwriting potluck or circle where you get together and everyone takes turns playing the group one of their own songs?

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