I was gonna take this fall to songwrite, reflect, put together this new band idea…..and DANG off like a shot things have been a whirlwind! Nashville, Dewey Beach, New York Showcases, DC, New Deal, Iota, Quench regular spot, playing on the radio, and an upcoming tour to North Carolina! The thing is, I write and create best when I am inspired and playing with pros like Neal Herron, Dave Gorozdos, Joe Gretz, and the usual suspects Ken Romelli and Olivia Ferrante….I can barely keep up with the songs coming on! Out of this whirlwind: "Happiness", "Troubles", and next "Jasmine Brown". The band is evolving, and the new sounds and textures add new depth and texture to the songs I "Hear". Very thankful for your kind words, support, and believing in the dreams of an Uber-tall-unpolished-midwestern girl. Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Nashville put some major doubts to rest. It's one thing when folks in your city or your region like your songwriting-- they have to like you right, you're local! It was astonishing to hear industry pros liking my songwriting. I really needed that. After three months going solo and wondering if I was on the right track....kinda exhausted....it was music to my ears. I've been told I am a back-up-girl, better behind the scenes. I've been told I "need" other more experienced pros to succeed. And stepping out on my own was a bit of a risk, but this weekend my doubts were put to rest and I feel nothing but grateful to the friends who kicked me in the pants and told me I could do it:) Another surprise-- our Americana sound fit in really well in Music Town! Not sure how this city girl got twangy-- perhaps it's the Chi-town blues mixing with all those summers on the farms of Kansas. So the sounds are evolving, and instead of worrying too much about categories I'll just keep exploring. This is a great adventure, and I so appreciate you stopping by to listen from time to time. Hey if you are in Delaware this weekend drop into The Dewey Beach Music Festival and hear my new ukulele tune "What a Day!"-- or if you're in DC I'll be at Axum Lounge Saturday night. Or the video is on youtube and reverbnation. That song kinda says it all for me....have a beautiful day yourself!
I wrote a song last Fall about my daughter Olivia..."Harvest Moon"...and ever since I've been searching my heart and trying and failing to write a song about my son, Nico. He is a true original, authentic, and refuses to bow to pressure and conform to the crowd. I've watched him battle judgment and horrendous belittling. Yet he has remained true. Almost too much feeling to put into song: His quirky love of dub step music, his incredible courage, strength through adversity, his habit of adding food coloring to drinks to celebrate color and life, quick wit, funky style... That's Nico:)
So finally it came together, the song, and I've been nervous to sing it for him. Last night I finally did, and it made my heart jump to see the huge smile on his face.... It's called "Shine" and I hope to get it recorded soon....maybe tomorrow at the Music Café for my Live Album. But whether or not it's recorded...I am still smiling to remember that grin on his face...
We had a beautiful performance at Foundation Gallery and Liveroom on 6/1. I was very honored to have Les Hatley open with his magical instrumentals.
Les is a long time Washington DC area guitar player recognized with multiple Washington Area Music Association “Wammie” nominations. Les released his second solo CD recently, called “Surge”, and it is getting radio airplay across the nation. Along the way Les played on bills with artists ranging from Roberta Flack to Steppenwolf. He also plays in a duo called Crumpled Hat and a Wammie nominated contemporary gospel group called Seneca.
It was about 90 degrees in MD Saturday, and in order to get good recording we had to turn off the loud AC a few times. What a fun, family atmosphere. So grateful to all who came. We bonded in the late night summer heat:)
Blake Althen did our live recording-- set up his recorder and mastered on the spot. He is a producer with credits including The Bible, The Vikings, Top Shot, Ice Road Truckers and many more.
So after a year and a half of gigging I guess I'll have some much better recordings soon. VERY very grateful!
Now that this set of originals are recorded I am astounded by the songwriting that is coming out of me. Guess my brain got to clear the decks! Soon you'll hear :" Annabelle", a new song about my son, and a song about a local eatery in our small town..."Jimmy Cone".
Most of the time I am a dance, fitness, and music teacher. I have an arts/fitness company and often work 60-70 hour weeks-- sometimes 25 classes a week. Talk about sore feet!! Music has been my recreation, my playtime. What a privilege and joy! Surprisingly as I have found more success and musical opportunity, I have almost lost the feeling of PLAY. I became focused on performance and perfection. And then...Enter Les Hatley, who has helped me rediscover the joy of collaboration and creativity. It's not all about a perfect performance...its making magical moments, and sharing awe with a wider audience. So I've taken a couple weekends to rest, and recuperate, and ...yes...PLAY. Here's to a little more balance in 2013!
No dance or fitness classes this morning. Had the opportunity to honor that moment of silence at 9:30. And I don't know about you, but in the silence was reality speaking. I didn't want to listen to it all week. I've been so busy and life has been so loud lately, I needed that moment of silence to look at those pictures on the TV screen. I thought of my students at the different schools where I teach and cried a little. Played my new tune Harvest Moon a couple times. I don't often listen to the whispers of silence this time of year...
I love music that has the courage to keep space. It means the writer has the courage to attempt expansive songs, so rare in this age of ultra-processed mass-media driven sound.
My friend and musical partner, Les Hatley, has such courage. And he is teaching me the Jedi ways. I get exited and I overplay at times...I'm working on it:) Get his new CD by the way, glorious storytelling with and without words!
This week I had the honor of jamming with some local legends with the Songwriter Association of Washington. What a joy-- check out the photos on my Facebook page.
Such talent and presence in one room. I met a REMARKABLE songwriter, Daniel Lee. Find him, fan him, buy his music because his car broke down! No seriously, his music was magic.
Rambling, stream of conscious thoughts, but I am astounded my meaning this Christmas, and beauty in the midst of some darkness...
Blessings to you! Caroline
My first winter here on the East Coast I had the chance to play Christmas music at Crownsville-- a precious group of profoundly mentally ill patients. They didn't seem to understand my words, or even my touch, but music transcended pain and infirmity. I saw wooden, rigid faces streaming with tears. It was one of my most powerful music experiences. I have a feeling that in the whole scheme of things, its the healing power of music that makes the most lasting impression. I can remember hearing a song by Janice Ian when I was 5. I did not understand what "At Seventeen" meant but it made me cry. And it healed me somehow. It broke through my pain and infirmity...tears streamed down my face. I wrote my first song copying her song...hoping to find more liberty in her melodies. That's where it all began for me.
What a year-- I am just so grateful for the friends and fans who encourage me, give me great ideas, and keep coming back! After hard-gigging this first year out-- I am taking time to finally get some recording in. I hope to have a sampler CD out for my gig on December 5th, opening for Birds of Chicago at the Arts Barn-- what a thrill and an honor. I've got about seven new songs rattling around in my head, so I'm trying to play fewer gigs right now so I can learn more about my craft as a songwriter. Nothing wrong with a great cover artist, but its the creative process that jazzes me. Jon Vesner's seminar on songwriting at NERFA was a game-changer... I started out playing and writing in church about 10 years ago, so I'm gonna pull out some roots gospel every now and then and see how it goes. I did "Other Shore" at NERFA & Music Cafe-- now its my most requested song. Just feeling very grateful for friends and family and new beginnings. Hope you have a beautiful day!
Hi friends! I'm not sure how it all works, but just really psyched to get to know fellow musicians here!