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Hi Friends, What a whirlwind this last year has been. I tried to write a Christmas Letter and it looked more like an itinerary than a letter. Rob Stroup and I stayed busy making music and taking it all over the West Coast. I played some amazing shows with some incredible artists, here from Portland and beyond! I feel so incredibly blessed by my life. The opportunities I have been given since I moved have been spectacular. We finally had the sold out show we wanted at the Aladdin theater, one year from my CD release. I got to play my own shows, but also got to be a back-up singer/piano player from time to time. The highlight of those experiences was a back-up singer for "Drunken Prayer" at their CD release here in Portland .. possibly the best show I have been a part of to date! I've also been a part of a handful of records. Thom Lyons and Kat Jones were probably two of my favorite projects I played on, especially because I felt I got two knew friends out of the process. I also had a whistling debut ..! I LOVE to whistle! And "Long Winter Night" is being featured in the upcoming "Bike Love" documentary. Fun stuff! I had a handful of very powerful experiences this year, including loosing one of the first friends I made here to cancer. My life has continually reminded me of how short the journey really is. We get this one shot to give it our best, and I had to be reminded of that a few times this year, as it felt I was easing into complacency .. that old glove that always wants to slip back on our fingers. I made the decision when I moved here to give music everything I had for 5 good years before I started looking for other options. That was the most exciting and most terrifying thing I ever did in my life. Now that the money's all gone and the demands are more,well, demanding, the exciting wears thin and the terrifying asks more questions than I want to answer. But after spending time in the redwoods this summer, and I stood below the oldest living things in the world. My place in all things felt small and not worth the worries I had been letting distract me. When all is said and done, I don't want to have lived my life safe and secure. I will have wanted to say I threw everything into being the best version of me to the world. With that renewed focus I embrace 2013, already with challenges. Some of my loved ones have been diagnosed with cancer, l face lack of work and reward.. but I have my health, my mind, my choices, my freedom to do with all things that come my way, what I choose. What an honor this thing we call living is.. how dare I not live ferociously. Cheers friends, to all that comes, high or low.
All my love, Naomi
Hi friends, Long time, no blog ;) I know, I was never good at keeping a diary either BUT I know you care and I appreciate your e-mails so much. I am settling into my life here in Portland wonderfully.. I have wonderful friends and people that I love sharing this journey with me, for that I am SO thankful! I plan to start a mobile vintage business in April or May .. and I am really excited to tell you more about that as it shapes up.. Look for it on SE Division Street near 31st :) But as far as music, it commands all my attention every day. Now that I have released "It was a Great October" the chore is to now get it as far out the world as I can.. and how is that you ask? Shows, tours, HOUSE CONCERTS.. word of mouth.. friends sharing with friends.. etc.. I am right now booking shows and house concerts all up and down the West Coast for this summer and fall. If you have friends that would like my music, please share me with them..If they would like to host a house concert.. I'll pack up my gear in my truck and be there faster than you can say Jimmy crack corn :) Thank you so much for you love and support, we believe in this album and I am still here to do what I set out to do; to give my music to the world, with the hope that it can give everyone who hears it what they need to navigate this world a little better. Send your love and peace my way and I will do the same for you! XOXOXO!! Naomi
Happy to report to you that thanks to my kickstarter supporters this album is no longer cooking in the over, it is FINISHED!! Whew! Just in time for an Alaskan Tour starting in July;
Naomi Hooley and Rob Stroup's acoustic Alaskan tour: July 7th- Vagabond Blues- Palmer 6pm-8pm July 8th- Resurrect Art Coffee House- Seward July 9th- Maxines Bistro- Girdwood
Naomi Hooley & Rob Stroup & the Blame Alaskan tour & CD release: July 14th & 15th- Tap Root - Anchorage July 16th- Alice's Champagne Palace- Homer
For those waiting for the Portland CD release it is scheduled for October 15th at the Aladdin Theater! WOWZA!!
I can't tell you how proud I am of this CD, of all the people involved in making it the best refection and recording of me as an artist.
I CAN'T WAIT for you to hear it!
I have been in Portland for half a year.. and I have to say this feels like the life I have been supposed to be living. The album is in final mixing stages, all the main tracks done .. even final vocals.. three songs have been mixed and I have to say, thanks to the unique touches and specific direction of Rob Stroup at 8Ball Studios.. this album is going to be a buffet for your ears and a delight to listen to! There is almost something a little bitter-sweet about being this far along in the process.. I threw all my stuff in a truck and drove all the way from Alaska to do just this.. record an album.. and now that we are nearing the finish.. I have feelings of "now what?" Well now is where it really begins! Hopefully you will all enjoy this album as much as I anticipate you will.. and may that mean that this will not be the only album I make but simply the first! Hang tight! It's coming and it's going to be worth the wait.
Portland, my friends, has been worth everything I gave up, drove away from and left behind.. I think in Portland, I find myself.. at home..
Hello Portland and all my many friends and family! Just wanted to check in and let you know I'm still here pluggin' away! The album is coming along SOOO well! I can hardly wait for you to hear it, we are in the fine detail phase of the album right now and that is what gives an album it's flare and uniqueness but it is also the tedious part and hard work. Next month I hope to be working on final vocals and making hard decisions on what songs are staying and what song won't be making the cut! Keep watching here and on Facebook for more updates! And remember if you like what you are hearing.. share me with a friend! Love to you and yours~ XOXOX Naomi
On this journey towards Portland I have been able to not just share my own music but experience music from other artists. Every human being is such a unique individual with experiences that shape us into our own being. The "cookie cutter" pressure of our world only has as much power over us as we give it. I think the most beauty I have seen in the world is people just being who they truly are and giving that away to the world.. Give it away, see what happens.. you just might surprise yourself!
I have been in Portland for one week and I have to say my heart is happy. I haven't found a job yet but I did have an interview which was encouraging.. I have a room I am renting in a nice house that lets me have my big hairy significant other: Triton my newfoundland dog! I have seen music almost every night that I have been here. I love the bustle and vibe of this place in a big way. Folks have been friendly, weather has been kind and I noticed blackberries growing wild on the side of MANY trails around here so I hope to make use out of those pesky weeds and jar me up some jam!! People in Portland are being themselves. Whether that is with a mohawk, on a bike, in a Volkswagen, wearing a mini skirt or high heeled boots... and you know, that is what I came here to do.. be myself.. and give my music away to whomever wants to listen.. So I'm hopeful, and I'm excited that this place is ok with just about anyone and anything... So keep checking in, I'm writing more tunes and I've posted some youtube stuff as well as pics from my glorious road trip down the Al-can ! http://www.facebook.com/pages/Naomi-Hooley/176470704778?ref=ts
I have been living out of a suitcase for 5 weeks now and in five days I will be driving through Canada all the way to Portland where I have a roommate and a place to live lined up and that is all.. From there it is unknown, but I have cast my fate.. and well hell, I've basically flung my entire self to the mercy of the universe! So far I have been nothing but pleasantly surprised and grateful. Everything I own to my name fits in the back of my pick-up truck, yet my world feels huge and full. For the first time in my life I have sat in quiet contentment and marveled at how wonderful it is to be alive. I have shared my music with strangers, and with the closest of friends and family. They in return have shared themselves with me. I wanted to share this NOT so you could wish that you too were living out of the back of your truck wandering down a road where you don't know where it goes.. instead I wanted to just remind you, and myself at the same time, that each day we can decide to cast our fate to the wind, give ourselves to that very day and absorb being alive, which friends, is a wonderful privilege!! More than I am afraid or unsure, I am thankful.. for you! Naomi