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Kimberly Kenny / Blog

Why are you hugging yourself?

When Chris Zanardi messaged me with an offer to join his band High Beamz for some tour dates, I let out a noise so loud ( think SQWEEEEEEEE!!), the cat ran away leaving bloody scratches in frightened tracks. Good, I needed that arm to type YES YES back to each date he offered. We would start in Nevada City, end in Big Sur with some days at home in between. HA I thoughas I cleaned up my bloody arm, this was great, I would be a featured vocalist, all I had to do was learn the material and figure out which dresses to pack. All the fun, none of the responsibility. Of course, immediately after that thought evaporated, it was replaced with two weeks of obsessively singing the new material over and over again. None of it was hard or complicated or even unfamiliar but I knew we wouldn't have a chance to rehearse, and during the tour itself, there were two ( in the end, three actually) bass player and two different drummers scheduled to play. The band would basically be reformed every two days. Learning them inside in the out was going to be the only way to do the job of being able to signal tempo, breaks, solos, bringing the band down, raising them back up. All the stuff that makes a good singer really shine on stage - command. No way to have that without preparation. I did that, and I am glad I did - it helped me to be able to stay in the moment, open myself up each night in each place and really give it. And I did - I did give it. I so freaking gave it... Our first night was at the Crazy Horse Saloon in Nevada City and simply put, I have never been loved so hard by an audience. It was magical, and completely overwhelming. These pot growing, psychedelic taking, no deodorant wearing hippy love children were completely magical. I was hugged and high fived and loved on for hours. And it wasn't the drugs, although there were plenty there. Maybe it was the full moon or the fact that it was Friday the 13th. But the rarefied air in that room that lifted bodies up, made them dance, pulled them to the edge of the stage to love us all, every player on the stage - I don't know what that is. I know that its the reason I sing. I know that its the reason I am healed. Because of nights like that. I would have lived in that room forever, spent the rest of my life with them. The next day we were in South Lake Tahoe at the Heavenly Concert Series. It was beautiful but so dry. I could not keep enough water in to stop my vocal cords from being ravaged. It was an outdoor show and the noise you make just dissipates like vapor into the air. Its hard to hear and control your volume and intensity. On an up note, I wore a really pretty dress that got lots of compliments and actually matched the stage background perfectly. Plus I had a few days off to recoup the water and ease the leather strings back into supple shape. Three days later, I drove to Sacramento and moved into Zanardi's guest bedroom for a couple of days while we hit shows in the area. I walked in and he made the bed with pillow cases and a comforter that had been hand made by his wife's grandmother. This would set the tone for the entire time I spent with Z - completely at home. Like GRANNY home - comfortable, familiar, relaxed. I don't know why, but something clicked - that kid will be my life long friend. I think a lot of people the get to know him probably feel that way. He is just one of those guys. That night, we hit his home town venue - The Torch Club. We walked in during the happy hour set with