posting these songs ... writing the lyrics ... my life flashing before my eyes. For example, "Building on a Rainbow Bridge" - written in Berkeley, California as I was doing benefits for different Native American (Movement) tribes' struggles ~ learned so much. Met Bill Wapapah, a prince of a man, such a warrior and gentle spirit. Floyd Westerman, too, a great singer and spirit. I remember his eyes, their smiles. This song happened. And I joined a caravan of women going to Four Corners, to the Navajo reservation where there was to be a Council meeting with Hopi elders. The night we got there I fell asleep inside the council hogan (big) by the fire in the center (big) and do not know how I didn't fall into it during the night. No one bothered me or said anything; I felt so comfortable there, with all the people. Especially the women, who worked hard every day of their lives. They gathered the wood, raised and killed the sheep, cooked, I mean really, really strong women, inside and out. Skirts, boots, silver and turquoise belts, scarves. The US government was trying to get them to re-locate off the rez because there was uranium mining, it was valuable (and therefore dangerous) property. Tailings left from mining operations were causing babies to be born with deformities. The Navajo wanted the mining to stop, the government wanted them out. Helicopters were being sent in low, over the hogans, scattering the sheep and disrupting their days with loud noise and terrible uncertainty. This the women told me themselves. I asked to sing "Building on a Rainbow Bridge" during the council meeting to get approval for dedicating it to the struggle for their dignity and basic rights, and was given permission - on both counts. That was an honor. The words that were spoken by Elders from both Navajo and Hopi nations I will never forget. We are living them now. One woman who spoke was a blind medicine woman. Her hand traced circles in the dirt as she spoke of gathering herbs on the mountainside, how she was taught as a child, and how the land was so sacred. Like other peoples' churches. Her face was lined and craggy from the wind and sun, and her energy so humble and authentic. After, she joined me and 2 other women for a photo outside the hogan. That photo was used in conjunction with the song, on the album "One World, One Heart". The track was recorded by my brother Scott at his studio in Davis, CA and the vocals and guitar overdubs done in Oakland the following year. That was in 1989 - the song was written in 1983. May these songs, and our efforts, benefit all beings.
Happy to announce the launch of PLAY LIKE A GIRL in NYC August 17th at the Highline Ballroom! Let's see, how many times have I played in the City? Kind of a blur, but here goes: Max's Kansas City, Carnegie Hall, with Fanny; Town Hall, June Millington and Smiles (with Buffy St Marie); Symphony Hall and the Bottom Line, June Millington in women's music; Gerde's Folk City with Jean, the "Running" tour; both of us with Cris Williamson and Tret Fure, again Carnegie Hall ... help me out folks! All details help with the autobiography I'm working daily on.
Feels good to be gearing up to get "out there" with more gigs, this time with Jean and her son Lee Madeloni on drums. It is an awesome sound, I can say that with surety. Every time I pick up a guitar I realize ... I can play, and it's fun. And "Play Like a Girl" is a gift. Thanks all for going on this journey with us!