Well, summer is flying by and all of a sudden here we are in August, which happens to be my birth-month;) Thanks to my family, my fella, and dear friends, this new decade of life was rung in with lots of celebrating and games and yummy food and drinks and all sorts of goodness. I was delighted to have my dad here in town--it's been too long since we have actually gotten to celebrate a birthday together. He created this incredibly touching piece as a gift...you can listen here: https://soundcloud.com/cellomansings/forever-so It's been a nice, steady stream of local shows this summer and feels good to be playing in Nashville, although I am feeling the hunger to get back out on the road. Planning is in the works for a November tour back to the Northeast, so stay tuned for some announcements on that in the coming weeks...
Summer has also been an inspiring time in the writing department and I am excited to get into the studio this fall and start recording. Our beloved guitarist Scott Hardin also happens to be an amazing recording engineer and has a studio about an hour outside of Nashville in a cabin on a lake. Hellll yeah! I haven't been there before but Jamie has recorded there with Scott before and has nothing but glowing reviews of the general vibey-ness of the experience.
The culmination of our Kickstarter campaign this past spring is about to happen next week with an outdoor house concert at the home of John and Paula in Middletown, Ohio. It's a coincidence (or is it...? ;)) but without knowing it, the date they picked out for the show is actually the one-year anniversary of the release of Storybook! Wow, what a year it has been. Not to get all mushy-gushy but I do feel so thankful for the adventures of this past year, to have an album that I am truly proud of and am excited to share with people, and to be able to play with this band whom I respect highly and love deeply. Can't wait to celebrate with John and Paula and all of their great friends!
Check it out, friends!!! Cut and paste the link below or search my name on Kickstarter.com http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/445067390/ali-sperry-and-the-family-vacation-quest-to-go-wes Please help us out if you can--there are all sorts of fun incentives to contribute. And feel free to email the link to friends, post on your page, etc and help us spread the word!!! Many many thanks!!!
It's been a blissful Saturday so far today. It started off with my friends coming over to rehearse and eat pancakes. My very talented friend Ted Ringeisen has been working on the Kickstarter video and we're planning to launch it by next weekend. He joined us this morning to take some footage of the rehearsal and general merriment.
I've never done a Kickstarter before--and yeah, I'll admit I'm a little nervous. It's a big undertaking and I realize that I am getting ready to to ask a lot of people. I feel ready for this though and am very grateful that there is such a thing as Kickstarter to provide a format in which to seek support and offer an opportunity for people to become involved in what we're doing in a very profound way. I am confident and so excited about this west coast CD release tour and can't wait for the Family Vacation to cover a huge stretch of new ground!
Stick around for the vid...
Feeling particularly mellow and relaxed at the moment as the year comes to a close. Holy shit, what a year it's been! Seriously, one of the biggest and best--No, I think THE biggest and best year of my 29 years of life on this planet. Completing this album, going on tour, making music with the people dearest to my heart, all of the adventures on the road and at home, wow. It really is a gift to be able to put so much time and energy into the act of creating and I feel the waves of gratitude flowing through it all.
So at the moment, I'm breathing a deep sigh of thanks and taking it all in. The Nashville CD release show was everything I hoped and more. Just a crazy feeling to be standing up there with 9 friends and witnessing the musical genius of them all as they create magic from these songs. Can't thank you guys enough for contributing in such a profound way and making the night so special.
I've just started planning the West Coast tour that's going to be happening this spring, so if you are anywhere between Nashville and LA, you'll probably be seeing us very soon.
Meanwhile, drop a line and say hi. Let us know your favorite venues in your area that you think we should play at. Let us know if you know of any bands that you think would be a good fit for us to do shows with. Let us know what's on your Christmas list--I might not be able to help but I will happily listen!
In closing, I recommend listening to the Beach Boys Holiday and Otis Redding Holiday Pandora stations if you are in the mood for some serious holiday cheer. So good!
love and thanks and glad tidings,
It's official. The holiday season is upon us. How do I know, you may ask? Because I partook in the kickoff glass of eggnog last night, so it must be true.
Life has been particularly grand as of late. Got to play at the Blue Plate in Knoxville last weekend and my Grandpa came to the show, which just meant the world to me. I know I am biased, but he is pretty much one of the sweetest men on the planet. It completely melted my heart to see him smiling and clapping in the audience and I am so grateful he was there.
The very next day got to participate in an unforgettable house concert at the home of my man and my roommates-once-removed. It was one of those Nashville nights where you feel completely blown away by the fact that all of the people around you, who happen to be such good-hearted, fun, funny and kind people, are also RIDICULOUSLY talented musicians. I mean seriously, when I get the opportunity to see any one of my buddies doing their thing I am just so proud and impressed and inspired. And not only by how talented everyone is, but also by the intense shared love of music that is omnipresent. You can feel how happy everyone is to be making music and collaborating with one another. It is completely beautiful and touching. I definitely had a couple emotional moments watching my friends playing and sharing their hearts and their music--what a community! Also got to fall in love with some new music and make some new friends: the delightful Gwyneth and Monko and Eliza Rickman. Check them out.
And then as if life wasn't already filled to the brim with sweetness, this night was followed up by a two-day backpacking/camping/rock-climbing trip!!! A few highlights--arriving to our site and setting up tents in the dark, to awaken and see that we were fully surrounded by cliffs, rocks and forests on all sides. Scrumptious meals cooked over a camp stove. Four friends snuggled under a blanket gazing at stars you just don't ever see in a city. Hot-chocolate and whiskey and celebrating presidential victory. OH, and climbing up the face of a freaking rock for the first time ever! SO fun!
Enough rambling for now (two cups of coffee this morning!). I'll leave you with a quick outline of upcoming shows--
Thursday Nov 15 Black Mountain, NC (come celebrate Kai's bday with us!!!)
Friday Nov 16th Thomas, WV. Return to the Purple Fiddle!
Monday Dec 3rd, NASHVILLE CD RELEASE SHOW at The Basement
Thursday Dec 6th, Chicago, IL
Friday Dec 7th, Fairfield, IA
Saturday Dec 8th St Louis, MO
Hope to see you there!!!
What a ridiculously sweet and wonderful summer it continues to be. Just got back from a sweeeet Miami hang with my Mom and Barry--complete with daily floats in their beautiful backyard pool, a boating day, Barry and Jamie golfing while the girls raided the Anthro sale room, lots of laughs and scrumptious food and utter relaxation. Home for a day and a half and now...in Ohio for the Great Family Birthday Celebration of 2012 for John, Julia, and Ali. (yes, it's my birthday month, friends, and the celebrating officially begins tomorrow!). We also managed to get a week in at the beach earlier this summer in Emerald Isle, NC. Jeeeez. Do I ever work?! But seriously, don't worry. In the midst of all of this major vacationing and chillaxing, I've managed to get the record finished and off to discmakers (I should have it in 11 days! eek!), book a tour, and start preparing for said tour. AND fit in yoga teaching and babysitting so I'm not broke before I go on tour. So, i wouldn't say it's ALL play and no work. But...you know, I'll admit to mostly play and fun work. Tour dates will be posted soooooon....stay tuned, friends.
One of those nights where I am having butterflies in my tummy for no particular reason. Or I guess, many particular reasons all compiled into one. And I know this excited and slightly nervvie energy is not caffeine related, because I've taken a full on 8-day break from lattes, sugar, alcohol, and all things fun and mildly bad for you. But have no fear, tomorrow is the triumphant return and I will celebrate whole-heartedly with some sort of alcoholic ice cream coffee float or something. Enough about food and beverages. Got the final version of Alone Together back this week. Went in to the studio with Verds and Papi and did a little tweaking to the mix, and Man, am I thrilled we did. Felt a little emotional when I listened to it tonight. Every single person who played on that song I just love so much and I love the exquisite parts they created to make it so powerful. Mmmm, happy. Getting together with Chris this week to finish up the cover and then it will be off to discmakers and out of my hands. Woo! Booking dates for late August, early September, so if anyone has any favorite venues that they wold recommend in the midwest-south-northeast area of the country, give this lady a holler. love and butterflies, Ali
So much excitement lately. Having a chill night with my Marms tonight, who is visiting from Miami. I know I've been saying it for a while (as these things tend to happen) but serrrrriously, final stages of the album are in motion. Album artwork coming together beautifully thanks to a few key friends and family members (Ben Estey, Paul Gagnon, Melody Kogol, Chris Miller). Mom's helping me work on the song order, which is a saga in itself. So many ways to put together a list of songs. Like, too many. So that is the scoop. Starting to book dates for a 2 week run at the end of aug/beginning of september. It will feel SO good to get on stage with my friends and perform these songs for people. Cannot wait for that part. Mmmm, happy days.
Hi friendlies, ok so...soooooo close to a complete finished album. Oh man oh man. The last four mixes are done, and now just taking a few days to listen and live with them--listening on my computer, on headphones, on good speakers, crappy speakers, in my car, at the yoga studios I teach at before my students show up (haha, yes, usually good sound systems in those studios). Will probabaly do a few minor tweaks here and there, and then it's off to get mastered. Meanwhile, working on album artwork with my bro Ben and getting ready to do a photoshoot with my buddy Paul Gagnon in NYC next week. Wooooeeee, this is FUN!
Mixing Me & the River at the moment. Well, Kyle is mixing and I am cheering him on and eating snacks. We recorded these last few songs a couple weeks ago and haven't really revisited them since then, so it's so nice just to hear them again. Meanwhile, Christoph and I had a delightful coffee meeting yesterday to discuss T-shirts. You may not know this about him, but in addition to being bass player extraordinaire, Chris is quite the screenprinter of shirts. So he gave me his expert advice and we came up with a good plan. Got some of the artwork from my brother Ben last night--wooooeee is it pretty! What a team I have working on this. Seriously. I am feeling like a very lucky lady. Speaking of the team, started taking guitar lessons with Wes this past week. So fun! In the first lesson he's already got me playing with heavier picks and bigger balls! haha. He made me stand up to play and was going "Imagine you're Tom Petty! You're steering this ship!". It was very inspiring! That's all for now from mixing land...