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LT&N / Blog

St. Thomas the Apostle

Had a wonderful time this second outing as a cantor. Less nervous than the first time, and more knowledgeable of what goes on. I also got to play guitar and sing the Psalm for the day honoring St. Thomas on his feast day. It was a wonderful way to kick off the Independence Day weekend. Don't forget to check out my first radio interview on Wedesday on Praise House Radio at noon. I'll be on the Breezy Gipson show. Question to you all out there, how old were your children when they first started to get interested in the other sex? Shoot me an email and let me know. ladytoni@rocketmail.com

Java Monkey

Had a wonderful time playing with my friend Jo-Anne aka Just Jo. Could not have picked a better time to be in downtown Decatur. There was the Decatur Art Festival going on as well as about 3 other events so there were lots of people who came around to hear Jo and I playing original songs and cover tunes. It was an awesome time. Each time we play together I am reminded of how similar we are in styles we both play acoustic guitar, play our own songs and cover some of todays and yesterdays greatest performers. I remember the first time we met, at a Go Girls Music event. Jo showed me that we can play original music and mix it with covers to create a more entertaining and interesting sound for you the listener. By watching her interact with the audience I have grown as a performer. I can honestly say that I am much more relaxed as a performer and have adopted a 'let it flow' attitude. I try not to stress about whatever goes on during a performance. Thanks so much Jo-Anne, your influence and advice on things musicial is and has been greatly appreciated. Java Monkey is an awesome place to play and it is my hope to play there again this summer. Keep watching my schedule, I'm also hoping to do more gigs with Just Jo this summer too. Till next time, Lady Toni out.

On what to do when playing doesn't go well

Today I had to learn how to be okay when the performance opp doesn't pan out. As you know, today was Mableton Community Day and I was supposed to play. Well, I played one song at the Kids Corner Stage and then I was told that I would be able to play on the main stage. What really upset me is that the one song was a cover of Stevie Nicks. If I'd known that I'd not sing anything else, I would have doing one of my original songs. Oh well, live and learn. I did get to play for my family tonight when we got home. This is helping me, I always end sets with my own songs, but I see that I need to START my sets with my own songs. Well nuff said about that. Got some leads on places to play in the future. I'll put this experience in a place of rememberance, but I've got to go on and ready myself for playing with my friend Just Jo next Sat. Can't wait to see you all there on Church Street in Decatur, GA @ Java Monkey. Lady Toni OUT!

Happy Mother's Day After Atlanta Restoration Ministries

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! Today was awesome. I praised, worshiped and met some more brothers and sisters in Christ. For Mother’s Day, I was invited to share with the congregants of Atlanta Restoration Ministries and it was an awesome time in the Lord. God certainly did show up in a big way to ARM and it was great. We arrived early and were able to attend part of the prayer service before the 11am church service. We heard lots of really awesome music and I was able to share three songs; ‘Mary’s Arms’, ‘I Am Ashamed, Father’, and ‘Tears of Joy’. I can’t wait until the next time that Pastor Vincent and First Lady Tammy invite me to their church to share. I was so moved by watching the movie ‘The Passion of The Christ’ and how the relationship of mother and child between Mary and Jesus was brought to the forefront. We all know that Mary was and is Jesus’s mom, but do we really let that sink in our minds? Yes, she knew that he would be the Savior of Mankind, but he was her baby before he did any of that. She held, washed, and fed him. Tended him when he was sick, and helped him to become the man that would say ‘Get behind me Satan’ when his father’s work needed to be done. Not much is said about, Jesus, while he was growing up, after his birth nothing is written about him until he gets older. We do know that babies grow into toddlers who grow into little children and then big children. I was led to write in songs, what I believe to be an account of how his life may have been. For sure, when he ran and play and fell down he would come to his mom, Mary to have her kiss his boo-boo’s, and she would be filled with the same pride that any mother feels when she sees her child accomplishing some milestone in his growth. Sure she understood that her son, who is also the Son of God, would do some pretty amazing things, but I’m most thankful to her that she was able to let him do what he had to do, even when it must have cost her mother’s heart to see her son suffering for others when he was blameless. This is what mothers are called to do, we love and nurture our child or children, we hurt when they hurt and thrill at their victories. Yes, we should certainly honor all Mother’s today, but let us not forget one of the greatest examples of a mother’s love that we have. Mary, the mother of Jesus shows us all that even when we give birth to a child that child isn’t ours they are the child that God has put into our care to raise to love and serve God, but they are their own person and they must find their way in this world. We give them the tools to follow God, but ultimately it is them who make the decision how to continue with their lives. We have to be mom enough to let them go when we can tell them how to behave no longer. When they are adults and have the tools to live life on their own, we need to let them. But until that day, we are given a huge charge to raise our children to know God, keep His commandments and honor Him with their lives.

Are you a song?

Hello Fans, WOW! No one guessed what I had in my hand…AN EGG! Hope that doesn’t mean I need to give up my dream of writing. I just had an awesome session with Thommi Odom – www.thommiodom.com and things are coming together to make this and all following years wonderful. Earlier this month, I had a minor melt down when someone said something to me about my grandson. Well, if you know me you know that I have a 10 year old son, not a grandson. Her comment did sting for a moment and got me thinking of that age old issue, should I dye my hair or not? Well, here is where I am, I sing about God’s wonderful NATURAL world and how I enjoy seeing the beauty around me. Does coloring my hair mean I’m covering up part of God’s world or merely trying to enhance an aspect of it? I don’t feel as old as my graying hair lets on, but I also feel that it is more about what is inside me and everyone that counts. You can follow my “TO COLOR OR NOT” trials. I had hoped that the inside would mean more, but the musical message seems to getting more competition from concerns over my hair. I don’t know where this will lead, but it is a great story and even better song! No more shows this month, lots of networking events and preparing for my “Two Woman Show” with Just Jo, an artist friend of mine whose musical styling’s is a complement to my own. We will be sharing the stage at Java Monkey, in Decatur, on the 28th of May. Stay tuned for radio shows, and performance updates on http://www.reverbnation.com/ladytoniGA See you soon. Love and blessings, Lady Toni

AfTer the SHOW

Hello Fans! This is going to be a fun blog today. Not only did I have an awesome time playing at Rev Coffee on Wednesday, I got up bright and early on Thursday to go to a ‘Writers Workshop’ with author, Margaret Johnson-Hodge. Boy have I got lots to share!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHUCK! On the Rev Open Mics, generally you are asked to limit yourself to two songs. Well, since my guest was none other than my wonderfully talented 10 year old son, Nate, (who btw has never had a drum lesson, but plays like a pro) we were asked to play a third song. We played ‘I’m Still Waiting’ and ‘6 O’Clock’ and as our encore piece we played ‘Snowday.’ Luckily for us we’ve played together before so doing a third song was easy. ‘Snowday’, like most of my other songs, was written because of true life. I had a tour in March starting in the south and going up north to New Jersey. Here is was warm so since I was running out of packing space, I left my coat at home. My mom and son both had their coats; I would soon see the error in my ways. Driving north it started to rain that turned to sleet, freezing rain, and finally snow...lots and lots of snow in Philly and Jersey. ‘My family was warm but not me in my windbreaker. Not so much fun if the driver – me forgets to pack winter outer wear. When you pack your car for a long trip, leave something else, not your winter coat because March up north can still give you a chill. Long story short, I was cold but I got a great story and song out of the adventure. Nate ended the evening by playing a set on his own. He played two original ‘Bongo’ songs and was greeted with heavy applause for both. He even was greeted by his first fan, a young girl came up to him after his set to tell him she thought he was great. Business cards a reverbnation page; I see that coming for my son in the not too distant future. Yesterday was a real treat. Author, Margaret Johnson-Hodge, gave a workshop on how to write. As some of you may know, I have written one short story and have started a collection. I’ve been stuck but I am gloriously unstuck now. She gave us handouts on how to write and to persevere in our writing. I got the most out of the writing excursive she gave us. Each of us picked an object, the same object just that we got in a basket. We then opened our eyes and were tasked with writing a description for the object without saying what it was or the color of it here’s mine see if you can guess what it was. “I have an object that is small and fragile. It helps in cooking and baking. What is it?” Email me with your answers and the winner gets a comp. ticket to my upcoming web concert. I’ll tell you all the answer and the winners name in 10 or so days, the next blog. One last thought. I had an excellent coaching session with Thommi Odom – www.thommiodom.com One of the first things we mentioned was pollen and allergies. Thommi, like many of you and my family, suffers greatly from seasonal allergies. I normally skate thorough this yellow-green season. Well, I should know not to save NEVER. Since our session, I’ve been dealing with a sore throat and allergy meds that dry my nose so much that I get a bloody nose when I blow it. Good thing I’m not sparring in this weekend’s karate tournament, huh? Ahhh, spring do you think there is any way that we could enjoy the plants growing WITHOUT POLLEN?? Love and blessings, Lady Toni

Happily Ever After

As with most of the songs I write, this one has it's base from my own life. A few years back my husband and I hit a very rough patch in our marriage, we even spent a year seperated and then divorced. In that year, I grew to understand and appreciate my own giftings that I know are from God. Even when things looked bleak, HE was there supporting me. If you know the 'Footprints' poem, this was a time when there was only one set of footprints, because God truly carried me. I was led to a wonderful woman named Rev. Joyce. I began to minister with her at a nursing home, she would preach and I would provide music before her, some original and some traditional hymns of the church. She is also a conselour and we saught her when we were looking for some meaning in our realtionship. After months of counseling, we re-married and yes, Rev. Joyce officated. After the service she whispered in my ear 'Now you will live happily ever after'. From our sessions with her, I knew that happily ever after didn't mean that starry eyed, rose-colored glasses state of a first time love, but a true and mature love that deals with the ups and downs...TOGETHER. I know that Chuck and I are supposed to be together, we met online and the only way we could was that God arranged for both of us to get computers and be online at the same time. 'Happily Ever After or HEA' is a walk through the difficulties of 'fleshing out' the problems we faced. Yes, we will always have things that bug us, but we have learned some of the tools needed to walk together with GOD to come to a resolution. Being married isn't easy, but it is easier when you trust GOD and trust that HE knows the reason that you are brought together.

New Video

Check out this video that was taken by my friend Paul 'the Mayor' last night at Rev Coffee. http://www.flickr.com/x/t/0092009/gp/hillcountrythoughts/2023ry

!!Rev Coffee

AWESOME time last night at Rev Coffee. I really felt like I had hit my stride playing my second set. Love the venue, had a great time playing. Saw the benefit of really doing advanced advertising. One new fan called Rev to see who was playing, then did homework to find out something about me on the web. How very cool is that? Had a larger showing than I've gotten in the past too. Flyers and advance work is DEFINIATELY worth it!!

The CD Mary's Arms

I wrote 'Mary's Arms' after seeing the film "Passion of The Christ". What moved me that movie was how the relationship between Mary and Jesus was elevated. She was after all his mom and yes he is the Son of God, but Mary wasn't and isn't God, she was human and had the same feelings that any human mother would have for her child. She knew that Jesus would have to do some amazing and painful things, but she understood that it was for the greater good of mankind. Further, she understood that he would be okay, and because she had found favor in God's eyes, she would also be okay. I don't worship Mary, but as a new mom when I saw "Passion of The Christ" it became clear to me that the story of Jesus is also a story about a boy growing up and being someone's son.

In my songwriting I felt that it was important to honor that relationship and I hope that my songs and CD help you to do that. The songs "Mary's Arms", "Child of Mine", and "Tears of Joy" specifically speak to that relationship.