October 24, 2004

It's amazing how the 'business' part of the music business really makes you contemplate the meaning of those words and the fact that they pretty much define 'oxymoron.' Perhaps the best oxymoronic two words since Led Zeppelin. MUSIC BUSINESS. The words scare me, let alone the actual things taking place that involve negotiations, legalese, new personalities, and the realization that life can change in an instant. Having said all that, this is a very exciting time. Perhaps my mental state is the actual oxymoron! :) There's not much I can publicly talk about right now, so unfortunately this message will not be specific to any certain event, person, or project, but it's definitely been forefront on my mind for the last several weeks so I felt the need to address it.

I'm looking very much forward to the Nashville showcase, which will either be the first or second Saturday of November. It's nice to take the step to showcases and theaters and festivals and competitions, because although we will still make our bread and butter at bars and clubs, the shorter more impactful gigs where someone is there specifically to hear you play rather than to have background entertainment are a really wonderful way to keep your energy and spirits up.

The CD release was just a little over a week ago. I've been down with strep for the past week and haven't had time to write about the party, and I'm not going to say much about it here in my blog. Too many thoughts and not enough time for them. I'm looking forward to releasing the CD in other cities as well, especially at the Nashville showcase! I think our CD release unfortunately missed the listeners who weren't able to make it out on a Friday night, and we even had a technical difficulty which impeded the excitement and impact of the keyboard I introduced for the first time that night. But it was still a party, and I want to thank everyone who came, it was nice to see a full house.

Just last Sunday I went to a solo singer-songwriter showcase called Writers in the Round in Champaign, Illinois, and it was a blast. I loved the other 3 performers, and the crowd was fabulous. Cowboy Monkey is also a beautiful club. I played both guitar and piano for the show and it was really entertaining and fun to experiment with switching between instruments. A new world has opened up to me. Or maybe it's more that I'm rediscovering the instrument that first made me want to be a part of this MUSIC WORLD. There....that's not an oxymoron.

October 12, 2004

September flew by like a bird and October is rushing past me like the scenery outside my car window. Not that I'm currently driving - that would be dangerous. :) This past Saturday night we played a short but enjoyable opening set for the Jonatha Brooke concert that was part of the Women in Tune Festival to donate money towards cancer research. I played a song on piano for the first time with my band, and I felt it was a success. I was telling Michael that the only instrument that has the power to bring back all my worst memories from recitals, adjudications, and competitions like that is the piano. I know the piano like the back of my hand, yet when I sit down to play it in front of an audience, it can sometimes look like a foreign body. Pianists, unless they are wealthy and famous, rarely get to play their own instrument, they must play different ones everywhere they go. Well, one day the Yamaha grand I want will be shipped to and fro right along with me on tour, eh? Yeah, I'm allowed to dream...

This Friday, only two days away, is the CD release party at MoJo's for the Nashville EP. I feel as though we've gotten some great gigs this month for publicity, and I was on the David Lyle show on KFRU AM 1400 a couple of weeks ago for a great interview. We got a couple of calls while I was on the air which was fun. I've also been interviewed for a profile piece that should be published in Vox magazine sometime in November. It's very in-depth and covers material that's not been covered before by any local paper. BXR has kindly played some of the Nashville cuts at the noon hour and on "What's New For Dinner?" and MoJo's has been publicizing the event for us as well.

The CD is rapidly becoming well-traveled. Billy Burns, a former drummer for Ray Charles, heard it and loved it and asked if he could give it to his best friend, Pearl Jam's manager, Kelly Curtis. Kelly liked it so much he played it for Hootie and the Blowfish's manager, and then asked if he could hand it some other top management people who would be more in my genre. So, as far as I heard at last count, it's gotten to management fro Norah Jones, James Taylor, the Dixie Chicks and Neil Young and may get into the hands of Earth, Wind and Fire and the people at the Jimi Hendrix Foundation. It's pretty cool to know it's floating around out in those circles.

Otherwise, I look at the rain and feel the chill and realize winter is coming. Usually fall is my favorite time of year but this year somehow I don't feel ready for it. I want summer to last a little longer. I want the days to stay bright until 9pm. Already my work day doesn't end until it's been dark for over two hours. (And then of course there's the part of my work day, gigging, which starts long AFTER the sun has gone down - but that's when the dark provides the perfect backdrop.) If it weren't for gigs, I'd love sunlight all the time. But when I'm onstage it's all about artifical light, baby!

I continue to be amazed at how awesome my band is, and how consistently supportive are all the people who surround me. BA plans on driving to Urbana, IL with me this weekend the day after our CD release, even though he's not going to play the gig with me, he's providing me company since Michael cannot attend. I've got several photographers who give me their photos for website, CD and personal usage. (I'd not have a single photo of any gig if it weren't for them) and the number of people who have jumped on board to help in little and big ways boggles my mind. Some of the band members might even carpool down to Nashville in November for my first big SHOWCASE!!!!! I'm nervous. I will probably go down a couple of days early to rehearse with the band that Matthew Wilder (my producer) hires, and then it's BAM onstage for a half hour set in front of 'people.' I'm going to miss the band I know and love that night but it's going to be an exciting opportunity and a couple of the band members that night may be the ones that played on my CD.

All in all, things are going well. I'm tired and have the worst neckache in the world from sleeping on 3 pillows last night (what was I thinking?) but I'm content. I love that word. My CONtent is conTENT.