I do belive 2006 is shaping up to be the busiest year of my life thus far. The pace of travelling back and forth to Nashville, the increasing amount of gigs we are hired to play, the dual studio projects I am working on, the appointments and rehearsals and meetings put all of those college exams and term papers I completed to shame! OK - different things entirely, I admit - but I have never been busier...and I am loving every second of it!
I don't know how many life-changing experiences or 'firsts' I've had since the birth of this year which I have failed to write about, but I do know that I can count among them: 1.The best live concert I've ever seen (Sigur Ros at the Pageant in St. Louis) 2. The first co-writing project I've ever undertaken (Matthew Wilder in Nashville - also have had the chance to write with some 'Nashville royalty' - more on that in a future blog) 3. Hiring a new promoter/booking agent (Melissa) and starting to work again with a great one I had been working with previously (Tim) 4. Two albums being written, produced, and recorded concurrently (or as close to concurrent as you can get without two sets of vocal chords) 5. Being featured on the cover of a magazine
So, there's more I could list, but lists are shallow and limiting - and I don't have anywhere near enough time to give enough attention to each of these subjects. I just realize that life is full, and I am often tired, but it's the best kind of fatigue I've ever known because I truly feel as though this road is leading somewhere exciting.
On March 25th, our band had one of their most successful gigs ever at the Martini Bar. Whether aliens snuck into our bedrooms the night before and implanted mind-reading chips in our brains as part of an experiment that allowed us to anticipate each others' every note or we were just ON - may never be known. What IS known is that every song that night had a special vibe - like playing them for the first time.
A week prior to that show, I had another special 'first' at the Mountain Music Shoppe in Shawnee, KS. My mother and sister were in town visiting, which was special enough in and of itself, but they attended the gig, which doubled the fun. (None of us were chewing Doublemint, but we had a great time.) The venue, small and intimate, and truly meant to be a 'listening room' provided us with a fantastic live recording of myself, Michael, and BA, and some truly heartfelt versions of songs we've played hundreds of times. The concept of building your fan base one person at a time was alive and well at that show, as many of the people from the Kansas City area who have expressed a love of my music at one time or another over the last five years made an effort to come to that little show. Also - if I didn't mention it before (I might be repeating myself) we had Jim Curley up onstage to give one of his world-class spoons performances. How awesome!
This past Thursday we opened for Lizzie West at the Martini Bar - it was, as usual, a very fun night. While I was there, I was handed a cell phone by Blues Man B and told that Kelly from California was wanting my band to be part of an upcoming (April 29th) benefit for Hep C and AIDS awareness. Needless to say, despite hoping we don't overstay our welcome at the Martini Bar with the many appearances we've made there as of late, we will be part of that fundraiser for a very important cause.
Richard King (owner of Blue Note and MoJo's) also got a hold of me and asked us to be part of the 9th Street concert series this summer, which will be a fabulous triple-billing including the Bel-Airs and another well known group out of LA. More to come on that! Further, Tim got us a return booking with the Shelter Gardens concert series that we enjoyed so much last summer. I won't for a split-second complain about the busy schedule - this is what I live for!
Finally - although October seems months away (oh wait - it IS months away!) :) it will come sooner than we imagine and we are frenetically planning for our CD release(s) in the fall by even at this very moment coming up with great promotional packages with oodles of goodies for fans. People will have the opportunity to pre-purchase the CD, get a copy of a never-before and never-again released compilation of live performances, get a t-shirt of their choice (our new design is way cool and comes in two different styles, three color choices of each style) poster, another fun item (still in the works) a ticket to the release party and a ticket to a special party for only those people who purchase this package, meant to give them a chance to hang out with the band and receive their copies of the CD weeks before it's available to the public, eat some catered food and drink some good wine out at the Courtyard Winery....PLUS the final fun feature: their names in the CD acknowledgments for being a Road to Hope 'roadie.' It's going to be a very fun deal.....
Alright, I'm sleepy. It's SO early by Hilary time (not even 9pm) but time is different here in Nashville - and creative energy oozes out my pores and saps me dry.
To you all a goodnight.