Monday, July 27, 2009
I had a few days to regroup in Massachusetts before my Chelmsford show. Lots of fun catching up with a close friend from childhood, cooking, walking her dogs and reading poetry. I did have two things on the TO DO list that week - an interview at Tufts University with Morgan Hute and an interview on WSCA in Portsmouth, NH with Shawn Henderson. Morgan had a very warm tone and paid particular attention to the instrumentation on my album. He also knows the music scene in Boston like the back of his hand, and we talked about our favorite artists including Jennifer Kimball. On Shawn's show I got to play live. DIDN'T KNOW I WOULD BE VIDEO TAPED(!) until I got there, but I will be prepared next time :) It was really fun and you can see the footage from the studio at the link below. (Shadow of a Doubt was my favorite clip.) http://www.youtube.com/stringman6#play/user/7827B7726B321521/3/BnxqpNLRuJ4
I'm looking forward to the show in Portsmouth on Aug. 31.
Monday, July 20, 2009
My new GPS unit, affectionately named "Brandy," helped guide me (and nearly drove me to empty in a desperate search for a gas station) this week in CT. My travels began in Lakeville at my dear friend Eva's wedding. I had the honor of performing my original song, "Amazed" during the procession, which was outdoors, under the chuppa, in front of a stunning view of the lake. From Lakeville I headed, circuitously, to Stamford, to visit my friend Jason Polise, who would be performing on the Bridgeport gig. First Jason and I did a promo interview on WPKN (photo above of me with DJ's Bob and Jo, taken by John Webb). Later, we went to Jason's house, where he has built a top-of-the-line recording studio in his house. It was a perfect place to relax, read, write and practice. The night of the show (Thur. July 16), Jason and I performed with Ben Kibbey (trumpet), Matt Dinsick (drums), and Dillon Spielvogel (bass) at the Acoustic Cafe. It was refreshing to play full band again and I even got to sing, "Brick by Brick" in a completely new arrangement - Ben on Hammond organ! Friday night I had the pleasure of playing at a unique little spot called Jitters in Southington, CT. And on Saturday, it was a treat to be part of "THREE," a concert also featuring singer-songwriters Natalie Riccio and Jody Redhage in Branford, CT. It was held in a delightful loft at the top of an old school house. Great acoustics and a lovely, warm-hearted audience. Jody's music is a little more from a classical perspective (she also plays the cello and composes orchestrations) and Natalie has an almost comic-like delivery and very dramatic, piano-driven songs. We are going to plan another concert together, maybe in Brooklyn or Virginia.
The day after my return from Montana (July 6) I drove to Great Barrington, MA for an interview on WBCR with Jeanne Bassis. Her show, "In the Spirit of Play" features several artists at a time; in my case I was interviewed alongside an actor and a poet. Made for some fun and interesting tri-o-logue! Jeanne also asked me to accompany her with music during her Public Service Announcements. That was a first! And I sang songs from the new record as well as some old favorites like, "Falling Star."
My trip to Montana was part gig, part vacation! Here's a picture (photo by Scott Edgerton) of one of the THE BEST concerts I've ever done, on my friend's deck, surrounded by mountains and tall pine trees, a chance to meet so many nice people and share the stage with Peter Novak and Dan Sullivan (local musical duo). This was a night to remember! (sorry no pics from the jacuzzi) I was a little nervous at first to play for so many strangers, but I am learning how to connect with people more and more, and I just use eye contact and pretend that I already know them. I want to open up and let the songs come out in their fullest form. I hope I achieved that on this special night.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Just a quick trip through Saugerties, I played at Inquiring Minds, which is a bookstore and coffee shop. When I arrived, the owner was working on the outside of the building, and as soon as I approached her, she apologized that a PIANO had just been moved in that day, and that it would be IN THE WAY of the stage where people normally perform! (I think they are used to guitarists...) I couldn't have been happier! Please don't let my Nord keyboard hear this, but I prefer acoustic instruments :) because they lend themselves to more risky and adventurous improvisations. Seriously, sometimes I slip off those keyboard keys! The concert went well and I did a few covers, including, "I Don't Want Anything To Change" from a recent Bonnie Raitt album.
So many good things came together for my gig at Moon and River Cafe in Schenectady! I was able to reconnect with a friend from my high school Calculus classes (how I got through AP math remains a mystery!). He's now a meteorologist, and he actually gave me my own personal weather report just looking at the clouds on Tuesday. He also made me drink naturally carbonated sulfur water in the park at Saratoga Springs (bluck!!!). I also visited with the engineer (and father of my first producer) from my debut album, "One More Time in the Air" who lives with his wife in the Albany area. What a hoot we had talking about funny gig experiences and eating delicious homemade strawberry shortcake! At Moon and River my high school friend's buddy Rick Janasy took pictures and the other band, Left on Red, created a video (link coming soon!). Turns out Rick actually worked at Harvey Milk's shop in San Francisco in the 70's! What an honor it was to meet him and to read his recent account of Milk. If you haven't seen the Sean Penn film, YOU MUST. Before my set, I sat in on keys with Tom Mercoglan and I got to play a little 1950's model Melodica sitting in with Left on Red. What a fun band! Looks like we'll be meeting up a lot in New York when we are all off tour.