A few announcements….ok, more than a few, a lot of info coming your way in 3…2…1:
I’ve been in studio this week with Scott Mickelson to finish recording my forthcoming EP “Alice’s Land”! I’m psyched!!! I can’t wait to share with you all what we’ve created.
I’m working on a SOLO SHOW I wrote that I’ll be performing at The Buffalo Room in KANSAS CITY, MO on August 15. A dear friend of mine, John L. Keck, is putting together the whole shebang and it will feature not only my show, but music by John and other awesome musicians. It will be a hell of a night and, if you’re anywhere near the area, I’d love to see you out there.
A little bit more about that show: It’s essentially a one-woman musical that explores moments in the lives of three women (loosely based on three women in my family) delving into the phases of a woman’s life and the values and perspectives of women over different time periods and how those experiences inform our world now. With, of course, my characteristic fantasy flair, some chanting, and a looping pedal.
This show is directed by none-other than Rebekah Wiggins! If you’ve been following my newsletters for a while, you’ll know that she’s the other half of my duo, The Middle Annes. She is also a talented filmmaker and director (no shit, she’s been commissioned to direct a big budget western….she’s the real deal). I am so lucky she’s agreed to come on to direct this show. I’ll be putting together a preview video for you all to enjoy!
I’ll be performing music in the DENVER, COLORADO area at a restaurant called Gennaro’s on August 24 with my dear friend Rob Roper! If you’re near there, which I know some of you here are, I’d love to see you out there!
Got my photos taken for the forthcoming EP by a dear and talented friend, James Pratt, who I’ve done some modeling with in the past. They are being retouched but I shared the first one on my facebook page.
Lastly, If I haven’t responded to your response to my last emails, my sincere apologies. It has been on my to-do list for the last month, quite literally. I am so appreciative of the lovely feedback and love and that you all take the time to read, absorb, and respond with your thoughts. Please know that it means so much to me and I will respond….even if it takes me some time. <3
And now....onto the show...
If this year had went the same way as the last five years, I’d be eating fried pie a week ago today. Fresh peach fried pie from a paper wrapping with bits of dried frosting stuck to it that would inevitably be found stuck to my shirt around the 2 pm hour. I’d give thanks to the elderly woman selling me this bit of magic over her plastic table and I’d continue my walk down the sidewalk in the 99 degree Oklahoma air to the cool sanctuary of the Brick Street Café where a folkie would be sharing some intimate human moment on stage that I could put in my pocket for one of the less truthful moments. This place, WoodyFest, feels like one of the few honest places, which is not to discredit the rest of the world. Honesty is difficult to find and even harder to hold onto.
On the way in, I’d get a hug from a familiar face. Someone like a man named Tom Green who was always ready with some of the best hugs. ‘He’s one of the good ones’ I’d hear my grandfather’s voice echo. A true embodiment of the WoodyFest spirit, I’d think. And, as I’ve thought many times before, I’d reflect that I find the patrons of the arts like Tom, who spent their lives appreciating the beauty without grasping for recognition in return, are some of the most sincerely extraordinary people I’ve known.
I’d sit down next to my adoptive folk family, John and Viv of Standing ‘O’, and we’d settle in for the next few hours to hear the gospel of the Marys and the Sams and the Butches and the Guthries.
This isn’t a normal year though. The pattern has changed. Standing ‘O’ isn’t there anymore and John and Viv didn’t go to WoodyFest anyhow. I don’t think Brick Street was opened this year. And my dear folkie friend Tom Green has passed on from this world.
Recently I was sitting out on our balcony with my wonderful live-in boyfriend, Tony, at night. It was cool and the rare quiet that you only find in the city---never silent of course, there’s always the buzz of the air conditioning at the very least, but quiet enough that I could tell that there was weight in the air. We were talking about ambition, and the paths we’d chosen, and the seemingly endless steps we have to climb doing what we do. This line landed in my brain out of the ether:
“Leave your look of consternation, there is no glory in a one-man nation.”
This line could be seen in many different ways, but I’ll speak to how I saw it in that moment. We, as creators, find it easy to isolate ourselves in a pull-up-by-the-bootstraps mentality. We’ve had to. Few people, barring the Toms of the world, encourage this pursuit with wide-open arms and, on the flipside, many artists have our own ego demons that don’t always allow for that reception of support.
I think we get tricked by that 10% rule. The first 90% of any creative endeavor comes easy, comes fast, and we can manage well on our lonesome. It’s that last 10% that’s the bitch. And that’s where we need people. On the editing, on the releasing, on the producing and promoting and receiving of the art and, most importantly, the staying sane. After the 90% is done, we are no longer in control and it is no longer our solo creation. It becomes more than us. As hard as that can be to swallow, I believe that is a good thing. It is much more meaningful when it is not only our hands on a creation. We are, after all, communal creatures, however much we may forget that.
I’m a fan of Brene Brown. I’ve been following her work for a few years, and her book “Braving the Wilderness” discusses the concept of ‘true belonging’. That innate sense that you belong SOMEWHERE that is EXACTLY THERE, in EXACTLY THAT MOMENT, with hearts that understand your heart. I’ve searched for that in the communities I’ve been in. And I found it. In individual friendships, within my family, in my relationship with Tony, in my dog, of course…. But I didn’t find a group I wanted to truly belong to until I came across WoodyFest. It will forever be special to me.
I’ll say this though, I think WoodyFest is the beginning. It’s one of more groups I will belong to in my lifetime. I think once you find one, you recognize it, and you will find other places that feel like true belonging. Maybe not many, but they will be there. I’ve already come across more places and people, in a new festival, in Tony’s family (because, and I’m not sucking up here because you would feel the same if you met them unless you are an insane person, they are such warm-hearted, welcoming lovely people), even in this mailing list with you all…. I’ll go back to WoodyFest, sooner rather than later I hope, but I’m so happy to find these gems along the way between WoodyFests.
For now, I’ll leave you with this simple nugget:
Seek where you feel belonging. It’s worth it.
Love to you all....