DAY 8 – 06/16/17
It has been a few days since I have written. We have been moving around so much, it has been difficult to sit and take some time to write and reflect. I have been to Atlanta, Savannah, and now I am sitting in the ultimate music city, Nashville. I am eager to explore this lively city…there is music on every corner, and delicious gravy and grits in every cafe that could fill you up for a week.
In Savannah I was lucky enough to reconnect with a dear friend and previous drummer for my old band Fearmia, Ira Miller. He played drums with my on my set at The Jinx bar in the center of downtown Savannah. It brightened up my night to see him and be able to share the stage with someone again. Especially someone that knows my music so well. The night was incredibly fun – I was invited to be apart of the late night songwriters in the round a few hours after my set. I enjoyed meeting the locals and accompanying the host on some of his songs.
Next stop is New York City baby! I will be playing at Rockwood Music Hall, July 18th, at 6pm!
DAY 3 – 06/11/17
Memphis is a beautiful place with a relaxed and hip vibe, however it is not the type of atmosphere that is trying too hard to be cool. The waiter with the man-bun and handle bar mustache has most likely been rocking that look since 1995, and there is certainly not a universal “Memphis trend” – it feels like people are simply living their lives and doing it with grace, and authenticity. We rolled into Beale Street and I ordered ribs, while my beautiful lady ordered shrimp. With a permanent grin on my face, I walked down the streets taking in all of the music pouring out of the local bars.
My dad loves the south, and specifically loves Memphis. I feel a rush of guilt and sadness not being here with him on my first visit, but I now know how important it is to take this journey with him in the near future.
As a stubborn teenager, I would roll my eyes when my father talked about the history of the blues, and soul music. He wanted so badly for me to understand the importance of the roots of the music I listened to at the time. Now in my 30s, I am balling my eyes at the Stax Record Museum and preaching to my girlfriend about how important it is for us to learn about this cultural/historical moment in music. I am staring at photos and watching videos of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, thanking the gods and goddesses of soul/gospel that such a brave woman paved the way for artists like myself to be here doing what I love today.
We then made our way over to the house that was hosting my concert. We were welcomed by a perched cat named Fox and two lovely girls with giant smiles, and big hearts. I felt instantly at home. The evening was wonderful…friends came over to hang out and listen quietly in the living room while I played kazoo, looped my guitar, and played kick drum. In my mind I think to myself: How lucky am I to be able to travel, play my music, while making new friends and building community all over the US…I take a breath, strum a chord, and I hope that Sister Rosetta is smiling down on me from above – proud of the artist I have grown into.
DAY 2 – 06/10/17
I played an intimate office concert in Oklahoma City last night at a unique space that doubles as a law firm and an art/performance space. The people that hosted the event were so kind, and generous. They seemed like they genuinely loved their jobs, and they enjoyed bringing community together.
Everyone in OKC is very sweet, they also LOVE the banjo, and every time I would bring it out the audience would applaud joyously as if they were watching a dolphin do a back-flip.
I enjoy playing these house concerts because I get to meet the art/music lovers that attend these events. These are the people that inspire me to keep doing what I do, and I will never forget that. Sometimes I get a bit discouraged on the road, because you never know what kind of crowd you are going to get. You never know what kind of venue you are showing up to. I am realizing that is part of the thrill, and part of why I enjoy touring, because a part of it scares me tremendously. A friend once told me, if you are doing something that scares you every day of your life, you are truly living. I feel that on the road I am truly living, truly embracing everything – all the fears, discouragement…all the highs and lows.
Thank you Oklahoma. I know that I will see you again in the near future!
DAY 1 06/09/17
After playing a show in Long beach with two different bands, and saying goodbye to my long time tour companion and bass player, I hit the road for a month long solo tour with my girlfriend by my side. We drove through the night, 14 hours straight, passing through the thick Arizona heat, and listening to podcasts about success, grieving and the range of human emotions. I feel scared and overcome with anticipation.
I haven’t toured solo before, I have always been fortunate enough to have sweet, even keeled male band-mates by my side. I felt as if traveling with them offered a safe shield or type of security blanket. I remember many years ago traveling with my good friend and violin player in the south and thinking to myself, if it wasn’t for him I would be getting aggressive glances from strangers simply because I look a certain way. Being a queer woman traveling around the United States these days is unpredictable and nerve-racking to say the least.
As I sit here pondering my past tours I have fond memories of two of us rolling into unknown territories together, having each others back on stage, and taking care of each other off stage without acknowledging this in any verbal agreement or contract.
Now I am in Santa Fe New Mexico, a place I have several memories that intersect at different points of my life. I reflect on past tours, and past experiences traveling through the south west with my mom, or old high school friends that I often reminisce about. I am now at a time in my life where I am open to challenges and ready to embrace the richness of impermanence & change. I don’t know that I have ever felt so simultaneously raw, vulnerable and yet fully capable of pushing myself to be open to building new memories with a new beautiful person by my side, and also challenge myself to be a stronger solo artist.